Lieutenant Watada Support

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supporting Lt. Watada at the Base 2-5-07

 “I’m trying to send out to the American people of this country a message that the responsibility of ending this illegal and immoral war lies with the people of this country and holding their leader accountable because if they don’t do anything nothing is going to happen.”
~ Lt. Watada  10.7.07

Lt. Watada

 (war resisster) finally free of Army

One of the first Iraq War Resisiters is finally free from the military.
October 8, 2009 Lt Watada is released and he spoke in San Fransisco.
Courage To Resist is breaking the story here:
War Resister Free
War Resister Free
Courage to Resist.
October 8, 2009
This is reposted form their website at this link:

Courage to Resist was delighted to join the Lt. Ehren Watada victory press conference organized by Asian Americans for Peace and Justice this morning in San Francisco Chinatown's Portsmouth Square park. Ehren was the first military officer to publicly speak out against and refuse to deploy to Iraq back in June 2006. In February 2007, Ehren stood before a general court martial and faced seven years in the stockade as over a 1,000 supporters rallied nearby at the gates of Fort Lewis, WA.

To celebrate Ehren's long-awaiting discharge last week, artist Betty Kano encircled the speakers' podium with a traditional drum-call and poets and members of the community spoke out.

Ehren never spent a day in the stockade and never backed down from his assertion that the Iraq War was and remains an illegal occupation.

To understand how this victory came about, please checkout out:
"How Lt. Watada and GI resistance movement beat the Army"
Written by Jeff Paterson, February 14, 2007.

Mark Jensen, United for Peace of Pierce County, WA. October 3, 2009 Comments:

Some 1,213 days after he publicly declared his refusal to obey orders to deploy with his unit to Iraq on the grounds that the war there is illegal under national and international law, Ehren Watada was discharged from the U.S. Army on Friday morning, Oct. 2, 2009, at Fort Lewis, the News Tribune (Tacoma, WA) reported Saturday. Watada made no comment; his lawyer said that he wanted to "reclaim his privacy and anonymity," Scott Fontaine said. -- The Army, too, invoked privacy, refusing to comment on the type of discharge Watada received. -- It was a curiously muted ending to a three-and-one-half-year saga that began on Jun. 7, 2006, when Ehren Watada gave a press conference at Associated Ministries in Tacoma in a room packed with press and supporters. -- But lawyer Ken Kagan said that Watada "doesn't fear retribution from the Army and made no agreements to stay silent." -- Except for a few news service squibs, the press paid little attention to the dénouement of the Watada story. -- Local antiwar activists who offered moral support during his long ordeal expressed satisfaction that the Army has finally allowed Watada to resign, Fontaine reported in a separate News Tribune article. Rafu Shimpo, a newspaper of the Los Angeles Japanese-American community, published a reporter's reminiscence of the 2007 court-martial.

"I'm trying to send out to the American people of this country a message that the responsibility of ending this illegal and immoral war lies with the people of this country and holding their leader accountable because if they don't do anything nothing is going to happen."
~ Lt. Watada 10.7.07

More information on Lt Watada, that I have archived is here:

homepage: Lt Watada Joe Anybody homepage:


Judge bars retrial for

Lt. Watada's refusal

to deploy to Iraq

By Mark Jensen, UFPPC. October 22, 2008

A federal judge said Tuesday that Lt. Erhen Watada cannot be retried on the most serious charges against him, because he is protected by the U.S. Constitution's ban on double jeopardy, the Associated Press reported.[1]

Lt. Watada refused to deploy to Iraq in June 2006 on the grounds that the Iraq war is illegal, and his U.S. Army court-martial in February 2007 ended in a mistrial.

Hal Bernton of the *Seattle Times* noted that Lt. Watada still works at Fort Lewis and is stuck in a "legal limbo" that will apparently continue for some time, since "[t]he judge kicked back to the military trial court for further consideration two other conduct unbecoming an officer charges against Watada, opening the door to further court proceedings. Both of those charges involve public interviews Watada gave to reporters, and were conditionally dismissed as part of a pretrial agreement.

Settle said the military court should consider whether there are 'constitutional defects' to retrying Watada on those charges before a civil court does."[2]

On Tuesday, one of Lt. Watada's attorney's, James Lobsenz, said: "We're happy, but it's too early to know what else might happen. It's highly likely (the Army) will appeal the judge's decision."[3]

The *Honolulu Advertiser* reported that Bob Watada, a former Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission executive director who is Lt. Watada's father, fears that the Army might appeal the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Eric Seitz, Watada's attorney in the February 2007 court-martial, told the paper that "theoretically, hypothetically [the other two charges] can be brought back, but I think there's going to be lots of problems. I don't think they can bring those back, either."[4]

Seitz told the *Honolulu Star-Bulletin*: "They ought to let him resign. They aren't going to win this and they ought to acknowledge that."[5]

By Phuong Le, Associated Press. October 22, 2008

By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times. October 22, 2008

** Federal court cites double jeopardy in Watada case **
By Jon Naito, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. October 21, 2008

** Judge blocks Army from retrying war objector on three main allegations **
Honolulu Advertiser. October 22, 2008

** A new court-martial for the Hawaii-born soldier and Iraq war objector would amount to double jeopardy, a federal judge rules **
Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 22, 2008

A video message to Ehren 10-19-07

  UPDATE <10-18-07>
   OCTOBER 19 2007
       11 to  3 pm in Taccoma Wa


To all,

Please come show support for Lt. Ehren Watada at the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma between 11 am - 3 pm on Friday, Oct. 19.

Union Station Courthouse

1717 Pacific Ave

Tacoma, WA  98402


Sorry for the late notice, but  the army and the court system aren't making organizing easy.  Attorneys for both sides will appear before Judge Settle sometime tomorrow, but Ehren's attorney says this may not be a "hearing".  The judge may continue to postpone the court martial, it's unlikely he will rule on "double jeopardy", and he may just set a future date for everyone to come back.


Please join us between 11 am - 3 pm and bring friends, signs and dress warmly.  This will be a peaceful vigil to show support for Ehren.  Below is the press release we have sent out- folks from across the country are helping re-awaken the support Watada campaign.  Vigils are happening in San Francisco and Philadelphia and Los Angeles, too!



Liz Rivera Goldstein

Teen Peace Project, Port Townsend


Supporters Prepare for

Second Lt. Watada Court Martial

Lt. Watada’s belief that the Iraq war is illegal and immoral has resonated with peace activists across the country and garnered national and international support. With the army once again planning to court martial Lt. Watada, peace activists are organizing to show support for Lt. Watada and other war resisters.  The Family and Friends of Lt. Watada are planning events for October 19 and October 27.

Nationwide Iraq Moratorium protests scheduled for October 19th coincides with Federal Judge Benjamin Settle’s review of the responses from the army and Watada defense attorneys regarding an emergency stay of Lt. Watada’s court martial proceedings in the city of Tacoma, Washington.  Activists intend to be present outside the Tacoma Federal Courthouse to show support for Lt. Watada. Supporters are also planning to turn out at national peace mobilization events across the country to be held on Oct. 27.   

In a down to the wire decision, Federal Judge Benjamin Settle issued a last-minute stay temporarily blocking the second trial of Lt. Ehren Watada.  On or after Friday, October 19th Judge Settle will decide Lt. Watada's constitutional claim that a second trial would amount to 'double jeopardy'. That decision will determine if a stay of court martial proceedings will be vacated or continue indefinitely. Lt. Watada seeks dismissal of all charges by the court and an honorable discharge from the Army.  Under normal circumstances, Lt. Watada's term of service would have expired in December 2006. However, his discharge has been delayed because of the possible court martial proceedings.


Lieutenant Watada has consistently maintained that the Iraq war and occupation is illegal under both international law and the U.S. Constitution, and according to military law, he could be found guilty of participating in a crime against the peace and war crimes if he were to participate in the illegal intervention in Iraq.  

As Lt. Watada has stated: “I refuse to be silent any longer.  I refuse to be a party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression.  My oath of office is to protect and defend America’s laws and it’s people.  By refusing unlawful orders for an illegal war, I fulfill that oath today.” 

Lieutenant Watada was tried by a court martial this February for "missing movement" for failing to deploy and "conduct unbecoming an officer" for his statements opposing the war.  After the prosecution had completed its case, the military judge, Lt. Col. John Head, intervened, declared a mistrial, and ordered Watada to be retried.

Watada's attorneys are appealing on the grounds that such a retrial will violate one of the most fundamental constitutional protections of the rule of law: the prohibition of "double jeopardy."  The Fifth Amendment states that no person shall be "subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb."  

Without a prohibition on double jeopardy, the government could simply halt a trial whenever matters don't go well for the prosecution, such as what happened in the initial Watada trial.  This attempt for a second trial represents one more Bush-era encroachment of the "all-powerful state" on basic human rights and the rule of law.  

Local Contacts:

• Seattle Area:

Gerry Condon, Project Safe Haven    (206) 499-1220

Liz Rivera Goldstein, Teen Peace Project    (360) 379-9094

• San Francisco:

Michael Wong,

Grace Shimizu,

Ying Lee, 

• New York, New York, Gloria Lum              

•Rockland County, New York:          

David Mitchell, Attorney & Vietnam War Draft Resister

(845) 596-0464.

Nancy Tsou, Coordinator,  Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice 845-634-4082  

• Philadelphia, Pennsylvania   

Eric Gjertson          Payday Men’s Network


********* UPDATE  *********
Oct 14 2007 
Double Jeopardy Case
 is now being held on
OCT 19 2007

OCTOBER 14 2007

Watada's Double Jeopardy


[posted online on October 12, 2007]

The double jeopardy clause of the US Constitution ensures that no American can be tried twice for the same offense. But at a time when our civil liberties are rapidly eroding, a drama is unfolding in Washington State over whether that constitutional protection applies to a US soldier.

After his February court-martial ended in a mistrial, Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse to serve in Iraq, seemed certain to face a second court-martial on October 9 at Fort Lewis, an Army base near Tacoma. Three military courts had rejected Watada's claim of double jeopardy, finding no abuse of discretion by the military judge in declaring a mistrial. But in an unusual civilian intervention in a military legal process, US District Court Judge Benjamin Settle issued a last-minute stay October 5 in Tacoma, temporarily blocking the trial.

Settle will hear Watada's double jeopardy claim

 October 19

Nationwide Iraq Moratorium protests are scheduled for that day, many of which will feature Watada's case and his stand against the war.

Watada has consistently maintained that the Iraq War is illegal under international law and the US Constitution, and that to participate in it would make him guilty of a war crime. At the video press conference on June 7, 2006, in which he first announced his refusal to go to Iraq, he explained, "It is my conclusion as an officer of the armed forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law."

Watada was tried in a military court in February for failing to deploy and conduct unbecoming an officer for his statements opposing the war. After the prosecution had completed its case, the military judge, Lt. Col. John Head, intervened, declared a mistrial and ordered Watada to be retried. [See our report on that trial here.]

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that no person shall be "subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." As the Supreme Court explained in a seminal 1978 double jeopardy case, United States v. Scott, "The underlying idea, one that is deeply ingrained in at least the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence, is that the State with all its resources and power should not be allowed to make repeated attempts to convict an individual for an alleged offence."

Like the erosion of the right to habeas corpus, the denial of the protection against double jeopardy represents one more Bush-era encroachment of the all-powerful state on basic human rights and the rule of law.

While the legal arguments about double jeopardy are quite complicated, Watada's lawyers are convinced their arguments are strong. They wrote in their emergency motion, "This is a remarkably clear case of an egregious violation of the double-jeopardy clause." Judge Settle's opinion states, "The Court has not been presented any evidence showing that Petitioner's double jeopardy claim lacks merit. On the contrary, the record indicates that Petitioner's double jeopardy claim is meritorious."

Growing Support

Watada's term of military service was scheduled to expire on December 4, 2006. He has not been discharged, however, because of the pending court-martial charges against him. If convicted, he could face up to six years in prison.

In an October 4 editorial, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer declared, "However the defense appeals turn out, we think there is a case for letting Watada leave the Army without further ado."

There's no evidence yet that the Army is listening. But Judge Settle's ruling has energized Watada's supporters. They have formed a new national steering committee with representatives from regions around the country. Michael Wong, a military resister during the Vietnam era who took much of the initiative to mobilize the current wave of support, explained in an interview, "We have three demands. The first is to bar the Army from trying Ehren Watada again. The second is to drop all charges against him. The third is to let him leave with an honorable discharge."

Wong asks peace groups to incorporate Watada's defense in local and national demonstrations and encourages individuals to write letters to the editor and articles to educate the public about the case. "They had a chance to try him once. They blew it. The prosecution's case was so weak that declaring a mistrial may have been the only way that Judge Head could save the Army from humiliation and defeat," he said. "They should just drop the charges and let him go."

San Francisco organizer and lawyer Bill Simpich has been active in both the Iraq Moratorium and the Watada defense. He is working to make Watada's stand against the war a central theme of the monthly Iraq Moratorium Day October 19. "The Iraq Moratorium and the Watada Support Campaign are moving tightly with plans to get the word out to stop the war now so soldiers like Lieutenant Watada aren't forced to choose between supporting the Constitution and going to prison," he said.

Simpich said the signature event of the Iraq Moratorium Day in the Bay Area will be a dramatic end-of-workday event outside the downtown office of Senator Dianne Feinstein, co-sponsored by the Iraq Moratorium and the Watada Support Committee. Community events and leafleting at transportation hubs such as BART and CalTrain will also link the Moratorium and the Watada case.

In Washington, activists plan demonstrations and a counterrecruiting effort outside a Seattle-area recruitment center.

"The US government and military is waging two illegal wars and is actively planning for a third," said organizer Gerry Condon, referring to increasing hostilities between the United States and Iran. "It is more important than ever that we support GIs who follow their own consciences and obey international law."

The Watada case is also drawing international attention. Amnesty International issued a statement October 5 warning that a guilty verdict would make Watada "a prisoner of conscience who should be immediately and unconditionally released."

Watada's case is different from typical conscientious objector cases because the US military recognizes as conscientious objectors only those who oppose war in any form. Watada did not apply for conscientious objector status because he said as a soldier he would be willing to fight in a war--unlike Iraq--that was necessary, legal and just.

Amnesty International argues in its statement that the right to refuse to perform military service for reasons of conscience, thought or religion is protected under international human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)--treaties that have been ratified by the United States.

Watada's Impact

The Watada case has presented a serious challenge to the military. As Daniel Ellsberg put it, "Lt. Ehren Watada--who still faces trial for refusing to obey orders to deploy to Iraq, which he correctly perceives to be an unconstitutional and aggressive war--is the single officer in the United States armed services who is taking seriously...his oath."

Despite strong traditions in the military against publicly criticizing the government, more than twenty retired US generals have criticized the Commander in Chief about Iraq or spoken out against the war. In 2005, five retired military panelists discussed the war at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Retired Brig. Gen. John Johns told the San Diego Union-Tribune, "Four out of five of us retired military panelists there said it was a moral duty for us to speak out in a democracy against policies which you think are unwise." One of the participants, retired Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, said, "When you feel the country--to its extreme detriment--is going in the wrong direction, and that your views might have some impact, you have a duty to speak out."

In a video press conference announcing his refusal to deploy to Iraq, Watada noted, "Although I have tried to resign out of protest, I am forced to participate in a war that is manifestly illegal. As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order."

While evidence of the war's illegality was barred in Watada's court-martial, his position is grounded in military law and doctrine. At a National Press Club luncheon February 17, 2006, just a year before Watada's court-martial, Gen. Peter Pace, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked, "Should people in the US military disobey orders they believe are illegal?"

Pace's response: "It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral."

The Army wants to sentence Ehren Watada to six years in the brig for the crime of trying to fulfill that absolute responsibility.



by Joe Anybody on 10 /6/07

By Mike Barber, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. October 5, 2007

A federal judge in Tacoma has delayed the court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a Fort Lewis Army officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq.

In a rare intervention of a civilian court in the military justice system, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin H. Settle granted the emergency stay (PDF) shortly before close of business Friday. Watada's trial, slated to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, is now postponed until at least Oct. 26, the judge ruled.

In granting the stay at 4:48 p.m., Settle determined that he has jurisdiction under federal law to grant the stay and that Watada's claim that a second-trial amounts to double jeopardy is not frivolous and "has merit" for consideration.

"The irreparable harm suffered by being put to a trial a second time in violation of the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment stems not just from being subjected to double punishment but also from undergoing a second trial proceeding," Settle wrote in quoting case law.

Watada's lawyers, Jim Lobsenz and Ken Kagan of the Seattle firm Carney Badley Spellman, have argued that the circumstances of a mistrial declared in Watada's court-martial in February result in double jeopardy -- being tried twice for the same charge.

The mistrial was declared over Watada's objections and after a panel of military officers acting as a jury had heard evidence but not begun deliberatons.

Watada's appeals have been dismissed by the military trial judge and the U.S. Army Court of Appeals. An appeal was made Sept. 18 to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the highest court in the military justice system.

Lobsenz and Kagen said they were compelled to ask the federal court on Wednesday to stop the court-martial. Watada's trial approached, and nothing had been heard from the armed forces appeals court. With Monday a federal holiday to observe Columbus Day, time was even shorter, they said.

Settle indicated at a hearing on Thursday that he might defer to the military appeals court if it made a decision by Friday, but at close of business Friday, it hadn't ruled.

Because the case being heard in federal court, the U.S. Attorney's Office now is arguing the government position.

Watada publicly refused to go to Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade in June 2006, contending that the war there is illegal and exposed members of the military to war crimes. He has been charged with missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer. He could be sentenced to up to six years in prison if convicted.

Settle has set up a briefing schedule to examine the merits of the double jeopardy argument and how long he will continue the stay. The government has until Oct. 12 to file its arguments, and Watada's lawyers must reply by Oct. 17.

--P-I reporter Mike Barber can be reached at 206-448-8018 or

United States District Court
Western District of Washington at Tacoma

1 LT. EHREN K. WATADA, Petitioner, v. LT. COL. JOHN HEAD, Military Judge, Army Trial Judiciary, Fourth Judicial District; LT. GEN.
CHARLES JACOBY, Convening Authority, Ft. Lewis, Washington, Respondents.

CASE NO. C07-5549BHS


This matter comes before the Court on Petitioner's Emergency Motion for a Stay of Court Martial Proceedings (Dkt. 2). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the oral arguments of counsel, and hereby grants the motion for the following reasons.


This court has jurisdiction over this habeas petition under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. The writ for habeas corpus "is not now and never has been a static, narrow, formalistic remedy; its scope has grown to achieve its grand purpose -- the protection of individuals agains erosion of their right to be free from wrongful restraints upon their liberty."
*Peyton v. Rowe*, 391 U.S. 54, 66 (1968). Habeas petitions are available to members of the armed services who are not seeking a discharge from the military as part of their claims. *Glazier v.
Hackel*, 440 F.2d 592 (9th Cir. 1971); *Bratcher v. McNamara*, 448 F.2d 222 (9th Cir. 1971). Petitioner alleges that the restraint on liberty he is being subjected to is a court martial proceeding that would violate his Fifth Amendment right to be free from double jeopardy. Dkt. 1 at 9. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that being required to appear for trial is sufficient to show custody over an individual for habeas purposes. *Justices of Boston Municipal Court v. Lydon*, 466 U.S. 294, 300-301 (1984).

As a general rule, where members of the armed forces file habeas petitions seeking relief from the military's wrongful restraint of liberty, federal civilian courts should not entertain such petitions until all available remedies within the military court system have been exhausted. *Noyd v. Bond*, 395 U.S. 683, 693 (1969).
Petitioner's habeas petition asks this Court to determine issues that have also been placed before the military trial court, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and the United States Court for the Armed Forces.
Dkt. 2 at 2. Both the military trial court and the Army Court of Criminal Appeals have denied Petitioner's claims. Id. On October 5, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces issued an order denying Petitioner's claims. Dkt. 7 at 4-6. As of the date of this Order, Petitioner has exhausted his available military court remedies with respect to his double jeopardy claim that forms the basis of his habeas petition. This Court my therefore rightfully entertain the instant habeas petition.


Having decided that Petitioner has exhausted his military court remedies with repsect to the double jeopardy claim, thereby affording the Court jurisdiction over the habeas peitition, the Court must now determine whether a stay of the second military court martial proceeding is justified. The Double Jeopardy Clause "not only protects an individual against being subjected to double punishment but also is a guarantee against being twice put to trial for the same offense." *Abney v. U.S.*, 43 U.S. 651, 652 (1977). The Supreme Court held in *Abney* that for a criminal defendant to "enjoy the full protection of the Clause, his double jeopardy challenge to the indictment must be reviewable before the subsequent exposure occurs."
Id. at 662.

The rule articulated in *Abney* applies to the instant matter if Petitioner's double jeopardy claim is meritorious or not frivolous.
*United States v. Claiborne*, 727 F. 2d 842, 850 (9th Cir. 1984). The Court has not been presented any evidence showing that Petitioner's double jeopardy claim lacks merit. On the contrary, the record indicates that Petitioner's double jeopardy claim is meritorious.
"[A] defendant raising a meritorious *Abney*-type claim -- asserting a valid, constitutional 'right not to be tried' -- would be irreparably harmed if the trial court continued to proceed to trial prior to the disposition of the appeal." Id. at 850. The Irreparable harm suffered by being put to tria a second time in violation of the Double Jeopardy Claus of the Fifth Amendment stems not just from being subjected to double punishment but also from the harm of undergoing a second trial proceeding. *Abney*, 431 U.S. 660 at 661. Having preliminarily decided that Petitioner's double jeopardy claim is not frivolous, a stay of the military court martial is justified.


The Court concludes, as a preliminary matter, that it has jurisdiction over the habeas petition and that Petitioner's double jeopardy claim is not frivolous. The pending court martial proceeding scehduled to begin on October 9, 2007 should be preliminarily stayed. The Court recognizes that these issues are raised on an emergency motion and that the parties have not yet had the opportunity to provide full briefing. The government should be afforded the right to respond and Petitioner should be permitted to reply to that response.

The Court further notes that the issues raised by the petition for habeas corpus bear no relation to the charges or defenses in Petitioner's court martial proceedings. The habeas petition concerns only the alleged violation of Petitioner's Fifth Amendment right to be free from double jeopardy. This is an issue concerning Petitioner's individual constitutional right to be free from being subjected to two trial proceedings concerning the same offense and is completely unrelated to the underlying claims addressed by the military trial court.


Therefor, it it hereby

ORDERED that Petitioner's Emergency Motion for a Stay of Court Martial Proceedings (Dkt. 2) is GRANTED in part. Respondents are enjoined from holding the court martial proceeding referred to by Respondent Jacoby. This stay is preliminary and shall remain in place until October 26, 2007, or until further order of the Court.

It is further ORDERED that Respondents are to file a repsonse to Petitioner's Emergency Motion for a Stay of Court Martial Proceedings on or before October 12, 2007; Petitioner is to file a reply to Respondents' response by October 17, 2007; and the motoin is RENOTED for consideration on October 19, 2007.

DATED this 5th day of October, 2007.

United States District Judge

The follwing article has been updated as of 10/6 see above  *

Support Watada

Oct 9 2007

Mike Wong, of Veterans for Peace, and many others from around the region and West Coast are planning to have a presence/protest/rally next week on Tuesday, October 9 at the new court marshal of Lt. Ehren Watada at Ft. Lewis. Jeff Patterson, of Courage to Resist, who helped to organize much of the work last year has suggested a good plan for those of us in the Olympia area. Please read his suggestions and other planned action below.
Support Lt. Watada
Support Lt. Watada

ALL DAY  at I-5  exit 119
From Olympia: car pool at 6:30AM from the usual location of Harrison and Division.

Dear Friends,

Seems like we all have been working to support Lt. Ehren Watada--often in
our own ways--for quite some time now. Who could have imagined that 16
months after Ehren challenged us to use his case to highlight an illegal
war, he is still awaiting justice-or more likely, injustice?

The Army officially announced today that the retrial is on for Tuesday-yes,
next week! Below is the official media advisory. According to the Army, any
media requests for access to the trial need to be in their hands by tomorrow
at 4:30pm. Those crazy smart bastards!

Many of you have probably seen Michael Wong's ( recent call
to action in support of Lt. Watada. If not, I quote extensively from his
call in the action alert Courage to Resist sent to our national list last
night, "Despite Constitution, Army moving against Lt. Watada." Mike is a
member of the Watada Support Committee and Veterans for Peace is working
hard to mount a public response on such short notice.

To friends in the Ft. Lewis area, I'd like to propose an adhoc call for
people to both gather at Gate 119 during the day, and to attend the trial if possible. I'd suggest a morning vigil (7-9am) and an afternoon rally (4-6pm) at Gate 119--just start spreading the word, and who shows up, shows up. Tell people to bring their own signs and banners, make sure someone brings a
bullhorn, and we're ready to go. It's make a good visual for the media coverage, and represents the fact that we have not "forgotten" about Ehren.

If people want to attend the trial, be at Gate 120 by 7:30am (the court martial is scheduled for a 9:00am start). If folks walk on, it makes things easier (in case of problems with car registration, insurance, or even peace bumper stickers). Here are the maps with info we did back in Feb. for

Suggested slogans, messaging might include:
* Thank you Lt. Watada for Refusing Illegal War!
* Help End the War--Support GI Resisters!
* All Troops Home Now

Because of the short notice, Courage to Resist will likely not have an organized presence at Ft. Lewis (I will not be able to make personally either), but I wanted to offer this up in case it may be of help. If persons already have plans underway, super!--just let me know so that we can help
spread the word. If folks run with any of these suggestions, there is no need to "credit" any of this info to me, Courage to Resist, etc.--just want to see something happen. As Mike Wong notes, "Do whatever the hell you can!"

Attached are the original "Refuse Illegal War -

Thank You Lt. Watada" posters if of use to anyone.

Jeff Paterson <>
Courage to Resist and Veterans for Peace Ch 69



FORT LEWIS, Wash. -The General Court-Martial case of U.S. vs. 1st Lt. Ehren
K. Watada, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on October 9.

1st Lt. Watada is charged with one charge of missing movement, and one charge, with four specifications, of conduct unbecoming an officer.

The maximum punishment is dismissal and confinement for six years.

From Mike Wong
Hi folks,

New update. We definitely are moving! Michael McPherson (national exec. director of VFP) has forwarded my mass email to the VFP list, so the whole organization got it. Carolyn Ho has been forwarding my email as well. I'm getting emails from folks around the country who got my email forwarded to them, they all will do whatever they can locally. My deepest thanks to everyone who responded. Some activists are getting my email multiple times from different contacts, so the email is really getting around. I got calls from Jeremy Brecher of "The Nation" online edition, and Margaret Prescott of KPFK in Los Angeles. Jeremy will do an article and get it on the "The Nation" website this week. Margaret Prescott will do a radio show on this tomorrow (Tuesday) morning between 7 to 8 am that will include one of Ehren's lawyers, Col. Ann Wright (She is an inspiring leader - check out her story at:  
link to and clicking on "Listen" in the upper right hand corner. The Watada folks in LA are up and running, they got the KPFK person involved.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a press conference scheduled for Monday, October 8, at 10 a.m. at Portsmouth Square In San Francisco's Chinatown. At least three of us will be driving up to Ft. Lewis for the court martial. We are also trying to put together a second event for Oct. 9, the day of the court martial.

Captain James Yee has offered his support. I have his book, and his is an incredible story. Check out his story at:  
link to .

In the Ft. Lewis area, Cindy Domingo of the Watada campaign in Seattle, and Gerry Condon, an old friend from Veterans for Peace and Viet Nam war resister/deserter, have agreed to take the lead in organizing events around the new court martial. Gerry sent out the following Alert for the Ft. Lewis area:

NORTHWEST ALERT: Mobilize for Watada Court Martial, Tues. Oct. 9
Date: Oct 3, 2007 3:09 AM

Dear Friends of Ehren Watada,

Many of you know my friend, Mike Wong, of the Watada Support Committee in San Francisco. Yesterday he sent out an urgent action alert Apparently, the Army plans to go ahead with Ehren Watada's court martial next Tuesday, Oct. 9, despite the fact that his appeal of the Army's ruling on double jeopardy has not yet been decided. OR, it is also possible that the Army will postpone his court martial, possibly at the last minute. The Watada Campaign in the Puget Sound area seems pretty demobilized. Cindy Dominguez and Nadine Shiroma, two of the Seattle coordinators, say they have not been able to talk to Ehren recently and that his lawyers have not returned their calls.

Cindy Dominguez said that Ehren told her earlier to go ahead and do whatever needed to be done, and not to look to him to be involved in guiding support actions. He is reportedly being watched very closely.

Mike Wong suggested that I take the lead in getting the word out to begin mobilizing folks in the Puget Sound area. Cindy Dominguez said this was fine with her - that she was not in a position to do so. She asked that we keep her informed. She insisted that all actions should be nonviolent and legal, and that there be no civil disobedience.

This is an urgent call for help. We need some collective leadership and a division of labor. In particular, I encourage those of you who have been involved with past Watada mobilizations to step up to the plate. You know who you are.

I am busy responding to another war resister emergency in British Columbia. Robin Long, who is AWOL from the U.S. Army, was arrested by police in Nelson, BC yesterday. His request for refugee status had been turned down and he had received an order to depart from Canada. He is now being held at the Vancouver International Airport and a hearing has been scheduled in Vancouver tomorrow morning at 11 am. Canadian authorities seem determined to deport him quickly. The War Resister Support Campaign in Canada has launched an emergency effort to halt his deportation. Demonstrations will take place on Wednesday morning in downtown Vancouver and Toronto. People in the U.S. are also being asked to contact the Canadian government.

For more information on both of these emergency responses, please check out Courage To Resist's current action alert,

Until we hear otherwise, we must operate on the assumption that the Army will court martial Ehren Watada, beginning on Tuesday, October 9. Based on our experience of his first court martial, we should expect it to go on for two or three days.

Our challenge, to quote Mike Wong, is to "just do whatever the hell you can do with whomever is willing to do it with you."
We must let the Army and the world know that we have not forgotten Ehren Watada. We must demonstrate that we will defend all soldiers who stand up and say no to illegal, immoral wars.

What needs to be done? We must mobilize folks to show up at Fort Lewis next Tuesday. We should have a presence outside the gates on Tuesday morning. We should attend the court martial. We should probably have a rally at Fort Lewis on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.

Jeff Paterson of Courage To Resist, who was very involved with the mobilization for the February court martial, sends the following advice, complete with maps:

As for Ft. Lewis, just pick a time for a morning vigil (7-9am) and an afternoon rally (4-6pm) at Gate 119 on Oct. 9th and start spreading the word. People will pick up on that quickly. Tell people to bring their own signs and banners, make sure someone brings a bullhorn, and you are all set.
If people want to attend the trial, be at Gate 120 by 7:30am (assuming a 9:00am start).
Here are the maps with info we did for the Feb. events:

Aside from showing up at Fort Lewis, what else can we do? What about folks who can't make it to Fort Lewis but want to show their support? There could be morning pickets at Federal Buildings. We could start writing letters to the editors of local papers. Perhaps some of you will have more creative ideas. People should feel free to act on their own or with their own groups.

Mike Wong can be contacted at

For more information:

July 23 2007is the next possible court martial trial, day

No justice at Lt. Watada's pre-trial replay



Anti-war organizers again subpoenaed by Army

Courage to Resist. July 9, 2007

On Friday, a pretrial hearing was held at Fort Lewis in the U.S. Army's second attempt to court-martial Lt. Ehren Watada for refusing to deploy to Iraq in June 2006. Lt. Watada continues to argue that the Iraq war is illegal under U.S. and international law. During the first court martial in February, after over a thousand anti-war protesters gathered at the gates of Fort Lewis, military judge Lt. Col. John Head orchestrated a mistrial in order save the prosecutions weak showing prior to defense arguments. Now, this same judge plans on presiding over a new trial. Last week Judge Head ruled in support of himself, twice. First, Head claimed that he could be impartial claiming beyond credibility that he does not have an "intractable attitude or preconceived notions". Second, he ruled that a new trial again wouldn't violate Lt. Watada’s constitutional right not to be prosecuted twice for the same crime, known as double jeopardy.

The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals has issued a partial stay in the court martial that remains in effect. While pretrial proceedings have been allowed to go forward, no court-martial can take place until the partial stay is lifted. If the current partial stay is lifted in time for the scheduled July 23 court martial, it is likely that the Federal Court of Appeals would step in to review the issue of double jeopardy.

During the pre-trial hearing, it came to light that Judge Head's supervisor sent the judge an e-mail in February indicating she believed the mistrial did not create double-jeopardy issues and that a second court-martial could move forward. Lt. Watada’s new attorneys, Kenneth Kagan and James Lobsenz Kagan said the e-mail suggested there was pressure on Judge Head to rule a certain way.

Honolulu attorney Eric Seitz, who was Lt. Watada's defense lawyer until March, said yesterday he wasn't surprised by the outcome of the pretrial hearing. "I would expect they (the appeals court) would take the issues far more seriously than Judge Head is capable of doing. I would never expect Judge Head to reverse himself but would certainly expect the Appellate Court to do that," Seitz said. "He was not the most competent judge I've met in my life."

Lt. Watada’s father Robert Watada remarked to the Honolulu Star Bulletin newspaper, "My own assessment is that it (the military court proceeding) was very much like a Salem witch trial. We fully expected this." If the court martial is allowed to proceed, Robert Watada noted that it would probably be in October.

Washington State anti-war organizers again subpoenaed by Army


Subpoenaed activist Phan Nguyen

Although few expect the Army to be able to retry Lt. Watada July 23-28 as they plan, the Army has again subpoenaed regional anti-war organizers to take the stand against Lt. Watada. Late last week, Seattle Veterans for Peace organizers Gerri Haynes and Tom Brookhart were re-subpoenaed to “verify remarks Lt. Watada made to the VFP National Convention last August.” Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace activist Phan Nguyen was re-subpoenaed by the prosecution to explain how Lt. Watada’s initial June 7, 2006 press conference in Tacoma, Washington was organized.

Subpoenas delivered to activists last week read: "Enclosed is a copy of the travel order and subpoena for your production as a government witness in the court martial U.S. v. Watada. The trial is scheduled to take place from 23-28 July 2007. As the travel order states, the government will reimburse you for your mileage for all trips made to and from your place of residence to Fort Lewis, plus $40.00 a day attendance fees."

Last February, Oakland, California based journalist Sarah Olson made national news by voicing her objection to being subpoenaed, along with Honolulu Star Bulletin writer Greg Kakesako, by the prosecution. Sarah Olson declared, “A member of the press should never be placed in the position of aiding a government prosecution of political speech. This goes against the grain of even the most basic understanding of the First Amendment’s free press guarantees and the expectation of a democracy that relies on a free flow of information and perspectives without fear of censor or retribution.” The military has not delivered subpoenas to either journalist.

On July 5, Watada supporters rallied and held a die-in at the San Francisco Federal Building that was widely covered by the San Francisco Bay Area press.

Important content of this article provided by Mark Jensen of United for Peace of Pierce County, Washington.

It's 'back to
square one'
for Watada

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer


Honolulu Advertiser


spacer spacer

The Army refiled charges yesterday against 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the Kalani High School graduate whose refusal to deploy to Iraq and a war he deemed illegal gained international attention and served as a rallying point for the antiwar effort.

The charges, filed in Fort Lewis, Wash., come after a military judge declared a mistrial earlier this month in Watada's court-martial trial.

Eric Seitz, Watada's attorney, said he was "surprised" the Army refiled the exact same charges and said he would try to have the charges thrown out as a violation of the Constitution's protection against double jeopardy.

Throughout the proceedings leading up to the mistrial, Army prosecutors made so many mistakes that "the military appellate courts would not let a conviction stand."

"I think the Army has made so many bad mistakes in this case that the chances of them having a successful outcome are very slim," said Seitz, speaking from his Honolulu office yesterday.

"This case is such a mess, it doesn't make any sense for us to go forward. As far as I'm concerned they (Army prosecutors) are really behaving irrationally and recklessly, and I love it."

Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek said double jeopardy did not apply in this case because the first trial was never completed.

"We're back to square one," Fort Lewis spokeswoman Leslie Kaye said.

The March 19 court date set by the judge following the mistrial will be reset, Seitz said.

Watada is charged with one count of missing movement and two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer. The latter charge accuses him in four instances of making public statements criticizing the war or President Bush.

Watada claims the war is illegal and he would be party to war crimes if he followed orders to deploy.

Watada, a 1996 Kalani High School graduate, faces two years in prison on a charge of missing a troop movement, and two years imprisonment on two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer for his public statements.

In addition to prison time, Watada also faces the possibility of a dishonorable discharge.

Watada refused to go to Iraq last June with his Fort Lewis Stryker brigade after conducting research and deciding the war was illegal.

He said he would have been willing to serve in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

Watada, 28, is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment orders to Iraq.

Lt. Col. John Head's decision to call off the court-martial in its third day came as Watada stood ready to take the stand in his own defense.

The 28-year-old artillery officer hoped to convince a panel of seven fellow Army officers that he had good reasons for missing the flight that took his unit to war and for then speaking out against the Bush administration's policies in Iraq.

Army prosecutors reluctantly requested the mistrial after Head threw out the basis for the Army's case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Reach Peter Boylan at

From Thank You Lt Watada's Website I bring you this:
Army's Iraq war objector charged again
Gene Johnson, Associated Press Writer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb 23, 2007          

SEATTLE -- The Army refiled charges Friday against a lieutenant who refused to serve in Iraq, about two weeks after his first court-martial was declared a mistrial. 

First Lt. Ehren Watada, 28, who refused to deploy with his unit last June, faces the same allegations he initially faced - missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer - and could be sentenced to a dishonorable discharge and six years in prison if convicted. The Army has not set a date for a second court-martial. 

"We're back to square one," Fort Lewis spokeswoman Leslie Kaye said.

Watada's first trial began early this month but ended abruptly when the judge, Lt. Col. John Head, said he did not believe the soldier fully understood a pretrial agreement he signed admitting elements of the charges. As part of that agreement, the Army dropped two of the charges against him, lowering his potential sentence to four years. 

Watada's attorney, Eric Seitz, said he would seek to have the charges dismissed as a violation of the Constitution's protection against double jeopardy.

"When it's not going well for you, you can't just call a mistrial and start over again," Seitz said. "No matter how much lip service they give to wanting to protect my client's rights, that just doesn't exist in the military courts."

Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek said double jeopardy did not apply in this case because the first trial was never completed. 

Watada faces one charge of missing movement and another of conduct unbecoming of an officer. The latter charge accuses him in four instances of making public statements criticizing the war or President Bush.

Watada freely admitted missing the deployment and making the statements in the pretrial agreement. Before the mistrial was declared, he had planned to take the witness stand to argue that his motives were to avoid committing war crimes by participating in an illegal war.

Last Updated ( Friday, 23 February 2007 )

Write to General Dubik at Fort Lewis. Use your own words and include this message:

Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik,

I urge you to drop all charges against Lt. Watada and to respect the constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy by not attempting to court martial him again. I also urge you to allow Lt. Watada to resign; he has now completed his initial service agreement with the Army.

Sincerely, _____________

Commanding General
Fort Lewis and I Corps
Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik
Bldg 2025 Stop 1
Fort Lewis, WA 98433

Fax: Fort Lewis Public Affairs Office (253) 967-0612
Phone: General Dubik's Aide 253-967-0022
and E-Mail Army Public Affairs: Mr. Paul Boyce, Office of the Chief Army Public Affairs,


Educate your community by writing to the editor of your local newspaper -

You can choose one or more of these talking points to help increase public understanding of Lt. Watada's mistrial and why he should be allowed to resign. Click here for more information.

1.  An officer does not swear to blindly obey the orders of the commander in chief.

  • A commissioned officer does not take the same oath as an enlisted person.
  • An enlisted person swears to obey the orders of the president and officers above them.
  • An officer swears to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic" and "bear true faith and allegiance to the same," i.e., the Constitution.

2.  Lt. Watada followed military protocol and went to his chain of command before going public with his statement.  Lt. Watada followed protocol and advice from the affairs officer at Fort Lewis before making his public statement on June 7, 2006.

3.  Officers are taught to be critical thinkers. Whether their conclusions are right or wrong, it is their duty and right to question orders. 

  • Professor Richard Swain, of US Military Academy, West Point, was called by the prosecution as an expert in officership and traditions and customs of officers.  Swain testified that he teaches officers to be critical thinkers, and they should think for themselves.
  • Professor Swain outlined the professional conduct for an officer who disagrees with a commanding officer.  According to the testimony of his commanding officers, Lt. Watada followed proper procedures.

4.  Lt. Watada's actions have not affected the morale of his company. Lt. Col. Williams James and Lt. Antonia of Fort Lewis both testified that Lt. Watada's actions caused discussion and controversy.  Lt. Antonia said that Lt. Watada's actions did not negatively impact the soldiers in his unit.

5.  The army court martial was not a fair and impartial trial.

  • In a letter dated October 20, 2006 to U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Lt. General Dubik stated that the military justice system "affords Soldiers extensive rights to ensure fair and impartial investigations and trials, just as in the civil system.  If this case goes to trial, 1Lt Watada will have an opportunity to present all relevant evidence."
  • Decisions from the pre-trial hearing and the court martial were intended to prevent Lt. Watada and others from testifying regarding the legality of the Iraq War.  This prevented Lt. Watada from presenting any defense witnesses.

6.  The mistrial places Lt. Watada in double jeopardy if a new trial is recommended by General Dubik. The judge's abuse of judicial discretion and the mistrial that resulted have created a situation of double jeopardy should the government attempt to re-try Lt. Watada.

 7.  It's time for the army to accept Lt. Watada's resignation. Lt. Watada has conducted himself with honor and courage. It's time for the U.S. Army to do the same. 


Topic #1 - Lt Watada's Lawyer Explains Mistrial Situation 13.Feb.2007 23:42

Joe Anybody Post On Portland Indy Media which is found here -

This is a pod cast of Lt Watadas Attorney speaking about the mistrial .
           The download is here::  link to

on the site mentioned in original post is about an hour long audio recording by Alon who is interviewing various guests...all worth hearing (it is dated 2-13-07)

The first topic is an interview with Lt Watada's attorney, Eric Seitz   This was recorded on 2-13-07

Its nice to get information about this case we all are watching closely and explained by Watada's lawyer himself.

It sounds like the military judge screwed up ..... and was not intending to by any means!!! ooppps!

This Interview was presented by Alan Graf

Third Planet Report with hippielawyer Alan Graf

Lieuntenant Watada
UPDATE 2-9-07
Lt. Watada's court martial came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday, February 7th, when the military judge nullifed the Stipulation of Facts accepted by the prosecution and the defense a week before the trial commenced. Over the objection of Lt. Watada's defense attorney, the judge granted the prosecution's motion for a mistrial.
The army has announced
March 19, 2007
as the new trial date. 
However, according to Eric Seitz, Lt. Watada's attorney, "The mistrial is very likely to have the consequence of ending this case because double jeopardy may prevent the government from proceeding with a retrial." 



If Judge Head’s judgment was clouded that day,

it was certainly for good reason. His court room is not usually the focus of national and international media. He has probably never had a defense lawyer challenge his dubious actions and correct him on matters of court martial procedures.

The defendant usually doesn’t have a thousands supporters rallying at the fort gates, and tens of thousands more writing letters and holding vigils. And the prosecution’s subpoenas are not usually condemned by the nations largest journalistic advocacy organizations. In fact, it was the “stipulation of facts” agreement written by the prosecution in order to side-step the controversy subpoenas of journalists that played an important role in Judge Head’s mistrial.

Illegal War


Stone Spinning Ball Enclosed with Webbing

Pictures on Indy Media from the Feb 5 Support protest
More info to come soon!




What Really Happened At The Mistrial

The judge repeatedly tried to shake Lt. Watada's insistence that he reasonably believed that he was following an illegal order, all the while insisting that he wasn't trying to mislead him in any way. Lt. Watada again respectfully but firmly punctuated his remarks with his state of mind.

Unsuccessful in his apparent effort to derail the defense, the judge then claimed that "I'm not seeing we have a meeting of the minds here," Head said. "And if there is not a meeting of the minds, there's not a contract."
Any fair-minded review of this case will reveal that the defense was doing far better than anyone had expected; that Lt. Watada had protected his rights at every turn; and that the judge was scared of letting this case go to any factfinder who had any chance of being fully informed of Lt. Watada's belief that the war in Iraq is illegal.

 STOPPED  2-9-07




Courage to Resist

 Video of Lt Watada explaining
Watch Video from Protest at Fort


Tune in or listen online: NPR's Jan 25

Fresh Air 

Interview with Lt. Watada.

Here is a blog of mine
that was posted on June 7 o6

Ehren, Refuses Redeployment to Iraq with his Father


<my blog>
Comment On Supporting Lt Watada 
Written on February 3 2007
<spend a moment to read my view on this> 
click to read my blog comment

Howard Zinn explains
About 32 minutes into this video is where there is a key issue about Soliders and war resisting
"When Democracy comes alive"
When solider refuse to fight
And resisting and dserting is done 
He talks about all this and more
About 11 minutes into the clip Mr Zinn --
 "hits the nail on the head again"

* Power  in  People *

howard zin

“The rule of law does not do away with the unequal distribution of wealth and power, but reinforces that inequality with the authority of law. It allocates wealth and poverty in such calculated and indirect ways as to leave the victim bewildered.”

Howard Zinn was born in Brooklyn, New York, into a working-class family and, though he had few formal educational opportunities, he developed a strong social consciousness while working as a shipfitter and avidly reading the novels of Charles Dickens. Flying bombing missions in World War II shaped his opposition to war. After military service he earned a doctorate in history at Columbia University and taught at Spelman College in Georgia where he was active in the Civil Rights movement. In 1963 he moved to Boston University and became a prominent, outspoken critic of the Vietnam War.

Best known for his A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present (1980, revised 1995), a history of America through the perspective of “those outside of the political and economic establishment,” Zinn remains an active advocate for the underclass, a proponent of world peace and an articulate critic of corporate power and greed supported by governmental collusion.

“We need new ways of thinking,” says Zinn. “We need to rethink our position in the world. We need to stop sending weapons to countries that oppress other people. We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children. War is terrorism, magnified a hundred times.”

“We can not be secure by limiting our liberties, as some of our political leaders are demanding, but only by expanding them…We should take our example not from the military and political leaders shouting ‘retaliate’ and ‘war’ but from the doctors and nurses and … firemen and policemen who have been saving lives in the midst of mayhem, whose first thoughts are not violence, but healing, and not vengeance, but compassion.”

@ Camp Democracy
(this takes a few minutes to load- be patient)
Using the Protest Weapons of :
and Organizing
~ Breaking The Law ~
to stop the WAR
When Soliders lay
down their guns

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