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mudded
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Registered: Aug 2001
Location: your liver
Posts: 7452
Lt. Refuses to go to war. Claims he does not need to follow illegal orders.

quote:

..."First Lieut. Ehren Watada has become the Army's first commissioned officer to publicly refuse orders to fight in Iraq on grounds that the war is illegal. The 28-year-old announced his decision not to obey orders to deploy to Iraq in a video press conference June 7, saying, "My participation would make me party to war crimes."
Source


This could be an interesting court marshall, as there no shortage of legal experts to back up his claims.

Last edited by mudded on 07-06-2006 at 11:50 AM

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Old Post 07-06-2006 11:30 AM
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Smug Git
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They can't let him win, I don't think, even if he presents the best case possible and wins support. If you start letting soldiers judge the legality of a war then you're not going to have any sort of effective military.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 01:43 PM
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mudded
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Registered: Aug 2001
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quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
If you start letting soldiers judge the legality of a war then you're not going to have any sort of effective military.


well it is too late for that apparently

quote:
From that same article:
In 2004, Petty Officer Pablo Paredes refused to board his Iraq-bound ship in San Diego Harbor, claiming to be a conscientious objector. At his court-martial, Paredes testified that he was convinced that the Iraq War was illegal. National Lawyers Guild president-elect Marjorie Cohn presented evidence to support his claim. The military judge, Lieut. Cmdr. Robert Klant, accepted Paredes's war-crimes defense and refused to send him to jail


Wiki On Pable Paredes
Wiki On watada

I'm not sure how the cases are different, apart from their rank.

cheers
-m

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Old Post 07-06-2006 02:46 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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He should get a fair trial before they shoot him.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 03:01 PM
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mudded
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His arguments aside, he is no public speaker.

Public Adress

He aparently isn't against war per say, just illegal ones.

Cheers
-m

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Old Post 07-06-2006 03:26 PM
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Cruise Director
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I can't wait until the draft is over! Oh, he volunteered for the service? I'm going to bet that somewhere in the fine print of his contract with Uncle Sam, it points out that there might be a chance he'd have to go to war.

But he's right. He shouldn't have to go to war. Uncle Sam should let him out of his contract with a dishonorable discharge. As soon as he pays back every penny he's earned and the money he's cost the government in training.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 06:16 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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Registered: Mar 2004
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quote:
Originally posted by mudded
His arguments aside, he is no public speaker.

Public Adress

He aparently isn't against war per say, just illegal ones.

Cheers
-m



After watching that I changed my mind about the trial part.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 06:21 PM
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Smug Git
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quote:
Originally posted by Cruise Director
I can't wait until the draft is over! Oh, he volunteered for the service? I'm going to bet that somewhere in the fine print of his contract with Uncle Sam, it points out that there might be a chance he'd have to go to war.

But he's right. He shouldn't have to go to war. Uncle Sam should let him out of his contract with a dishonorable discharge. As soon as he pays back every penny he's earned and the money he's cost the government in training.



Well, he doesn't have to obey illegal orders, however he joined up. I just can't see it being the case that obeying the orders of the President, authorised by Congress, to go to war, is going to be an illegal order. Even if the case was sound legally, they'd still have to find a way to kill it.

This calls for some kneejerk and pointless populist legislation in Congress.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 06:35 PM
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SimpleSimon
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quote:
Originally posted by Cruise Director
I can't wait until the draft is over! Oh, he volunteered for the service? I'm going to bet that somewhere in the fine print of his contract with Uncle Sam, it points out that there might be a chance he'd have to go to war.


It isn't in the fine print. What is in the fine print is a requirement to refuse an unlawful order, which most certainly includes an order to participate in an illegal war.

Together, the constitution and various legislative acts pursuant thereto, along with duly ratified treaties to which the US is a party, define what is a legal war. The current conflict is in violation of several treaties, and in direct violation of the constitution.

quote:
But he's right. He shouldn't have to go to war. Uncle Sam should let him out of his contract with a dishonorable discharge. As soon as he pays back every penny he's earned and the money he's cost the government in training.


I see no evidence of a refusal to go to war. I see evidence of a man who, acting upon his convictions and his understanding of his legal obligations as a military officer, is acting courageously at considerable personal risk.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 06:39 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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If you want to characterize the war in Iraq as a policy mistake, that is fine and your prerogative, but to define it as illegal is fantastic hyperbole.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 06:46 PM
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SimpleSimon
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It is in fact illegal, in direct violation of committments made by the US when it ratified the UN Treaty, amongst others.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 06:49 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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Ah yes, the UN: bastion of commitment and follow-through. Please.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 06:53 PM
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SimpleSimon
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They have taken their lessons on treaty violation, political corruption, and consistency well. Much of them from the US, along with others. Nevertheless, the fact of the UN's failures does not in any wise excuse our own.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 06:57 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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The President and the military do not swear allegiance to the UN, Simon.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 07:00 PM
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Cruise Director
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quote:
Originally posted by SimpleSimon
It is in fact illegal, in direct violation of committments made by the US when it ratified the UN Treaty, amongst others.


Show me.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 07:03 PM
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SimpleSimon
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quote:
Originally posted by Cruise Director
Show me.

Look it up, lazy man. I did.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 07:19 PM
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Cruise Director
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I don't want the black sedans and helicopters to show up on my lawn.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 07:23 PM
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SimpleSimon
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quote:
Originally posted by Cruise Director
I don't want the black sedans and helicopters to show up on my lawn.


I don't have a lawn, the lease is in SLH's name. No worries.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 07:24 PM
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Paint CHiPs
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quote:
Originally posted by Trenchant_Troll
If you want to characterize the war in Iraq as a policy mistake, that is fine and your prerogative, but to define it as illegal is fantastic hyperbole.


According to the US Supreme Court, our policy in a lot of areas of the GWOT (including Iraq) is a war crime. People can gnash their teeth about the connotation of that all they like, but according to the Geneva Conventions (which is law in our country, btw, lest there be any question), international treaties (law as well), as well as US constitutional law, much of what we've been doing is illegal. Of course, at that level, legal questions are impossible to separate in practical terms from political ones, but the legal questions, more and more, are looking to have pretty black and white answers, that we are currently on the wrong side of.

I wonder how that ruling (long overdue) would play into this--I bet it's the primary thing he's basing his case on (hence the timing).

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Old Post 07-06-2006 10:38 PM
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Paint CHiPs
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quote:
Originally posted by Trenchant_Troll
The President and the military do not swear allegiance to the UN, Simon.


No, they swear it to the US constitution, which includes this bit (Article VI):

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

Now, that's not as liberally applicable as some would have it, and where treaties and the US constitution conflict, the constitution wins out (treaties do not supplant the constitution). Where they do not, treaties are law, as affirmed by the constitution. And, of course, it's a hard case to make when the president is violating both the applicable treaties and the constitution (most of the relative treaties have already passed judicial muster in the states anyway, long ago, including the UN and Geneva Conventions).

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Old Post 07-06-2006 10:43 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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Yeah and we are supposed to pay our dues to the UN too. And we are supposed to apply our laws (i.e. regarding illegal immigration, etc.) and we don't. There is a distinct difference between what occurs in the real world and what is bantered over lattes by theorists. In the real world the Unithed Nations is an oxymoron, treaties are ignored daily, and if you bring a knife to a gunfight, whether it is on principle or not, you die. It really is that simple. The rest is the claptrap that luxury allows.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 10:51 PM
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Talarohk
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So we should just ignore the Constitution, laws, and treaties whenever the administration decides that obeying them is inconvenient or makes its goals difficult to accomplish?

That seems to throw the idea of a government subject to its own laws out the window. Either we are bound by our own laws, or we aren't.

Of course, we routinely ignore some Constitutional principles, too (all powers not given to the feds are reserved for the states or people), but that doesn't mean we should ignore *everythng*. It means we should quit ignoring the ones we currently ignore, or change them by legal means.

Living by the laws of the country, and demanding that the government do likewise, is NOT a luxury. It is one of our core principles.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 11:03 PM
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SimpleSimon
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quote:
Originally posted by Talarohk
So we should just ignore the Constitution, laws, and treaties whenever the administration decides that obeying them is inconvenient or makes its goals difficult to accomplish?

That seems to throw the idea of a government subject to its own laws out the window. Either we are bound by our own laws, or we aren't.

Of course, we routinely ignore some Constitutional principles, too (all powers not given to the feds are reserved for the states or people), but that doesn't mean we should ignore *everythng*. It means we should quit ignoring the ones we currently ignore, or change them by legal means.

Living by the laws of the country, and demanding that the government do likewise, is NOT a luxury. It is one of our core principles.



Well said, Tal. We are either a nation of laws, or we are not. Currently, it would appear that the chief executive of state is of the opinion that we are not - we are an autocracy, with him on the throne.

I say dethrone the man, restrict his office to its lawful powers, and restore a rule of law. I am, unfortunately, in a shrinking minority.

This Lt. is a courageous man, whose actions are in the right. I hope he prevails.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 11:15 PM
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Trenchant_Troll
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Tal, your point is valid, but we seem to pick and choose which laws we are goingt ot adhere to and do so for political expediency. I simply think that unless we are going to measure, we have to apply the same ruler across the board--and we don't.

It isn't done at our national level and it isn't done at the international level (UN). It is all well and good to aspire to such ideals, but to pretend that we do or ever have adhered to them is naive at best.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 11:25 PM
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Paint CHiPs
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quote:
Originally posted by Trenchant_Troll
Yeah and we are supposed to pay our dues to the UN too. And we are supposed to apply our laws (i.e. regarding illegal immigration, etc.) and we don't. There is a distinct difference between what occurs in the real world and what is bantered over lattes by theorists. In the real world the Unithed Nations is an oxymoron, treaties are ignored daily, and if you bring a knife to a gunfight, whether it is on principle or not, you die. It really is that simple. The rest is the claptrap that luxury allows.


I already made that distinction, legal versus political. Just because a president chooses to ignore a law doesn't make his actions legal--just illegal but outside the reach of enforcement due to political conditions...but illegal nonetheless. That's what I thought we were talking about. Torture, for instance. We engage in it...it's still almost certainly illegal, by just about any standard I can think of (let's see....US constitution, international law and treaties, settled Supreme Court judicial precedent, explicit will and letter of law passed by 2/3s of both houses of Congress and signed by the president....) .

I'm not blind to practical reality, T...actually, just the opposite. The difference between you and me is I tend to believe in realities not defined by the "realities" that others are trying to dictate to me, you relativist you. There is indeed a difference between what is true and what is wished or assumed to be true, in many cases.

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Old Post 07-06-2006 11:32 PM
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