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Fort Gordon Four
FORT GORDON - Four GIs who announced the formation of a GI War Crimes Commission last January met varying fates in their separate court-martials scattered over the past two months. They had drawn up and signed a leaflet on their Commission, had circulated it, and had spoken about it on an Augusta radio station. The Army had immediately charged them with disloyalty and unauthorised distribution of printed matter.
Pfc. Tim Johnson of Minneapolis was acquitted on both counts on Feb. 26. The military judge dismissed the disloyalty rap as "vague, indefinite, ambiguous, and redundant." Also the Army failed to produce anyone who had seen Johnson distribute the mimeo sheets.
Pvt. Larry Czaplyski of St. James, N.Y., on March 3 was found. not guilty of disloyalty, but guilty of distribution. So much for the First Amendment. The military judge sentenced him to forfeiture of 82$ month for four months, a reduction to the lowest enlisted grade (E-1), and a 30-day restriction to post.
A few days later Pfc. Dick Horner of Hermitage, Tenn., was convicted on both charges. Sentence: two months at hard labor, reduction to E-1, arid forfeiture of $80/month for three months.
And on March 11, Pfc. Terry Kline of Timonium, Md., was found innocent of both charges. Again the Army could produce no witnesses who actually saw Kline passing out leaflets.
If you have any information. concerning war crimes, contact the GI War Crimes Commission at P.O. Box 2994, Hill Station, Augusta, Georgia 30904.
Left Face, vol. 2, no. 1