An alert reader provides us with this link to Executive Order 13468 of July 24, 2008, complete with the actual text of the 2008 MCM amendments.
Thanks to Executive Order 13468, the 2008 edition of the MCM that we waited three years for will become obsolete on 23 August. This raises two questions. First, the obvious one: when will the new version of the MCM — which was supposed to be an annual Manual — be published?
Now for the other question. When woolly mammoths roamed North America and I was a first lieutenant, the Manual for Courts-Martial was a big burgundy three-ringed binder. Every time the President would change the Manual, GPO would print up a bunch of replacement pages and we would remove the old obsolete pages from the three-ringed binder and insert the new pages. In many ways the old-style Manual was awful. The binder’s rings never seemed to line up and pages would constantly tear out. But at least I always had a reasonably up-to-date Manual — unlike modern-day military lawyers who practiced for three years using a 2005 MCM that was already OBE when it was published. So here’s my question: why doesn’t TJAGLCS take a break from launching sophomoric jibes at the Navy and prepare an electronic version of the 2008 MCM that deletes the obsolete provisions and incorporates the new provisions from Executive Order 13468? Wouldn’t that be really helpful to every military justice practitioner? It doesn’t have to be TJAGLCS — I’d be happy if anyone did it. Well, anyone other than whoever designed the new extremely user unfriendly electronic Military Judges’ Benchbook that we can’t get authorization to load onto our office computers.