The National Guard reservist from North Carolina who sued President Bush over the Middle East military buildup, left Monday to join the troops in Saudi Arabia.
Sgt. Michael Ange flew from the Norfolk Naval Base to Dover, Del., before heading to Saudi Arabia, said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Marcum at Fort Lee. His unit is the 1450th Transportation Company of Jefferson, N.C.Ange, 26, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington last week, contending that the military buildup in the Middle East is illegal. He said the president is violating the War Powers Act by building an offensive military force without the authorization of Congress.
Ange said the president's action exceeds his authority of a 60-day limit for deployment in peacetime. He said his orders are for 170 days.
A federal judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order to block deployment but set Dec. 10 for a hearing on a request for a permanent injunction.
Ange said Sunday that he would face a court-martial if he refused to be deployed. He said he would return for the Dec. 10 hearing.
Army officials at Fort Lee decided Saturday night that Ange does not have a medical condition that would impair his military ability.
Last Thursday, the Army agreed to review Ange's application for a medical discharge because he said he has stomach ulcers. Ange said Army physicians told him he does not have ulcers.