Watada Faces Tough Words in Second Day of Court Martial - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Watada Faces Tough Words in Second Day of Court Martial

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (KHNL) - The court martial for Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada continued Tuesday in Fort Lewis, Washington.

The Hawaii born officer is refusing to go to Iraq because he says the war is illegal.

Watada faced some tough words from Army prosecutors.

They accuse him of abandoning his troops, and they're calling him a disgrace.

For months it's been smiles and anti-war statements from Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada.

"To stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers and service menbers can chose to stop fighting it," said Watada.

But now, the celebrity like atmosphere is gone and Watada quietly sits straight faced as military prosecutors lay out their case against him for refusing to deploy and making statements that are allegedly unbecoming an officer.

Statements like this one posted on the antiwar website "truthout-dot-org":

"The soldier must know that our narrowly and questionably elected officials intentionally manipulated the evidence presented to congress the public and the world to make the case for war."

Prosecutors played that statement and others. They used as proof to back their claims that Watada's actions were a disgrace.

And they went even further telling the jury made up of seven high-ranking officers quote: "He sat comfortably in his office while his soldiers departed for Iraq. They departed on the flight absent the leader they trained with."

Then came a fiesty counter attack from Watada's attorney.

Eric seitz, already blasted the judge on Monday for his rulings.

"I believe that his rulings in other respects have been wrong."

Tuesday, seitz went on the offensive again in openings, clearly irritating the judge as he remarked about subjects that were ruled out of bounds. later, seitz told the jury Watada refused to fight in the war, a crisis of conscience a concept prosecutors tried to erase by calling one of Watada's superior officers.

Lt. Colonel William James testified Watada's statements seem to have violated his oath to bear faith and allegience.

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