9 October 2001

Associate Press gets it completely wrong
in case of Spc. Michael New
by Daniel New
The Associated Press (AP) broke a story today about a Supreme Court ruling, and went far beyond their normal capacity for getting a story wrong. They missed the entire nature of the question before the court.
The Supreme Court rejected a "petition for certiorari" which was a request that the court review the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF), which dealt only with the question of whether or not a soldier has the right to present evidence in his own defense.  There was nothing in this ruling that had anything to do with President Clinton, with the United Nations, or with Macedonia.
Incidentally, the Supreme Court appears to have violated their own rules for procedure today, being in such a hurry to deny justice that they did not even wait until the deadline for amicus curiae (friend of the court) petitions to be filed by other parties.  The deadline for those petitions to be submitted is tomorrow.  At least two amici petitions are at the printer today, in preparation for submission tomorrow.  The question of why the Supreme Court does not bother to follow its own rules should be of interest to the Associated Press, but it won't be.
Finally, after five years, we have apparently now "exhausted the military remedy," and New's attorneys are now free to bring the real, constitutional issues before an Article III court in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Herb Titus, of Chesapeake, Virginia, and LTC Henry Hamilton (U.S. Army, Ret.), of Columbia, South Carolina will be conferring immediately on how and when to bring that about.
In the meantime, Spc. New is living a private life as a civilian, working in the field of information technology, and avoiding publicity.  He has successfully dealt with an addiction to prescription drugs which resulted from three excruciating knee operations in 1997.  He lives with the legal problems created by that all-too-common addiction on another level, as have many other celebrities, such as Betty Ford, many of whom have been treated by the press as heroes.  But AP is not interested in the facts.
Daniel New
Project Manager
Michael New Defense Fund
P.O. Box 100
Iredell, Texas 76649

Below is the news release from the Associated Press

Supreme court refuses to review President Clinton's use of troops for peacekeeping

The Associated Press
10/9/01 10:56 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With a backdrop of American troop deployments, the Supreme Court refused Tuesday to review the legality of sending U.S. soldiers on peacekeeping missions.

The court declined to take an appeal from a soldier who received a bad-conduct discharge for refusing to dress in the United Nations uniform in 1995 when his unit was being sent to the former Yugoslavia.

"The order in this case did not come in a time of war, nor at a time requiring prompt action, but it came in a time of peace, distanced in both time and place from a combat area," former Army medic Michael New told the Supreme Court.

New contends that then-President Clinton should have gotten congressional approval for the deployment.

The case came up just a few days after President Bush ordered a military campaign aimed at terrorist and military targets in Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In preparation for the campaign, more than 25,000 reservists were called to active duty.

In the New case, a seven-member military jury had deliberated for just 20 minutes before convicting him of disobeying an order. His sentence was a bad-conduct discharge. He wanted to be transferred to a new unit or honorably discharged.

His appeal said that he could not be forced to obey an illegal order.

"The mission lives and dies by the soldier following an order," the government's attorney had argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

The appeals court ruled against New, who appealed to the Supreme Court.

New, a native of Conroe, Texas, was stationed in Germany when his infantry unit was assigned to duty in Macedonia, one of six republics of former Yugoslavia, to guard against the spread of unrest from other areas torn by ethnic turmoil because of Yugoslavia's dismemberment.

New refused to wear the insignia and blue beret of the United Nations, saying he would not serve a foreign power. Part of his appeal involves whether U.S. soldiers should be required to wear U.N. apparel.

He questioned the practice of "turning American soldiers over to U.N. command and control -- to foreign officers who neither report to nor take orders from the president."

New set up a Web page and his father documented his case in a book.

He had joined the Army in 1993 and served in Kuwait. His attorney said he received an achievement medal for treating a badly injured soldier.

Since the case started, he was convicted of forging prescriptions.

The case is New v. U.S., 01-425.


On the Net: Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourtus.gov

New supporters: http://www.mikenew.com/