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US District Court rules against Michael New
23 December 2004
Says laws don't have to be obeyed if Congress doesn't
(District of Columbia) - U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman dismissed the
case of former Army Specialist Michael New yesterday, stating that he
would "not second-guess the military courts".
New was convicted by court-martial of disobeying an order to wear a
United Nations uniform and then serve under a general officer from
another country (Finland) on a "peacekeeping" mission into
Macedonia. New contends the uniform was unauthorized, the
deployment was illegal, and the chain of command was
unconstitutional. He was not allowed to present any evidence at his
trial to support his arguments. That incident alone raised the
objections from many, both inside and outside the military
military appeals ran their course, New filed his present action seeking
collateral review of the court-martial conviction in the US District
Court, and now Judge Friedman's adverse ruling sets to stage to appeal to
the US Court of Appeals.
heart of Judge Friedman's ruling against New is the court's conclusion
that, while former President Clinton's action deploying New to Macedonia
under United Nations command may have violated the law and the
constitution, it is not for the courts to say whether a statute was
broken or the constitution was violated in this case. Rather, Judge
Friedman reasoned, in matters of "war" it's for Congress, not
the courts, to protect the rights of American soldiers who are illegally
and unconstitutionally deployed in U.N. operations.
of his opinion that Congress should have stepped in, Judge Friedman
mistakenly wrote that "no contingent of Congress has ever stepped
forward to dispute" then-President Clinton's authority to place
American soldier's under U.N. command and control." A
spokesman for Michael New advised, however that several Members of
Congress, present and past, publicly disagreed with the President's
action, recalling that Congressmen from both sides of the aisle
protested, and vigorously so. Among them were Helen Chenoweth
(Idaho), Bob Barr (Georgia), Dr. Ron Paul (Texas), Joe Scarborough
(Florida), Duncan Hunter (California), Bob Dornan (California), Dr.
Roscoe Bartlett (Maryland), and many more. They wrote letters to
then-President Clinton. The entire House passed a Resolution in the
House of Representatives. And several members of the House
sponsored and introduced a bill to prevent future such U.N. deployments
of soldiers like Michael New.
Americans consider Michael New's stand to be an important one in the
preservation of U.S. sovereignty. Retired LTC Art Peterson (highly
decorated WWII, Korea, Viet Nam combat veteran) recently said, "Spc.
New's case is the most important military legal case to be raised in my
lifetime. If he fails, our Republic fails."
we are grateful for the thoughtful decision rendered by Judge Friedman,
we obviously believe that his conclusions are incorrect," said
Daniel New, father of Michael New and Project Manager for his defense,
"and we will appeal the decision to the next level. In the
meantime, Congress needs to hear from the People that the courts consider
it their job to resolve this issue."
For more information, contact:
New, Project Manager
New Action Fund
Article from the New York Sun with comments from Cliff Kincaid
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