« It's My D*** in a Tweet | Main | Could "Ginger Lee" Really Have Mistaken a "Pro Forma" Message For a Personalized DM?
Update: How Did I Miss This? Ginger Lee Said The Magic "Please DM Me" Words »
June 03, 2011

Should Civilians Be Tried By Court Martial? [XBradTC]

Crossposted at my place.

As a rule of thumb, I think the military is overlawyerd. Not that there isn’t an important place for them, but I think there is a slight tendency for some folks to think that everything in the world can be solved in a courtroom. If that was the case, we wouldn’t need an army…

We all know that military life is different from civilian life, and accordingly, service members operate under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). But as the Army increasingly relies on contractors for many roles and missions, how do we address the grey areas there? If a contractor is working directly for the Army overseas, and commits a crime, who tries the case? It is difficult to prosecute crimes committed overseas in US Federal court. And do we allow US citizens working for the Army to be at the mercy of host nation courts? What if the host nation has no functioning courts, such as in Iraq immediately after our invasion? What about Third Country Nationals (TCNs) working indirectly for the Army?

AP has a very interesting article about a quiet change to the UCMJ made in 2006 that does allow the military to claim jurisdiction over certain civilians in times of conflict, but not declared war.

Three Army judges are weighing a question that hasn't cropped up in decades: whether a civilian contractor working for the U.S. military can be tried in a military court. The issue eventually could end up at the Supreme Court.

The case of Alaa "Alex" Mohammad Ali, a former Army translator in Iraq, challenges the notion that courts-martial only have authority over members of the armed forces. But it also runs up against complaints that using U.S. civilian courts to prosecute contractors working with U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq has been largely ineffective, and trying them in local courts often has not been possible.

Ali, an Iraqi-Canadian, was prosecuted by the military after an altercation in Iraq during which he allegedly stole a U.S. soldier's knife and used it to stab another translator. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges.


Should contractors be under military law? Discipline? If so, what portions of the UCMJ should apply to them? Do we charge a contractor under UCMJ for insubordination if they talk smack to an officer? Charge them with AWOL if they skip work? What are the limits of power for the Armed Forces, and how much responsibility do the services bear for persons not in the military?

One of the primary driving factors behind the adoption of the Posse Commitatus act was to prevent US civilians from being tried by court martial. But that is strictly a domestic law.

I think we will see an evolution of the law in this area, and depending on how much influence the civilian courts have on it, it may be a very messy outcome.


digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 01:13 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Slapweasel, (Cold1), ([b]T[/b]) [/i] [/b] [/u] [/s]: "I will also be praying for those [i]not[/i] on the ..."

waelse1: "Read Out Of The Soylent Planet by Rob Kroese, very ..."

Heresolong: "I've been trying to get a copy of Nine Chapters on ..."

Jim S.: "Also re: [i]The Discarded Image[/i], Lewis was lam ..."

Hairyback Guy: "I am currently reading "The Master of Confessions" ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "Even in a moment of supreme victory, don't be word ..."

Brave Sir Robin: "Religion of [s]Peace[/s]? Pieces. Fixed. ..."

Anna Puma (HQCaR): "*pulls from shelf [i]The Diamond Age: or A Young L ..."

mustbequantum: "Finally, I read a lot in bed. I experience insomni ..."

[/b][/i][/s]Muldoon: "IN TIME FOR LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS GIFT GIVING!!! ..."

Nevergiveup: "I have about 20 more boxes of books.....but I need ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "If you have more you want to get rid of let me kno ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64