Ehren Watada

I’ve been following the case of Ehren Watada, an Army lieutenant who refused to report to Iraq in 2006, since it started. He had a mistrial in Feburary, and a new trial is coming up in July.

His legal position is interesting, given that he volunteered after 9/11, has not gone the conscientius objector route, he requested to serve in Afghanistan instead, and that he cites the Numerberg Principles would force him, as an officer, to be put in the position of committing war crimes, given the war in Iraq is one of aggression and therefore prohibited.

He probably would have been better off legally, and smarter, had he gone to Iraq and then waited for a specific, questionable order – or taken the desk job he was offered. Also, as he really doesn’t have First Amendment rights worth a nickel, he should have left talking to the media and other such occasions solely to his lawyer.

That said, his moral stance is worthy of regard. It’s just too bad he got a commission before he figured it out.

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