Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's been 'Settled'


Judge Benjamin Settle of the United States District Court (best.name.for.a.judge. ever and possibly a new meaning of the verb*) ) issued a preliminary injunction in favor of Lt. Ehren Watada. While not over, this victory greatly increases Lt. Watada's chances of a positive outcome for his case.
“. . . This case concerns an alleged violation of the Fifth Amendment Double Jeopardy Clause, which cannot be said to fall within a set of affairs that are peculiar to the jurisdiction of the military authorities. . . . The same Fifth Amendment protections are in place for military service members as are afforded to civilians. . . . To hold otherwise would ignore the many sacrifices that American soldiers have made throughout history to protect those sacred rights." - Judge Benjamin Settle
At approximately 3:39 PM (PST), Nov 8, 2007, Judge Benjamin H. Settle of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (sitting in Tacoma, WA) issued a Preliminary Injunction in favor of 1Lt Ehren Watada.

In his decision, Judge Settle made the following significant points:

1. The remedy sought by Lt Watada -- a writ of habeas corpus in a pretrial setting -- is rare but appropriate;

2. Lt Watada will suffer irreparable injury if relief is denied;

3. Lt Watada is likely to succeed on the merits;

4. Military Judge Head abused his discretion in rejecting the Stipulation of Fact;

5. Even if Judge Head did not abuse his discretion in rejecting the Stipulation of Fact, there was still a lack of "manifest necessity" for declaring the mistrial;

6. Judge Head failed to adequately consider possible alternatives;

7. The balance of potential harms weighs in Lt Watada's favor; and

8. The public interest favors granting relief.

Go over to Marc Lord's Adored by Hordes for the rest of the story. Marc has summed up Lt. Watada's actions like this:
It takes one kind of bravery to storm a machine-gun nest to save what's left of your comrades. It takes another to storm a hostile establishment to save what's left of a nation. A few people have both kinds. Thank you, Lieutenant Watada.

*Settled, verb:reversing an injustice done by the right-wing hate machine

7 comments:

leslie in ca said...

Kudos to Judge Settle, and I hope that Lt. Watada prevails.

Anonymous said...

This is really great news. Thanks to you and MarcLord for being the storytellers for the tribe. It's how we keep our sense of who we are.

Mary

Anonymous said...

Go Settle, Go Ehren. It's time for "our" side to start to see some victories! Thanks, Hope, for bringing hope.

OhEss

MarcLord said...

Thanks for the kudos, Hope (and Mary). This good soldier needs some more coverage for what he's done. If he prevails, there may be more waves made than would at first appear. The US pulled out of Vietnam because a substantial portion of the officers didn't believe in the conflict's purpose anymore.

Thus, am trying to get some local (Pac NW) newspaper response. I found the email for the editor of the Seattle Post Intelligencer's editorial page:

marktrahant@seattlepi.com

Hope, while I can and will send an email saying Lt. Watada's story deserves a spotlight, you have the benefit of being a vet (and presumably know others who feel similarly). I would appreciate your e-mail help with my local paper. What do you think?

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Marc...I'm totally down. Email me and tell me what you want. dr. T is on board too.

MarcLord said...

Finally sent email requesting Watada coverage to Mark Trahant. He's on vacation, and Kimberly Mills is in charge of the editorial page until his return on 11-27. Her email is kimberlymills@seattlepi.com.

Seattle's newspapers aren't owned by Mega-Media. Private and local. So if there's a way to pry the story in the mainstream, it's probably here, by sending coverage requests to Kimberly Mills. All inserted crowbars appreciated!

op99 said...

What an explosive story - no surprise it's been suppressed in the commercial media. Thanks Hope an Marc for bringing it.