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Monday, March 12, 2007

A Letter to Senator Feinstein Concerning Ehren Watada

Below is an email that I received from my Senator, Diane Feinstein today in response to an email to her which I sent through, the support website for First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, the first and only officer thus far who has refused to deploy to Iraq. You can find out everything about Ehren on his website and sign the petition in support of him there (whether you are a US citizen or not) but in a nutshell, Ehren Watada refused to deploy to Iraq on the grounds that the war is unconstitutional and a crime against humanity per the Nuremburg Principles. When the US is a signatory to a treaty, which the US IS a signatory to the Nuremburg Principles, we are bound by our Constitution to uphold that treaty. When an officer takes his oath, he does NOT take an oath to the Commander in Chief, he takes his oath to the Constitution. That oath is:

I, {insert name here}, do solemnly swear, (or affirm), that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

The following are the Nuremburg Principles concerning the waging of war:


Article 6.

The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to m Article 1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.

The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;

(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;

(c)CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

The war the United States waged on Iraq and the ensuing occupation IS a Crime Against the Peace, A War Crime, and a Crime Against Humanity. Ehren Watada has risked years of his own life in prison not only refusing to deploy, but also speaking WIDELY and PUBLICALLY in this matter. You can find numerous videos on his website, you can link to other support groups and you CAN and SHOULD get involved because it is a matter of MORALITY, pure and simple.
No American of any conscience should be able to sit idly by enjoying their lives knowing that OUR military is responsible for 655,000 Iraqi deaths because WE invaded and occupied.

Under the letter from my Senator, is my response to her.


Dear Mr. XXXXXXX (I'm NOT a Mr. Senator Feinstein, I am a MRS.)

Thank you for contacting me regarding U.S. Army First
Lieutenant Ehren Watada. I appreciate hearing from you and
welcome the opportunity to respond.

Lt. Watada refused to deploy to Iraq with the rest of his
Fort Lewis, Washington-based brigade on June 22, 2006, due to
objections over the legality of the Iraq War. The Army
subsequently charged Lt. Watada with conduct unbecoming an
officer, missing movement, and contempt toward officials. On
February 7, 2007, a military judge announced a mistrial and a new
court date has been set for March 19th. Please be assured that I
understand your concerns pertaining to this issue and will continue
to closely monitor the situation.

Once again, thank you for writing. I hope you will
continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you. If
you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not
hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841
or visit my website at Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Dear Senator Feinstein,

Thank you for your response to me concerning my email to you about First Lieutenant Ehren Watada. I realize you receive probably thousands of emails daily and the particular email which was sent was a "mass email" generated from Ehren's support site. Your response to me, I HOPE by the language of it, is merely a mass email of your own when you have received the same email numerous times. In that vein, I would like to at this time address you in a more personal manner as your constituent and a volunteer for Ehren's support campaign if I may.

I appreciate the fact that you say to me that you are continuing to monitor the situation in Ehren's case. I attended the court marshall myself Senator with other support members and I can assure you, if you read the transcripts of his trial, you will see that Judge Head conducted a kangaroo court. Not only did he disallow Ehren's last witness, (Professor Solis), and then relent but refuse the cost of that witness. He then allowed a prosecution witness to testify who was the REBUTTAL witness (Professor Swane) to Professor Solis who the defense had only been notified of four days before the trial date WITHOUT proper notification or disclosure to the defense. Ehren was only allowed to call a character witness, which in the end did not testify because the trial was cut short.

The mistrial which ensued was fought against by the defense. Please do not let anyone tell you that it was the defense's fault the trial ended in this manner. The problem over Ehren's stipulation to fact of refusing to deploy NOT being an admission of guilt was clear to the prosecution from the beginning. Ehren ALWAYS admitted and then stipulated to non-movement, but he also ALWAYS plead not guilty. That is because Senator, Ehren HAS a defense but the military did everything to strip him of it. On the day the mistrial occured, it was Judge Head who asked for the mistrial first, threatening the defense if they did not open questioning again and also asking Ehren to withdraw his stipulation to non-movement which he refused to do. After several recesses, the prosecution returned and asked for the mistrial AFTER they had rested their case. This is clearly a case of double jeopardy not that a new trial has been scheduled. Eric Seitz is appealing the new trial on this basis and as many attorneys have publically stated, Ehren should NOT be retried because it is double jeopardy.

But I would like to explain more to you Senator. If you are not already aware, Ehren refused to deploy on grounds the war in unconstitional and a war crime per the Nuremburg Principles. Ehren is not the first to declare this fact Senator, but he is the first who is facing years in prison for the brave stance he took as an officer. Since I first became involved in the support campaign for Ehren, I have had the supreme honor of working closely with members of NCRR (Nikkei Civil Rights and Redress) here in LA (I am not Asian, but it is NCRR who has spearheaded his campaign locally)

I cannot speak FOR them Senator, but I can speak OF them. As you probably know, they are the group who fought for and won financial redress for the Japanese interred during WWII. They know first hand what discrimination and crimes being perpetrated on them by our own government is like because it is they and their parents who experienced it. It is the Japanese community who has stood with Arabs/Muslims shoulder to shoulder since 911 because they know what false accusations can lead to. The members of NCRR are your constituents Senator, and I know that members in San Fransisco and LA have contacted you concerning Ehren and the war in Iraq. You know their stance Senator, and you know there are MANY more who oppose this war who are trying their best to get your attention. I am also a member of the Whittier Area Peace Coalition and Mark Twain Club (Democrats) who hosted and sponsored an event in October at which Bob Watada spoke. Both of these fine organizations support Ehren 100% also Senator.

Senator Feinstein, Ehren is facing prison time for what he has done WILLINGLY and COURAGEOSLY. You should not ONLY be monitoring his case, you should be listening to his MESSAGE because he speaks for all of us who so vehemently oppose this illegal war and occupation. We are not unpatriotic Americans Senator, we are Americans working long hours trying to get our Senators and Representatives to listen to us. There are only 436 people in this country Senator who have the power to do something about this, and you are one of them. As an American of conscience yourself, you MUST be concerned with the 655,000 innocent Iraqi lives which have been lost since this ill-begotten war was undertaken. It is not only about our own military losses Senator, it is ALSO about our military being stationed in a country where we should have NEVER gone. Everyone makes mistakes Senator, you voted for the authorization for the President, and I am SURE in retrospect you regret that vote. Like you, Ehren made a mistake and enlisted in the military believing the lies we were told. He has rectified his mistake Senator and stood up, now it is time for you and others who represent this great country of ours to STAND UP. I sincerely request you do not vote to refund this war because that will only prolong this travesty. I sincerely ask you to stand up Senator, listen to the voice of First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, support him by writing your own letter of support of him, and support his message by demanding our troops come home immediately.

Also Senator, Ehren's trial is NOT set for March 19th, that was what the judge requested at the end of the mistrial. . His pretrial hearing in May 20-21 and the court marshall is scheduled to begin July 16th. This gives you ample time Senator to look into this matter seriously and to contact the campaign itself to find out more. You can contact them on his website at

Thank you sincerely for your time in this matter Senator Feinstein.



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