Marine critical of Obama faces charge

Party Rooster

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Marine critical of Obama faces charge

By Associated Press
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - Added 2 days ago

SAN DIEGO — The Marine Corps on Wednesday notified a sergeant who has been openly critical of President Barack Obama that he is violating Pentagon policy barring troops from political activities and that he faces dismissal.

Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Gary Stein started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights. He declared a few weeks ago that he would not follow the unlawful orders of the commander in chief. Stein also criticized Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for his comments on Syria.

Stein, a nine-year member of the Corps, said he did nothing wrong and planned to fight the charges. He had applied to extend his service, which was set to expire in a few months.

"I’m completely shocked that this is happening," he said. "I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve only stated what our oath states that I will defend the constitution and that I will not follow unlawful orders. If that’s a crime, what is America coming to?"

The Marine Corps said in a statement Wednesday that Stein’s commanding officer ordered a preliminary inquiry on March 8 after receiving allegations that Stein posted political statements about Obama on Facebook in violation of the Pentagon’s directives.

"After reviewing the findings of the preliminary inquiry, the commander decided to address the allegations through administrative action," the Corps said.

Stein said in addition to being discharged, he would have his rank reduced to lance corporal if he is proven to be in violation of the rules. 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.

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.

In January, an Army reservist wearing camouflaged fatigues got into trouble for taking the stage during a rally in Iowa with Republican presidential candidate and Texas congressman Ron Paul.

Stein was first cautioned by his superiors at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego, in 2010, after he launched his Facebook page and criticized Obama’s health care overhaul. Stein volunteered to take down the page while he reviewed the rules at the request of his superiors.

He said he determined he was not in violation and relaunched the page. Last week, he said his superiors told him he could not use social media sites on government computers after he posted the message stating he would not follow unlawful orders of the president.

Stein said his statement 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.

Another Marine alerted his command about the statement, Stein said.

Stein said he respects the office of the president, but he does not agree with Obama’s policies. He said he is within his rights to speak up.

The Marine Corps said Stein is allowed to express his personal opinions as long as they do not give the impression he is speaking in his official capacity as a Marine.

Spokesman Maj. Michael Armistead said earlier this month that the Corps was taking a closer look to determine whether Stein had crossed that line.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/na..._obama_faces_charge/srvc=home&position=recent
Can't go against Dear Leader...:icon_cool
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#2
Sorry, have to side with the gub'ment on this one. Soldiers cannot involve themselves in political activities or publicly criticize military or civilian leaders. Period.
 

Hate & Discontent

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Aug 22, 2005
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Sorry, have to side with the gub'ment on this one. Soldiers cannot involve themselves in political activities or publicly criticize military or civilian leaders. Period.
Yep. You give up some rights when you join the military. This is one of them.
 

South Jersey

I told you so ... too
Sep 14, 2004
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#6
But the conscientious objectors against Bush's wars were true patriots and heroes.........MAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
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#8
Being a CO is different then bad mouthing the Commander and Chief.
Plenty of people claiming CO status did just that, if I remember right. Their supports sure as fuck did.
 

Norm Stansfield

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Mar 17, 2009
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#9
As long as he's not punished beyond being dismissed, I really can't imagine what the problem is.

Being a CO is different then bad mouthing the Commander and Chief.
Actually, a soldier who volunteered for service being a CO is cowardice. A soldier badmouthing the President, but still willing to fight, is at worst not constructive behavior.

The former warrants court martial, the latter only dismissal.
 

lajikal

Registered User
Aug 6, 2009
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#10
It's hard to tell whether he's actually violating directives based on missing details in the article. Sounds like he isn't, but should get a military lawyer cause he's got his leadership on his ass.
 

Party Rooster

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#11
*Update*

Board rules that Marine who called Obama the ‘enemy’ should be discharged

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, April 6, 2012 13:30 EDT

A US Marine faces possible dismissal after posting critical remarks on Facebook about US President Barack Obama, with a review board recommending a less than honorable discharge.

Sergeant Gary Stein, 26, a nine-year veteran, posted comments on Facebook and other websites calling Obama a coward and “the economic and religious enemy,” a Marine Corps board was told during an all-day hearing on Thursday.

Stein had urged Obama’s defeat in the November election, writing “screw Obama” in one posting, and had founded a website called Armed Forces Tea Party, apparently in support of the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement.


On one site he sold bumper stickers reading “NOBAMA 2012.”

The three-member board meeting at Camp Pendleton, a military base in southern California, announced its decision just after 11:00 pm Thursday (0600 GMT Friday). The final decision will be made by a commanding general.

Stein had no comment after the decision, but Mark Brewer, one of his civilian lawyers, said: “We’re disappointed but we’re going to keep fighting for this Marine.”

During the hearing, Marine lawyers argued that Stein be booted over the remarks about Obama, who is the commander and chief of US armed forces.

“This is what he’s putting out to the public, and he’s a sergeant of Marines, on active duty,” said Captain John Torresala, representing Stein’s commander. “How can this not be prejudicial to good order and discipline?”

Stein’s lawyers countered that since the comments were made off-duty they are protected under constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression, saying the Marine Corps’s own rules on the matter are vague.


They argued that restricting Marines from participating in political discussions essentially reduced them to second-class citizens.

Stein, who served in Iraq, is currently assigned to scheduling rifle ranges at Camp Pendleton. His enlistment is set to end in July, and and he had hoped to reenlist.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/...tm_campaign=Feed:+TheRawStory+(The+Raw+Story)
 

Motor Head

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#12
I was hoping he would just get a shit duty assignment. A year of scraping seagull shit off of naval vessels, or some other shit assignment at a shitty naval base.
 

whiskeyguy

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Perhaps one of the military guys could answer this... what consequences (besides being dismissed from service) would a "dismissal" carry with it in his civilian life. I'm assuming this isn't a dishonorable discharge, so is this equal to his service simply ending?
 

samurai

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#14
So much for following orders. Boot his ass.
 

samurai

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#15
Perhaps one of the military guys could answer this... what consequences (besides being dismissed from service) would a "dismissal" carry with it in his civilian life. I'm assuming this isn't a dishonorable discharge, so is this equal to his service simply ending?
Discharge types...
Honorable
General
Other Than Honorable (OTH)
An OTH is the most severe form of administrative discharge. This type of discharge represents a serious departure from the conduct and performance expected of all military members. OTH discharges are typically given to service members convicted by a civilian court in which a sentence of confinement has been adjudged or in which the conduct leading to the conviction brings discredit upon the service. It can also be given as the result of certain civil hearings, like divorce for adultery. OTH discharges can be accepted in-lieu of court-martial proceedings at the service-member's request. Persons facing OTH are guaranteed, by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the right to have their discharge heard by an administrative discharge board, which is similar to a court-martial but is not a public forum.
Bad Conduct (BCD)
Dishonorable

As for civilian life, I don't know if employers can find, or know the differences between the types of discharge...other than honorable/dishonorable
 

whiskeyguy

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#16
Honorable
General
Other Than Honorable (OTH)
An OTH is the most severe form of administrative discharge. This type of discharge represents a serious departure from the conduct and performance expected of all military members. OTH discharges are typically given to service members convicted by a civilian court in which a sentence of confinement has been adjudged or in which the conduct leading to the conviction brings discredit upon the service. It can also be given as the result of certain civil hearings, like divorce for adultery. OTH discharges can be accepted in-lieu of court-martial proceedings at the service-member's request. Persons facing OTH are guaranteed, by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the right to have their discharge heard by an administrative discharge board, which is similar to a court-martial but is not a public forum.
Bad Conduct (BCD)
Dishonorable
So he's facing a OTH discharge right now?
 

Party Rooster

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#17
Perhaps one of the military guys could answer this... what consequences (besides being dismissed from service) would a "dismissal" carry with it in his civilian life. I'm assuming this isn't a dishonorable discharge, so is this equal to his service simply ending?
with a review board recommending a less than honorable discharge.
Lately I've seen job applications ask the question "less than honorable discharge" rather than just simply "dishonorable discharge" more and more.

Dishonorable can only be given with a court martial proceeding, and I don't this guy will get that. A dishonorable is very bad, can't own guns for example. Also you forfeit your veterans benefits and pay as well.

His "less than honorable" would be worse than just having his enlistment end. The guy wants to re-enlist in July, just don't let him as his punishment. I don't really see the point of ruining the rest of his life over something like this.
 

Motor Head

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#18
I think they will look at his service up until the infraction and give him an Honorable Discharge. Provided he hasn't had other problems of course.
 

Motor Head

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#19
Lately I've seen job applications ask the question "less than honorable discharge" rather than just simply "dishonorable discharge" more and more.

Dishonorable can only be given with a court martial proceeding, and I don't this guy will get that. A dishonorable is very bad, can't own guns for example. Also you forfeit your veterans benefits and pay as well.

His "less than honorable" would be worse than just having his enlistment end. The guy wants to re-enlist in July, just don't let him as his punishment. I don't really see the point of ruining the rest of his life over something like this.
Dishonorable Discharge = Convicted Felon (civilian)
 

samurai

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#20
I think they will look at his service up until the infraction and give him an Honorable Discharge. Provided he hasn't had other problems of course.
Or a General...

General discharges are given to service members whose performance is satisfactory but is marked by a considerable departure in duty performance and conduct expected of military members. Reasons for such a characterization of service vary, from medical discharges to misconduct, and are utilized by the unit commander as a means to correct unacceptable behavior prior to initiating discharge action (unless the reason is drug abuse, in which case discharge is mandatory). A commander must disclose the reasons for the discharge action in writing to the service member, and must explain reasons for recommending the service be characterized as General (Under Honorable Conditions). The service member is normally required to sign a statement acknowledging receipt and understanding of the notification of pending discharge memorandum. They are also advised of the right to seek counsel and present supporting statements.

In addition, service members are required to sign documents acknowledging that "substantial prejudice in civilian life" may be encountered under a general discharge.[3] Despite this, some personnel think because the discharge is described as general under honorable conditions, it is as good as or the same as an honorable discharge. Concerning VA disability and most other benefits that is true; however, a general discharge may preclude participation in the GI Bill, service on veteran's commissions, and other programs where a fully honorable discharge is required. However, one state, Illinois, prohibits discrimination against a veteran from housing or employment on the basis of unfavorable discharge from military service per the Human Rights Act of 1970.[4] It does not apply to dishonorably discharged veterans, as shown below.
 

whiskeyguy

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#21
His "less than honorable" would be worse than just having his enlistment end. The guy wants to re-enlist in July, just don't let him as his punishment. I don't really see the point of ruining the rest of his life over something like this.
I agree with this. A kid from my high school class got a less than honorable discharge (I think) from the Navy because he failed a drug test... I think he said they actually smoked weed on the carrier (yeah, not the smartest guy). I see that as worse than making a political comment. Assuming he hasn't had any other problems, just allow him to finish his service with some shit duties and then part ways.
 

lajikal

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#22
He got civilian lawyers instead of a military lawyer? Soo fucked.
 

BIV

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#23
I think he said they actually smoked weed on the carrier (yeah, not the smartest guy). I see that as worse than making a political comment.
Not from the military's point of view. Publicly criticizing any CO, let alone the President, is about the worse thing you can do in the military without facing a dishonorable.
 

KRSOne

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#24
If you disagree with Obama allowing foreign powers to control the US military or anything else he is doing that goes against the constitution, the best protest is to get out of the military when you can.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
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#25
If you disagree with Obama allowing foreign powers to control the US military or anything else he is doing that goes against the constitution, the best protest is to get out of the military when you can.
Hey retard, adults are talking. No matter who is in charge, the military considers this a serious offense.