Now Playing: Lietta Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Lt. Ehren Watada
Army Subpoenas WA activists To Testify Against Lt. Watada
Military subpoenas reporters and activists to help prosecute Lt. Watada.above was quoted from Courage to Resist
Pre-trial hearing underway today, however judge delays testimony of those subpoenaed until full court martial February 5. Journalists say free press threatened. Activists say Army demands they "name names" in effort to chill anti-war organizing.
At a Tacoma, Washington press conference yesterday, January 3, Olympia-based anti-war activist Phan Nguyen described his objections to having been subpoenaed last week by the Army to testify against Lt. Watada. Nguyen, a member of the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, was the moderator of a number of press conferences in June 2006 regarding Lt. Watada and his objections to serving in an illegal and immoral war in Iraq.
When contacted directly by Army prosecutor Captain Daniel Kuecker last week, Nguyen refused to answer any questions without first speaking with a lawyer. However, Nguyen described the Kuecker's line of questions as focusing on the behind the scenes workings of the anti-war movement in the Pacific Northwest. "Kuecker basically demanded that I name the names of any key organizers that had anything to do with the public support campaign created to support Lt. Watada," explained Nguyen. "They are clearly on a political fishing expedition. Unless we fight back, this could have a chilling effect on anti-war organizing at a time when we have to step up to end the war."
Seattle chapter Veterans for Peace (VFP) organizer Gerri Haynes has also been subpoenaed by the Army. Apparently, Haynes landed on the Army's radar because she played a public role in organizing the Veterans for Peace National Convention in Seattle last August. Like Jamail, the Army is looking for information regarding Lt. Watada's speech to the convention. Like Nguyen, Haynes confirmed that Kuecker "wanted the names of convention attendees and organizers." Another VFP organizer Tom Burkhart has been placed on the Army's witness list.
Planned Support Actions
The campaign to support Lt. Watada plans a protest and press conference at the gates of Fort Lewis this morning from 8 AM to 11 AM as the pre-trial hearing begins.
Supporters can also express their support writing to Fort Lewis Commanding General;
Lt. General James Dubik,
Commanding General Fort Lewis,
1 Corps Building 2025 Stop 1,
Fort Lewis WA 98433.
The Citizens' Hearing on the Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq: The Case of Lt. Ehren Watada
will be held on January 20-21 in Tacoma, two weeks before the court martial of Lt. Watada at Fort Lewis. The national event will put the Iraq War on trial, in response to the Army's trial of Lt. Watada.
Iraq War veterans, experts in international law and war crimes, and human rights advocates will offer testimony, in a format that will resemble that of a congressional committee. We are inviting testimony by Iraq War veterans and experts to inform military personnel and other citizens to reflect deeply on their roles and responsibilities in an illegal war." Testifiers will include:
Denis Halliday Former UN Assistant Secretary General, coordinated Iraq humanitarian aid;
Daniel Ellsberg Military analyst who released the Pentagon Papers in the Vietnam War;
Richard Falk Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University;
Ann Wright Retired Army Colonel and State Department official;
Nadia McCaffrey Gold Star Families Speak Out; Brussels Tribunal advisory board;
Darrell Anderson Army 1st Armored Division in Baghdad & Najaf; awarded Purple Heart;
Harvey Tharp Former U.S. Navy Lieutenant and JAG stationed in Iraq;
Antonia Juhasz Policy-analyst and author on U.S. economic policies in Iraq;
John Burroughs Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy Executive Director;
Benjamin G. Davis Assoc. Prof. of Law, University of Toledo; expert on law of war;
Geoffrey Millard 8 years in Army National Guard; now in Iraq Veterans Against the War;
Francis Boyle Professor of international law at Univ. of Chicago (via video);
Eman Khammas Iraqi human rights advocate (via video).
The hearing will present the case that Lt. Watada would, if allowed, make at his court martial. He maintains that the war on Iraq is illegal under international treaties and under Article Six of the U.S. Constitution. Further, Lt. Watada argues that the Nuremberg Principles and U.S. military regulations require soldiers to follow only "lawful orders." In Lt. Watada's view, deployment to Iraq would have made him party to the crimes that permeate the structure and conduct of military operations there.