Skip to comments.It's not stolen valor, it's free speech
Posted on 07/10/2012 11:15:27 AM PDT by pietraynor
Guy walks in a bar.
The regulars look up. The guy's a stranger. Around his neck he's wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor. The regulars put down their shot glasses and crowd around the guy. They befriend the hero and buy him drinks. They're honored by his company.
Turns out the guy's a phony. He was never in Korea or Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan. He never was anywhere. He never saw combat. He never was even in the military. He bought the medal online.
So the regulars take the guy out back and give him the beating he deserves. The guy calls the cops.
The Supreme Court gets the case and rules 6-3 that the guy can wear any medal he wants, even if it is the highest award for bravery the country can give out. It doesn't matter if he earned it or not. It doesn't matter if it is legitimate or not. It doesn't matter if he lied about it to cage drinks.
Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/columnists/ci_21042129/its-not-stolen-valor-its-free-speech#ixzz20FFRLbSO
(Excerpt) Read more at lowellsun.com ...
I wish people would understand the difference between a Congressional Medal of Honor and a Medal of Honor. Besides, given the recent history of the body, adding the superfluous word “Congressional” is a slight.
Even there things are cloudy. There is such an offense as unjust enrichment that might apply when you take advantage of someone else’s mistake in a contract.
Yes the beating was clearly illegal, but it's a risk he took when he conned people out of drink money. The main point is that freedom of speech only protects you from GOVERNMENT actions it doen't protect you from private consequences of your actions.
And I do not beweep in the slightest any fate that came to the beaters on account of the beating. And I do not condone any threats express or implied to beat someone under such circumstances.
So why is it a crime to copy another’s writings? Maybe the Medals should be copyrighted to the earner.
Good, now I can forge a handicapped certificate and park wherever I want.
It’s my free speech, ya see?
As an attorney, I can tell you that there’s the law, and then there are the rules. You can bend the law but you don’t mess with the rules.
Beating the guy was against the law, but it wasn’t against the rules.
[ I can understand the temptation. But I cannot condone it. ]
True its regrettable you must beat the snot out of some people.. to get their attention..
People that flaunt your sacred values and mock them..
People that lie as if it was normal... like a democrat...
Lying in front of democrats is one thing lying in front of non democrats is something else..
Has its consequences....
True, legally it is ok to do except for the part about using it to get drinks. That is fraud and with the nature of the lie used land him in jail.
Unless people think it is "small government" to also convict and imprison people who lie on dating websites. Or claim to have been a starting QB in high school. Or....
Non of the guys I know who earned a medal (of any kind) would EVER wear it out of uniform.
IMO - Anyone wearing a medal out of uniform, most likely did NOT (justly) earn it. JFn Kerry comes to mind...
I believe the difference would be that using a handicapped parking spot would be using something that is not offered to you and is something you don't legally qualify for. If you faked your handicap and an establishment offered and told you to park in any spot, that would be "ok" (I don't agree with the morals, i'm just point out). Same thing with this guy. They offered him drinks. He didn't go in and get discounts b/c he said he was MOH. They offered. If the establishment was giving free drinks for MOH and he claimed it, then they could charge him with lying. There is a difference.
Quite honestly, I don’t think any MOH awardee would wear the MOH in public, especially into a bar if it were not an official ceremony. Most of them won’t even tell you about their MOH nor the circumstances under which they were awarded our nation’s highest award for bravery. Think!!
awwww hey yeah... it was real good of you to point it out all nice like that
Free speech? Sure.
But say something negative about Obama and the death threats start pouring in.
So, it would then be free speech to maintain a website that people can enter the names and the BS stories they tell of these stolen valor thieves?
LOL, not quite. If you can prove the watch was fraudulently represented as a Rolex by the seller in a way that reasonably prevented discovery, you can get back both your money plus damages, as well as get the punk thrown in jail.
Fraud is always actionable, it just hides behind various thresholds of process depending on the situation.
Real heroes don’t wear their medals around their neck or anywhere on their person. I have known a few decorated military heroes and they do not brag about it. As a matter of fact they seldom speak of what they did or saw.