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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Army Acts To Silence Paper
By Tom Roberts.
In a maneuver characteristic of the unjust and hypocritical system soldiers live under the editors of ABOVEGROUND were transferred from their former unit as the September issue was rolling off the presses.
Sp/5s Tom Roberts and Curtis Stocker, formerly of Medical Company, US Army Hospital at Carson, received reassignment orders on September 15. Stocker was exiled to the 47th General Hospital in Denver while Roberts was sent to HHB, 46th Artillery Group on Fort Carson.
The reassignment was designed to split apart the two-man staff of ABOVEGROUND and, by assigning Roberts to an artillery unit, cut his off-duty time to a minimum.
The hypocrisy stems from the Army's stated policy as compared with the facts. According to the Army (Guidance on Dissent, 28 May 1969, Office of the Adjutant General, para. 5d) the publication of ’underground newspapers' by soldiers off-post, on their own time, and with their own money and equipment is generally protected under the FIRST AMENDMENT’s guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Also (para. 3): "Dissent," in the literal sense of disagreement with policies of the Government is a right of every citizen. In our system of Government, we do not ask that every citizen or every soldier agree with every policy of the Government. Indeed, the FIRST AMENDMENT to the Constitution requires that one be permitted to believe what he will.”
The facts in this case are clear: two Ft. Carson soldiers publish a newspaper, adhering to all stated Army regulations and policies, and were consequently harassed and arbitrarily split apart without notice on the same day.
Aboveground, vol. 1, no. 3