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Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?

Yes42 %42 %42 % 42.98 % (205)
No49 %49 %49 % 49.48 % (236)
I do not know2 %2 %2 % 2.94 % (14)
I have no opinion2 %2 %2 % 2.10 % (10)
Other, please list in comments2 %2 %2 % 2.52 % (12)

Total votes: 477
One vote is allowed per day

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Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 02, 2002
One of the few ways the american or any other democratic Republic could possibly destroy the freedoms (for which the military is called into action to create or to defend) is to prohibit the individual soldier from remedies and redress of grievances as provided to those whom the services are pledged to protect. The unique circumstances of military order, bearing, authority and sacrifice in themselves do not mean that a member has lost the right to fairness and righting of wrongs done to them, by anyone. Those circumstances may, however, place a reasonable limitation upon WHEN such lawsuits can be brought (e.g. not during battle or high alert).
Among other sicknesses, the Nazi and Soviet governments were masterful in precluding formal raising of disputes and controlling the chain of command in such a way as to make virtual slaves of their service members. Indeed, it would not be far-fetched to assert that partly because of this policy both of those systems failed miserably precisely by taking away human dignity, and the result was their destruction.
Far better to have military personnel who know from the start that their service blossoms from devotion, and not from some trick of the law meant to place them in a more vulnerable position than the civilians for whom their blood and lives are shed.
Having a separate military judiciary is essential, of course. However, it must not take away from those most willing to give the ultimate sacrifice that which is guaranteed by our constitution, bill of rights and more than 200 years of legal practise to everyone else.
It is not the purpose of military service to set up a separate government, nor separate status. We are citizens first, in service to all others. Once the fine invisible line is crossed, and military law precludes justice for all, then the seed of rebellion in the ranks has been sown. The history of military campaigns and groups repeats this warning on and between the lines again and again going back as far as history is recorded.
Americans can do better than to deprive our services of that which they are sworn to defend.

Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by David
on Jun 02, 2002

I agree with you 100%. I also take issue over the ability of the military to place its members in a position of double jeopardy. It is not uncommon for a service member to be awaiting some civil action in town and be given ucmj action on base before the civil matter has even been decided. This happens with no consideration of the location the incident happened at. On base or off makes no difference. There does not need to be any evidence of a crime either. Just the fact a soldier is under investigation is enough for many commanders to slam soldiers to protect their image in the chain of command of an officer who does not tolerate trouble with his/her troops.


Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 02, 2002
Thank you for your response. In some sense it appears that what is mandatory during battle gets applied during peacetime or non-combatant/out-of-country situations by UCMJ hardliners. Maybe they have nothing better to do? Maybe they are just mean b---tards to start with? Maybe they misread the UCMJ? Maybe they are doing it for non-military (i.e. political) reasons?
In any event, perpetuating military INjustice is very dangerous for basic good morale. My reading of our system of government says that NOBODY is without a superior, not even the President (who answers to the vote and our Congress [and his wife! lol]).
No american must be beneath nor above the law, ANY law.

Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 02, 2002
I believe under certain circumstances a service member should be able to sue the military. Some service members have been wrongfully prosecuted or discharged and this affects them for the rest of their lives.

Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 04, 2002
I can see where a member of the armed forces should be allows to sue the government, but only in cases such as extreme malfeasence. This would be in cases like when the service men & women where used as unknowing test subjects for radiation and drug experiments.
Lawsuits for things such as injuries resulting from "normal" duties (including war) should not be allowed, as anyone in the military knows of these risks.

Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 05, 2002

I agree wholeheartedly with your viewpoint.Thank you for speaking up.


Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 05, 2002

When I raised my hand and swore I would "support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" I did not say that I would give up the rights guarranteed under that very constitution. During my career I was the subject of a military board of elimination due to the fact that I informed my superiors that I (a divorced man) was dating a coed from another school while I was teaching ROTC in a university 100 miles away. That I knew this coed previously and that I wanted to know where I stood under the military policy governing this relationship. I was ultimately relieved of duty, assigned to my quarters for 229 days, and restationed. My OER reflected the "presumption" of malfeasance. Four years later an elimiation board was convened because I had not been selected for further schooling or promotion. I requested a board of officers and presented my case. At this "hearing" if proved that I did not violate any military policy, direct order or Regulation. That my senior raters DID violate policy, orchestrated a conspiracy to terminate my career and based their actions on feelings versus rights under the UCMJ and the Constitution. The US Army offered a letter of appology, retained me on active duty and closed my file. They never purged or corrected what was stated in my OERs, sent me to school or made any attempt to right the obvious wrong they had agreed on. This case got all the way to General Clark (SACEUR) in 1999 and instead of fighting the system I retired. However, I strongly believe I should have the right to sue and be reimbursed for my emotional trauma, lost wages and slandered character.


Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 05, 2002

Thank you sir, for exercising your right of free speech. May it never be abridged.


Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by
on Jun 06, 2002
I agree with most of what has been stated previously on this subject. However, I belive the "Feres Doctrine" is totally outdated and has led to many a good military man or woman being subjected to undue pain & suffering at the hands of incompetent and/or less than adequately trained physicians.

Not withstanding combat related injuries, I belive that each and every individual in the military should be afforded the same rights and benfits that our Constitution guarantees ordinary citizens and SHOULD be allowed to sue the INDIVIDUAL doctor(s) AND the hospital(s) for medical malpractice when disability and/or injury is obviously incurred by these instances.


Gimpy

Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 06, 2002

Where can one find a copy or explanation of the "Feres Doctrine"? Your viewpoint raises another question which is, does ANYONE have the right to sue hospitals/doctors (including the VA) when they are HMO-based?


Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by
on Jun 07, 2002
The "Feres Doctrine" is actually nothing more than a Supreme Cout decision handed down in 1950( "Feres vs. the United States of America") that has prevented military service personnel and/or their families from sueing the Federal Government for such things as medical malpractice. You can find the entire text of that decision at most Government web sites that offer a "search engine". I have attached a "petition" which is being circulated to have the Congress overturn or re-write the "law" which allows this to take place.

Hope this helps you.

***START***

The Nationwide Petition Drive To Reform/Repeal The Feres Doctrine
Petition to President/Congress of the United States
Sponsored by: Veterans Equal Rights Protection Advoc.


Since December 1950, American servicemembers have been denied "equal protection" under the United States Constitution as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision known as the "Feres Doctrine". This law, prohibits servicemembers with legitimate claims of "intentional torts and medical malpractice", arising from service to our nation, access to the federal judiciary to address these type of injuries/injustices. In all, the doctrine allows for human/constitutional rights violations and corruption within the United States Armed Forces to go unchecked.

Our goal is to reform the "Feres Doctrine" by educating the American public of its virtually unknown existance, by initiating a five year, fifty state, petition drive. Our specific goals include, (1), compelling the U. S. Congress and President to reform the law to prevent future human/constitutional rights violations of servicemembers who report fraud, waste and abuse for the good of the nation, and (2), passage of "special legislation" to financially compensate servicemembers and/or their surviving family members, who can prove a bona fide injury/injustice by the preponderance of the evidence, under the doctrine was denied judicial review, due to this wrongly decided U.S. Supreme Court decision.

For example, some issues we believe are directly connected to the doctrine's "incident to service" bar on "intentional torts and medical malpractice" include, but are not limited to the following: (1) Atomic testing, (2) LSD testing, (3) Agent Orange, (4), Anthrax vaccines, and (5), human rights abuses within the military's mental health system to silence and discredit servicemembers who report fraud, waste and abuse for the good of the nation. Overall, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands if not millions of former military personnel, have been denied equal protection under the U.S. Constitution to protect their careers and liberty interests, due to malicious "political decisions" of military/civilian leaders in the Department of Defense, in the wake of the "Feres" decision.

Upon the completion of our Petition drive, its demands and signatures will be forwarded to the Congress and President of the United States for appropriate action.

***END***

Gimpy




Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 07, 2002

Thank you for information about the Feres Doctrine. I was not aware of it before. Something tells me that even if/when petitions in this regard do reach Congress or the President, that will be all that happens. It is impossible to justify Congress OR Presidents over our history supporting or even sponsoring the "lawful" taking of rights from service members, or anyone else for that matter.


Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by
on Jun 08, 2002
Yep, you're right. It's something we in the Veterans rights communtiy have been fighting for a long, long time now. This issue is one that all current & futre members of the Armed Forces should be aware of. We need all the help we can get to overturn this travesty of Justice.

You can help by getting the word out AND by writing your elected officials.

Glad I could help you somewhat with this matter.

Gimpy

Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Gimpy
on Jun 11, 2002
This is a tough one. Military people need somewhere to take their legitimate concerns and address harm done to them. But lawsuits in a public format might not be good for the country. Boards of inquiry, etc always get loaded with those defending the status quo. Some sort of redress board would have to be made up of those who are not protecting the military and just want the truth. The VA has become a joke. It was suppose to be an advocate for the veterans and to some I'm sure they have done well. But, with its bureaucacy and various entanglements many times it fails. Sueing doesn't seem right but it might be the only answer.
Keith_Hixson

Re: Should Military Members be Allowed to Sue the Military?
by Anonymous
on Jun 13, 2002

I think I would like to list yes but the cases should be more limited than the civilian oriented system allows. A military member would be able to sue for wrongful medical treatment or bad decisions leading to bodily injury to the GI or family member. I would not like to see the military getting sued because of an HR issue or someone whose feelings got hurt. This country has gone WAY over the top on this type of activity.


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