For Immediate Release: May 17, 2012
Washington, DC – In response to comments from members of Congress suggesting that the Smith-Amash Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2013 Fiscal Year would give suspected terrorists more rights than members of the U.S. armed forces, Rear Admirals John D. Hutson (ret.) and Donald Guter, former Judge Advocate Generals of the Navy, and Major General Thomas Romig, former Judge Advocate General of the Army, issued the following statement:
“It reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of our military justice system to suggest that by providing terrorism suspects with Article III civilian court trials, they would be getting ‘better rights’ than our own military. Our courts-martial system under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) has a special, constitutionally recognized role in maintaining good order and discipline in the military. It is not designed for anyone other than members of the U.S. armed forces or those accompanying them in the field. The Smith-Amash amendment is a modest, bi-partisan approach to protecting constitutional values that ought to draw support from all members of Congress, including those who support our military justice system.”
For more information about the Smith-Amash amendment or to speak with Admirals Hutson or Guter, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-370-3323.