Thursday, 25 April 2019

My testimony to the National Commission on Military Service

C-SPAN video (full hearing and clips of my opening statement and answers to questions)

My written statement

Official transcript

Former Director of Selective Service says it’s time to end draft registration

NPR News: Selective Service registration comes under fire again

I’ve been invited to testify as part of a panel of expert witnesses at a hearing on the the military draft and the Selective Service System, including whether draft registration should be ended entirely or extended to women as well as men, on Thursday morning, 25 April 2019, before the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service in Washington, DC.

These hearings are the most important public discussion of the issue of military conscription in the USA in more than 30 years. So far as I know, the last time a draft resister was invited to tell the Federal government what they thought should be done about the Selective Service System was in 1972 when David Harris was invited to testify before a Senate committee considering an amnesty for some (but not all) draft law violators, an event he described in his book, Our War.

Read on for links to my testimony and more about these hearings.

Flyer for hearings on Selective Service

There will be four panels of invited witnesses over the two days of hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, April 24-25. I’m on the panel for the morning session of testimony and questioning by the members of the Commission from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 25th. The hearings are being held in the Peikoff Alumni House at Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave., N.E., but they have no particular relationship to Gallaudet and I haven’t heard that anyone affiliated in any way with Gallaudet has been invited to testify.

Some time will be available for testimony by members of the public following the prepared statements and questioning of each panel. If you want to testify, be sure to arrive before the start of the session and ask for a ticket to testify at the check-in table when you arrive.

[Testifying before the NCMNPS, 25 April 2019. Diane Randall of FCNL in foreground at left; NCMNPS Chair Brig. Genl. Joe Heck in rear at left. Photo by Jim Fussell.]

You can submit written comments to the NCMNPS through the end of 2019 using “this form or by e-mail to “” (mentioning “Docket No. 05-2018-01” in the subject line of your e-mail message), and sign this petition to end draft registration”.

[This article was first published before the hearing, and has been updated as the video, transcript, and other material was posted.)

[Shaking hands with Brigadier General Joe Heck, Chair of the NCMNPS, at the conclusion of the morning session on 25 April 2019. NCMNPS Chief FOIA Officer and Deputy General Counsel Rachel Rikleen looks on from behind witness table at rear, above my left shoulder. Image from C-SPAN video.]

Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 25 April 2019, 06:00 ( 6:00 AM)


I fully agree that there should be no Selective Service System at all. It should be completely dismantled and ended. However, that will never happen and the single reason that this National Commission on Military, National and Public Service was created in 2016 was because of military manpower needs through the end of the 21st century. This is the unfortunate reality of what is.

Individual American citizens who see war as nothing more than a great lie within the fabric of the nation need a venue to be free to register as Conscientious Objectors at age 18, which is not presently available to them via any type of registration form. This fact is what needs to be argued and if the S.S.S doesn't want to rewrite their registration forms to accommodate this provision, then all 18 year old citizens, who feel and see themselves as Conscientious Objectors to war, should simply not register and figure out for themselves how best to live their lives moving forward with having made this decision.

For war resisters to attempt to change the mind set of those in power to see their viewpoint and consequently change the laws, is delusional thinking at best and at worst, only becomes grist for the mill of the U.S. political, military, industrial complex Architects of War who have total control of the war agenda.

Posted by: Ken Law, 22 April 2019, 00:21 (12:21 AM)

"On April 25, 2019, Courage to Resist supporter Edward Hasbrouck provided testimony before the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS) at their Washington DC hearing on potential policies to 'encourage or *require* military, national, and public service from all Americans.' Watch Edward’s testimony on C-Span here (beginning at 19:25 min...."

Posted by: Edward Hasbrouck, 1 May 2019, 05:07 ( 5:07 AM)

Update: Anti-war activists meet with members of the National Commission on Military Service:

Posted by: Edward Hasbrouck, 19 November 2019, 11:39 (11:39 AM)
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