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Abstract

According to Catch-22, they can do anything you cannot stop them from doing. In a war zone, the range of anythings expands to diabolical extremes. The Lawyers Military Defense Committee originated to un-catch Gis snarled in court-martial prosecutions in Vietnam.

Their mission has made the attorneys of LMDC about as popular with the U. S. Command as General Giap. Early this year one of LMDC attorneys representing a black GI charged with murder argued that the GI was being deprived due process of law because the U. S. Command prevented the LMDC from operating effectively. Because the command allowed no military telephone lines to the defense group, the attorney claimed, he had to try 233 times to complete just four telephone calls to his military co-counsel in the case. The command also refused to grant the group mail and priority travel privileges. A full-colonel military judge hearing the attorney's claims said he agreed that the GI's right to civilian counsel had been abridged "but that's just a fact of life in Vietnam." Since then things have gotten more pleasant for the LMDC. The difficulty of getting justice for servicemen in Vietnam remains. Several members of the group this fall discussed their difficulties and achievements in response to questions by the Yale Review of Law and Social Action. The following is a transcription of their discussion.

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