Watada Defense

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So, this Watada guy refused to go with his unit to Iraq, and he is being court-martialed. There's really no question of the facts in the case, and he will be convicted.

His defense is that the war is illegal, and therefore his order was illegal. He wants to present that defense in his court martial, but the judge won't let him. His lawyer and his supporters are going nuts, saying that his rights are being taken away. He is -- it will come as little surprise to people who have read the Constituion -- wrong.

You see, there is a reason why the President is Commander-in-Chief of the military: it's because we do not want a military that is not subject to the civilian authority. But in order for the court martial to even consider Watada's chosen defense would be to elevate the military to a position of authority over the civilian government, which dictated the war policy to the military. Watada is asking the court martial to violate the Constitution.

And this Constitutional violation would bring about the exact opposite of what most of Watada's supporters want: it would create a de facto police state, where the military gets the final say, rather than leaving the war policy in the hands of the people's elected representatives, where it belongs.

I don't know if Watada's lawyers are stupid, or if they are merely exploiting the ignorance and nativite of his supporters, for political gain. Either way does not speak highly of them. slashdot.org

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