Lt. Ehren Watada is a step closer to make little rocks out of big rocks at Leavenworth:
The U.S. Army filed three charges on Wednesday against an officer who refused to fight in Iraq due to objections over the legality of the war.
First Lt. Ehren Watada, who supporters say is the first commissioned U.S. officer to publicly refuse to serve in Iraq and face a military court, remained at Fort Lewis base in Washington state when his unit shipped out to Iraq on June 22.
Watada called the war and U.S. occupation of Iraq “illegal” and said participation would make him a party to war crimes.
And yet, he joined the Army after the invasion. He joined the infantry, the root word of which means “unable to speak,” hence, once you’ve volunteered you don’t get to pick and choose the wars you fight–you go where you’re assigned. And you don’t join an army at war only to declare that army’s main mission illegal and immoral, smearing your CINC along the way. That’s a crime. He should have looked into the law before joining up:
Watada’s lawyer said he expected the missing movement charge, but was somewhat surprised by the decision to charge the officer with contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer, because it raises free speech issues.
Dumb. Very dumb.
Update: My bad–Watada is field artillery, not infantry. Oak Leaf, who set me straight on that, speculates as to how the Watada case is likely to end. It’s a very interesting read.