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Posted: Thursday, November 16th, 2006 10:09 AM HST

Watada explains his refusal to go to Iraq

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) _ Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada defended himself on national television yesterday against criticism that he was coward for refusing to fight in Iraq.

Watada, who is from Honolulu, faces a court martial after denying orders to deploy to Iraq and challenging the Bush administration's justification for the war.

Watada said on C-N-N that everyone is afraid of getting killed, but his reason for staying home was because he took an oath to defend America against all enemies.

He said those enemies include those within the U-S who are breaking the law by trying to do whatever they want.

Watada is charged with conduct unbecoming of an officer after he railed to join his unit on June 22nd when it left Fort Lewis, Washington for Iraq.

He was a member of Fort Lewis Stryker Brigade, Fifth Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment.

(Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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