Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Oh, this is going to be fun.

The trial of Ehren "Weaselboy" Watada took an interesting turn this morning.

In exchange for dropping the charges of Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, Weaselboy signed a document admitting that he did not go to Iraq with his unit -- and proceeded with his trial for Missing Troop Movement.

Turns out that part of the twelve-page document Watada signed was a teeny-tiny part admitting that he had a duty to deploy with his soldiers.

Oopsie.

This is the primary element of the crime of Missing Troop Movement. He acknowledged that he had a duty to deploy; and he failed to do so. Case closed.

In other words, Weaselboy is on trial for a crime he already signed a written confession to.

Good lawyer you got there, troopie.

So, the Judge of the Court Martial found a mistrial and scheduled a retrial in March -- and since the confession that caused the mistrial was part of the pre-trial agreement to drop two of the charges against him -- the pre-trial agreement is dropped.

Ehren "Weaselboy" Watada will stand trial for all charges; and is looking down the throat at six to do.

Part of me wonders if he'll be able to keep his mud in a ball until March.

LawDog

15 comments:

Cybrludite said...

Hope he enjoys his "Big Chicken Dinner" and all that goes with it...

P.Boudreau said...

Sorry, man.. I like you and all, but in this case you're doing the knee-jerk chicken on this kid.. I spent 8 years as a naval officer, and he's got the "duty to question orders" right.. it's one of the things they drill you on from Basic on up; if the order is shit, and you follow it, you're on the hook..*you* are responsible.. period. Not saying I agree with his position, or decision. just saying that calling him names on this one is dropping your level of maturity by a few notches..

HollyB said...

Well, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and having grown up in a Military environment, mine is that "weasel" is not strong enough language.
This COWARD should be on trial for cowardice and treason. He betrayed his duty, his country and what to me is MOST unforgivable, his TROOPS.
He was more than happy to accept the benefits of being an officer, until it required him to put his safety on the line. THEN it was too much. He always knew there was a possibility he could be sent to Iraq, or Afghanistan. He is an imbecile if he did not know this. Where did he think he was training to go? Arizona? Death Valley, CA? Get Real, he didn't want to take a chance he might get shot at, like a real soldier!
I say, again, try him for being a treasonous coward because that's what he IS!

markm said...

I don't know how clear recruiters make it nowadays, but it was clear enough to me: to join, I had to swear to go where I was told, when I was told, and do what I was told, unlawful orders excepted, and disagreeing with the policy doesn't make it unlawful. Maybe growing up during the Vietnam bungle helped make that clear...

SoldierGrrrl said...

Boudreau,

Yes, he's got an obligation to question an order he thinks is illegal, but once that order is determined legal, he's got an obligation to follow it.

He does not make policy, and he does not make the decision of what and where to accept orders.

He's wrong.

Ulises from CA said...

The media is making it sound like the Dreyfus (?) affair, Nippon style.

He may have to see if he can get his confession overturned on technical military grounds but it looks like he's toast.

Good riddance.

D.W. Drang said...

Maybe being local we get more details on leftenant potato-head's case, but he took The Oath in '03, AFTER the invasion of Iraq started. And Daddy was a War Protester back in the distamt past. Speculation locally is that he joined intending to make himself a Martyr to The Cause.

Personally, I think they ought to bust his sorry ass to E-Nothing and send him to Iraq as an IED finder.

P. Boudreau said...

Like I was saying.. I'm not saying I agree with his position *or* decision.. Just saying the bit about questioning orders was valid.. Oh. and saying "after it was deemed legal" may or may not apply depending on how you look at it.. if a full colonel tells you to do something that is obviously illegal, do you do it? How far up do you go to confirm it? I've had to question orders before (nothing on this scale.. mickey mouse stuff) and the pressure to just 'go along' is there..
Say what you will about this guy.. he went into this with both eyes open, *realizing* the sh##storm he'd have to endure for his position. Some of the stuff (the bartering for different deployment comes to mind) seems to be playing to the people, but he seems fully aware of what he was going to be facing, and stood up anyway. Right or wrong, you can't fault his willingness to stand for what he believes in. Kinda hard to call him a coward in this case.. Depending on your particular stance, calling him an idiot or a moron might apply, but calling him a coward kinda ignores what he's currently willingly walking into.

My 2c.
:)
P.

Lauren said...

I'm not a lawyer or a soldier, but the order to deploy to Iraq sure seemed legal to me.

The war is not illegal according to our constitution or the laws enacted by congress or the regulations decided by the DoD. What other law does he have a legal obligation to uphold, as an officer in the U.S. Military?

divemedic said...

He is claiming that the UN Security council did not authorize the war, hence it is illegal.

Tennessee Budd said...

Lauren said: "The war is not illegal according to our constitution or the laws enacted by congress or the regulations decided by the DoD."
Precisely, and thank you. The little pile of skunk scat (apologies to polecats everywhere) specifically said that he believed the war to be illegal according to the Constitution. Once that's settled, and it has been, it's his duty to go do the job.
I have to admit, I'm glad he did this, rather than badly lead men in a hostile area.
I remember that lieutenants are not the smartest critters in the world, but the Army thought enough of this one to make him an officer. They thought him intelligent enough to understand and carry out his obligations as a leader, and to enjoy the privileges of that position. I refuse to believe that he is honestly stupid enough to believe in his alleged reasons for refusal to deploy: it just looks cynical, opportunistic, and glory-seeking to me.

markm said...

"He is claiming that the UN Security council did not authorize the war, hence it is illegal."

The UN doesn't make the law in this country. Any college graduate who doesn't know that just plain hasn't been paying enough attention to be entitled to have any opinions about legality.

KBCraig said...

I must confess, I did a double-take, then did another, then backed up and read a particular phrase slo-o-o-w-ly.

It took me a minute to make sure that "looking down the throat at six" wasn't "looking at six down the throat".

Which is likely, once he arrives at the USDB in lovely eastern Kansas.

Anonymous said...

I've seen a LOT of opinions from actual lawyers and respected legal scholars to the effect that double jeopardy is indeed in play, and that the judge screwed the pooch procedurally. He declared mistrial over the objections of defense. The government is NOT allowed to say, "Whoa, don't like the way this is going" and declare a mistrial so they can start over with a better chance for a
conviction. The defendant and his lawyer had that statement for over a week and knew exactly what they were agreeing to.

Our opinions matter to us, but the experts and the politicians will be the ones who decide. That's why they pull down the big bucks... They wrote the rules for this game of monopoly, and they don't share the top of the box with just any old folks!

Simeron Steelhammer said...

Well, here are a few points for me.

He knew what he was getting into before he joined up. He wasn't drafted, lied to or flim-flammed in any way.

He trained with these men and women who looked to him as thier leader. A man that was looking out for them and on whom they could count. He betrayed them, period.

The United Nations, being the farce that it is to begin with, has NO power to declare war regardless, never has. They have to ask member nations for troops even. They have no jurisdiction anywhere either and again, rely on the member nations approval for thier actions. In the case of Iraq, the US declared war on Iraq, not the UN. He joined the UNITED STATES MILITARY not the UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS. Therefore, he's under the US Military's orders and US law so the UN has got nothing to do with it.

He betrayed his troops by deciding his personal views outwieghed his obligations to them. He took his honor and threw it away and turned his back on his duty as an officer.

I was in the Navy too and one thing they ground into us during OCS was your MEN are your responsibility and you make damn sure that if you have to go in harms way, you do all you can to keep them safe. They depend on you and you are responsible to them. This includes the "lawful orders" part cited here but, just because you don't AGREE with the orders does NOT make them unlawful. Many times you have to sacrifice personel in what seems a lost cause to achieve ultimate victory. This is the nature of war and why it should never be entered into lightly.

Ask the Lost Battalion of WWI, the Screaming Eagles of Bastone (sp?), the defenders of the Alamo and on and on if they would have preferred to run instead of standing thier ground and dying. I don't think any of them would have chosen to start down the barrel of a gun over being with thier loved ones but, they had thier orders and because they followed them, even until death, turning points on the pages of history have been carved in thier blood and with thier honor.

THIS is why he deserves the maximum penalties under the law. He chose to betray all this tradition and sell his honor and manhood cheap.

A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man but one.

The only sympathy I have for him is that he is having to learn this lesson the hard way and doesn't seem to have a clue that this little incident will haunt him for the rest of his life, far beyond anything that happens in the next few years, much less weeks and months.

Nuff said.