The Justice Department won’t retry the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to go to Iraq. Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada contended that the war is illegal and that he would be a party to war crimes if he served there. His first court-martial ended in a mistrial in February 2007.
A federal judge ruled last fall that the Army could not try him again on key charges, including missing troop movement, because it would violate his constitutional right to be free of double jeopardy. The Justice Department initially appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but later asked the district court in Seattle to dismiss the case. The Army still could charge Watada with conduct unbecoming an officer.
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