14 June 2001


(Washington) - After 495 days of deliberation, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) has rendered a decision in the case of Army Specialist Michael New, upholding the rulings of the lower military courts, thereby affirming the original court-martial.

Spc. New was the first and only American ever court-martialed for wanting to serve his country exclusively. In October of 1995, New disobeyed a direct order to wear a United Nations uniform and to deploy under the command of General Jehu Ingstrom of Finland. New reported to formation wearing the authorized Army Battle Dress Uniform with a green cap. He was given a Bad Conduct Discharge from the Army in 1996.

This decision by CAAF opens several options to Spc. New's attorneys Hank Hamilton of South Carolina, and Herb Titus of Virginia. They are now free to approach the U.S. District Court which declined to hear the case in 1996, "until the military remedy is exhausted." Spc. New has now, after five and one half years, fulfilled that requirement.

Another option includes a petition to certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on the single question which CAAF considered. Such an option does not rule out a return to District Court on the larger issues.

For the entire ruling of the Court, see United States vs New


Michael New reponds:

1. Mike, what is the next step for your case and the sovereignty of our US soldiers, which could well hang in the balance?

    If we can, we'll take it to the Supreme Court next. Herb Titus and Hank Hamilton (among other highly qualified attorneys) may try to get this case before them with a writ of Certiorari.

2. Mike, How do you feel about the decision?
    I'm disappointed, naturally - for the rest of the US soldiers who are being forced to serve foreign commanders in foreign uniform. And I'm annoyed, as well, that the CAAF panel could have rendered such a decision in 15 minutes flat, instead of keeping everyone hanging in the balance for over 490 days.

3. Mike, What are your personal plans, now?
    I'm going to keep working and I'll keep going to school as an MIS Major in the meantime.

4. Mike, I have another question - you don't talk enough. Where can I get more information?, home of the official site for the case, webmastered by Joe Sager, the famous webmaster who spread the initial word on the internet in 1996, effectively breaking the story to the American public.

See related story by Julie Foster with WorldNetDaily: Court rules against Michael New