The Citizens’ Hearing on the Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq will be held on January 20-21, 2007, in Tacoma, Washington, two weeks before the Feb. 5 court martial of Lieutenant Ehren Watada at Fort Lewis.. The Citizens’ Hearing will function as a tribunal to put the Iraq War on trial, in response to the Army putting Lt. Watada on trial as the first U.S. military officer to refuse deployment to Iraq.More details, here.
The hearing will present the case that Lt. Watada would, if allowed, make at his court martial. His defense attorneys maintain that the war on Iraq is illegal under international treaties and under Article Six of the U.S. Constitution. Further, Lt. Watada’s defense argues that the Nuremberg Principles and U.S. military regulations require soldiers to follow only "lawful orders." In Lt. Watada's view, deployment to Iraq would have made him party to the crimes that permeate the structure and conduct of military operations there.
The format of the Citizens' Hearing will resemble that of a congressional committee, employing a dignified approach to gathering information. Testimony will be offered by Iraq War veterans, experts in international law and war crimes, and human rights advocates. Your gift of funds (or frequent flyer miles) will enable more of these clear voices to be heard by people around the country and the world. Among the figures that have committed to testify are:
A panel of citizens will hear the testimony, examine witnesses, and issue a fact-finding report. The panel will be comprised of veterans, members of military families, high school students, union members, and representatives of local governments, academia, and religious organizations. David Krieger, Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Former Army 2nd Lieutenant stationed in Hawaii during the Vietnam War, and a member of the Jury of Conscience at the 2005 World Tribunal on Iraq (in Istanbul) will serve as panel chair.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
"CITIZENS’ HEARING ON THE LEGALITY OF U.S. ACTIONS IN IRAQ: The Case of Lt. Ehren Watada"