Bill of Rights (First Amendment)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
More freedom of speech lost? What gives the military the right to limit or abridge the freedom of speech? Just because the President is the Commander and Chief? Before anyone responds with a comment or lectures me that this has been policy since the civil war, does not make it right. The right to politically critic or express our views belongs to ALL Americans, and if any one has the right to state their views it is those who serve our nation in the Military. They are on the front lines defending those freedoms (Bill of Rights). That is akin to muzzling the ox when they tread the wheat. They have the right to eat while they work. So do our service men have the right to express their political opinion while serving the nation.
As long as they obey their orders and make no threats to American citizens and the President, they should be permitted to speak out about any political issue they wish. Even if it critiques the President and his polices. That is what this nation was built on freedom people freedom. I know what some of you are thinking, if it was Bush I would be for this military policy, NO way. This is a very plain violation of the First Amendment. I am not a constitutional lawyer or scholar, but as I have stated before if you can read and have any level of comprehension of what you read the Constitution is not that difficult to read or understand. The founding father’s meant what they wrote and wrote what they meant. The great document is NOT riddled with hidden meaning or double standards. The Constitution was meant to be followed as it was written, if we the people found problems or issues with parts of it the founders put provision in place to amend the document by process of congress and the people voting on changes or a call for a Constitutional convention. You bet they made it difficult to achieve that, because they did not want the document easily altered. The document is not a living breathing document that is to change with whatever direction the wind is blowing. Instead we have activist Judges who have raped, pillaged and perverted the interpretations of the Constitution. Therefore we are the mess we are in today.
With that being said the Marine had the right to express his opinion of any elected official and their policy’s. That Military regulation should have been challenged from the origination of it in the civil war period. It may have been, and shame on those who put it in place and have upheld this anti free speech regulation or policy.
I challenge any one to say that Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams and most the founding fathers would have gone along with this violation of freedom of speech. The Federal Government must be brought back into control of the people, (The American Citizen only) not illegals, not the U.N. or any other foreign entity. Down sized and performing the duties that only the Constitution gave it, return the rest of the power and authority to the people and the States respectfully. The rest of the world and you anti American types can go fly a kite, jump off a cliff whatever just butt out of our business and life. If you hate America and the Constitution then pack your bags, move to some third world nation or some European socialist, individual rights restricting nation just go, we do not need you. Remember freedom is not free! When good men do nothing evil men prevail. GOD bless America. Ok now for the article. GRW
Marine still outspoken despite facing dismissal
By JULIE WATSON
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Marine facing dismissal for running a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party that criticizes the Obama administration is still speaking out but has been getting little support from military law experts and free speech advocates who say he may have crossed the line.
The Marine Corps notified Sgt. Gary Stein Wednesday that it is moving to dismiss him for violating the Pentagon’s policy barring troops from engaging in political activities.
The military has had a policy since the Civil War limiting the free speech of service members, including criticizing the commander-in-chief.
David Loy, of the American Civil Liberties Union in San Diego County, said he has not followed Stein’s case closely, but that based on what he has seen in the media, he thinks there may be a legitimate concern on the part of the Corps about Stein appearing to be speaking as a member of the armed forces because of his Facebook page’s name.
“The military has a very strong interest and appropriately so to remaining neutral,” he said. “The last thing we want is our military taking side on political issues.”
Former Navy officer David Glazier, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, agreed.
“He’s really rubbing the government’s nose in it,” he said. “It’s really hard to have sympathy for him.”
Stein said he is not swayed. He said he received hundreds of emails from service members and the public in support of him.
“They’re entitled to their opinions, but I still think this is a freedom of speech issue,” Stein said. “I’m standing up for the Constitution.”
Stein, a nine-year member of the Corps, said he started the page to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights.
The Marine Corps said in a statement that it decided to take administrative action after Stein declared on Facebook that he would not follow unlawful orders from Obama. He later criticized the comments of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
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 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.
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 was first cautioned by his superiors at Camp Pendleton 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. Stein said he now plans to fight the charges. He had applied to extend his service, which was set to expire in a few months.
Former military prosecutor Lisa Windsor said since the Civil War, military members have been testing those limits and gotten in trouble. Now those cases can go global because of the Internet.
“I think they’ve been very lenient with him so far,” Windsor said.
Stein said he will not wear his uniform when he speaks to tea party supporters but he likely will mention his case.
Marine says he’s being kicked out over Tea Party Facebook page
An outspoken Marine critical of President Barack Obama says he was notified Wednesday that the Marine Corps has charged him with using contemptuous words against the commander-in-chief and violating the Defense Department’s guidelines barring troops from engaging in political activities, The Associated Press reported.
Sgt. Gary Stein created a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party on which he declared that he wouldn’t follow orders from the president. He later softened the statement to say he wouldn’t follow “unlawful orders,” but legal experts said he might have violated rules prohibiting political statements by those in uniform and guidelines on what troops can and cannot say on social media.
Stein told AP the notification he received Wednesday stated that the Corps was beginning the process to have him discharged.