The Nation, October 12, 2007
The Watada case has presented a serious challenge to the military. As Daniel Ellsberg put it, "Lt. Ehren Watada--who still faces trial for refusing to obey orders to deploy to Iraq, which he correctly perceives to be an unconstitutional and aggressive war--is the single officer in the United States armed services who is taking seriously...his oath."
While evidence of the war's illegality was barred in Watada's court-martial, his position is grounded in military law and doctrine. At a National Press Club luncheon February 17, 2006, just a year before Watada's court-martial, Gen. Peter Pace, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked, "Should people in the US military disobey orders they believe are illegal?"
Pace's response: "It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral."
The Army wants to sentence Ehren Watada to six years in the brig for the crime of trying to fulfill that absolute responsibility.