On Michael New
On January 24, I introduced a resolution condemning the court-martial in Germany of U.S. Army Specialist Michael New, who refused to wear the insignia of the United Nations on his uniform. My resolution, coauthored with Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (Republican-Maryland), calls on President Clinton to vindicate the principle under which Michael New made his refusal, to take action to override Specialist New's conviction, and to restore Specialist New to his position in the Army with honor.
Specialist Michael New is a twice-decorated soldier. He was scheduled to go to Macedonia with his unit as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, and he was more than willing to serve there with his unit. Specialist New, however, refused to wear the blue beret and shoulder patch of the United Nations, basing his refusal on the fact that he had enlisted in the Army as a volunteer to protect and serve the United States—not the United Nations.
The United Nations Participation Act of 1945 prohibits the use of the U.S. Armed Forces in U.N. deployments unless Congress approves of the participation agreement in advance by appropriate act or joint resolution. The deployment of American troops to Macedonia has never been approved by Congress. Both the Constitution and existing American law prohibit members of the U.S. Armed Forces from receiving badges or insignia from a foreign government, including...