Michael New Day 2017

Mark Your Calendars — October 10

If you have one of those calendars which allows you to pencil in important things, or a diary, this is a good time to make a note for future reference:  10 October is Michael New Day.

Chances are that you don’t even know who Michael New is, or was, but his story is a pivotal footnote in American history.  With no intention of becoming famous, but with every intention of disobeying a direct order, he put on his regulation battle dress uniform (BDU) on this day, 1995, and headed out to the parade ground on the American base in Schweinfurt, Germany, with every expectation of being arrested and thrown into the brig. 

He was wearing a US flag on his right shoulder — the only one among 550 soldiers.

On the other side of the world, the Pentagon, the White House and most of Congress was waiting to see what he would do.  Every one of them knew the order — put on a baby-blue baseball cap, a scarf of the same color, along with a United Nations patch on the right shoulder, and report for duty to a general officer from Finland! 

He was a lowly Army medic, Specialist 4th Class (SPC4), and for two months the debate had captured the imagination of a large segment of the American public, both pro and con.  He had politely, but resolutely informed his commanding officers that he would be disobeying that order, unless they would grant him a transfer to another unit, or find some alternative for him in serving his country — rather than serve the United Nations. 

Most patriotic Americans agreed with him, and they were burning up the fax machines in Washington, expressing their support.  As a result, most of Congress agreed with him.  Talk show hosts agreed with him, and he was the subject of thousands of talk shows, from the smallest to G. Gordon Liddy (who broke the story nationally), even to Rush Limbaugh. 

President Bill Clinton — who, in his youth, had taken a similar stand and told the US government, “Hell, no! We won’t go!” — was furious.  Because it was he who had given the order for the deployment known as “Able Sentry” into Macedonia, under the direct command of the United Nations. 

On this day, in 1995, SPC4 Michael New walked out onto that parade ground and into the history books.  He didn’t want to do it.  He didn’t want the publicity.  His record up to that point was unblemished, and he had won service ribbons and commendations from his officers.  He was up for promotion to the rank of sergeant.  He knew all that was about to change, and he knew he would be court-martialed for what he was about to do.  But he also knew his duty to his country, and he was not a man to shirk his duty.

SPC New lined up with his fellow soldiers.  His sergeant walked over to him and told him to report to an officer immediately.  He did so, whereupon he was ordered to step out of formation and report to the JAG office immediately.  He said, “Yes, sir!” and started the long walk away from his Company toward what his officers had promised him would be a long sentence in Ft. Leavenworth.

In his court-martial in January, SPC New was not allowed to present ANY evidence in his own defense — the judge ruled at the beginning that “the order was lawful.”  He told the panel (jury) that they would be tasked with only one thing — “to determine if SPC New had, or had not obeyed that order.”  That took them fifteen minutes — the length of time needed to finish a cup of coffee. 

After that, they were tasked to determine his sentence — and here the chain of command, all the way to the Pentagon, and beyond, were demanding that he be given a Dishonorable Discharge and a prison sentence.

It was at this juncture that the entire military command was stunned, when the panel returned with a sentence of a Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD) and nothing more! 

As the news of his conviction flashed around the country and the world, military personnel at all levels were stunned.  Those in opposition could not believe he was getting off so lightly.  Others were wildly enthusiastic, for that military jury had just sent a message to the Pentagon, the Department of Defense, and to the White House.  They had ended his career — they had no choice.  But they gave him a discharge that (a) carried no incarceration, yet (b) guaranteed him a path of legal appeal all the way to the Supreme Court!  They told the Chain of Command that they essentially agreed with SPC New — that American soldiers are not interested in being placed at the beck and call of a United Nations military force!

The appeals were made in due course — and a slow course it has been.  So slow, in fact, that there are now soldiers who have served four years of their careers who were not born when Michael New made his stand — sacrificed his career — and he did it for them.

In both military and civilian courts, SPC New lost at every appeal, as was fully expected.  But he and his family and his attorneys pursued it for the simple reason that it was not really about Michael New. 

It was about the question of whether the United States of America is a sovereign nation, and whether American soldiers can be forced to serve in a foreign military endeavor, essentially as mercenaries.  We do not raise our children up to be sacrificed on the altar of the New World Order!

As G. Gordon Liddy said, on the day he broke this story, “This soldier has opened a question that will become a threshold case, and in two areas.  First, in regard to the legal relationship of the United States to the United Nations — something that has never been determined in a court of law; and second, in the question of the power of the Executive Branch to commit our troops in spite of the clear Constitutional mandate which gives that authority to Congress.”

Congress expressed support of SPC Michael New with an overwhelming vote in the form of a resolution condemning the placement of American troops under United Nations control. 1

The Clinton and Obama administrations took a negative position toward SPC New, and President Bush took a stance of, “No comment.” 

All appeals are now exhausted — turned down three times by the Supreme Court for a hearing, and by the Army Board of Review for upgrading his court-martial. 2

If Americans cannot serve their own country, exclusively, then we as a People are not free.  It’s that simple.

So here is your call to action:

  1. Mark your calendars. 
  2. Explain to your children what Michael New Day is all about, particularly those currently in uniform;3
  3. Drop a note to President Trump and suggest to him that one thing he might like to do, in order to “Make America Great Again,” would be to grant a pardon to Michael New.

2. You can read the timeline about the case here:  http://www.mikenew.com/thecase.html

3. You can order the book from www.MikeNew.com, or find it on-line here.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

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