The trial of Ehren Watada, the first soldier to openly refuse to deploy to combat in Iraq, based on his oath to protect the Constitution & follow International law, has been postponed until October 9th. Watada's trial has been under way- jury selected, testimony given, when suddenly the military declared it a mistrial. The judge said it was because Watada misunderstood a paper he'd signed. The military thought the paper was an admission of guilt (for not deploying?), and Watada signed the statement agreeing he'd "said what he said". Watada had attended a regional Veterans for Peace Conference and (gasp) spoke of the truth. The speech was recorded, and the military lobbed more charges against him after his speech. Watada wisely agreed to sign off/verify that he did indeed. say what he said.
Watada is a squeaky clean, exemplary person, Eagle Scout. The military people who were called to testify, basically gave him glowing reviews- excellent record, one of their finest. So now it stands to be determined if the Watada trial is double jeopardy-- and has to be thrown out all together. Initially they had bargained a 4 year sentence, but the charge is back up to 6 years. Certainly in civil court, this would be thrown out as double jeopardy. You can't just throw out a case because it is not going in your favor. I suspect the military wants to make an example of Watada. And what an example he is..... Duty, Honor, Accountability, actually following the law. My hope is Watada is the man who goes down in history as the person who opened the floodgates for others in the military to *opt out*, Just say NO, actually adhere to the laws, rules, treaties, and militaries' own rules of conduct. If you swear to defend the Constitution (there is the Noble Cause), and you review the laws, then it would be your obligation to refuse to participate in this illegal occupation. The military has problems though....if they don't honor the double jeopardy legal rule, then they have to let the trial proceed. Watada brings the question of the legality of the war & his sworn duty to the forefront. In a perfect world, the big whigs- Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, and Bush would have to testify as to just how they botched the information that happened to mislead us into this 5 year illegal occupation.
In any case, Ehren Watada is a man of honor, and his courage and sane actions have reverberated across the planet. His supporters include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Despond Tutu, Rose O'Donnell, Amnesty International, Prof. Howard Zinn, Susan Saran don, Martin Sheen, etc.
Here is the link to his web site: