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View Poll Results: Is this soldier right or wrong?
Stay in the military 2 33.33%
Face UCMJ 4 66.67%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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#1
Old 04-05-2012, 11:05 AM
Boxingtech718v2
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Default Marine to argue free speech case in hearing.

http://news.yahoo.com/marine-argue-f..._popupsignin=1
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) ***8212; 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." Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, also has expressed support for Stein.

Stein said his statement about Obama was part of an online debate about NATO allowing U.S. troops to be tried for the Quran burnings in Afghanistan. In that context, he said, he was stating that he would not follow orders from the president if those orders included detaining U.S. citizens, disarming them or doing anything else that he believes would violate their constitutional rights.

The military has had a policy since the Civil War limiting the free speech of service members, including criticizing the commander in chief. Military law experts have said he may have crossed the line.

According to Pentagon directives, military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement. Commissioned officers also may not use contemptuous words against senior officials, including the defense secretary or the president.

Stein said in addition to being discharged, he would have his rank reduced to lance corporal if he is proven to be in violation. He said he was removed from his job at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego on Wednesday and given a desk job with no access to computers.

Stein's lawyers asked a federal judge Wednesday to impose an injunction to block the military's discharge hearing so they could have more time to prepare their case.

The judge denied the request.

Not part of the article but, debates should be informed by facts. the oath of enlistment is specified in federal statute in 10 U.S.C. 502:

"I, XXXXXXXXXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Last edited by Boxingtech718v2; 04-05-2012 at 11:09 AM..
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#2
Old 04-05-2012, 11:20 AM
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As a veteran myself it is clear that military members must obey the commands of the POTUS no matter who wears the title. This guy took the oath and should not only get discharged but face time in prison for disobeying a clear and direct order.
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#3
Old 04-05-2012, 11:38 AM
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I'm a veteran as well and I remember when I first joined the service I learned right away that certain things that applied to civilians didn't apply to me anymore.

It's the same with all service members in all branches of the military. They took an oath and now have to abide by whatever rules and orders they are given. Personal opinions don't mean anything.

I don't see why the Marine is surprised that this happened to him for saying such things about the President. In the Navy if I had sent out an message to the entire ship that I would not follow the Captain's orders I would have been standing before the old man that very day.

Anyway the Marine needs to face UCMJ.
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#4
Old 04-05-2012, 11:49 AM
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Is that why the Marines were disarmed before a speech (in Afghanistan) by the Secretary of Defense last month? And what exactly does he mean by "he wouldn't follow an unlawful command from Obama?" As a member of the US Armed Forces, he is required to follow orders from his chain of command, regardless of whether or not he agrees with his Commander in Chief's politics (or whether or not he thinks it is "lawful.") Which is why he needs to face UCMJ.
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#5
Old 04-05-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxingtech718v2 View Post
As a veteran myself it is clear that military members must obey the commands of the POTUS no matter who wears the title. This guy took the oath and should not only get discharged but face time in prison for disobeying a clear and direct order.
That seems a little over the top.
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#6
Old 04-05-2012, 12:15 PM
Boxingtech718v2
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Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
That seems a little over the top.
A member of the military can be executed for disobeying a direct order during war time.
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#7
Old 04-05-2012, 12:33 PM
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1st off I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your service. I appreciate it to no end, and will always be eternally grateful for your service and the sacrifices envolved in making such a commitment.

As a service member there are things that you cant put a face to. You can have your opinions but you are not to give a "face" to them as you represent the armed forces 24/7.

@Jefferies. He(the Marine)is obligated to follow ALL lawful orders. He is not however to obligated to follow any unlawful orders regardless who they come from. But he better know for damn certain that the order is indeed unlawful before he/she declines to follow said order.

My opinion is that this can be handled via the UCMJ process(yes, you can argue that it is a form of treason during a time of war and thus deserves a courtmartial which the ultimate penalty is indeed death). But I believe unless the Marine asks for this to be decided by courtmartial, then it can be resolved via UCMJ at the hands of his Chain of Command.
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#8
Old 04-05-2012, 01:04 PM
Boxingtech718v2
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It's crazy when you post a topic that actually provokes intellectual thought you don't get comments. But if I were to start a thread about Kim K I would have already at least 30 comments.
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#9
Old 04-05-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief2ndzOnly! View Post
1st off I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your service. I appreciate it to no end, and will always be eternally grateful for your service and the sacrifices envolved in making such a commitment.

As a service member there are things that you cant put a face to. You can have your opinions but you are not to give a "face" to them as you represent the armed forces 24/7.

@Jefferies. He(the Marine)is obligated to follow ALL lawful orders. He is not however to obligated to follow any unlawful orders regardless who they come from. But he better know for damn certain that the order is indeed unlawful before he/she declines to follow said order.

My opinion is that this can be handled via the UCMJ process(yes, you can argue that it is a form of treason during a time of war and thus deserves a courtmartial which the ultimate penalty is indeed death). But I believe unless the Marine asks for this to be decided by courtmartial, then it can be resolved via UCMJ at the hands of his Chain of Command.
I want to thank you Chief for your service and willingness to actually follow orders.
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#10
Old 04-05-2012, 05:51 PM
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I'm not sure I understand the "direct order" part.
Was he ordered by a superior to delete his FB page, then refused?

Or are you all talking about a standing order regarding personal
opinion, which may or may not specifically prescribe against FB
page content? Just looking for the smoking gun here.

"Stein said his statement about Obama was part of an online
debate about NATO allowing U.S. troops to be tried for the Quran
burnings in Afghanistan. In that context, he said, he was stating
that he would not follow orders from the president if those orders
included detaining U.S. citizens, disarming them or doing anything
else that he believes would violate their constitutional rights."


Sounds like he was describing a what-if situation, which falls far
short of advocating blanket disobedience versus the president.
Now, if Stein was indeed distributing "NOBAMA" stickers, it would
more clearly be a case of engaging in political activity, as well as
technical sedition --more than sufficient grounds for discharge.
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