Two Watada Charges Dropped




 
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January 30th, 2007  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Two Watada Charges Dropped


Seattle Post-Intelligencer
January 30, 2007
By Mike Barber, P-I Reporter
A week before the court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada is to begin, the Army has dropped two charges of conduct unbecoming an officer, Fort Lewis officials and Watada's supporters said Monday.
The dismissal means Watada now could face a maximum of four years in prison if convicted instead of six. It also means two reporters subpoenaed to testify about statements Watada made in interviews with them will not be called.
Watada, 28, an artillery officer, is facing a court-martial as the only military officer to refuse deployment to Iraq with Fort Lewis' 4,000member Stryker Brigade last summer. Watada has called the war illegal and immoral and says international conventions and Army policies require him as an officer to refuse unlawful orders.
Watada has refused conscientious-objector status, saying he is not against war in general. He has said he would fight in Afghanistan.
Joe Piek, a Fort Lewis press spokesman, said Watada signed a stipulation-of-fact to the authenticity of statements he has made in exchange for the government's agreeing to dismiss two counts of conduct unbecoming. Each carried a maximum term of one-year confinement.
By signing the stipulation, Army prosecutors no longer had to subpoena the reporters, Piek said.
Watada faces one count of missing movement with his unit to Iraq and two of conduct unbecoming an officer for public statements he made to the media and at a Veterans for Peace national convention in Seattle last summer.
In a news release, Watada's lead lawyer, Eric Seitz of Hawaii said, "By agreeing beforehand to all of the facts the government would ask of the subpoenaed reporters, Lieutenant Watada shielded these journalists from the heavy-handedness of the government."
Seitz said, "While we don't think any charges should have been filed at all for simply exercising free speech, we are pleased with the government's willingness to reduce Lieutenant Watada's potential sentence by two years."
Watada, meanwhile, has become a focus for the anti-war movement as activists prepare for his court-martial, which is scheduled to begin Monday. Demonstrators are expected to gather outside Fort Lewis during the proceedings.
Watada made an appearance over the weekend at several peace events in and around Seattle. A week before, after Watada lost in a military court several free-speech inspired motions to put the legality of the war on trial in his defense, a "citizens panel" at The Evergreen State College's Tacoma campus convened over that issue.
January 31st, 2007  
bulldogg
 
 
Quote:
Watada's lead lawyer, Eric Seitz of Hawaii said, "By agreeing beforehand to all of the facts the government would ask of the subpoenaed reporters, Lieutenant Watada shielded these journalists from the heavy-handedness of the government."
Oh puhleeeeeeeeeeeeze, feel free to off mate.

Quote:
Seitz said, "While we don't think any charges should have been filed at all for simply exercising free speech, we are pleased with the government's willingness to reduce Lieutenant Watada's potential sentence by two years."
Watada, meanwhile, has become a focus for the anti-war movement as activists prepare for his court-martial, which is scheduled to begin Monday. Demonstrators are expected to gather outside Fort Lewis during the proceedings.
Me thinks some lawyer is either a) an idiot who doesn't understand that members of the military do NOT have freedom of speech or b) is playing up to the ignorance of this fact in the general public.


January 31st, 2007  
Gator
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
Me thinks some lawyer is either a) an idiot who doesn't understand that members of the military do NOT have freedom of speech or b) is playing up to the ignorance of this fact in the general public.
Oh there's a probably quite a few people in Uniform who need to be sent to Prison for Political Speech and or other Political Activities which are not allowed.... I'd go so far as to say a whole bunch, and Lieutenant Watada's Lawyers may have the money to comb through every News Paper in the Nation pulling Op-Ed and Letters to the Editor pieces out written by Service Members, use pictures taken with Members of Congress, and theres even the Congressional Record of a Marine Officer saying not very nice things to his own Congresswoman about a Democrat Member of Congress.

In my opinion the Federal Government does not want to open that can of worms and have the Lawyers for Lieutenant Watada calling in Soldier after Soldier impicated in saying bad things about Democrats in Federal Government, and or acting disrespectful and showing showing contempt for Democrats in Federal Government.... all the while the US Military not doing much about it.
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