A little while ago I think I mentioned that we were working on a follow-up to episode 061222-01, Ehren Watada: a Soldier Refuses an Illegal War. The follow-up was basically an analysis of Lt. Watada's rationale for refusing to deploy. As we were working on it, we looked at hundreds of responses to his statements on the internet and in newspapers, and based on this started diagramming out what kind of stuff we kept on seeing over and over again. We were looking for patterns. And what we saw was that there seems to be one overriding question that people want to know: "Is the U.S. invasion of Iraq legal or not?". No disrespect intended towards Lt. Watada, but we think that knowing the answer to this question is even more important than the other question that keeps popping up - namely, "Are officers in the military allowed (or even obligated) to refuse orders if they are, in fact, illegal orders?" Of course the two questions are connected, but in the interest of keeping the episode easy to follow, we decided to change direction a bit and try to get to the bottom of the first question rather than the second. The current working title of the episode is now The War in Iraq: Legal or Illegal? - or something like that.
Speaking of Ehren Watada, today is the first day of his court-marshal trial at Fort Lewis, Washington. All of us here at The Pinky Show are praying that he receives a fair trial. One thing that especially concerns us is that we heard that the Army has in advance disallowed any presentation of evidence as to why Lt. Watada refused deployment. The presiding Army judge, Lt. Col. John Head, has stated publicly that he considers the reasons behind his actions as "irrelevant". Maybe the Army has learned something from the Pablo Paredes trial...
Last Thursday (February 1) I interviewed John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy. I asked him some things about nuclear weapons; I think I really learned a lot. Anyway, we're almost done putting that episode together. Unless we run into some unforseen problems or difficulties, it should be on our site in about a week. The Iraq War one I just mentioned above probably won't be done for another couple weeks ...at least. We want to be as careful as possible about getting all our information in order, checked, and double-checked before we release stuff.