Lt. Ehren Watada
Lt. Ehren Watada
I would like to bring your attention to a story I covered last August about 1st Lt. Ehren Watada. The story covered his decision not to deploy to
In the weeks following that speech, I was contacted by the prosecuting attorney from his court-martial and informed I was on the witness list. I took up my own legal counsel, and while I remain on the prosecutionâ€™s witness list, I have not been subpoenaed to testify against him in the trial, which is set for February 5th.
Watada's case is critical for two main reasons.
If he is convicted for his speech charges, it sends a message to other war resisters that they will be penalized for their speech more harshly than even their decision not to deploy to
This case has the potential to set precedent which would deleteriously affect both free speech rights of service members of the
This, despite public outcry from countless media organizations and mainstream organizations, like Military Reporters and Editors, who wrote this statement:
"Army prosecutors have subpoenaed two journalists, Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter Gregg Kakesako, and
"Responding to the situation, Military Reporters and Editors President James W. Crawley said, "Trying to force a reporter to testify at a court-martial sends the wrong signal to the media and the military."
"Reporters and photographers who cover the military have developed a level of trust with
In addition, the National Press Club has issued this statement of support:
"The National Press Club today announced its opposition to the U.S. Army's subpoenas of
"The subpoenas call for the reporters to testify at the Feb. 5 court martial of Army Lt. Ehren Watada, who refused to deploy to
Supporters of Sarah Olson and myself have set up this website <http://freepresswg.org/>
I urge you today, one week before the court-martial trial of Lt. Watada begins, to go there and take action by signing the aforementioned petition <http://www.prwatch.org/defendthepress/index.html>
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