General Edward C. Betts was Judge Advocate European Theatre of Operations from 1942-1946.
(S) Betts, Edward C., USA - Awarded: DSM-A - Distinguished Service Medal
(DSM) the A stands for
the Air Force. He was given this award because he was a very important man at this time and all the things he did payed off
for the war so they chose to give him the DSM-A award.
What is a Judge Advocate?
A judge advocate is a military officer with legal training. He has different
duties such as giving advice on legal matters to a group of officers sitting as a court-martial and acting as the prosecutor
of the accused serviceman or woman. A judge advocate also holds the responsibility to protect the accused from any improprieties
which might incriminate the accused in violation of the constitution.
In October 1945 Edward C. Betts
wrote this letter to Justice Jackson.
In This document, General Betts appeals to
Justice Jackson for his cooperation and advice in formulating a plan to address the problems inherent in complying with the
directive, particularly its terms for the trial of
the cases of membership in criminal organizations and the treatment of persons now held in custody awaiting such trial.
was one of Eisenhower's close advisors and Eisenhower asked him to ask Jackson to follow the procedures
mentioned in the letter. At the top of the 2nd page he is saying that
Jackson has formed a good group of people to work on these issues and that they
need to a good job with keeping the public happy while completing these demands/requests,
and that they have already done that so far.Page 3 talks about the points of the paper and how it reflects in the views of the headquarters and what there
discussion is going to be about. He tells
that he is going to present this document early in the next week.
The solution, that General Betts's wants
to do, is to have the existing Office of U.S. Chief of Counsel assume prosecutorial responsibility for the cases against members
of criminal Nazi organizations, and other Nazi war criminals not included in the main trial before the International Military
Tribunal. These additional cases would be tried before Military Government Courts established within the United States Occupational
Zone;the formation of such courts would wait upon
an extension of Executive Order 9547, in Betts's view.
The alternative is the appointment for a
Special Prosecutor for Nazi Crimes, whose office would gradually absorb a portion of current OCC personnel in order to
utilize their knowledge, and experience in gathering and deploying evidence related to the prosecution of war crimes. Betts
goes on to speculate about the appointment process for such a prosecutor, his level, or status within the military government,and
the authority necessary to accomplish his mission. "This document is a typewritten carbon copy of good quality on thin,
slightly browning paper".
Many sentences and phrases of this text have been underlined in pencil.The notation, appears in the top margin of page 2, directly over "JCS 1023/10,"
which has been underlined in the text as well as linked to the notation with an arrow. All of these markings are handwritten
In August 1945 General Eisenhowers quarters
had Edward C. Betts, look over and be responsible of the " effective application" of J.C.S 1023/10and a month later
General Betts approved a memorandum by Colonel Charles Fairman embodying recommendations for the execution of the directive.
General Betts and Colonel Fairman, and the Legal Ad-agree that, in planning for the execution of the directive, Mr. Jackson
organization should be utilized as an administration of base operations and a future source of personnel and that there needs
to be someone to take charge of the project. Soon after General Betts went onto Washington to show these recommendations
to the right authorities. They met with the generals approval, and on 16 January 1946 President Truman signed the Executive
Order No. 9679 embodying the proposals described.
Betts returned to the United States in late February so that he could recruit a staff. This showed a difficult undertaking
by, the end of March 1946 35 attorneys had been engaged and while this was a large group by no means it was reasonably
adequate. In other news other problems had been settled and on 29 March 1946, Mr. Justice Jackson announced an appointment
by himself as Deputy Chief of Counsel, and directed Betts to prepare for the prosecution of war crimes charges other
than people involved in the IMT trial. The Secretary of the Army stayed in Washington a few more weeks to continue recruitment,
and returned to Nuernberg at the end of April 1946.