Today, July 5, 2006, First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada was formally charged with three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: missing movement (Article 87), two counts of contempt towards officials (Article 88), and three counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman (Article 133). If convicted of all charges by a general court-martial, Lt. Watada could be sentenced to over seven years in a military prison.On Thank You, LT, you can see photos and read reports from the recent National Day of Action in support of Watada. Turnout was small, but the actions were widespread and fervent. I'm pleased to see there are reports from both Vancouver and Toronto.
Lt. Watada's lawyer, Eric Seitz, said this morning: "We expected the missing movement charge, but we are somewhat astounded by the contempt and conduct unbecoming charges. These additional charges open up the substance of Lt. Watada's statements for review and raise important First Amendment issues. We are delighted that the Army has given us the opportunity to litigate these questions." Most previous prosecutions of Article 88 took place during the Civil War and World War I, and the last known prosecution was in 1965 (Howe vs. U.S.). Lt. Howe was protesting the Vietnam War.
Please check out the website and do what you can to support resistance to this immoral and illegal war.