Unlawful Influence – Yes, It Can Extend to The President

In a 1986 judgment, the Court of Military Appeals emphasized that “command influence is the mortal enemy of military justice.”  “Unlawful command influence” by superior officers has concerned American military jurists acting under the evolving Uniform Code of Military Justice that Congress established on 5 May 1950.  Yet ultimate control lies with other than uniformed Americans.  Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution specifies that the President shall command the armed forces of the country.  Given civilian leadership, and the power of Congress to define law by statute, restraints on inappropriate command influence in military justice should reach to and extend from the very top.

Against this background, it should remembered that notwithstanding repeated requests, the Presidential-directed intelligence review in the Hasan case still has not been disclosed the Defense Team.

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