Just in case you haven’t heard (AlterNet), “An Army judge has declared mistrial in the court martial of Lt. Ehren Watada, who can’t be retried for the same charges.” More from the article below:
When the Army judge declared a mistrial over defense objection in 1st Lt. Ehren Watada’s court martial on Wednesday, he probably didn’t realize jeopardy attached. That means that under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution, the government cannot retry Lt. Watada on the same charges of missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer.Lt. Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse orders to deploy to Iraq. He claimed those orders were unlawful because the war is illegal and he would be an accomplice to war crimes if he followed them.
The judge refused to allow me and others to testify as expert defense witnesses on the illegality of the Iraq war and the war crimes the Bush administration is committing there.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice sets forth the duty of military personnel to obey only lawful commands. Article 92 says: “A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the law of the United States ”
Lt. Watada said at a June 6, 2006 press conference in Tacoma, Washington, “The war in Iraq is in fact illegal. It is my obligation and my duty to refuse any orders to participate in this war.” He stated, “An order to take part in an illegal war is unlawful in itself. So my obligation is not to follow the order to go to Iraq.”
(The article continues…)
Justice, for now.