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Marine Sgt. Gary Stein faces discharge


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#1    Karlis

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:46 AM

What are your opinions regarding the case of Marine Sgt. Gary Stein?
Please discuss:
-=-=-


Marine Sgt. Gary Stein faces dismissal for his Facebook page criticizing Obama administration.
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.

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.
Source


#2    Realm

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:45 AM

I'm retired military, and yes, he has crossed the line. He has the right to cast a vote, if he doesn't like the current administration.

He has the right to disobey unlawful orders, however he cannot determine what is unlawful based on just what he believes is unlawful.

The UCMJ, while constitution based, overrides constitutional authority while in the military.

Article 88 of the UCMJ


“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Or NCO

ART. 92. FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR REGULATION

Any person subject to this chapter who--
(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;
(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by any member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or
(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties;
shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Edited by Realm, 06 April 2012 - 06:58 AM.


#3    Leonardo

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:19 AM

When soldiers start believing they should be immune from prosecution for doing something a civilian would be prosecuted for*, then those soldiers stop defending the people - and their rights - and start becoming despots.

Furthermore, Sgt. Stein appears to have determined his allegiance lies with a political party, in violation of the oath(s) he took when joining the military. I expect the Marine Corps. will not look kindly on his statements.

*Normal military duties excepted, of course.

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#4    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:56 PM

So is this only Obama he would refuse to obey, or any president? Is this just yet further paranoia about Mr. O?

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#5    conspiracybeliever

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:58 PM

I think he has the right to fight for what he thinks is right or what he thinks is his rights but he should expect the same thing any normal citizen would get when he refuses to do something to fight for his rights. And getting fired from your job is at the low end of retaliation for that. And I agree with the above 3 posts completely.

Edited by conspiracybeliever, 06 April 2012 - 12:58 PM.


#6    Dredimus

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:24 PM

He expressed his views about the current administration while OUT of uniform... there was even a disclaimer on his page stating that his views were not representative of the Marines and fell solely on his shoulders. He stated that he would not follow an UNlawful order... and he called Obama a Jackass. And for this, they want to completely destroy his life... an "other than honorable" or "dishonorable" discharge will dog you forever... people see that on your 214 and you arent likely to get a job. What he did is not illegal in the civilian world. I would hand him an article 15, say... 3 months reduced pay... and be on my way instead of blowing it up to the level it is now. Let us not forget that this man has been a Marine for 9 years, has risen to the rank of SGT and wants to re-enlist...


     We in the military do not serve the president... we serve our country.


#7    questionmark

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

View PostDredimus, on 06 April 2012 - 01:24 PM, said:

He expressed his views about the current administration while OUT of uniform... there was even a disclaimer on his page stating that his views were not representative of the Marines and fell solely on his shoulders. He stated that he would not follow an UNlawful order... and he called Obama a Jackass. And for this, they want to completely destroy his life... an "other than honorable" or "dishonorable" discharge will dog you forever... people see that on your 214 and you arent likely to get a job. What he did is not illegal in the civilian world. I would hand him an article 15, say... 3 months reduced pay... and be on my way instead of blowing it up to the level it is now. Let us not forget that this man has been a Marine for 9 years, has risen to the rank of SGT and wants to re-enlist...


We in the military do not serve the president... we serve our country.


As long as he identifies himself as member of the Armed Forces while making a political statement he has violated at least a dozen articles of the UCMJ, whether in uniform or naked.

Now, I find a dishonorable discharge a little harsh too, reduction to E-1 and six month of pay forfeiture would do it too.

The JAG can't ignore this one because it can end in a general discipline problem.

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#8    Dredimus

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 06 April 2012 - 01:37 PM, said:

As long as he identifies himself as member of the Armed Forces while making a political statement he has violated at least a dozen articles of the UCMJ, whether in uniform or naked.

Now, I find a dishonorable discharge a little harsh too, reduction to E-1 and six month of pay forfeiture would do it too.

The JAG can't ignore this one because it can end in a general discipline problem.


   I know the code, and I know it well... Article 88 was taken from the British Articles of War of 1765. There are also DoD regulations that deal with the same issue...

  

Quote

In order to secure an Article 88 conviction, the government must
prove that the accused was a *commissioned officer; that he or she used certain
words against the official or legislature specified in the article; that a third
party became aware of these words because of an act attributed to the accused;
and that thewords were contemptuous in themselves or by virtue of the
circumstances in which they were used.(16) The government may not charge expressions
of opinion made during the course of a private conversation or adverse
criticism of a protected official or legislature if it was not personally
contemptuous and was done during the course of a political discussion
.

*note that the marine was a Non Commissioned Officer)


   Now, im not a big fan of the Marines... its engrained in me to poke fun at them at every opportunity... however... if we are going to prosecute this one... they need to go after a majority of soldiers, sailors, marines and flyboys because we have these discussions on a daily basis and there are hundreds of Military blogs out there that offer up the same type of opinion of our current leader. As a soldier and as a civilian, I dont agree with any action taken against anyone who speaks out for or against any administration they happen to be serving under. If the guy had made some sort of threat, I could understand such a harsh consequence... but being dishonorably discharged is an insane price to pay for letting your opinions be known. A letter of reprimand should suffice and if you really wanted to push it, dont allow him to re-enlist.


#9    questionmark

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:15 PM

View PostDredimus, on 06 April 2012 - 03:06 PM, said:

   I know the code, and I know it well... Article 88 was taken from the British Articles of War of 1765. There are also DoD regulations that deal with the same issue...

  

*note that the marine was a Non Commissioned Officer)


   Now, im not a big fan of the Marines... its engrained in me to poke fun at them at every opportunity... however... if we are going to prosecute this one... they need to go after a majority of soldiers, sailors, marines and flyboys because we have these discussions on a daily basis and there are hundreds of Military blogs out there that offer up the same type of opinion of our current leader. As a soldier and as a civilian, I dont agree with any action taken against anyone who speaks out for or against any administration they happen to be serving under. If the guy had made some sort of threat, I could understand such a harsh consequence... but being dishonorably discharged is an insane price to pay for letting your opinions be known. A letter of reprimand should suffice and if you really wanted to push it, dont allow him to re-enlist.

Which means that there is already a discipline problem.

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#10    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:18 PM

View PostDredimus, on 06 April 2012 - 03:06 PM, said:

I know the code, and I know it well... Article 88 was taken from the British Articles of War of 1765. There are also DoD regulations that deal with the same issue...

  

*note that the marine was a Non Commissioned Officer)


   Now, im not a big fan of the Marines... its engrained in me to poke fun at them at every opportunity... however... if we are going to prosecute this one... they need to go after a majority of soldiers, sailors, marines and flyboys because we have these discussions on a daily basis and there are hundreds of Military blogs out there that offer up the same type of opinion of our current leader. As a soldier and as a civilian, I dont agree with any action taken against anyone who speaks out for or against any administration they happen to be serving under. If the guy had made some sort of threat, I could understand such a harsh consequence... but being dishonorably discharged is an insane price to pay for letting your opinions be known. A letter of reprimand should suffice and if you really wanted to push it, dont allow him to re-enlist.
That's the thing, surely. If this was to be applied literally, no one in the military would ever discuss anything related to politics or current affairs, which would hardly be realistic to expect.
perhaps it might be time to think about updating that, like, dare i suggest, a lot of parts of the Constitution could be as well ...

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#11    questionmark

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:32 PM

View Post747400, on 06 April 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:

That's the thing, surely. If this was to be applied literally, no one in the military would ever discuss anything related to politics or current affairs, which would hardly be realistic to expect.
perhaps it might be time to think about updating that, like, dare i suggest, a lot of parts of the Constitution could be as well ...

Nobody expects a military man not to have an opinion, but there is a slight difference between Mr. John Doe expressing his opinion and Sgt. John Doe doing the same. No matter if overtly or not, that face calling himself Sargent  always represents the military, and the military is supposed to be politically neutral.

Naturally, if Sgt. Stein would have posted a video saying I am Mr. Gary Stein and Obama is a ... (fill in as needed) it would have fallen under the category: Anti-Obama and similar cranks and after his family and friends had seen it nobody would pay any attention anymore, saying that he was Sgt. Stein made the difference, both in attention he received as legally.

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#12    Eldorado

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:39 PM

Saying you hate your boss in public gets you fired!

And?


#13    Contract Killer Romeo

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:50 PM

does not surprise me at all. Say what you want, but don't post the crap on facebook. I quit facebook for that very reason, i didnt want to worry about what I was saying.


#14    questionmark

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:10 PM

View PostEldorado, on 06 April 2012 - 03:39 PM, said:

Saying you hate your boss in public gets you fired!

And?

That if you are not a member of the Marine Corps you have enough brain to know that :devil:

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#15    Cassea

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:19 PM

When you join the military you are the property of the military and all civilian rights go out the window.   In fact if you were to kill a member of the military as a civilian you would charged with damaging military property as well.  So this guy knows this, he's an idiot and deserves to be discharged.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury communication issues.   http://www.asha.org/.../#comm_problems




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