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Mar-10-2010 22:27printcomments

The Feres Doctrine Horror Show

Vietnam Army veteran John McCarthy writes about the restrictions imposed on those injured on active duty by the Supreme Court's Feres Doctrine.

Alexis Witt at husband's coffin
The "Feres" Doctrine, adopted in 1950 prevents service members or their families from taking civil action against any government official for any crime "incident to service". Alexis Witt at husband's coffin. (photo by Liz O. Baylen, The Los Angeles Times)
Learn more about her story at: VAWatchdog.org

(LOS ANGELES) - The Feres Doctrine prevents military personnel and veterans from filing a tort claim for any injuries on active duty, even when the government is grossly negligent. It was adopted by Congress in 1950 and, with the approval of the Supreme Court, The Feres Doctrine became Law Of The Land the same year.

Lieutenant Feres was killed in a barracks fire on a military installation in New York State in 1946. His wife filed suit under the Federal Tort Claim Act of 1946.

She lost in 1950 when the "Feres" Doctrine was adopted.

In 1946, President Truman appointed Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson to become the lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg International War Crimes Tribunal.

After witnessing the presentation of the crimes against humanity of the defendants in the docket which resulted in the death penalty for most of the Nazi leadership found guilty of said crimes, Judge Jackson became the author of the Feres Doctrine.

The first five words of the Bill of Rights are: "Congress shall make no law..."
and the end of the sentence reads "...and to seek redress for grievances".

Our forefathers placed this information in the First Amendment, ahead of the Right To Bear Arms, because of the brutal treatment of English citizens by King George. So Congress "adopted" the Feres Doctrine and then the Supreme Court made it the "law of the land".

Feres states that no service member or their families may take civil action against any government official for any crime "incident to service". Crimes of murder, rape, torture, assault, perjury, negligence, experimentation, etc., can be prosecuted criminally, but not civilly.

The Right to petition the courts of this land to seek redress against the government, as guaranteed by the Constitution of The United States DOES NOT APPLY to those who have sworn to protect and defend the very same Constitution!

Is there not something very wrong with this picture?

Current members of the Supreme Court have opined that Feres is "bad law" and that Congress has the power to change it.

A current example of Feres:

In 1999 a civil suit was brought against the CIA, DIA, FBI, DOD, DOA, State Department and DOJ for Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice In A Capital Murder Case, which has no statute of limitations.

The Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. ruled in January, 2003 that the case would be dismissed with prejudice and without comment.

The judge had forbidden information to be presented re the Feres Doctrine as "incident to service".

The umbrella of Feres has shielded government officials for over 54 years.

Here is how it works.

When an inductee takes the oath of enlistment/commission, he or she swears to protect the Constitution of The United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic...... At that very instant, the Feres Doctrine becomes effective WITHOUT the knowledge of those just sworn into the Armed Forces.

The fact of Feres' existence becomes knowledgeable to an individual service member AFTER any crime is committed upon that individual.

  • Surgery to remove the wrong leg leaves the soldier without the ability to seek redress for negligence.
  • Leaving surgical tools inside a patient after surgery leaves the patient helpless to react.
  • Prescribing the wrong medication has no recourse.
  • All medical mishaps/negligence are covered by Feres.
  • Perjury, secreting exculpatory evidence, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, false imprisonment, and all court actions are covered by Feres.
  • Nuclear Experimentation is covered by Feres.
  • Wrongful Execution is covered by Feres.
  • Medical experimentation in the form of mind control through the use of LSD, electro-shock mind regression treatment (as in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest) and other drugs leaves a service member helpless and without recourse.

The real fact that doctors who fail to pass their medical boards in civilian life are commissioned as officers in the Armed Forces and allowed to "practice" on military personnel and their families without fear of civil suit is rampant and repugnant. No recourse allowed for gross or criminal negligence on the part of an incompetent physician who would not be authorized to "practice" on any civilian in our country is a result of Feres.

Treason in wartime is covered by Feres. Those who conspire to take this country to war with fabricated "intelligence" resulting in wounds and death for those in uniform are immune because of Feres.

Ironically, members of the government who commit wrongful acts and crimes against members of the Armed Forces are not even subject to the same Uniform Code Of Military Justice as those victimized by the above crimes.

In summary, after seeing all the inhumane acts committed by the Nazis before and during WWII, Justice Jackson placed our American Youth in the same no win position as the victims of the Third Reich; without recourse for grievances.

So, how should a combat veteran feel about the wounds suffered as a result of being put in harm's way by those politicians who would send him off to war for what turns out to be fabricated evidence for the justification for the war in the first place?

Should the courage and pain suffered in combat, physically and mentally, be swept under the rug of the Constitution because some misguided law was adopted in violation of the Constitution itself?

The First Amendment to the Constitution is still intact. Immediately after the Right to Free Speech is the sentence that says all citizens have the Right to seek redress for grievances against the government.

That has not changed.

Except in the case of members of the Armed Forces of The United States.

Congress has no power to amend the Constitution. Neither does the President. That’s why Feres was adopted. But why then?

WWII had just ended. CIA was established with the National Security Act of 1947. Korea was looming. Experimentation on POW's was a reality, for both sides as the war unfolded. These instruments of war did not just happen overnight. The records of the Nazi experiments were in the hands of the likes of Doctor Gottlieb of the CIA. Mind altering drugs were the quiet talk of the day; the same kinds of drugs used on the victims of the Holocaust. The same experimentation that Germans were hung for as crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.

Wait till those returning from Iraq with Depleted Uranium issues find that they have no recourse.

Wait till the Draft comes into reality again when all the boys and girls 18-34 are ordered to report for induction under penalty of incarceration for five years. That is when Feres will backfire upon the government.

The Selective Service System cannot force a proposed inductee to voluntarily forfeit their Rights under the First Amendment.

All that remains is to inform the draft age people of America of the existence of Feres. The Internet is the most valuable tool for this purpose. Student organizations will be notified across this country of the existence of the Feres Doctrine which would make them second class citizens should they take the oath of enlistment.

Hey Hey, Ho Ho, the Feres Doctrine has got to go!

Because if it stays, the effectiveness of the upcoming draft will fizzle.

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

- George Washington, speech of January 7, 1790 in the Boston Independent Chronicle, January 14, 1790


While some would challenge hero status for a man who admittedly was ordered to train assassination teams for the CIA during the Vietnam War (none of which carried out a mission), no one can challenge the fact that as a triple volunteer (airborne, ranger, Special Forces), John served his country with bravery, honor and distinction. Like so many of the young men who went to Vietnam, he believed in his country and what he had been taught was the rightness of its mission in the world. But this is also the story of John's disillusionment and of his painful awakening, which came at the cost of wife, family and friends. It is a story about how he stood alone, at a crucial moment, as his country broke its word to him and refused to capitulate as he saw that the moral leadership of those who gave him orders was an empty house of cards. ---

Mike Ruppert, 7/14/98

For more insight into government from a Vietnam War veteran, see John McCarthy’s website: johnmccarthy90066.tripod.com/id70.html.




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John McCarthy December 31, 2010 3:25 pm (Pacific time)

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of cases which will never see the legal light of day because of Feres. Even treason committed by a president's closest advisers, his National Security Council Staff, who blatantly defied the president while operating as the government inside the government, occurred with immunity and impunity.

LBJ directed his NSC staff NOT to support the government in exile from Cambodia, the Khmer Serei, located in South Vietnam who were violently anti Sihanouk and vowed to take over his government. He did not want the war in Vietnam expanded into 65,000 square miles of Cambodia, did not want then Prince, now King, Norodom Sihanouk assassinated and directed that letters describing these issues be hand carried to the President of South Vietnam, the King of Thailand and Sihanouk himself.

The CIA and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had other ideas as I was assigned as the Case Officer of a CIA directed assassination and terrorist teams comprised of Khmer Serei 14 months after LBJ had issued those directives. I had unwittingly been given orders by the CIA prohibited by LBJ while running a rogue CIA operation.

These once top secret State Department directives were unilaterally declassified in 2000 and placed on the Internet much to the chagrin of the CIA and the JCS. Read them here;
http://johnmccarthy90066.tripod.com/id48.html

Members of the NSC of 1966 may be deceased, but the documents are alive and well which begs the question "How often has such treason in wartime occurred?"

In March, 1968, LBJ announced: "I will no seek nor accept my parties nomination for reelection as your President".

LBJ had been notified of my top secret courts-martial and correctly concluded his closest advisers betrayed him.

The Feres Doctrine is directly responsible for these abuses because members of the government are immune from civil action and they could care less for any and all suffering by every Veteran, all 26 million of us.

Those of us who know these abuses resulting in injury and death are powerless under the law for seeking redress.

Bests,
John McCarthy
vpocvs@gmail.com


Ed Fremer December 30, 2010 1:29 pm (Pacific time)

My son Michael Fremer was killed at Fort Polk, La on 2/13/08 because of Army Negligence at the conclusion of a training exercise. The Army can not be held accountable because of the Feres Doctrine. This law needs to be changed. Why is the Army exempt from being held accountable for Negligence? Our young men and woman are risking their lives. This is how our country treats the soldiers and the families?

The Military uses the Feres Doctrine to cover up and protect themselves against Medical Malpractice in the Cases involving Dean Witt and Carmel Rodriguez. It also protects the Military in cases involving Marines being exposed to Toxic chemicals on US Bases on US soil. The Military is exempt from being held accountable on all of these matters. The Feres Doctrine needs to be overturned so the Military is held accountable.

Thanks,
Ed Fremer

Tim King: Ed, so sorry for your loss, if you think we can ever be of any assistance please let me know, my email is <a href="mailto:tim@salem-news.com">tim@salem-news.com</a>  The Feres Doctrine according to some, does not meet several legal tests.  I can't elaborate on this but the writer of this article possibly can.  Thanks for writing.

Tim King


Ed FRemer December 30, 2010 1:28 pm (Pacific time)

My son Michael Fremer was killed at Fort Polk, La on 2/13/08 because of Army Negligence at the conclusion of a training exercise. The Army can not be held accountable because of the Feres Doctrine. This law needs to be changed. Why is the Army exempt from being held accountable for Negligence? Our young men and woman are risking their lives. This is how our country treats the soldiers and the families? The Military uses the Feres Doctrine to cover up and protect themselves against Medical Malpractice in the Cases involving Dean Witt and Carmel Rodriguez. It also protects the Military in cases involving Marines being exposed to Toxic chemicals on US Bases on US soil. The Military is exempt from being held accountable on all of these matters. The Feres Doctrine needs to be overturned so the Military is held accountable. Thanks, Ed Fremer


Jeffrey Ziegler December 14, 2010 1:35 am (Pacific time)

While I was on active duty with the US Army, I was threatened by a US Army lawyer named Captain Matthew Fitzgerald (a graduate of your Willamette Law School also) to do something which was contrary to the US Army legal regulations (which I did not know at the time but he did). Fitzgerald’s motive was to tout this as his first accomplishment on his annual performance report of which I later got a copy. This threat resulted in my losing over $50,000 of my personal funds. After then doing my own investigation and trying to recoup my money, I discovered the expression, “A fish rots from the head down” definitely applies to US Army lawyers.

When I asked the top lawyer (now Lieutenant General Dana Chipman) for assistance, the first thing they did was appoint Fitzgerald’s previous boss and a very obvious friend to “investigate.” Since there was no wrongdoing found as a result of this faux investigation but specifics were protected by the Privacy Act , I filed the same complaint with Fitzgerald’s Oregon State Bar which is NOT PROTECTED under privacy laws. Evidence showed that Fitzgerald lied no less than 10 times to his Oregon State Bar.

It was all thrown out of federal court due to Feres although I had a slam-dunk case with all evidence in my favor. Just to add insult to my financial injury, Fitzgerald got promoted to Major.

Editor: Sorry to hear about this but thanks for the comment.

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