894. ART. 94. MUTINY OR SEDITION1LT Ehren Watada is skating on thin ice. He is engaged in a deadly serious game, as indicated by the words "shall be punished by death" above. The only thing that keeps this article from applying to him is the solitary nature of his action, the fact that it is not "in concert with any other person", as in the first paragraph. Notice that this paragraph does not require "in time of war". That's right--mutiny and sedition are so serious that even in peacetime, the penalty could be death.
(a) Any person subject to this chapter who--
(1) with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny;
(2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition;
(3) fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence, or fails to take all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of a mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition.
(b) A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition, or failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.
Still, the case for death for Ehren Watada is not hopeless. He has violated an entire section of the UCMJ:
886. ART. 86. ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVEHe is clearly in jeopardy of a conviction for Article 86.
Any member of the armed forces who, without authority--
(1) fails to go to his appointed place of duty at the time prescribed;
(2) goes from that place; or
(3) absents himself or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty at which he is required to be at the time prescribed; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
He is clearly in jeopardy of a conviction for Article 87.
887. ART. 87. MISSING MOVEMENT
Any person subject to this chapter who through neglect or design misses the movement of a ship, aircraft, or unit with which he is required in the course of duty to move shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
He is clearly in jeopardy of a conviction for Article 88.
888. ART. 88. CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
He is clearly in jeopardy of a conviction for Article 90.
890. ART. 90. ASSAULTING OR WILLFULLY DISOBEYING SUPERIOR COMMISSIONED OFFICER.
Any person subject to this chapter who--
(1) strikes his superior commissioned officer or draws or lifts up any weapon or offers any violence against him while he is in the execution of his officer; or
(2) willfully disobeys a lawful command of his superior commissioned officer; shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, and if the offense is committed at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.
And this is just what the defense is hoping for. This is an attempt by the left to bring President Bush to trial. The prosectution is staying away from Article 90 in order to (presumably) secure a conviction on violation of the lesser article 87. In order to convict 1LT Ehren Watada under article 90, the prosecution would need to establish the lawful nature of the order to deploy to Iraq. This opens the door to a finding by a Court-Martial that the war is illegal. Nightmare scenario, right?
BRING. IT. ON.
If we let these turds scare us out of our own courtrooms, then more will follow. Perhaps 1LT Ehren Watada missed the class in ROTC where they explained that he is in the military, and does not have the same liberties as most citizens. In case anybody wondered why he has the right to speak out like this, he does NOT have the right to say these things, and will likely go to jail for his words, even if not his deeds. That's how serious it is.
Perhaps if 1LT Ehren Watada had actually been acting on principle, he could have kept this matter between himself and his Chain of Command. Instead, he went screaming to the press is what can only be called a PR campaign.
The fact is that 1LT Ehren Watada accepted his appointment as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I have my hunch that this has been a calculated political maneuver at the behest of his dingbat moonbeam father:
I am a RPCV [returned Peace Corps volunteer] 1964 Peru. Last year I visited Peru twice and wherever I went, friends, relatives, and people of all walks of life expressed disgust with "Bushy" and it was impossible to disagree. Their perception of the USA is like a "Rambo". "Have gun, am right." Whatever good the Peace Corps did forty years ago in developing good will has now been destroyed. We eliminated the myth that we were CIA henchmen out to get the communistas.The communists were real, and still are, for that matter. No need for scare quotes. Ditto for terrorists. The house in which 1LT Ehren Watada grew up was clear about who the good guys and the bad guys were. Marxists and Jihadis good, Americans bad. Loud and clear.
We are now obsessed with a "terrorist" behind every tree, as we were obsessed with a "communist" around every corner forty-five years ago. We need to start somewhere to make a change. Bob Watada
There can be no more shameful or disastrous an event in war than that one's own Commissioned Officers refuse orders to deploy, encourage their own soldiers to refuse to deploy, and backtalk the entire Chain of Command from Major to Commander-in-Chief--and that he is not forced to confront the fact that he would do a far greater good for this country dead as an example than he has ever done alive as a Soldier.
So let's go ahead and have a trial on an article which matters. Put him up on Article 90, WILLFULLY DISOBEYING SUPERIOR COMMISSIONED OFFICER. Punishable by death.