First Trial of a Commissioned Officer Who Refused to Deploy to Iraq

Firecat

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The trial starts monday.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0202/p20s01-usmi.html

Definitely going to be interesting. He was facing something like 6 years in prison, but a few charges were dropped. Of course, it's only 2 years for missing movement...it's everything that he said which increased the penalty.

At the end of the day, he probably should be convicted of missing movement...because he did. Although he was more than willing to be sent into Afghanistan.

If he believes the order to be unlawful, he has a duty to refuse them. Bravo.
 

targa_997

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In early 2006, after telling his family of his decision not to deploy, Watada went to see his commanding officer. "I was very nervous," he says. He offered to train his replacement. He offered to fight in Afghanistan instead of in Iraq. Both requests were denied.

Does that mean he refused those requests or that it's a lie?
 

Firecat

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I think it means that the military refused his requests.
 

nomix

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I think he should be put in Jail. Joining the army and then deciding not to fight is the lamest thing ever, that's what they are trained to do.

Judicically, that's correct.

But I understand him. I'd go to jail, if that was the only way of getting out of doing something that goes against my values.

By the way.. think if America attacked Israel. How many US soldiers would deny to serve then..?
 

KaJuN

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I'm on the officer's side as well. It's a duty of being in the military to carry out orders. But it's also a duty to question orders that seem unjust. This is especially true for officers who are in command of soldiers who are going to be put in harm's way. It's good to see that not everyone just mindlessly follows orders.

He has a good argument about the false intelligence that led US troops into Iraq. But even if he loses the trial, four years in prison is a lot better than being killed by a roadside bomb.
 

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I think he should be put in Jail. Joining the army and then deciding not to fight is the lamest thing ever, that's what they are trained to do.

When the order is to do a suicide bombing they?re called fanaticals...
 

jetsetter

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You don't refuse these kind of orders because that is your job. When you join up you take the oath and sign the papers that you will follow orders because if you don't there will be a punishment.
 
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nomix

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No, if you are given an order you deem illegal, you are obligated to deny completion of it. Uniform Code for the Military, I think.
 

YF19pilot

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No, if you are given an order you deem illegal, you are obligated to deny completion of it. Uniform Code for the Military, I think.

Yes, there is the rite that "I will obey all legal commands from my superiors" or something to that affect. However, it's not something that you deem legal/illegal, but rather the military is the one that deems it legal/illegal.

We're sending you to Iraq to do your job > legal.

We're sending you to Iraq to molest goats > illegal.



Edit: Also this guy is a Lt. He really does not have weight in the way of command, so he's not deciding wether to deploy a unit or not, he's just looking out for his own self interests. Also, I'd like to know what his job is. Somehow I'm doubting it's anything too crucial to the mission.
 
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Firecat

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We're sending you to attack a country that is of no threat to us - legal?

"It's your/his job?"....sounds like the nuremburg defense.
 

jetsetter

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"It's your/his job?"....sounds like the nuremburg defense.

Do NOT compare this to the Nazis. You disgrace the people who were hurt by the Nazis.

We're sending you to attack a country that is of no threat to us - legal?

He volunteered for the military and the US went into Persian Gulf War, Operation Urgent Fury, Operation Just Cause, etc. What did he expect? He knew that the US may go into another conflict. If he couldn't deal with that then he should not have joined in the first place.
 

Firecat

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Do NOT compare this to the Nazis. You disgrace the people who were hurt by the Nazis.

He volunteered for the military and the US went into Persian Gulf War, Operation Urgent Fury, Operation Just Cause, etc. What did he expect? He knew that the US may go into another conflict. If he couldn't deal with that then he should not have joined in the first place.

Firstly, I wasn't comparing this to the nazis genius. It's a defense argument and exists outside of the nuremburg trials.

He volunteered after 9/11, so I'm pretty sure he knew what was coming. You seem to believe that the United States can attack any country for any reason, and the soldiers should not question these orders and follow them. That's unfortunate.
 

jetsetter

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You seem to believe that the United States can attack any country for any reason, and the soldiers should not question these orders and follow them.

Not these kind of orders.

Oath of Enlistment
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

He took an oath to do all of the above.
 

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Edit: Also this guy is a Lt. He really does not have weight in the way of command, so he's not deciding wether to deploy a unit or not, he's just looking out for his own self interests. Also, I'd like to know what his job is. Somehow I'm doubting it's anything too crucial to the mission.
He's still in a leadership position even if he doesn't have command over anyone. Officers set examples for the enlisted troops to follow. If the leaders mindlessly follow orders, there's a good chance their subordinates will do the same when they're in the same position. I think this whole situation is an argument of principle more than just not wanting to go to Iraq.

He volunteered for the military and the US went into Persian Gulf War, Operation Urgent Fury, Operation Just Cause, etc. What did he expect? He knew that the US may go into another conflict. If he couldn't deal with that then he should not have joined in the first place.
In all fairness we had real reasons to go to those places, not made up excuses like what this guy is protesting against. I'm sure this officer would have gladly served in those operations you mentioned.
 

jetsetter

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In all fairness we had real reasons to go to those places, not made up excuses like what this guy is protesting against. I'm sure this officer would have gladly served in those operations you mentioned.

Actually there were more reasons to go to Iraq than to go to Grenada or Panama.
 

Firecat

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If we are going to get into a debate about what is lawful and legal (which will be probably be part of the defense argument in this case), I just want to point out that there was no declaration of war against Iraq and Congress (as per the constitution) is reserved that right.
 
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