Skip to comments.Marine to argue free speech case at hearing
Posted on 04/05/2012 5:38:53 AM PDT by shove_it
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) A Marine facing dismissal for running a Facebook page criticizing the Obama administration is now backed by a team of lawyers and federal congressmen as he fights to stay in the military and test its age-old policy of limiting the free speech of service members.
Sgt. Gary Stein will appear before a military board at Camp Pendleton on Thursday to argue his case.
The 26-year-old Marine has been rallying for support since he was notified last month that the military was moving to discharge him after determining he was in violation of the Pentagon policy barring service members from engaging in political activities.
Stein's lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union say his views are protected by the First Amendment.
"The military may be different from the civilian world, but it's not exempt from the First Amendment," said David Loy, legal director for the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. "Sgt. Stein didn't say anything for which the Marine Corps has any right to punish him. He did not threaten order or discipline or take positions that anyone would attribute to the Corps. Indeed, the Corps is threatening loyalty and morale by persecuting a good Marine for exercising his free speech rights."
The nine-year member of the Marine Corps says he started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights.
The Marine Corps has said that it decided to take administrative action after Stein declared on Facebook that he would not follow unlawful orders from Obama.
California federal Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, a former Marine, wrote a letter to Stein's commanding officer stating the sergeant should not face dismissal for an opinion shared by "a majority of Marines."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I enlisted near the end of the Viet-Nam War, while in boot camp I remember one of the many classes on the UCMJ that emphasized that it was the service member’s duty to NOT obey illegal or unlawful orders. This was emphasized I believe because of the My Lai incident.
In this case the Sergeant may have irritated the brass because he emphasized Obama and was not sufficiently vague enough to include all superiors. In other words it’s a witch hunt in my opinion.
While I agree with the Sgt’s political views and positions, I do not agree with his current stance vis a vis free speech. First off, he doesn’t have to remind his fellow Marines that they don’t have to obey unlawful orders. It’s already in the UCMJ.
When you join the military, one of the sacrifices you make is giving up some of your civil liberties in order to serve your country. You know that going in and you voluntarily do this. One of those rights you give up is some of your free speech rights. It doesn’t mean that he can’t go to a tea party rally. What it means is that he can’t be speaking or writing about his political beliefs and disagreements with his commander in chief in a public forum. It is upsetting to the good order and discipline of the military. Imagine if our generals were out there openly questioning the orders and directives from the commander in chief.
Though I despise the current commander in chief, it does not mean we have to sink to his level of circumventing the rule of law. That’s what makes us different from this scum command in chief. We obey the laws whether we like them or not.
I can see where it might be wise to forbid members of our military to do such things *under certain circumstance* but not under *all* circumstances.
Yup,I recall having heard the same thing in one of those rare moments when I was able to *stay awake* in class (Ft Knox,October '69).I never made the association between these instructions and My Lai but I'm sure you're correct on that.
The law is against this guy. A General who got his tail in the crack after publically criticizing Clinton tried this argument and lost.
Our battalion CO went from truck to truck telling us to follow orders and remember your training and then: “Men, you may have to kill some Americans today”.
With about 600 troops in the battalion, we wondered how we were going to control 250,000 rioting Americans and would the few black soldiers in the Old Guard at that time fight with us? Thankfully it all turned out peacefully. But there was no doubt that we would follow the colonel’s orders.
My interpretation of UCMJ is that troops below general officer rank follow orders, period, or they find themselves in Sgt. Stein's predicament. Generals have the option of resigning.
Good God,it couldn't have been much fun hearing *those* words.
They are seared, seared in my memory. Really.
That's why I roll my eyes when Freepers expect the military troops to join a civilian revolution against an “unconstitutional federal government”. The military follows orders (unless the top generals revolt).
“When we assumed the soldier we did not lay aside the citizen,” from then-Gen. George Washington’s June 26, 1775, letter to the Provincial Congress is inscribed inside the apse.
Note: The above quote was a favorite of Col David (Perfumed Princes) Hackworth USA (Ret.) (now deceased)
“There ain’t no ticks like poly-ticks. Bloodsuckers all.”
-Davy Crockett (unsourced)
see also: Chesty Puller: LOYALTY DOWN (GunnyG)
for above, seek ms google assistance~cannot pimp here y’know...
The most an enlisted can get from this is a chewing out by their CO. A commissioned officer however will be court martialed, possible BCD, maybe even unaccompanied orders to Leavenworth.
From many “shoot the breeze” sessions over twenty years, an officer who informs us we may have to shoot Americans will be asked why and are you sure you want to pursue this? If we are then marched out and told to fire, the first one shot is the officer.
If the order is to contravene the second amendment then we shoot the officer before we fall out.
Some times these shoot the breeze sessions included officers. Their response was that they would either shoot the messenger or follow up to find the source and shoot him.
Unlawful orders stand very little chance of being carried out by uniformed units.
The intelligence level of a mob is established by the least intelligent member of that mob. There is one exception to that rule, a group of men under military discipline, uniformed unit.
Well, Devil Dog, I agree with you. (plus a little understanding of German, 2 tours, total 8 years)
Bold words there W.W. Ever been there and done that?
I call BS. The most that would happen would be a simple "No, I'm not doing that."
Understand this: if Soldiers are deployed to contain civilian unrest within the borders of the U.S., they WILL defend themselves. Nobody wants to shoot Average Joe b/c he refuses to give up his personally-owned weapons, but they will shoot Average Joe if he opens fire on them.
My point is, if we're past the "No, I'm not doing that" phase and the troops are out and about, nothing short of full-on insurgent warfare is going to make a dent in it. And you will be fighting trained Soldiers.
Yes, that is correct. It is also correct that the colonists who took up arms against the Crown were fighting trained soldiers, either the King's men or mercenaries (Hessians, et al.). I know that things are different now in terms of armaments, but your use of that phrase just struck me a certain way. History seems to show that there is something about an insurgency that makes defeating it more difficult than a straightforward set piece kind of war would indicate.
True, but British military wanted to fight like it was Europe and we were Napoleon. The US military has a decade of (recent, on-going) COIN experience, and a slew of dirty tricks when the shooting starts. We don’t fight like gentlemen, we fight to win.
I don’t think it would be a slam dunk by any means. The human terrain and physical terrain of the US is far too varied and distinct for it to be easy on any organized military, but we do speak the language, and we can blend in. Those are two major advantages we didn’t have in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq.
I agree. That reasoning would happen prior to the bad stuff happening for some, but it would have a deleterious effect on the ranks over time.
There are just a lot of other issues I can think of. For instance, the #1 rule of insurgencies—be more popular than the invading force. AQI was TERRIBLE at it, and that’s why they lost. Well, it would be easy to paint an insurgency in the US as killers of brave Soldiers and Marines while it’s very clear those same forces are using non-lethal weapons to detain (we have tons of non-lethal stuff from GWOT). That’s a major PR bust right there. Also, the military can render aid that insurgents just can’t, so that adds to the cumulative effect.
It’s a tough nut to crack, no matter how it goes.
That meaning what?
That I did twenty years active, yes!
That I participated in shoot the breeze discussions concerning civil rights VS UCMJ, yes!
Did we have to shoot anyone, NO!
Did anyone attempt giving us unlawful orders, NO!
By the way my use of the word shoot was meant only in an immediate, have to act, situation. Most of the time it was resolved that the miscreant would be placed under arrest and in confinement.
Shoot senior, you’re practically a native German!
Meaning have you ever been in a situation where your military unit is ordered to control U.S. citizens rioting against civil authority? It is a situation that doesn’t happen very often. Thank you for your service, sir.
I would shudder to think about our troops firing on unarmed civilians like the situation you laid out. That’s why I’m a big proponent of Posse Comitatus. True, it was not part of our founding documents, but I believe that it is strongly within the spirit of our founder’s (and mine) beliefs.
Our federal troops should only be used to guard the borders at home (IMO). I think that does not violate Posse Comitatus as we are protecting our citizens against outsiders. However, they should not be carrying out any other real world operations within our borders.
Is the “Old Guard” a National Guard Unit? I thought crowd control like that would be a function of a state national guard. It should not IMO be a function of the Army per Posse Comitatus.
Since then and especially after the so called “Kent State Massacre” in 1970, specialty military police units have been formed to handle civilian “situations” such as these. Two such units are attached to TOG in the National Capitol Region.
And like a good GI, both of my kids were born in Army hospitals overseas.
The price we pay for the priviledge of serving!
Men, you may have to kill some Americans today”................... Hmmmmmm, Kent State.
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