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Marine sues to block discipline

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#1 Frank M

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:03 PM

I say he's a dumbass. What kind of a numbnuts posts on Facebook that he won't follow the Commander-in-Chief's orders?

And before all the Tea Partiers here get their panties in a bunch, the first time he was disciplined, the ACLU defended him. You'd think he would have learned to keep his mouth shut.



<h1>Marine sues to block discipline over Obama Facebook critique

By Marty Graham

SAN DIEGO | Wed Apr 4, 2012 3:40pm EDT

(Reuters) - A U.S. Marine facing discipline and possible discharge for using his "Armed Forces Tea Party" Facebook page to criticize President Barack Obama has filed suit seeking to halt military proceedings against him.

Lawyers for Sergeant Gary Stein, 26, a meteorologist stationed at Camp Pendleton, were expected in federal court in San Diego on Wednesday to try to block the proceedings, arguing that the Marine Corps was violating his right to free speech. Stein ran into trouble for a critical comment he posted in an online debate over the punishment faced by NATO and U.S. military personnel over burning copies of the Koran in Afghanistan.

The Marine sergeant has said he is free to express personal political opinions when he is off-duty and out of uniform, and Defense Department rules allow soldiers to make political statements so long as they are not doing so as representatives of the armed services.

Military experts have said that by associating the name of his Facebook page with the armed forces, Stein essentially put himself in the position of speaking publicly while in uniform.

Stein posted a copy of his lawsuit, along with a letter sent to the Marine Corps on his behalf by U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a former Marine who supports Stein, on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

There was no immediate comment on the court action from the military. The suit names the sergeant's commanding officer, the commander of the Marine Corps Recruitment Depot where Stein works as a weather forecaster, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Defense Department as defendants.

The remarks at issue have since been removed from Facebook. But in an account he gave the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, Stein paraphrased himself as stating: "I say screw Obama. I will not follow orders given by him to me." Stein said he later clarified online that he meant he would not follow "unlawful orders" from the president, the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces.

The site, though titled "Armed Forces Tea Party," carries a disclaimer: "We do not represent, and are in no way affiliated with the military, or United States Armed Forces."

Stein ran afoul of the Marine Corps once before, in 2010, for expressing his opinion as a member of the armed forces rather than as a civilian over comments he made on the same Facebook page. At the time, the American Civil Liberties Union spoke up for him, and the group's local attorney is among those who have signed the lawsuit complaint on his Facebook page.

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#2 Phurfur


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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:15 PM

I would discharge him for insubordination. He is obviously not military material and is a danger to himself and others.

#3 Voltaire


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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:23 AM

For the most part, I'd let him say what he wants and would not get hung up on the in/out of uniform thing as it's clear he's speaking for himself. I respect the troops right to free speech. I don't mind the first line "Screw Obama". We've come to expect that in political discourse.

As you all recall, I vented massive rage about/against The Bushtard back in the dark days of his regime. If I were still in the military at the time, I would not have toned it down an iota. And I would expect to be given some leeway to express my opinions although I know the miltary brass is polluted with a$$holes with no respect for the first amendment so a confrontation may have resulted.

It's the second line the guy said that gets him in hot water. He can't say that he "won't follow orders given from him to me." That's one that you can't walk back or expect to be taken lightly. Guy's going to deserve what he gets. I wonder if I would have said that about The Bushtard.

When another poster here wondered "what was going through Bush's mind" and I replied "hopefully a lead slug" I got called for it and you know what, I realized it was in bad taste. I did want to walk that one back.
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#4 nikki2200


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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:39 AM

For the most part, I'd let him say what he wants and would not get hung up on the in/out of uniform thing as it's clear he's speaking for himself. I respect the troops right to free speech. I don't mind the first line "Screw Obama". We've come to expect that in political discourse.

How is it any different than a private citizen starting a Facebook hate page about the company they work for and getting fired - which they absolutely would?

It's much better collecting stray kats and crapping your pants on occasion. Trust me.

#5 Mungwater


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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:45 AM

It's ok for military guys to be doing stuff out of uniform, but the second you identify yourself or you're in uniform, you're toast. You lose some of those rights when you take the oath