Secretary of Defense Gates signed the much awaited memo withholding certain aspects of authority to exercise UCMJ jurisdiction over civilians serving with or accompanying US military forces, available at CAAFlog.com here. I think the memo is a balanced exercise of the jurisdictional grant that was dumped in DoD’s lap by Reserve Judge Advocate Senator Lindsay Graham in late 2006.
Authority to assert UCMJ jurisdiction over subject civilians INCONUS (or acts that occurred INCONUS) is reserved to SecDef. Alleged illegal acts occurring OCONUS may only be acted upon by combatant commanders and their reporting GCMCAs. Other prudent limitations, including DoJ’s right to short circuit prosecutions by informing DoD that it will exercise MEJA or any other jurisdiction over the case, are included in three attachments. Comment away because I need to catch a flight—so pardon any typos. So long from the Big Easy.
UPDATED: It was 2:15 EST so I went through security an hour early for my flight, so much for that GPS function. I’ve noticed some trouble with the link to the memo, appears the file size is too large. Trying to correct, but the Big Easy Int’l Airport web access is spotty. I’ll try to upload a smaller file tomorrow.
UPDATE #2: Done. Finally got better service. the link should work now, try here too.