US Army adds to charges against officer who refused service in 'illegal' Iraq war

[JURIST] A US Army spokesman said Friday that the Army has added a new specification to charges against 1st Lt. Ehren Watada [advocacy website; Wikipedia profile] based on a speech [text and video] he gave in August to Veterans for Peace [advocacy website] in which Watada advocated that "to stop an illegal and unjust war, soldiers can choose to stop fighting it." The Army says the speech is another instance of Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman. In August, US Army Lt. Col. Mark Keith, the investigating officer for Watada's case, recommended [JURIST report; Article 32 report, PDF; Watada legal team rebuttal, PDF] that Watada face court-martial on all charges against him.

The military charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] Watada in July in connection with his refusal to deploy to Iraq. Watada has resisted deployment because he believes the Iraq war is unlawful [JURIST report]. He is the first US commissioned officer to publicly refuse Iraq duty and faces over seven years in prison if convicted. AP has more.



 

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