195."!. when the Status of Forces Treaty
From the scanty bits of information
that have leaked out, we know that over
400 American citizens were sentenced
by foreign courts in 1953.
We know that by November. 1951.
over 1200 Americans were imprisoned
in Japan alone.
We know that Mrs. Antonie Pierre.
wife of an American serviceman in
Japan, was indicted by Japanese authorities because her rented house accidentally caught on fire.
IMPRISONED WITHOUT TRIAL
We know- that two American army
privates (Scott and Crews), involved in
ei beer-hall brawl in Sopporo, Japan, in
April. 195k were still in jail nine
months later (and may still be in jail)
-withoul ever having had a trial. You
sec. in Japan criminal eases are fre-
quently adjourned and interminably delayed: and a defendant—even though
he mav later turn out to be innocent
stavs in jail until the verdict is finally
Families of servicemen protest that
their relatives are subjected to indignities, suffering, and denial of their
rights as American citizens in Iceland—
where the biggest political patty is the
Communisl party; where thc second biggest newspaper in the nation is a Communist newspaper: and where anti-
American feeling is intensely hitler.
American servicemen are subjected to
abuse and injustice in France—where
one out of every four public officials
is a Communist.
We hem' these Status of For.es agreements with Moslem countries, where the
penalty for petty theft is to cut off thc
right hand of tbe offender.
In America, the Constitution protects
everybody, citizens and aliens alike.
from cruel and inhuman punishment.
Bul if vour boy is drafted and sen!
overseas, he doesn't have lhal protection. He could have his right hand cut
off if he got involved in a silly prank
emd stole somebody's chicken.
We have this Status of Forces agreement with the Communisl government
of l ugoslavia. In every Communisl
country, of course, it is high treason
to criticize the government in power.
An .American soldier who is caught in
N ugoslavia criticizing communism could
be sentenced to die.
There was absolutely no precedent in
American tradition—or even in international law—for the thing we did in
July. 1953. when we gave away the constitutional rights of our own soldiers.
When America weis an infant nation,
the' greal Chief Justice John Marshall—
father of American jurisprudence —
carefully spelled out the constitutional
principle that service in the military
Forces shall not abridge or nullify an
American's constitutional rights.
Our high officials today hold that it
is eill right to nullify constitutional
rights of our soldiers overseas, because
we can trust foreign governments to be
BAD BARGAIN FOR AMERICA
No one wants an American soldier
who commits a crime to go unpunished.
Bul if our Constitution means anything,
it means that every Aiinri. an. including
soldiers, has a right to a fair public trial
before fellow Americans.
Il is true lhat some American soldiers
stationed abroad an- tough characters
who do willfully violate law. But it is
eil-ee true' lhal musl American soldiers
stationed abroad are decent, homesick,
frightened, and bewildered hoys who
were forced into military service and
who have no means of defending themselves before a hostile courl in an alien
President Eisenhower says that the
Status of Forces Treaty is justified because il is reciprocal- -lhat in giving
up jurisdiction over our own soldier-,
we- acquired jurisdiction over foreign
soldiers stationed here.
\\ heit every Amerioetn ought to know
is lhat American constitutional rights
are not for sale or trade on anv terms.
If the American governmenl acquired
jurisdiction over 100 million foreigners
in exchange for sacrificing the constitutional rights of one American citizen,
it would still he em immoral and unconstitutional deal.
But the Status of Forces Treaty was ;t
bad bargain for America even if we
ignore principles and make a factual
comparison of whal we gave with whal
There are no foreign troops stationed
in .America. Altogether, there may he in
the I nited States ei- many as 15.000
foreigners here on some kind of mili-
teirv mission eis ohservcrs. experts, or
special trainees. On the other hand,
there eire- approximately one million
American troops stationed abroad. In
acquiring jurisdiction over 15.000 visii-
ing foreigners, we nullified the consti-
lutionell rights of more than one- million
Suppose one of lhe 15.000 foreigners
does get in trouble here in lhe I nited
AA'l vir he is, he gels the full protection of lhe American Constitution.
He must In- represented by counsel; he
musl have lime lo prepare his defense:
he must have a full explanation of all
charges made against him; he must be
I'aeed hy his accusers in open court; he
must be permitted lo subpoena, at governmenl expense, whatever witnesses he
needs lo defend himself: he cannot be
compelled to testify against himself.
But an American soldier in trouble
abroad is al lhe mercy ol people whilst'
language be may nol speak, and who
may hate him merely because he is an
He has no guarantee of a public trial,
or even a trial by jury: no right of
appeal; no guarantee of freedom of
speech; no protection against unreasonable searches and seizures; no protection against excessive hail or excessive
finis: no presumption lhal he is inno-
iint until he is proven guilty; no re-
quiremenl lhat his guilt must he proven
beyond reasonable doubt.
That is how reciprocal lhe Status of
Forces Treaty is.
AMERICAN SOLDIERS BETRAYED
If lhe senators who betrayed the
rights of American soldiers hv ratifying
this treaty need lo salve their core
science, they can. of course, remembef
the' weirning of Bedell Smith, old arm1
friend of Eisenhower, who weis I tuler-
secretary of State when the Status of
Forces Treaty weis under consideration.
While testifying before a Senate committee in behalf of this treaty. Bedell
Smith let lhe senators know thai they
might just as well ratify the thing, because if they didn't, the executive vvotll"
continue handling lhe problems as 1"
did during lhe Tinman administration
—hv secrel agreements.
We are approaching the midnight'
hour in tin- history nf American constitutional government; bul the hour >s
n..1 vat too late. The American peop'e
can have their Republic and their Con-
stitiition hack if ihey eire not loo laz)
and indifferent lo find out what is goin?
on. or too cowardly lo stand up and he
Thev 'em demand the revocation ° :
lhe Status of Forces Treaty and of ;"
the other shadowy, ill-conceived, ""
evil entanglements which are suckina
ihis nation into a bottomless quicksan*
of weir emd international power politic9-
Fifty Majot Documents of lite Tieeni''''1'
Century, l.v Louis I.. Snyder. Published hy "
Van Nee-treeiiil Co., In,.. New Yeerk, 1955.
"Gl-ville, West Germany... Relaxed &'
Combat-Ready," Vewsweek, Sept. 21, 1953.
Congressional Record, Vol. 99, pp. 877*'
8779, 8781, 8835-8840, 9333-9334.
"A Conscript Has \.. Rights," l.v I'-'"
Harvey, The Freeman, January, 1955.
"\ Desertion "I America," extension nl rl.
marks l.v Hon. Lawrence II. Smith, Conp&
tional Record, Veil. 99, p. A4461.
"Governmenl by Treaty," by Ira E. Benn«*"
National Republic, December, 1954.
"Our Buys in Foreign Jails," National 'l'
public, November, 19.", I.
Excerpts from Paul Harvey Broaden**"
Congressional Record, Aiifa. (,, 1954.
-status e.l Forces Treaty," Human En'""'
Dec. 8, rr,l.
FACTS FORUM NEWS, June, l*sS