Since military justice in this instance had all the traits of a kangaroo operation, New's case was taken to civilian courts --- which refused to hear his appeal on the grounds that they had no jurisdiction.
In the latest episode of the Michael New saga, on 23 December 2004, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman dismissed the case of former Army Specialist Michael New, stating that he would "not second-guess the military courts". New's lawyers subsequently filed an appeal, sending this legal hot potato into the hands of a higher court --- once again.
Daniel New, father of Michael, asserted that if the Army washes its hands of the case also, "Then we will be witness to an American citizen-soldier who has been ex-patriated, stripped of his legal protection by both civilian and military courts, forced out from under the umbrella of the legal protections provided by the Constitution." He added, "This government is moving perilously close to the position of declaring, in effect, that the Constitution does not apply because it has been rendered irrelevant by treaties, by an activist judiciary, and by a spineless Congress more interested in re-election than in doing what they took an oath to do."
Required reading when I went to school was "The Man Without a Country," by Edward Everett Hale. Fictional, but one of the most influential short stories ever written, it dealt with the fate of a man who repudiated the nation in which we live --- but in the end found a patriotism thought for generations to be a proper measure for us all.
Michael New's story lies at the opposite extreme. It deals with a man whose patriotism would not allow him to wink at accepting a Constitutionally illegal order. For that he has been institutionally and judicially repudiated by the nation he had sworn to serve and had served honestly and well in both war and peace. The inverted parallels seen in these stories are eerie but, oddly enough, the same moral sense of patriotism distills from the lives of both men. One was fictional, one is all too real for those who would disown our national sovereignty and hand our military over to the UN as a global police force.
"I think the evidence would show that Clinton's used [executive orders] much more [than past Presidents], plus he's used this new thing called a Presidential Decision Directive - PDDs. These are sort of a new form of executive order that actually do not just tell federal agencies what to do to carry out their duties, but actually make policy and commit resources," said Cliff Kincaid, journalist, author, and director of the American Sovereignty Action Project, appearing on the Free Congress Foundation's "Endangered Liberties."
Kincaid continued, "I've got one right here on implementing the Clinton administration's pro-UN policy - putting our troops under foreign command. This is quite extraordinary. This is called Presidential Decision Directive 25 (issued in May of 1994), and it is still secret to this day. The Congress does not even have a copy of it! All we have is actually a sanitized version, a public version, and who knows what is really in the fine print, [and] what has been withheld."
What are PDDs? Kincaid said, "These have a history dating back to the early 1960s. There's been over a thousand PDDs issued, as far as executive orders are concerned. Now these supposedly are designed just to tell federal agencies what to do, not to make policy, but to carry out policy. They are implied in the President's executive powers. The problem comes when these are issued to make policy, basically to make law. And I've got one right here, Executive Order number 12986.
Now that suggests to me that we've already had almost 13,000 executive orders. Some of these we may not even know the details of. Some of the Presidential Decision Directives are still, as I say, classified - secret to this day.... We've got a Congress here that's sitting back as Clinton issues these Presidential Decision Directives and executive orders willy-nilly, and all they can come up with is maybe we ought to pass a law to find out how many there are and to list them all. This is absolutely ridiculous. The Congress has given up its power. The President is abusing his own power. And maybe he's going to make a situation even worse by issuing pardons for some of his fellow convicts." Contact: Cliff Kincaid @ American Sovereignty Action Project; 301.855.2679
So we now know how Michael New's court martial was justified: By a Presidential Decision Directive that superceded regular army code. All accomplished by a former draft dodger.
To keep current on the Michael New affair, see his web page.
For an account of how it all began, see the Dennis Cuddy article reprinted below.
Why SHOULD an American Soldier Don U.N. Insignia?
By Dennis Cuddy
Army Spc. Michael New of Conroe [Texas] was scheduled to be arraigned today for court-martial for refusing to wear U.N. insignia over his American uniform. A number of members of Congress, including at least two from Texas, have written to President Clinton in support of New.
On Oct. 10, New, stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany, was to report for duty wearing a blue U.N. cap and shoulder patch for a peacekeeping mission in Macedonia, formerly a republic in Yugoslavia. He reported for duty, but in his normal uniform. The Army contends that New disobeyed a lawful order when he did not report in the designated uniform.
"Michael New is a decorated Persian Gulf veteran and a patriot," House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Sugarland [Texas], said in a recent Star-Telegram story. "HIs opposition to wearing the U.N.'s colors is based not on pacifism, but on principle. He is willing to fight and die for his country, but he is not willing to fight and die for the United Nations. Frankly, I can't blame him."
New told his superiors that although he has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, he has not taken an oath to the United Nations and will therefore not wear its insignia over his American military identification. The Army is in a difficult position. If it says that there's no status change, then why wear U.N. insignia? If it says that the insignia simply identifies a U.N. operation, one could respond that so was the Korean War but Americans wore their own uniforms.
It's the difference between a confederation and a federation. The Korean War was a confederal operation of independent nations wearing their own uniforms and operating under a common banner: the U.N. flag. Similarly, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a confederation to which the United States belongs, and there are military operations under the NATO flag. However, when nations' individual identities are discarded and all forces of all nations wear only U.N. insignia, that means a change of command or authority. An American would no longer be strictly a U.S. soldier but rather a soldier "in the service of the U.N."
President Truman didn't place himself under U.N. command during the Korean War, but in Bosnia recently, when President Clinton and NATO sought to retaliate against Bosnian Serbs violating the "no-fly" zone, the United Nations vetoed the action. Clinton and NATO acquiesced. Administration officials stress that even the current NATO action against the Bosnian Serbs is being done "with the approval of the U.N."
Thus, the United Nations seemingly is being treated as a de facto world government. Clinton administration officials officials have supported world government, with former Defense Secretary Les Aspin earlier even signing the "Declaration of Interdependence," described by constitutional columnist James Kilpatrick as "a genuinely subversive document" and by Sen. Jesse Helms as a "treasonable document." We also know that Clinton wrote a letter to the World Federalist Association, the leading organization working for world federal government, wishing it "future success." The WFA has written that one approach to global governance is "step-by-step. . .using the U.N. but without trying to amend the Charter. . . National sovereignty would be gradually eroded until it is no longer an issue. Eventually a world federation can be formally adopted with little resistance."
The U.S. Army's basic point concerning its order to New is that the president, through Army officers, has given a "lawful" or "legal" order as commander in chief to him to wear U.N. insignia over his uniform, and he must obey or possibly be court-martialed.
The "lawful" nature of the order, as far as Clinton is concerned, perhaps comes from his still "classified" Presidential Decision Directive 25 (signed May 3, 1994, and with the effect of law), which strengthens the United Nations and describes how American soldiers will serve under foreign commanders. However, one reason that New has asked for an explanation of how his status would change if he wore U.N. insignia is to determine if this order to him actually is "lawful" or "legal," because to be such, it would have to be constitutional.
Like New, the president has taken an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." And the Constitution states that the president "shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. . .when (they are) called into the actual service of the United States." In this regard, one's military uniform is extremely important because it designates in whose "actual service" the soldier is operating. If an American soldier wears U.N. insignia over his uniform, this must identify her or him as being in the "actual service" of the United Nations."
The Clinton administration believes in this concept; when Vice President Al Gore referred to the 15 Americans killed April 14, 1994, as a result of a friendly-fire attack while patrolling over Iraq, he referred to them as "those who died in the service of the United Nations."
Another reason that New has asked how wearing U.N. insignia would change his status is that he wants to know whether, if taken prisoner, he would be treated as an American prisoner of war or as a U.N. hostage. There is precedent for American soldiers refusing to be "in the actual service" of any entity other than the United States.
During World War I, when the Allied high command demanded that American troops fill in the gaps in the French and British formations on the western front, Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing refused, insisting that his troops would fight under American officers and in American formations, and not as that day's Hessians.
Could a president today order American soldiers to go to China, discard
their own uniforms, put on Chinese uniforms and fight "in the actual service"
of the Chinese?" No, because the president would not be acting constitutionally
if he ordered a soldier to engage "in the actual service" of any entity
other than the United States. Thus, the Army's order to New is not constitutionally
"lawful" or "legal," and he is correct to refuse to wear U.N. insignia
over his American uniform.