Army Court finally rules on Michael New
    Conviction stands, Petition rendered moot

News Report and Editorial Comment by
Daniel D. New

(Falls Church, Va.) - Exactly eleven months after hearing the appeal of Army Specialist Michael New's 1996 court martial, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) finally issued its foregone conclusion - the court martial is affirmed and his conviction stands.  The case can now proceed to the next stage, the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces (CAAF), where the Army will have one more chance to delay the course of justice, before the case moves back to Article III (civilian) courts, where the case will hopefully be heard on its merits.

A more detailed report will be issued and placed on the web within a couple of days.  We simply wanted to let our friends know that progress has been made, that we've advanced another step on the way to the Supreme Court.

This also means that the petition drive to Congress is effectively halted by this action.  Over 20,000 American signatures signed that petition calling for Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to initiate an inquiry into what is taking the Army so long to rule.  We are not disappointed, we are excited that we can put that effort to bed and move on to the next step.  If you have been collecting petitions, feel free to send them to us, and we'll add the names to our mailing list for future progress reports.

There are three young men sitting in a Serbian prison today, as a result of the illegal actions of President Clinton.  They were placed in Macedonia illegally, on a United Nations deployment as peacekeepers.  When the deployment was ended in February by the UN, they were left in Macedonia, illegally, with no umbrella of protection.  The Pentagon could not even define their status when they were captured - were they POW's?  Were they detainees?  Were they hostages?  Or were they, as Serbia maintains, war criminals?  This was one of our concerns in the beginning, and the Army told us in writing that, if captured, Michael New would not be protected by the Geneva Conventions of War, but would be protected by the United Nations treaties.  How consoling.  Now even that umbrella has been removed, but the soldiers were left - unprotected by even a flimsy excuse for legal protection and legitimacy.  Perhaps the Serbs are right.  Perhaps Rodriguez, Stone and Ramirez are war criminals!  If they are, who put them there?  Who left them there?  The very same president who, today, claims that these occupying troops without legal authority are suddenly protected by the Geneva Conventions on War!

The implications of this case are far reaching.  Perhaps now a few more Americans will wake up and demand that we quit running our nation and our wars on popularity polls and return to a nation under Law.  If we do not, then the grand exercise in Freedom, the American Republic, is dead.
© 1999 Daniel D. New
Permission to reprint is granted.
Michael New Action Fund
P.O. Box 100
Iredell, Texas 76649