Lt Watada: War Hero and Political Prisoner’s Court-martial Begins Today

Lt Ehren Watada court-martial begins today.

Sean Penn offers support today at Seattle “lynching” of war hero Lieutenant Watada. photo courtesy of Seattle Times

By Hal Bernton and Nancy Bartley
Seattle Times staff reporters

Protesters and supporters wait across the street from the Fort Lewis building where the courtroom proceedings will occur.

The court martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada began today with a military judge sharply restricting the list of witnesses sought to defend this Fort Lewis officer who refused to deploy to Iraq.

Lt. Col. John Head said that these witnesses, which included a former member of the CIA and a former U.N. official, “are not relevant and would tend to confuse issues at the trial.”

In the courtroom, a defiant defense counsel, Eric Seitz, said, “I think it is an atrocity that our witnesses are being handled in this manner.”…

Since he announced his decision to refuse a deployment order last spring, Watada has emerged as one of the nation’s most renowned military war resisters. At peace rallies, conferences and other events, he has denounced the Bush Administration’s conduct of the war, and said his participation could make him a party to war crimes.

For rest of story of this kangaroo court in this violent nation.

I defended this war hero and brilliant officer in my speech a few days ago. I appeared with the officer’s courageous mother, Carolyn Ho, who is trying to prevent her son from being incarcerated for opposing the savage and immoral killing of non-combatants in an illegal and monstrous act of state terrorism. Let history judge whether we were right to oppose a criminal war and indiscriminate butchery in Iraq.

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