GI Sues to Stop Viet Transfer


Fifth Estate # 30, May 15-31, 1967

(Washington) — Robert Luftig, 22, a soldier from New York City, Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to block the Defense Department from sending him to Vietnam.

Luftig, a draftee now stationed at Ft. Benning, Ga., has claimed in his suit that the war in Vietnam violates the U. S. Constitution and international agreements. He said the war is undeclared by Congress and abridges due process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment. Drafted September, 1965, and trained as a cook, Luftig is seeking a permanent injunction against Secretary of State Robert McNamara, contending that no person can be ordered to violate the law of the land.

The suit declared that the war violates the United Nations charter, the Southeast Asia Collective Defense treaty, the 1954 Geneva Agreements, the Nuremberg Judgment and the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. The United States signed all the treaties except the Geneva Agreements of 1954, but they assured all signatories that they would abide by its terms.

It said that unless the injunction is granted, Luftig “could very well suffer the same consequences that befell the Fort Hood Three—Dendis Mora, James Johnson and David Samas.” They refused to go to Vietnam and were court-martialed last September, at Fort Dix, N.J. Mora received a three year sentence and Johnson and Samas were each given five years.