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(District of Columbia) - The US Court of Appeals has denied the government's motion that would have ended a soldier's legal battle to overturn his court-martial, and to defend his right and duty to disobey an illegal order.
Specialist Michael New was court-martialed in 1996 for his refusal to wear a United Nations uniform, to deploy to Macedonia under United Nations command, and to serve under the command of a general officer from Finland.
At the heart of the issue is the question of whether an American soldier, having taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, may be forced instead to serve under the military command of a foreign power, specifically the United Nations. The military courts ruled that this was a political question, outside the jurisdiction of their courts. Thus, New was denied his day in court in order to protect the Clinton administration from having to justify the deployment.
According to Lead Attorney Herbert W. Titus, of Virginia, who heads up the legal team representing Michael New and the Constitution, "We have here a case with serious implications for every American who ever wears a uniform. Michael New's stand is for them, and their right to defend their country exclusively, in accordance with the American soldiers Oath of Office."
That is a soldier's duty.
In a surprising ruling, US District Court Judge Friedman conceded that Clinton may have broken the law, but that it is the duty of Congress to challenge the president, not a lowly soldier. This decision continues to astonish attorneys and Constitutional authorities when they hear about it. As one attorney recently said, "I have always been under the impression that the citizen possesses every right under the Constitution that exists. Perhaps that is no longer true."
Originally posted by mOjOm
If he had followed the order and his Finnish commanding officer gave him an order that was legal under the UN laws, but not the US, is it ok for him to refuse? or does he become obligated to follow the laws of the UN while serving in their uniform?
The guy was an idiot, refusing to carry out the wishes of the country he had sworn to protect.
Westpoint23 how dose the Constitution apply outside of the US?
If a solider was given the order to serve under the UN banner outside of the US how dose the Constitution apply?
and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of _ _ _ _ _ _ and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations.
"It is now going on ten years, since this perversion of the Constitution began in Mike's case," says his father, Daniel New, Project Manager of the Legal Defense. "They thought he would go away. He was a nobody to the government, which lives by the argument that, 'You must obey orders, no matter what.' Even though we hung German officers who used that as a defense following World War II, it appears now that we have come full circle and we find the Pentagon making the same arguments that their opponents made half a century earlier. Having forgotten our history, we are now forced to repeat it."
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Oh so your saying that a soldier should follow orders for the sake of following orders?
Like I said before if he broke the law why was he not given a fair Court Marshal?
Navy petty officer Pablo Paredes was convicted and sentenced for missing movement stemming from his refusal to board the Iraq-bound ship USS Bonhomme Richard. The sentence included two months restriction, three months hard labor without confinement, and reduction in rank to E-1. The sentencing came the day after his conviction by a judge trial in a special court martial held May 11, 2005, at the 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego. Below are some highlights from the case.
"What I submit to you and the court is that I am convinced that the current war is exactly that (illegal). So, if there's anything I could be guilty of, it is my beliefs. I am guilty of believing this war is illegal. I'm guilty of believing war in all forms is immoral and useless, and I am guilty of believing that as a service member I have a duty to refuse to participate in this war because it is illegal." From Pablo Paredes statement during sentencing.
I thought he was court-martialed in 1996?
dical departure from constitutional requirements of criminal prosecution, the District Court of D.C. had agreed with the military courts that there was no fatal defect when the military judge in New's court-martial refused to allow any evidence before the jury (panel). Legally, the Jury is the "trier of fact" and not the judge.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Originally posted by curme
And other conscientious objectors like Kevin Benderman, Aidan Delgado,and Camilo Mejía, and whoever may be living in Canada now that we don't know about. Like Specialist Michael New, these soldiers had the courage to say what the government was doing was wrong, and disobeyed orders to prove it!
Men of moral courage, we salute you for refusing to fight in an illegal war, and not wearing a blue-helmet!