Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Need GI Participation
Since we feel that this paper will only be a sucess when it becomes the press of the GI here at Fort Gordon, we need your participation and we encourage your criticism. Write to us about events in your companies, your opinion on the war in Vietnam, your response to articles in this paper, your recommendations for additions or deletions from this paper, etc. No names will be printed along with letters or articles that are sent in unless specifically requested.
Your rights – AR 381-135 & Article 31: the editors of this paper are aware that the army is not going to look upon this publicati on with friendly eyes. We thus want every GI to be aware of his rights if he is harassed for reading this publication. AR 38l-135 states that all GIs have the right to receive any written matter they desire in the mail and can read or keep any books newspapers, or pamphlets they want. Of course our right to print and read this paper is supported by the Constitution, but the Army has been known to ignore even the existance [sic] of such a thing. If you do have your copy confiscated, you should immediately go through your chain of command and make a complaint. This may involve going through your Bn, Bde, IG and eventually your post commander. Also contact us immediately if these actions don't bring results and we may be able to get action taken by a civilian lawyer.
Besides just confiscating your paper, you may just be called in for an interview with G-2 (Post intelligence?) or Military Intelligence. Many GIs on this post have been called in by one or the other of these agencies and have been effec tively intimidated because they were not aware -of -the ir rights. Article 31 states that you do not have to speak to them at all, and that anything you do say can be used against you. When GIs hedge about saying anything to G-2, G-2 then usually comes back with the argument that they do not want to ask any questions about you directly, so you can't really incriminate yourself by answering the questions. In other words their tactic is to get you to rat on someone else. We feel G-2 and MI exist only to restrict your rights and thus think the best attitude to take when and if confronted with them is to plead article 31 all the way. We do not advocat e the use of article 31 because we are afraid of G-2, but because we understand what they want to do and what their purpose for existing is.
Many GIs on this and other Forts already read servicemen's newspapers-such as Vietnam GI and The Ally. These papers are written by Vietnam veterans and GIs and are distributed and read on all forts in this country, in Vietnam, and in all countries where we have major troop concentrations.
Recently about 30 GI s were called in and questioned about their connection with these papers. None of these GIs completely knew their rights and thus talked about other GIs with G-2. G-2 thus collected an enormous amount of information about unsuspecting GIs. And when an unsuspecting GI is confronted by G-2 with an enormous amount of insignificant details, he naturally thinks that G-2 has eyes everywhere and thus can be very easily intimidated.
A good example of intimidation when GIs don't exercise their rights under Article 3l is the case of a schoolteacher being called in and questioned by G-2. Like many other GIs he talked a-bout seemingly unimportant things. G-2 later asked him to sign a statement about what he said. He refused and was threatened with not too pleasant repercussions. If he did not sign, G-2 stated he would merely have to answer these same questions to Third Army authorities later. If he again refused, they could revoke his security clearance and further implied that they could report this to his school board where he was to teach when he got out of the Army. In other words they were implying that they could prevent him from ever teaching again in this country unless he signed this statement as to what he said. This all for just reading a newspaper that, the Army frowned upon but the right of which is guaranteed by our constitution.
If everyone had exercised their rights under Article 31 and remained silent, then we feel that G-2's effectiveness would have been severely limited. We encourage everyone, when confronted with G-2, to respond with “Article 3l all the way, Sir. “If we stick together we can prevent the Army from further infringing on our rights. Alone we are weak, but united we are strong.
The Last Harass , no. 1