Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Officer at Fort Lewis calls Iraq war illegal, refuses order to go
By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter
In a rare case of officer dissent, a Fort Lewis Army lieutenant has refused orders to head out to Iraq this month to lead troops in what he believes is an illegal war of occupation.
1st Lt. Ehren Watada was scheduled to make his first deployment to Iraq this month. His refusal to accompany the Stryker brigade troops puts him at risk of court martial and years of prison time.
“I feel that we have been lied to and betrayed by this administration,” Watada said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Fort Lewis. “It is the duty, the obligation of every soldier, and specifically the officers, to evaluate the legality, the truth behind every order – including the order to go to war.”