Federal Judge Challenges Court Martial

Federal Judge Benjamin Settle challenged the proposed court martial of Lt. Ehren Wanda whose first trial ended in a mistrial. Wanda was charged with failing to be present for his unit’s deployment to Iraq and for denouncing President Bush and the Iraq war. Wanda argues his participation in the Iraq war compelled him to engage in criminal activities that might result in his being charged with war crimes. He requested that the court martial be voided on grounds it subjected him to double jeopardy. The judge noted the army had yet to submit evidence that Wanda’s request lacked merit.

This is probably one of hundreds of such examples in which members of the military who oppose the war in Iraq are being compelled against their will to participate in a war they claim is not only illegal but immoral. Lt. Wanda had courage in standing up for his moral beliefs knowing full well to do so would result in a court martial.