OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 25, 1913, NOON EDITION, Image 13

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-10-25/ed-1/seq-13/

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.COMMON SOLDIEk IN UNITED STATES ARMY
ROBBED OF ALL HIS RIGHTS
'BYnGILSON GARDNER
Washington, Oct. 25. The com
mon soldier in the United States
army has no" rights. When he en
lists he gives up the guarantees of
the constitution, the protection of
jury trial, and even his Tight to peti
tion for a redress of grievances. He
may be unjustly charged, secretly
tried and cruelly punished and he has
no remedy.
This is well illustrated by the case
of Private -Clarence L. George, form
erly a private in the Signal Corps,
who is now serving a term of one
year at hard labor in the military
prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,
having been dishonorably discharged
from the army with the forfeiture of
all pay and allowances.
This was the culmination of a ca
reer in the army which began with
an enlistment in 1905, and which was
marked at the end of his first enlist
ment by honorable discharge with
official notation of "character ex
cellent;" and at the end of his second
enlistment with' ''character good."
Absenpe without leave is the onlyVof
fense in his record prior to the court
martiaLwhich senthim o prison.
Private George's offense consisted
in writing a letter to Secretary to the
President Joseph P. Tumulty, making
complaints of the treatment, he has
received "and making charges against
xis superior officers, and 'asking for a
redress of grievances. For this
"crime" he nq.w wears prison stripes,
-has his pay confiscated and is dis
honorably discharged; hel:an never
vote again, his citizenship is taken
from him and 'he is branded as a
"criminal." m
What George charged in his letter,
to Tumulty, the War Department re
fuses to discl6se. Also it is unknown
whether the charges were true, or
false. Your correspondent has en
deavored tq secure the facts in this
case, from Secretary Tumulty and
from .the Adjutant General of the
"War Department. After an exchange
of numerous .letters beginning Sep
tember 18 and extending up to the
present time, the result is a definite
refusal on the part of Adjutant Gen
eral George Andrews to make public
the facts.
In his letter (refusing to give this
information to the public, the Ad
jutant General does so on the ground
that he does not want the facts pub
lished. Alluding to the records in the
case, he says: "It is not the practice
of the War Department to furnish
copies of them (the testimony taken
in court and papers filed as exhibit
especially as indicated in your case
for the purpose of publishing them
or any part of them in" the public
press."
General Andrews was told frankly
the purpose of the request, which as
stated in a letter t6 him of October
13, as follows: "I am asking for the
rest of the information particularly
a copy of the letter written by Private
George to Secretary Tumulty, and a
copy of the evidence taken in the
case in order that the readers of
our papers, numbering several mil
lion, may be correctly informed as" to
happenings qf this character in the
army. - The army is a part of the
public service and is supported by
taxpayers and it is- something in
which they have a keen and legiti
mate interest."
This was in answer to a letter from
General Andrews expressing himself
as "willing to comply with a request
such as the one made by you provided
that some useful purpose is to be
served by the expenditure of time' and
labor required, which in thjs particu
lar case would be considerable. If
therefore, you will advise this depart
ment as to that object you have in
mind in making your request ana
what ultimate purpose youwish to
ilM
KwiiA

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