Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Have you ever wondered why the army tries so hard to make sure that GIs are unaware of their rights? Isn't it strange that the UCMJ and Army Regulations are tucked away in the orderly room, protected by some stonefaced (or just plain stoned) First Sergeant? And why is the Army so nervous about GI's who assert their rights?
In fact, keeping GI's in ignorance of their rights and privileges is only the first and most important weapon in the army's arsenal against human rights. In the eyes of the brass, anyone who knows and asserts his rights is a troublemaker, and the fewer the better.
The UCMJ itself is an instrument of ignorance, since it openly violates a number of constitutional freedoms and gives the soldier an illusion of legal protection which really doesn't exist. In addition it is so vague that an officer who wants to bust a low-ranking EM can twist the regulation to fit the circumstances.
Finally the GI is faced with a corrupt courts-martial system which gives complete power to the same officer who brought charges in the first place. He can pack the court, ignore evidence and generally get the kind of vote he wants whether you are guilty or not.
All this is called military ”justice”. When mindless harassment can't stop soldiers who stick by their rights as human beings, the lifers hide behind what is really a legal system opposed to all the principle's that soldiers are dying to protect.
GI newspapers and organizations have sprung up at bases across the country in response to this situation, and this is one of the main concerns of the GREEN MACHINE. If you get into trouble with military authorities and feel your rights have been violated, we may be able to help. Contact us. If we ourselves can't help we can put you in touch lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union or Legal Services.
The Green Machine, no. 1