Skip to comments.Odd Challenge: Lying, is it constitutionally protected?
Posted on 02/04/2010 1:16:04 PM PST by AstroTurf _Queen
An organization dedicated to honoring the nation's prisoners of war and missing in action service members is outraged that a federal law against lying about military medals is facing First Amendment challenges. Lawyers in California and Colorado cases have made similar arguments against the "Stolen Valor Act," saying that lying is protected by the First Amendment unless it does real harm.
(Excerpt) Read more at onenewsnow.com ...
Well, if you take the “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” out of the courtroom, then ok, I guess /sarc
Must be...Obama couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it!
Of course it is, or should be. Because you would not want Obama or John Kerry decided what is “true,” would you?
Dissent against Global Warming? You’re a liar, and go to jail.
Say John Kerry got fake medals? You’re a liar, and go to jail?
Say a fetus is a child? You’re a liar, and go to jail.
Lies must be protected, for fear of who judges what is true.
Now, if someone cons someone by lying (e.g., gets government benefits), well, that’s fraud, and a completely different story.
Commerical fraud, perjury, treason, libel, slander, and inciting a riot are all examples of speech that is not protected by the 1st Amendment.
If liars want to wear medals they didn’t earn, I guess it should be OK if James O’Keefe and his partners dress up as phone repairmen.
That is a good point you make. If a lie is not the truth, then exactly who is it who determines what is true and what is not, what is a lie and what is not?
What about the phony soldiers who serve in the anti-American war movement who did not serve in the US military and give false accounts at rallies of witnessing warcrimes?
Wow... How can he actually try to challenge this? Making false claims about receiving such honors is essentially fraud. Does this guy think slander/libel should be ok too?
So does that mean I can now perjure myself in court or give a false statement to a police officer or misreport my income to the IRS, so long as it “does no harm”?
Not surprising coming from California and Colorado. “Stolen Valor” should also be applied to military service, not just medals. I’ve met so many posers, usually Lefties pushing an anti-war position.
Had a guy at the office who presented himself as a former Naval officer. I had my suspicions, but since I was Army I didn’t know the intricacies of the Navy. My boyfriend exposed this guy when the claim of service on a type of vessel that doesn’t bear the kind of name he stated. I laid a trap and he fell right in. From that time he knew that he had been exposed,and that there was only contempt for his actions. I should have gone to our owner, but didn’t. The poser was soon fired anyway. Can’t figure out why he’d do such a thing.
I didn’t think anyone would stoop this low, but obviously I underestimated humanity.
I believe the Constitution protects your right to speak, however, it doesn’t protect you from the consequences of choosing the wrong words, such as fraud, libel, slander, threats, etc.
Admiral Boorda must be turning over in his grave.
He committed suicide over a combat V device on a Bronze Star that he was not entitled to wear back when he was CNO.
Of course, he was active Navy at the time, different rules.
In a court after a person has been sworn in, NO
If a person puts on such a pretense in order to get advancement in public office or private, it’s a substantial fraud and deserves notice of the law.
Repairmen are not in the same catagory as service members. O’Keefe and his crew used an undercover journalistic tactic. His actions were not to defraud someone, but to expose the truth. Big difference.
former Sgt, US Army (1976-1984
>>saying that lying is protected by the First Amendment unless it does real harm.
>Commerical fraud, perjury, treason, libel, slander, and inciting a riot are all examples of speech that is not protected by the 1st Amendment.
Treason, as defined by the Constitution, would be hard to do by simply speaking.
So I guess it would be Consitutionally protected for me to claim that I was a lawyer. Or a judge.
I’m a supreme court justice!
It is not the lying in itself that is the issue. The underlying issue is fraud. The lying is done in order to obtain some intangible or tangible benefit of being considered a war hero. That is fraud. Not protected free speech.
The problem I have with the act is that it hard to qualifiy when a law has been actually broken. We do have laws against fraud already.
The Ministry of Truth must decide what is and isn’t the Truth..................
That explains Michael Mann.
If we have laws against fraud, why do we need another law?
Mildred Gillars, known popularly as “Axis Sally” (although she did not use that name on the air), was convicted of treason in WWII for a radio broadcast (a work of fiction no less). She wasn’t being charged for working for the Nazis in GENERAL or broadcasting on Nazi radio. It was the content of the broadcast.
And it seems to me that it ought to be up to the legislative process as to what constitutes real harm.
Lying is not legal fraud. Lying is one element in fraud that has to be met in order to prosecute someone on the basis of fraud.
Ask him. He’s a constitutional law expert(or so he says) LOL
John Kerry claims he has a hat to show he served in “special forces”.
Oh...I think we have a multitude of unecessary laws on the books that need to be repealed. IMHO, the Stolen Valor Act isn't one of them.
If someone receives some tangible benefit from lying about the service( speaking fee....free room or board, etc.) then there is already a law.
If someone wears a uniform or decoration on that uniform or on civilian attire s/he is not suppose to wear, then there are laws dealing with that, also.
But as disgusting as it is to lie about being a hero (I spent most of 1970 in Vietnam, by the way), just telling a lie about service or winning medals should not get someone thrown into jail...IMHO...
To me it is akin to the thought police realm or the hate crime concept..
so if a guy is in a bar downtown telling a couple chicks he was in Iraq fighting OBL we should send in the police to investigate whether or not he is telling the truth?
If he's wearing a Silver Star that he didn't earn, yes.
I just want to know if lying in the State of the Union by president is constitutional protected?
If you recall liberals did not seem to think so with regard to Bush’s “16 words” (all of which were proven to be true), yet nobody seems to mind when Obama lies to the people and congress in the State of the Union in so many easily verifiable ways. Such as the no lobbies statement, among a great many other such “false” statements.
“If a lie is not the truth, then exactly who is it who determines what is true and what is not, what is a lie and what is not?”
Don’t doubt for a second FreeRepublic would not be shut down by Obama Brownshirts because it’s “all lies.”
“Lying is fraud. Fraud is a crime.”
Fraud means: (1) intentionally lie; (2) with the intent to defraud; (3) trick someone (reliance on the lie) and (4) cause damage by the lie.
If someone is just a faker without intent to get something (e.g., vet benefits, job, etc), then it’s not fraud.
What if it wasn’t a silver star per se but some medal that looked like one, maybe a foreign medal, is he in violation of the law?
So long as cops & politicians are Constitutionally allowed to lie to achieve the ends they seek, everyone else is too.
Depends on the kind of lie. Slander, libel and fraud are all legally actionable forms of lies, all long established in legal principle.
Claiming a false badge of honor is usually not an actionable fraud, as no one bears a direct harm from it. Hurt feelings are not legally actionable of themselves.
If some one uses a claim of a badge of honor to gain some direct benefit — a job, a position, a share in some enterprise, and that claim is false there may be an actionable harm.
Do you really want to add to the burden of law and regulation? Let social scorn be the cure.
>Mildred Gillars, known popularly as Axis Sally (although she did not use that name on the air), was convicted of treason in WWII for a radio broadcast (a work of fiction no less). She wasnt being charged for working for the Nazis in GENERAL or broadcasting on Nazi radio. It was the content of the broadcast.
Was it particularly easy for her to be convected thusly? The Wikipeda article on her says she was convicted on only one charge of treason, meaning that there were multiple charges.
Also, while not impossible, from the Constitutional definition.. it seems there is some elasticity in it; John Murtha pronounced on national television that our marines were murderers and war-criminals (this has been well recorded) and yet not only has no charge of treason been made of him, but the courts ruled that he was covered under a law protecting federal employees from civil-suits and thus protected/immunized from the charges of slander that said marines were/are making.
If you lie to someone, you are committing fraud.
Whether or not it is a criminal offense is up to whatever remains of our "justice" system.
Why stop there? Shouldn’t we add every little things that is wrong somehow to the law and force the police to enforce it? Picking noses -— that’s wrong. Let’s make it a felony!
A lie is not a fraud. To be a fraud there must be a transfer of real value gained or lost by the lie.
Way off topic but on your About Page you refer to the whack job Biden did on Clarence Thomas.
If you havent already, you might enjoy reading John Boltons Surrender is not an Option. He speaks of Bidens activities as chair of the Judiciary Committee and observes with regard to the Bork hearing that even after receiving assurance from Biden to the contrary, the Democrats treated it as a political process and the Republicans treated it as a confirmation hearing, which is why they lost.
The phrase duplicitous weasel immediately comes to mind.
As I understand the act (without going back and looking at the text) he's fine. I understand your point about enforcing existing fraud laws, but here's where I see a difference. US military awards and decorations are bestowed upon individuals in recognition of their individual service to the nation. In some cases the award may be of very direct and tangible value...i.e. a job application, where misrepresenting one's military awards would be tantamount to to misrepresenting academic degrees.
Above and beyond that, a service award is symbolic of the nation's gratitude and a recognition that the individual is entitled to a degree of that, albeit a non-tangible or unquantifiable entity. To allow others to partake in that credit without merit undermines the value to the one who earned, and "victimizes" the nation at large by lowering the value of gratitude or recognition. By enforcing against the misrepresentation, the level of esteem concomitant to the award is preserved.
If you lie, you are committing fraud. This is my OPINION based on my own personal PHILOSOPHY. Where that fraud crosses into civil or criminal statutes I would assume varies depending on which State you live in.
I'm sorry I have to spell that out like that. If I was quoting a legal statute, I would have posted references.
Can we get over it now? Please?
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