Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How Not To Refuse Unlawful Orders

Expect the evening news tomorrow night to be filled with stories of a "brave" Army Lieutenant. The actions he'll be lauded for don't fit the traditional definition of bravery, but you'll see pundits far and wide hailing his actions. Here's what he'll be celebrated for: refusing to deploy with his unit to Iraq.

1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada says, through his lawyer, that he cannot "participate in a war that he cannot justify or support legally and morally". Many of us have probably thought about what we'd do if given what we felt was an illegal order -- we all got training when we first came into the military that we weren't obligated to follow such an order. I always figured I'd explain to the person who gave me the order why I felt it was illegal, and then take it up the chain of command if that was available. If worse came to worse, I'd probably get my Congressman involved. One action I wouldn't take, though, was holding a "coordinated news conference". His parents apparently support his decision; his father is fairly well-known in Hawaiian political circles.

Watada claims that the current war is illegal. Interestingly, he joined the Army in June 2003, after we had invaded Iraq (so the concept that he might have to go there shouldn't have come as a surprise to him); his obligation ends in December of this year. I'm interested to know where he gets the idea that our current occupation of Iraq is illegal; not only has Congress supported the continued action through appropriations, the United Nations Security Council specifically authorized (unanimously) the current coalition military operations in Iraq.

Wizbang and Stop the ACLU have more on the story. As a commenter at Wizbang says, I wonder if he'll refuse to go to Leavenworth, too.

Update 1756 07 June: Michelle Malkin (who was kind enough to send some traffic my way) has much, much more on the story.

Update 2357 08 June: Michelle devoted today's Vent to the story, and once again mentioned this post. I do have one small quibble with her vent, though -- she say that Lieutenant Watada faces a dishonorable discharge, when actually commissioned officers can't get either a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge; the officer equivalent is dismissal.


Blogger WillyShake said...

Ugh. I can just see the laurel crowns that the media is preparing to bestow on him.

6/07/2006 7:07 AM

Blogger Anna said...

Obviously classes in logic were not a pre-requisite for him to matriculate.

6/07/2006 7:21 AM

Blogger Marvin said...

If his obligation is up in Jan 2007, I can understand his desire not to go...He would be retained until the end of his tour in Iraq.

Why didn't this fool simply resign his commission?
When I left the Navy, I submitted my resignation in April 1990, and recieved my discharge orders in August 1990, and was discharged the end of January 1991. (had to worry about having them revised, due to some minor operation in yonder desert)

6/07/2006 7:50 AM

Blogger Draamal said...

Marvin, he did try to resign his commission twice, once in January and again later. Of course, the fact that he enlisted after the war started and now doesn't want to go shows he's either an idiot or a coward, either way I don't want him serving next to my brother.

6/07/2006 8:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is a coward, a poor example of a man. When it comes down to his turn, he goes and hides with Mommy and Dad. Do you think that the other 100,000 + Americans/Brits/ and other countries there would rather be sweltering in the heat or home with parents, spouses, kids, siblings....
This guy is nothing but a media hound, soon sheehan will be standing by his side at interviews with her sons picture. This makes me sick, I hope that this guy is passed around like prom queen in jail......

6/07/2006 5:43 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Here is my analysis: This was planned from the moment (in 2005?)he committed. Why? For political purposes. Why? Because his honest father audited a corrupt Democrat mayor into deserved infamy. The father was honest. You have heard what happens to children of professinals, -the clergy, lawyers, auditors, statesmen and even lowly politicians, however.

Their immaturity causes them to feel they will never measure up to family standards. Then, they set their own (Al Gore's son, Edward Kennedy's son, once, even Billy Graham's son). You have your own list of personal favorites and know the assessment is accurate.

Exceptions you say? Yes, all of them anonymous sons and daughters of anonymous Americans, like us.

6/07/2006 6:47 PM

Blogger NOTR said...

I admit being torn over this one. Free men choose to fight for their country. Serfs are compelled to do so by tyranical states in which they are viewed as chattel by their country.

Here is a case where he disagree's with the foreign policy of the US and has tried to resign his commission and it was refused. Yet, every officer has an obligation to resign when he cannot support the policy he is being asked to enforce.

See my problem here? Clearly you don't want this guy in Iraq, he is a danger to his subordinates, yet facing court martial for having voted with his beliefs strikes me as problematic.

6/07/2006 8:13 PM

Blogger AubreyJ said...

Cindy Sheehan is being replaced by a new Poster Boy I see...
Oh the left and the MSM will love this guy for a few months... Then they’ll dump him too...

6/07/2006 9:14 PM

Anonymous chrys said...

Changing ships in the storm business. Too many clowns - not enough roots to hold on to.

6/08/2006 12:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoot him. They shoot deserters, don't they?

6/08/2006 8:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, in the Army, you can't quit right now; they Army has invoked stop loss. My son's ETS is the end of July 2006, but he left today for a deployment to Iraq. Hopefully, in 15 months he'll return. The Army Nat'l Guard stop lossed him to get him down to Camp Shelby, MS so they can Title 10 him. As a Vietnam and Desert Storm era vet, I oppose the war in Iraq and I have since Day 1. Our troops should be in Afghanistan and Pakistan hunting down down our true enemies, and the ones who actually attacked us. By our invasion of Iraq, all we have done is create a fertile breeding ground for new terrorists. Like it or not, they were more afraid of Saddam than they were of us.

7/10/2006 2:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

as an army brat and X Military myself I think Ehren Watada is nothing but a coward. I am 45 now and in to bad of health to go back into the Military but if I could I would reinlist today. I would give anything to go and fight for my Country and the safety of everyone here. People want to say there are no ties to al-Qaida in Iraq, Well if there wasnt how did they get over there then. People just want to complain I believe that an lawful order is a lawful order and should be followed even if you dont agree with it.

1/03/2007 11:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has any of you read anyting about First Lieutenant Ehren Watada?
Watada joined the army in 2003 and was posted in South Korea until 2005, when he was transferred to Fort Lewis to prepare for deployment to Iraq.
Instead he requested to be transferred to another unit and proposed that he be deployed to Afghanistan. That was turned down.

He is not some coward with five deferments like the VP. He joined unlike most of you. How sad for you this is from the queen of hate
After the younger Watada enlisted, he was sent to officer-training school in Georgia. Watada said he supported the war at that time because he believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
"I had my doubts," he said. "But I felt like the president is our leader, and he won't betray our trust, and he would know what he was talking about, and let's give him the benefit of the doubt." Over the past year, his feeling changed as he read up on the war and became convinced that there was "intentional manipulation of intelligence" by the Bush administration.

2/05/2007 10:31 PM


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