Skip to comments.GIs can be forced to wear U.N. beret: judge upholds court martial of soldier who refused orders
Posted on 12/26/2004 1:11:46 AM PST by JohnHuang2
The U.S. military can force its personnel to wear the blue beret of the United Nations and serve under the world body's command, a federal judge ruled.
Judge Paul Friedman upheld the military's conviction of former Army specialist Michael New, who refused to don the U.N. cap and shoulder patch and to serve in a peacekeeping mission in Macedonia nearly 10 years ago, the New York Sun reported.
New argued that the Constitution and the law governing U.S. participation in the world body prevent the president from sending American troops into possible combat under U.N. command without express authorization from Congress.
New, whose defiance became a cause celebre in the mid-1990s among U.N. opponents, launched a website that included his picture with the message, "Michael New was right. ... Real Americans don't wear U.N. blue."
He was court-maritialed and convicted in 1996 and given a "bad conduct" discharge from the Army, which later was upheld by military appeals courts.
Judge Friedman wrote in his 35-page decision that trying to sort out whether the president had ceded too much authority to foreign military officers "would involve policy determinations beyond the competence of the court," the Sun reported.
New's father told the paper an appeal is likely.
"We're disappointed," Daniel New said. "It's not printable what I want to say."
In addition to appealing to the Constitution and the U.N. Participation Act of 1945, New's lawyers argued that forcing him to serve under an international army he never signed up with abridged the ex-soldier's rights against "involuntary servitude" under the 13th Amendment.
Friedman, dismissing New's claims, said he could have pursued his legal points without defying his commanders.
"Petitioner had numerous avenues, besides direct disobedience, by which to challenge that order," he wrote.
Cliff Kincaid, author of a book about New's crusade -- "Michael New: Mercenary or American Soldier?" -- told the Sun the judge was right to suggest Congress could have stepped in.
"The Congress should have done more, but Friedman should have overturned the illegal order and New's bad conduct discharge," Kincaid said.
Kincaid objected to President Clinton's order to American troops to participate in the Macedonia mission and President Bush's unwillingness to change the procedure.
"U.S. troops deployed on U.S. missions under Bush still wear U.N. markings on their uniforms, including a U.N. shoulder patch and beret," Kincaid told the Sun. "Even though they serve under a foreign U.N. commander, he insists they are still somehow under U.S. command. It doesn't add up."
Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst at the Brookings Institution, contended the president's authority to defend America would be weakened if New prevailed.
"You'd be undercutting our ability to work with our allies. You'd also be weakening the power of the commander in chief of the United States," he said.
O'Hanlon argued American troops in past wars have been temporarily put under tactical foreign command more than under the U.N., with little objection.
New's father, however, believes the case has given the Pentagon a "bloody nose," causing it to look elsewhere to staff U.N. missions.
"Pakistanis and Indians are cheaper than Americans and there's no political fallout if they die. So let's just outsource it all," he said derisively.
Yes, I agree, but Michael has been under a lot of fire from those that should know better, sometimes you wonder which side many of us are really on.
Michael New saw from the get-go the Constitutional questions he raised over this sickness of caving in to the U.N. like a dog returning to its vomit.
God Bless Michael New, may he achieve victory over the one-worlders, it's certain no court is going to find in his favor, they're bought and paid for.
Well, don't worry, one day Republicans will have majorities in both houses and the White House, and then this kind of travesty won't occur.
Judge Freidman blocked investigations into Al Gore's buddhist temple fundraising. Also he was an assistant to Lawrence Walsh in Iran-contra investigation. He was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton. His best known decision is FEC v. GOPAC, 897 F.Supp. 615 (DDC 1995), in which he ruled against GOPAC. Judge Friedman was also an attorney in the law firm of White and Case for almost two decades.
Thanks for the PING.
Well it occurred on slick's watch and I think this admin will do something besides kiss the UN's ass. Are you a liberal or just discontented with the house and senate?
Funny how Ginzy, and Sandra and Souter have such a 'jones' for international norms, but Friedman somehow can't decide if an American soldier should not be forced to don the uniform of some corrupt stateless entity?
I did not know this.
No American soldier, in future, should be forced to swear such a ridiculous oath - period.
I suppose I should have asked. I assume you meant that all American commanders in UN operations swore this oath. But in fact, have any of them actually done so?
Not exactly a pedigree to be proud of, is it?
It's the ONE who refused that got all the attention.
I think we are nearly unanimous in our opinion that US soldiers should never be under foreign control, or serve the flag of another nation, and CERTAINLY NOT the UN, but there is one final consideration to be taken into account.
Our troops undergo the best combat training in the world. They are highly motivated and dedicated warriors. To dress them up in baby blue hats (of FRENCH derivation, no less) is a supreme insult and demeans their status as the worlds most fearsome fighting force.
It's also unforgivably bad fashion sense.
You can say that again!! I don't think some of these judges realize the Pandora's Box they are opening. People are "mad as hell" and will NOT put up with it anymore!
In World War II, was there no mixing of U.S. and British forces and commands?
As to the state of rapport between the British and American commands in WWII, I would refer you to the movie "Patton". I am assured by several senior members of our local American Legion Post that the portrayal in this movie is entirely accurate. The supreme Allied Commander was an American (Eisenhower) and the Supreme NATO Commander since the war has always been an American General.
This does not mean that there was no cooperation in specific cases, or out of immediate necessity, but the ultimate authority has always been the American Chain of Command. (At least until Bubba got hold of it!)
"I solemnly affirm to exercise in all loyalty, discretion and conscience the functions entrusted to me as a member of the international service of the United Nations, to discharge those functions and regulate my conduct with the interest of the United Nations only in view, and not to seek or accept instructions in respect to the performance of my duties from any government or other authority external to the organization."
I have never heard of a US Officer swearing that OATH... It is my understanding that US Officers SUPPORT UN Missions while maintaining their allegience to the US Government ONLY.. if I am wrong please let me know.. I intend to look into this...
Good morning, David. How's it going?
ok until I read that.. I will be checking into this.. if ANY U.S. Soldier has ever taken that oath (while serving on Active Duty) I intend to make some noise.. My guess is that is the oath for UN personnel only...
We do NOT have any allies, just those whose agenda happens to along with ours. The biggest spies are from our so called allies!