Citizens' hearing on Iraq In Tacoma, WA
The Citizens' Hearing on the Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq will be held on January 20-21, 2007, in Tacoma, Washington, two weeks before the court martial of Lieutenant Ehren Watada at Fort Lewis. The Citizens' Hearing will function as a tribunal to put the Iraq War on trial, in response to the Army putting Lt. Watada on trial as the first U.S. military officer to refuse deployment to Iraq.
January 20-21, 2007
Tacoma, Washington, USA
We intend for the Citizens' Hearing to heighten the discussion of the Iraq invasion and occupation in the public--and within the military itself--as similar tribunals did during the Vietnam War. We are inviting testimony by Iraq War witnesses and experts. Your donation will be used to bring the testifiers and panelists to Tacoma and to record the event so everyone can benefit from the testimony.
The hearing will present the case that Lt. Watada would, if allowed, make at his court martial. His defense attorneys maintain that the war on Iraq is illegal under international treaties and under Article Six of the U.S. Constitution. Further, Lt. Watada's defense argues that the Nuremberg Principles and U.S. military regulations require soldiers to follow only "lawful orders." In Lt. Watada's view, deployment to Iraq would have made him party to the crimes that permeate the structure and conduct of military operations there.
The format of the Citizens' Hearing will resemble that of a congressional committee, employing a dignified approach to gathering information. Testimony will be offered by Iraq War veterans, experts in international law and war crimes, and human rights advocates. Your gift of funds (or frequent flyer miles) will enable more of these clear voices to be heard by people around the country and the world. Among the figures that have committed to testify are:
* Daniel Ellsberg, military analyst who released the Pentagon Papers in the Vietnam War;
* Denis Halliday, Former UN Assistant Secretary General, coordinated Iraq humanitarian aid;
* Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University;
* Nadia McCaffrey, Gold Star Families Speak Out; Brussels Tribunal advisory board;
* Harvey Tharp, former U.S. Navy Lieutenant and JAG stationed in Iraq;
* Antonia Juhasz, policy-analyst and author on U.S. economic policies in Iraq;
* John Burroughs, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy executive director;
* Eman Khammas, Iraqi human rights advocate (via video).
* Benjamin G. Davis, Assoc. Law Prof., Univ. of Toledo; expert on law of war.
A panel of citizens will hear the testimony, examine witnesses, and issue a fact-finding report. The panel will be comprised of veterans, members of military families, high school students, and representatives of labor unions, local governments, academia, and religious organizations. David Krieger, Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a member of the Jury of Conscience at the 2005 World Tribunal on Iraq (in New York and Istanbul) will serve as panel chair.
Panelists' questioning will focus on the legality of the war and whether or not the invasion of Iraq in 2003 constituted a "crime against the peace," whether the military occupation and economic constriction of Iraq constitutes a "crime against humanity," and whether individual soldiers have an obligation or duty to refuse unlawful orders. We expect that this hearing will focus attention on the role of the U.S. government--rather than that of individual soldiers--in perpetrating the crimes of the Iraq War.
The Citizens' Hearing will be hosted by The Evergreen State College's Tacoma Campus (1210 6th Ave.) on January 20-21, 2007. Please consult the Citizens' Hearing at http://www.WarTribunal.org for the schedule and contact information. The Citizens' Hearing Advisory Board includes Jeremy Brecher, David Krieger, Richard Falk, Nadia McCaffrey, Blase Bonpane, Bishop Gumbleton, and others. For more information about the case of Lt. Watada go to http://www.ThankYouLT.org
The U.S. occupation of Iraq has lasted longer than our involvement in World War II. Despite the recent election results raising many hopes for a withdrawal from Iraq, few congressional leaders have questioned the war's basic legality--only how it is being fought. We should now remember that President Nixon's "withdrawal" from Vietnam took years and was based on a dramatic escalation of violence. The Citizens' Hearing will focus critical attention on the underlying premises of the Iraq War at a critical time when its future is being decided.
Please help bring out the truth about the Iraq War by donating today. By helping the Citizens' Hearing document the legal case against the war, you will help present the case for Lt. Ehren Watada--and for those who may follow his example. By highlighting the illegality of U.S. actions in Iraq, the tribunal can inform military personnel and other citizens to reflect deeply on their roles and responsibilities in an illegal war.
Thank you in advance for your generous support,
The Organizing Committee for the
Citizens' Hearing on the Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CITIZENS' HEARING
TO DONATE ONLINE: The Church Council of Greater Seattle is the 501(c)3 fiscal agent for the Citizens' Hearing. To donate online, go to the Church Council of Greater Seattle: http://www.churchcouncilseattle.org Go to 'give' then click on "Donate Now Through Network for Good" button to reach the secure site. Then choose "Designate a Fund" and put "Citizens' Hearing."
TO DONATE BY MAIL: Checks can be made payable to CCGS, but be sure to put "CITIZENS' HEARING" in the subject line. The CCGS will receive and disburse the funds (which meet IRS criteria as a tax-deductible charitable contribution). Checks should be mailed to: The Church Council of Greater Seattle, Attn.: Citizens' Hearing, 4 Nickerson, Suite 300, Seattle WA 98109.
TO DONATE MILES: To offer Frequent Flyer miles to help bring testifiers and panelists to the hearing, please send a "virtual" pledge to us. Our tickets need to be purchased in advance. We will handle all the details of transfering miles if you will pledge them for this event. Just send the name of the airline and how many miles are available to email@example.com We do not need your frequent flier number or any other information yet. We especially need miles from Alaska/Horizon air. As we get the tickets you will transfer them directly to the guest speaker or witness that is coming to testify. This is through the "share miles" programs and follows all of the airline rules. These donated miles do NOT meet IRS criteria as a charitable contribution, and are not the same as airline charitable donations. If we cannot use your miles, or do not need them, you will not lose them. (Many miles "expire" at the end of the calendar year if not used.) For questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org
"The best way to protect the lives of courageous young people who serve in the military is to avoid war-making itself. One cannot kill an idea with a gun, but only with a better idea. If people believe that law is better than war, they must do all they can to enhance the power of law and stop glorifying war."
--Nuremberg Trials prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz
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