Skip to comments.Denver appeals court upholds military impostor law ( Stolen Valor Act )
Posted on 01/28/2012 4:17:11 PM PST by george76
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that a federal law making it illegal to lie about being a war hero is constitutional and making false statements is not always protected free speech.
The Colorado case involves Rick Strandlof, who was arrested after claiming he was wounded in Iraq as a Marine and had received military medals. His lawyers have acknowledged the claims were false.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
It doesn’t happen very often anymore but every now and then, the American people are allowed to win one.
Rick Strandlof said he survived the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon. He said he survived again when a roadside bomb went off in Iraq, killing four fellow Marines.
formed a group called the Colorado Veterans Alliance.
Thank you 10th Circuit!!!!!
He also frequently appeared with Democrat candidates, making it appear combat veterans supported them.
I say let them claim what they want, but those found to be false have to spend a night in a barracks in Afghanistan.
So now lying is illegal? I guess that means every politician in the country should be immediately imprisoned. Add every public official for every government agency to that as well.
Very good news. Hopefully SCOTUS will rule like this appeals court on the Xavier Alvarez case. These liars should not be protected by the First Amendment, they may not be after monetary value but they gain admiration falsely and when their lies are exposed make suspect other genuine heroes bravery.
“So now lying is illegal? I guess that means every politician in the country should be immediately imprisoned. Add every public official for every government agency to that as well.”
I have a big problem with this law; I have never served or claimed to, but this is ridiculous. Sounds like some stupid girls gave it up and were mad when the “war hero” didn’t call the next day.
Officially misrepresenting oneself as current active military or law enforcement personnel I have no problem with punishing severely; BSing about one’s past is free speech. Maybe the liars should just claim to be Blackwater heroes - is pretending to be a merc still legal?
I find it disturbing how many FReepers support this.
“Stolen Valor” by BG Burkett is a must read book for those who need to see how the media manipulates a narrative to suit their purposes. Since so many Journolist types are openly opposed to the military, it is in their best interest to play up every PTSD vet. Sadly, every time some loser lies and gets away with it, a real veteran, with real symptoms, gets ignored and the Military gets another black eye.
It is not “free speech” to lie about something in order to make a profit. (ie - a salesman is not protected if he tells you that the car you are looking at has never been wrecked when the title shows otherwise.) Claiming military medals does benefit the liar with an enhanced reputation that may afford them benefits or opportunities not otherwise available, so it should NOT be protected speech. I certainly hope SCOTUS gets this one right!
The Current FReepathon Pays For The Current Quarters Expenses?
I wish these lying ‘RAT bass turds would pose as laid off union workers instead of always posing as veterans. Bass turds like this guy give veterans a bad name.
Rick Strandlof, executive director of the Colorado Veterans Alliance and the man most colleagues knew as Rick Duncan, was front and center during the 2008 Democrat campaigns in Colorado.
He spoke at a Barack Obama veterans rally in front of the Capitol befroe the DNC convention , co-hosted several events with then- congressional candidate Jared Polis and attacked Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer in a TV ad paid for by the national group Votevets.org.
I'm a vet, don't claim "hero" status but I don't support it.
Lots of vets here.
I have never served or claimed to
One reason you find it 'disturbing'. Do you have a problem with some jamoke claiming valor awards or purple hearts? If not, you aren't much different that this clown.
“He also frequently appeared with Democrat candidates, making it appear combat veterans supported them.”
You mean like those “doctors” Obama rolled out onstage when he was explaining Obamacare?
But of course, I actually have been to four back-to-back Iraq deployments and actually AM a Purple Heart recipient. I've also lost a lot of guys I know.
My kid brother just got back from his first tour to Afghanistan and is about to hit his second. My grandfather was in Korea, and though 'Nam exempt went anyway...wound up with a Purple Heart too. My other grandfather was a boat gunner at Normandy.
Bastards like this discredit the service and the United States of America. I don't have the study, but consistently service members are held by the American people to be the most trustworthy - above law enforcement, lawyers, doctors, and I think even above clergy.
Further, a lot of employers (especially fedgov) have veteran's hiring preference. Being a wounded veteran (as this POS claimed to be) awards you more points and a better chance of getting hired.
I am the last person in favor of more laws. I even think some military expenditures AND benefits are unwarranted......but really? Putting on a bunch of war medals and falsifying claims off someone else's blood?
I want you to hold the hand of a Marine not even old enough to drink....see the blood flow out of him and seemingly fill the every inch of the floor. Do this while the corpsman frantically tries to find the entry wound in the Marine's leg....as his life continues to slip away. His eyes roll, his lips to blue, the color in his face goes, his breathing slows, and somehow by the grace of God he lives.
Then after that, tell me if you could say with a straight face it's ok to put on the same uniform, a bunch of medals and FRAUD the rest of the country.
Or maybe, you could ask my Lt's mother what she thinks.....maybe she can discuss it with her son when she visits him in the cemetary; he's a Purple Heart recipient.
“Do you have a problem with some jamoke claiming valor awards or purple hearts? If not, you aren’t much different that this clown.”
I think it is a disgusting thing to do, and would merit a beat-down by those who did serve (without nanny-state interference); I don’t see adding another “protected class” with rules tailored to their gripes as a good thing.
Should married people in a bar be prohibited from posing as singles? The case could be made that it would benefit society if we stopped married people from BSing people to score...
I’ve wondered if most of those “doctors” were chiropractors of the variety who take kickbacks from trial lawyers to provide them with plaintiffs. Trial lawyers give Barry a lot of money.
No, just lying about being a military combat veteran when you are not. For example, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) are a couple of lying scumbags who publicly falsified their military service and should be in jail.
I have combat veterans in my immediate family; I just don’t see the rationale for a law like this. I understand the logic of people disgusted that some POS would do this; it is only the beginning of a slippery slope we don’t want to go down.
I’ll take it a step further: I don’t want anyone fabricating any experiences to me upon pain of incarceration. No more supermarket security staff or EMTs posing as cops, nothing! Where is the line drawn? Where the military draws it?
Do we include REMF who drive LMDs (large metal desks) who go on to claim combat experience? The biggest perps of this crap I’ve met were former servicemen claiming overseas combat when they never left NJ. Do they get the brig?
Like I said, you don't get it. The fact that you equate the two activities shows just how much you don't get it. Is cheating on your spouse a resume enhancer in most places besides the Dems?
Can't beat the shit out of them, that's part of the problem.
Sorry pal, making that analogy shows just how clueless you are. The dirtbags claiming military honors when in fact they were not awarded them and many not even being in the military should not be a "protected class."
Without the millions who sacrificed (died and bled) for our freedom, you and I wouldn't be here enjoying it.
If they weren’t stealing something of value, they wouldn’t do it. Just like the cheaters in school, they are stealing grades or scores they don’t deserve. If you don’t understand this, then you are probably in the same class as the Food Stamp President who does not understand the illegal part of illegal immigrant.
“The bottom line is that modern conservatives, like liberals, believe government is the solution to all problems.”
Apparently you’re right; sad state of affairs. There really is just one party with two heads; they just pick their own pet projects...
Tough. Others do. Live with it.
“Tough. Others do. Live with it.”
I’ll be just fine; thank you for your concern.
“If they werent stealing something of value, they wouldnt do it. Just like the cheaters in school, they are stealing grades or scores they dont deserve.”
Can I have a job applicant locked up for claiming they’ve earned a degree that later turns out to be fictitious? I’m curious as to who is included in our new “protected” class.
Impersonating an officer of the law is already illegal in most places. Which is a good thing because in NOVA/Md there was a string of cases where guys were driving police cruiser clones while dressed as cops......oh yeah, they were flashing lights and pulling cars over in order to rape women.
In my opinion, the rationale, is that medals are presented on behalf of a grateful nation by competent authority. Their presentation on a military uniform is such that other military personnel and the citizenry recognizes the bearer of those accomplishments.
An imposter defrauds the military and citizenry.
I wouldn't want someone to pretend to be my surgeon, my lawyer, my electrician, or a fireman. Impersonating these people can cause great damage. How is there not damage to good order in discipline in the military if these phonies are not punished? How is there not damge to to the credence of these medals. How is there not damage to the reputation of others that actually are serving and took the oath?
You get shot or get your ass blown off and you get a medal for your troubles....maybe you get a license plate to display it on. And it's ok to cheapen that? Why bother awarding them if there not worth anything, America?
I'm glad to know that I will suffer for the rest of my life on behalf of my country and instead of wearing my medals with pride, they are regarded as little more than yarn and tin.
“I wouldn’t want someone to pretend to be my surgeon, my lawyer, my electrician, or a fireman. Impersonating these people can cause great damage.”
Then let’s apply this equally to everyone; I don’t want anyone misrepresenting their experience in any field when they’re doing any work in any capacity.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service.
And thank you for your comments. Very well and truly said.
As far as I’m concerned, they deserve at least a punch in the mouth.
I’ll second that from little jeremiah.
Both your posts are extremely well said, thank you for your service.
“As far as Im concerned, they deserve at least a punch in the mouth.”
At the very least; you’re being charitable.
Then, yeah, the brig.
“Claiming military medals does benefit the liar with an enhanced reputation that may afford them benefits or opportunities not otherwise available, so it should NOT be protected speech.”
I have no problem with jailing someone for claiming this status on a legal document that has ramifications for hiring preferences or the like; outside of those circumstances, this is opening a Pandora’s box of trouble.
I have no problem with liars facing consequences for lying.
I hate liars.
The ‘slippery slope” argument works for a lot of things, but not this. If you lie about military service in order to promote yourself or your Democrat politicians, then you go to jail. If such laws are good for protecting cops, doctors, lawyers, and a slew of other licensed professionals (and their clientele), then they are good for genuine military warriors. This law is merely adding a deserving “profession” (combat veterans) to the list.
“If such laws are good for protecting cops, doctors, lawyers, and a slew of other licensed professionals (and their clientele), then they are good for genuine military warriors. This law is merely adding a deserving profession (combat veterans) to the list.”
I guess we’ll see how it plays out; I’d prefer they look at individual cases for meaningful misrepresentation (in a legal sense) rather than a blanket feel-good law that could be used as often as not against actual servicemen who have a different take on their experience than the US government’s officially-recorded version of it. Unlike the field you mention above, this case involves somebody inventing a past rather than a current profession.
“but some total jerk impersonating a hero does not in any way diminish my respect and admiration for all those that serve or have served in the military whether they got a medal or not.”
Same here; I don’t see now this reflects on people who really served, except it should be flattering that the dirtbag thought it was worth impersonating someone he could probably never be.
For many reasons I support this law. Posers often figure out ways to make money from their invented hero status; posers have found their way into combat zones and training jobs using their fake credentials and the result may well be loss of life and limb for those that expect to be properly trained or protected by a poser.
Many have used their stories along with fake documents to bilk the VA and other agencies out of benefits they did not earn. I also have a problem with those that claim things that others paid for in blood, sweat, and tears. It is also a problem for me when posers act in such a manner as to discredit the real Veterans or used to support politicians and policies. Many of the so-called Vietnam Veterans that were high profile against the war turned out to be posers and I have had a bad taste in my mouth ever since.
If a real Veteran wants to support or oppose a certain candidate or policy- more power to them, they have earned the right. When fake Veterans are paraded around to give the public the false impression that many veterans support something/someone that most do not- that just makes me very angry.
I don’t care what story is used to pick up women, but most go far beyond that. I have never heard of charges being brought in a stolen valor case unless the poser is using his claims to make money, steal money- or appearing in uniform with unearned medals/rank. I think the barroom liars are safe.
I agree with that. And in any event, I doubt it will ever be an easy thing to nail somebody for stolen valor.
A great example is the case of Marine Corps combat veteran Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin who made a lot of money selling a book called, 'Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper'.
Coughlin was never a Marine sniper in the first place, and the book is laughable in its description of Marine sniper activities. Of course, he wouldn't know much about it because he never attended Scout Sniper Basic School. Theory has it that Coughlin may indeed have made a bunch of good shots in combat at some point, and he may have even been attached to a real sniper team. (Sniper teams often borrow a couple of extra bodies from infantry companies when they go on missions.)
I happen to know that Coughlin is quite the subject of ridicule at a certain Scout Sniper Basic School where a beat up copy of his book is routinely picked apart for its many errors, and the student Marines joke, "Hey, I'm ranked 7th!", and "Aww, I'm only ranked 30th.", etc. (There are, of course, no "rankings" for Marine snipers let alone "top ranked".)
So here's an imposter who lied not only about being a Marine sniper, but called himself the "top ranked" sniper(!), in order to sell a book. Incredibly, the guy still shows up as a commentator on History and Military Channel documentaries!
Yes, there are REMFs who drove desks and brag about their deeds. But, have they made false claims for personal gain? If they have, these are the scum the Stolen Valor Act wants to put away.
And yes, I've done my time in the service, got shot at, and I want the fakes in Leavenworth for 20 years.
Hopefully, the SC decides better and overturns this decision; they’ve surprisingly been making a few good decisions lately. That last thing we need is to introduce the notion that the legal system can start going after people for lying.
Maybe if they made it a tag-on multiplier for fraud cases or something, but to make it a primary offense?
As much as I may find the behavior itself despicable, I just can't support a law like this. It opens doors that are supposed to remain permanently locked.
But we already have laws to punish people for fraud. Why would we need this? It's just another opening for abuse and/or precedence.
I find it hard to comprehend how a conservative would support locking up some jackass because he lied just to get laid. He may need one of my Tony Lama's up his dark side, but I can't support arresting him.
You either believe in freedom, or you don't. There is no middle ground, picking or choosing. Freedom takes the good with the bad in the name of individual freedoms, not just the ones we like.