Hawaii's new favourite son, the most senior officer to refuse to serve in Iraq, is not a conscientious objector, just a true patriot:
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."
In a statement released today, Watada said the "war in Iraq violates our democratic system of checks and balances.
"It usurps international treaties and conventions that by virtue of the Constitution become American law. The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people with only limited accountability is not only a terrible moral injustice, but a contradiction to the Army's own Law of Land Warfare. My participation would make me party to war crimes."