A Call to Support U.S. Military Officer to Refuse Illegal Iraq War
Updated June 6, 2006
First U.S. military officer poised to publicly refuse orders in support of the illegal Iraq War requests your immediate support and assistance. Having already attempted to resign his commission in protest, Lt. Ehren Watada now poised to refuse deployment via simultaneous, cross-country press conferences on Wednesday, June 7.
“I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to watch families torn apart, while the President tells us to “stay the course.” … I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression. I wanted to be there for my fellow troops. But the best way was not to help drop artillery and cause more death and destruction. It is to help oppose this war and end it so that all soldiers can come home.”
-U.S. Army Lt. Ehren Watada A working group has formed to facilitate an unprecedented political and legal support campaign on his behalf. Well respected civilian legal representation has been secured. A legal and political defense fund has been created. Many of us have already met Lt. Watada and have been moved by his determination to help stop an unjust war.
We envision a broad political support campaign with this petition as our basis of unity:
Thank you Lt. Ehren Watada for standing up for international, US and military law by refusing to deploy to Iraq in support of the ongoing illegal war and occupation.
From the preemptive invasion based on deception, to the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and nearly 2,500 U.S. troops, to the infamous Abu Ghraib torture cells and the recent Haditha massacre, no more evidence is required of how very wrong this war is. In light of these facts, we appreciate your decision to now follow your conscience.
We agree with you Lt. Watada, it is past time for US forces to leave Iraq. We salute your true leadership in these dark times, and believe that we can all learn something from your courage.
Time is short. We are now asking people to:
** Sign the petition online (www.thankyoult.org)
** Help collect personalized brief messages of support (to be used publicly) from notable people. These can also be sent via the website.
** Encourage your local or national organization to become an official endorser and supporter of this effort.
** Distribute this call to action and petition to friends, family, and organizational lists.
** Check www.thankyoult.org for breaking news and forthcoming organizing materials. Add yourself to the Updates and Alerts email bulletin (provided by Courage to Resist).
** Help organize nationally coordinated support actions prior to any possible military court martial.
** Contribute to the legal and political defense fund. Contributions are tax-deductible. Online credit card and PayPal donations.
Please make check out to “Not in Our Name” and note “Thank You LT Fund” on your check’s memo line. For tax-deductible donations of $250 or more, make check out to “Not in Our Name / Agape Foundation”. Send check or money order to:
Thank You LT Fund, c/o Not in Our Name, 3945 Opal Street, Oakland CA 94609
Additional quotes from Lt. Ehren Watada, first U.S. military officer to publicly resist Iraq War:
“Never in my life did I ever imagine I would have to disobey my president. But then again, never did I imagine my president would lie to go to war, condone torture, spy on Americans, or destroy the career of a CIA agent for political gain. I would rather resign in protest, but the army doesn’t agree.”
“Mr. President, you have violated: Article I of the Constitution by deceiving Congress, Article 2 of the U.N. Charter, U.N. Gen. Assembly Res. 3314 and the Nuremburg Tribunal Charter barring wars of aggression, and many other international and domestic laws. As a commissioned officer of the U.S. Armed Forces my legal and moral obligation is to the Constitution–not to those who would issue unlawful orders. It is my duty to refuse to fight this illegal war.”
The friends and family of Lt. Ehren Watada working group,
Clare Bayard, Catalyst Project / War Resister’s League
Max Diorio, Not in Our Name / Courage to Resist
George Johnson, Veterans for Peace
Jim Harris, Courage to Resist / Tom Joad
Michael Hoffman, Campus Anti-War Network / ISO
Lori Hurlebaus, Courage to Resist / GI Rights Hotline
Nancy Mancias, Global Exchange / CodePink
Camilo Mejia, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Steve Morse, Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
Jeff Paterson, Not in Our Name / Courage to Resist
Sandra Schwartz, American Friends Service Committee
David Solnit, Courage to Resist
Bill Schwalb, Veterans for Peace
Matti Tamura, Not in Our Name
Mike Wong, Veterans for Peace
Bob Watada, father of Lt. Ehren Watada