AD HOC CAMPAIGN TO FREE EHREN WATADA:
End the U.S. Army’s Prosecution of Lt. Ehren Watada
The Justice Department Can Say No to Army’s Legal Appeal
In June 2006, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada refused orders to Iraq on the grounds that the war was illegal and immoral. His court martial in February 2007 ended in an Army-contrived mistrial. In October 2007, the Army attempt to have a second court martial was stopped by a Federal judge who ruled that a second court martial would be double jeopardy. But the Army has not allowed Lt. Watada to leave military service. Instead, they have notified the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit of their plans to appeal the double jeopardy ruling. The Army has also threatened to revive old charges stemming from Lt. Watada’s speech in Seattle to the 2006 convention of Veterans For Peace.
Justice Department to Decide If Army Will Appeal Double Jeopardy Ruling
The U.S. Solicitor General’s office in the Department of Justice will soon decide whether the Army can go ahead with its plans to appeal Federal Court rulings in Lt. Watada’s favor.
An campaign of public pressure is being called by Lt. Watada’s supporters in the peace movement. The ad hoc campaign is being spearheaded by two Vietnam War resisters, Mike Wong and Gerry Condon, who are active members of Veterans for Peace in San Francisco and Seattle. The Call to Action is being issued in the name of Asian Americans for Peace and Justice, formerly the Watada Support Committee, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Project Safe Haven, a war resister support group.
We are sending out this email alert to all our contacts and organizations - including Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, United For Peace and Justice, ANSWER, Code Pink, American Friends Service Committee and others. We ask you all to phone, write, and email Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Deputy Attorney General Neal Katyal immediately.
1. Ask the Solicitor General: Tell the Army to drop the appeal and any other charges against Lt. Watada, and to release him from the Army with an honorable discharge.
If we all act quickly, we can flood the Solicitor General’s office with hundreds of phone calls, letters and emails, which could tip the balance in Ehren Watada’s favor.
Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 202-514-2201
Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal, 202-514-2206
Send letters to: U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530.
E-mails to DOJ@usdoj.gov will reach the Solicitor General and Attorney General Eric Holder. A sample letter is included below. Feel free to edit as you wish, or to write your own.
It is possible that both the Solicitor General and her Deputy may be open to our plea. Please be respectful and polite in all your communications with these Obama appointees.
2. Please forward this alert to all activists, friends, and organizations you know that would be supportive. If you are involved in an organization, please ask that it forward this alert to its entire membership.