I just received my copy of the Harvard Law Bulletin. Having been a student at HLS after serving in the military during a politically divisive war, I wish to thank you heartily for publishing Capt. Nick Brown’s Letter from Baghdad as part of your public service edition. Whatever one may think about war in general or the advisability or implementation of a particular war, it seems that the institution of war is likely to continue as an instrument of general political policy far into the future. Soldiers, sailors and marines such as Capt. Brown are sometimes in the position of having to implement national policy through their service in hostile foreign lands. Unfortunately, that service is dangerous and often tedious and isolating, punctuated only by intermittent military attacks. In this particular case, their service has been subjected to an unprecedented level of often hostile public scrutiny from our national press.
Undoubtedly, service life under such conditions must often be difficult for Capt. Brown and his compatriots. Certainly, their service is far different from arguing a legal point before the United States District Court or the Circuit Court of Appeals in the relative safety of a courtroom of a relatively well-ordered constitutional republic. Even so, Capt. Brown sounds as though he’s handling his situation well and is quite proud of his service. I commend him for it. I commend the Bulletin for sharing his experience with us.