Lt. Watada (2010)
40min · Documentary, Short · 17 July 2010
"Lt. Watada" tells the story of the first commissioned military officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq and to speak publicly about his belief that the war is illegal and a violation of his oath. It is a David and Goliath story as Lt. Watada demonstrates his willingness to face court-martial and eight years in prison rather than be a party to war crimes. And it is an intensely personal story as the film dramatizes what it means for a lone soldier to publicly challenge Presidential war policy in order to honor his oath to the Constitution, to fulfill his duty as an officer, and to the rule of law. Lt. Watada described the war as illegal and immoral and founded on deception. Neither a pacifist nor a conscientious objector, Lt. Watada offered twice to go to Afghanistan - a war he considered legitimate - but his commanders said that granting such a request would mean there was something wrong with the war in Iraq. "Lt. Watada" raises fascinating questions about acts of conscience and the duties of a soldier and officer in the military today. It also dramatizes a remarkable personal transformation, revealing how a natural leader, an athlete and scholar who decided to risk his reputation, freedom and even his life for his beliefs. And it is those beliefs - in honor, duty, the rule of law and the Constitution - that Lt. Watada's story vividly reminds us of the fundamental values that have made our country a beacon to the world.
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