Oliver North, John Poindexter, and Ronald Reagan were pillaged in the editorial pages of this nation for their allegedly unlawful activities. What were they accused of? In simple terms, they were accused of supplying military aid to the Contras in Nicaragua in violation of a congressional prohibition on such aid. They were accused of conducting foreign policy in a manner which allegedly violated an act of Congress.
Even though the media regularly screamed about the "illegality" if Iran-Contra, there seemed to be extra vehemence in the press attacks because the whole affair was originally executed in secret. The press hates all secrets which do not involve them.
Bill Clinton has shown that it is completely acceptable to conduct illegal foreign military operations so long as everything is done in the open.
Home schooler, Specialist Michael New refused to obey an order which required him to undertake service for the United Nations on a mission into Macedonia.
Spc. New was ordered to wear a U.N. uniform. Awaiting him in Macedonia would be a further requirement that he surrender his U.S. Army identification card to be replaced by a U.N. card—identifying him not as an American soldier but as U.N. personnel. New was also placed under the command of a French General and an Iraqi ambassador who serve the United Nations.
Legal research I undertook for New's lawyers demonstrates that it is clearly illegal to require any American soldier to wear U.N. insignia on a U.S. military uniform (transforming it into what the military calls the U.N. uniform). Foreign insignia are strictly prohibited on U.S. military uniforms unless specifically authorized by Congress. And, needless to say, Congress has never dared to cross the American public by ordering U.S. soldiers to wear U.N. uniforms.
But not only is it illegal to require U.S. soldiers to wear the U.N. uniform, it is clearly illegal for Clinton to send American troops to serve in a U.N. military actions.
Clinton and the U.N. claim to be operating under the U.N. Charter which the United States ratified in 1945. Chapter VII, Article 43 of the U.N. Charter authorizes the use of armed forces on loan from willing member-nations "for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security." There is an important restriction on this use of armed forces by the U.N. which is spelled out in both the U.N. charter and U.S. law. The U.N. Charter calls for "special agreement or agreements" to be negotiated by the member-nations to specify the numbers, types of forces, their degree of readiness, and the nature of the military assistance to be provided.
The United States Congress passed a law in 1949 to implement America's participation in the U.N. This act, 22 U.S.C. § 287d, requires the President to negotiate such "special agreements" before sending any U.S. military personnel into the service of the United Nations under Article 43. Importantly, the law requires that such agreements must be ratified by Congress.
Has this been done? Well don't take my word for it. Read the testimony of Conrad K. Harper, Legal Advisor, Department of State, given in Congress on March 4, 1994.
With respect to U.S. law, the President has both statutory and constitutional authority to enable the United States to participate in and support U.N. peace operations. In particular under Section 6 of the United Nations Participation Act [22 U.S.C. § 287d], the President is authorized to negotiate special agreements with the U.N. Security Council, thereby making units of the U.S. Armed Forces available to the Council on its call pursuant to Article 43 [Chapter VII] of the UN Charter. Such agreements are subject to the approval of Congress, but further Congressional authorization would not be required for the President to make forces available pursuant to such an agreement in a particular case. In practice, of course, no action had ever been taken under Section 6 of the Act because no agreements have ever been concluded under Article 43.
The United Nations has passed a number of resolutions calling for the use of military forces in Macedonia. Every resolution references Chapter VII, Article 43 as the source for its authority.
In other words, it is completely illegal for Bill Clinton or any other U.S. president to send American troops into a war zone under the command or auspices of the United Nations because Congress has never ratified any Article 43 special agreements to specify the terms and conditions of U.S. military actions with the United Nations.
An election year is coming and it is reasonable to suppose that Bill Clinton realizes that a popular military action will result in greater popularity. Apparently, this is an old political ploy, because the founding fathers took the trouble to build a constitutional barrier to this kind of grandstanding.
James Madison wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson on April 2, 1798, which proclaimed, "The Constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the legislature."
Clinton's incursion into Macedonia, and the related even larger deployment to Bosnia, may or may not be in the best interest of the United States. The same, however, could have been said about the sale of military weapons to Iran and the diversion of profits therefrom to supply the Contras in Nicaragua.
Back then we were repeatedly told, "it is not a question of policy, it is a question of legality."
Where are these voices today? Clinton's military exercise to Macedonia is debatable on policy grounds. But it is clearly illegal.
If Clinton's policy is good policy, let him negotiate the special agreement and bring it to Congress for ratification. Since he has not done so, he is without lawful authority to send America's bravest men and women into harm's way to die in U.N. uniforms carrying U.N. identity cards.
Perhaps it's time for yet another special prosecutor.
Home schoolers are appropriately wary of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. We know that U.N. control over American policy threatens our freedoms to educate and raise our children. We have fought hard for the sovereignty of our families and our nation.
We can be proud that the young American who has the moral courage to call the President to account for his violation of the law is from our own ranks. Freedom is not store-bought. It is grown at home.