Soldier of Conscience Survives Court-Martial, Goes Free
Posted on Sep 29, 2009
Lt. Ehren Watada, the soldier who refused to deploy to Iraq on grounds that serving there would be participating in war crimes, is finally free of the Army. His court-martial ended in a mistrial and the military decided to let Watada go. —PS
Los Angeles Times:
Watada, 31, a native of Honolulu, was court-martialed for refusing to join his unit on its deployment to Iraq in 2006. He also was accused of making statements critical of former President George W. Bush and the war that the military deemed “conduct unbecoming an officer.”
The proceedings ended in a mistrial, and a judge ruled that the Army could not retry Watada on most of the counts because of double jeopardy. Military prosecutors could have tried him on two charges stemming from statements Watada made that had been conditionally dismissed prior to trial.
AP / John Froschauer