Press Release (June 19, 2006)
Army Colonel Supports Iraq War Refuser
Nationwide Support Events Set for JUNE 27

Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada

June 19, 2006

6:15pm (changed from 6pm), Monday June 19, 2006
University Lutheran Church, 1604 NE 50th St. @ 16th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA

SEATTLE – June 19 – Army Colonel (Ret.) and diplomat Ann Wright joins
those publicly supporting Lieutenant Ehren Watada’s decision to refuse
“illegal” orders to deploy to Iraq when his Army unit deploys in the
coming week.   Colonel Wright, and Lt. Watada’s father and mother, Robert
Watada and Carolyn Ho, invite people opposed to the illegal war and
occupation of Iraq to join them in a Tuesday, June 27 nationwide day of
support for Lt. Watada’s stand not to deploy.

Colonel Ann Wright (Ret.) served 29 years in the Army/Army Reserve and 16
years  in the U.S. Foreign Service.  She resigned from the U.S. Foreign
Service on March 19, 2003 in protest over the Bush administration’s
decision to go to war in Iraq without UN Security Council authorization,
and over the curtailment of civil liberties in the United States.  Colonel
Wright said, “As a retired 29-year US Army Reserve Colonel and a US
diplomat, I applaud the courage and conscience of the Lieutenant for being
willing to refuse an order to deploy to the illegal war of aggression on
Iraq.  Refusing to participate in military operations that violate
international law—the war of aggression, the use of torture, the use of
illegal weapons and purposeful targeting of innocent civilians—will save
the Lieutenant his sanity and his soul.”  Wright will be joined at today’s
press conference by Lt. Watada’s father, Robert Watada of Honalulu, Hawaii
the former Director of State Campaign Spending Commission of Hawaii, known
for his efforts against political corruption; Watada’s mother, Carolyn Ho
of Kaneohe, Hawai’i, a high school guidance counselor; and one of Watada’s
legal team, attorney Legrand Jones.

Carolyn Ho said, “My son, 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, is not the same person who
entered the military service three years ago.  His decision to refrain
from deploying to Iraq comes through much soul searching.  It is an act of
patriotism.  It is a statement to all Americans, to men and women in
uniform, that they need not remain silent out of fear, that that they have
the power to turn the tide of history: to stop the destruction of a
country and the killing of untold numbers of innocent men, women, and
children.  It is a message that states unequivocally that blindly
following orders is no longer an option.  My son, Lt. Watada’s stance is
clear.  He will stay the course.  I urge you to join him in this effort.”

June 27 will be a national day of action in support of Lt. Watada and his
refusal to deploy.  Supporters have planned events across the country,
including events at Ft Lewis, WA; Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, OH;
Harrisburg, PA; San Francisco, CA; and Oklahoma City, OK.