The latest book by longtime MLTF member Marjorie Cohn — who is also past president of the National Lawyers Guild — is due for release on October 30 and is now available More »
NEWS ANALYSIS After the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white cop, in the middle of a street in broad daylight — and the unexpected global outrage it provoked More »
National Lawyers Guild Submits Comments for Improving Military Justice System to Department of Defense Military Justice Review Group
NEW YORK — The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) today submitted comments to the Defense Department’s Military Justice Review Group as part of its comprehensive review of the military justice system. Recommendations to improve More »
Testimonies in ‘Fort Hood Report’ recount unethical health care practices, disregard of medical advice, violations of policy This Memorial Day a national group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans marked the solemn holiday More »
The Army has just released a new version of AR 600-20, “Army Command Policy” (PDF).
This reg gives commanding officers direction on a wide range of issues, including Article 138 complaints, dissent policy, sexual assault and sexual harassment, etc. The new version updates Army equal opportunity policy, gives additional guidance on sexual assault/harassment policy, clarifies groups of personnel who must be informed of accommodation of religious practices policies and discusses those policies, incorporates policies from Army Directive 2013-18 on participation in extremist, terrorist and criminal gang organizations and activities, clarifies fraternization policy, adds “bullying” as prohibited conduct (along with hazing), defines a protected communication, etc.
The reg has garnered public attention because it lists the word “Negro” as an acceptable term; this section is now being reconsidered, according to the Army Times.
Update 11/7/2014: Use of word ‘Negro’ removed from new Army reg
David Gespass to speak on police militarization and misconduct at University of Arkansas Fayetteville
The University of Arkansas Student Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild will present a talk by MLTF member David Gespass on November 18. The title of the talk is “When the Thin Blue Line Becomes Delta Force: Rights in the Crosshairs” and it will address police militarization, police misconduct and human rights, both in the US and abroad.
Gespass has written an opinion piece for this website, “Locals have no love for occupying armies, whether in Baghdad or Ferguson” which addressed the events in Ferguson, Missouri, surrounding the killing of Michael Brown there in August of this year.
He had this to say about the topic of his talk:
With increased militarization, the police become more of an occupying force, hostile to the community and serving other hostile forces. Internationally, it’s US imperialism. Within the country, it’s the monopolists. And, when you get right down to it, they are just different names for the same things and people. I’d note that the rising repression in poor communities, especially communities of color and, most especially, poor African-American communities, corresponds to increasing disparity in wealth and greater hopelessness that people can actually make progress through hard work. The result is that there is more of a threat of rebellion and a need to suppress the threat ever more with the stick rather than the carrot.
David began his law practice in Washington, DC, in 1971; his current practice at Gespass and Johnson, a firm established with his wife Kathy Johnson, also an MLTF member, is located in Birmingham, Alabama.
Mr. Gespass’ considerable accomplishments include:
- In the 1970s, he worked in Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan, with the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Office, where he assisted US Marines in resisting the Vietnam War.
- He is the immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild.
- He served as editor-in-chief of the Guild Practitioner (now NLG Review), the Guild’s intellectual journal.
- He was a founder, and serves on the steering committee, of the Military Law Task Force and has been a member of the advisory board of the National Police Accountability Project since its founding in 1999.
- He’s a member of the organizing committee for the Southern Human Rights Organizers Conference, to be held in Savannah, Georgia, December 12-14, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he will be teaching a course in human rights during the upcoming term.
The latest book by longtime MLTF member Marjorie Cohn — who is also past president of the National Lawyers Guild — is due for release on October 30 and is now available for pre-order from the publisher and book stores/distributors. The book provides an examination of the Obama administration policy of using drones and other methods in targeted killings off the battlefield.
By MLTF member Marjorie Cohn
Reprinted with permission from Truthout.org
For many years after the Vietnam War, we enjoyed the “Vietnam syndrome,” in which US presidents hesitated to launch substantial military attacks on other countries. They feared intense opposition akin to the powerful movement that helped bring an end to the war in Vietnam. But in 1991, at the end of the Gulf War, George H.W. Bush declared, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!”
With George W. Bush’s wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and Barack Obama’s drone wars in seven Muslim-majority countries and his escalating wars in Iraq and Syria, we have apparently moved beyond the Vietnam syndrome. By planting disinformation in the public realm, the government has built support for its recent wars, as it did with Vietnam.
Now the Pentagon is planning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War by launching a $30 million program to rewrite and sanitize its history. Replete with a fancy interactive website, the effort is aimed at teaching schoolchildren a revisionist history of the war. The program is focused on honoring our service members who fought in Vietnam. But conspicuously absent from the website is a description of the antiwar movement, at the heart of which was the GI movement.
The latest issue of MLTF’s quarterly newsletter, On Watch, released to members and subscribers about a month ago, is now available to the public.
- Military Justice Reform Letter (see our earlier web announcement about this letter)
- Career Ender: Filing MSV complaints still ends careers
- Discharge Upgrading – An Outline for Beginners
- Amnesty Report on Civilian Deaths by US/NATO in Afghanistan (see Amnesty press release)
- NLG to ICC: Investigate War Crimes in Gaza (see NLG press release)
- MLTF’s 2014 NLG Convention Schedule (see NLG convention page)
Titles in bold indicate that the article is published online in addition to in the PDF version of On Watch linked above.