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View Full Version : The Discharge of Sgt. Gary Stein


nighttimer
04-26-2012, 08:59 AM
A Marine sergeant who criticized President Obama on his Facebook page is being discharged for his comments: (http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/25/11396769-marine-who-criticized-obama-on-facebook-i-wish-i-could-take-it-back?lite)


Sgt. Gary Stein, the 26-year-old Marine who learned Wednesday he would be discharged for his online comments criticizing President Barack Obama, wishes he could take it back.

“People ask me, ‘Would you go back and change those words?’ I would most definitely,” Stein told msnbc.com. “I would articulate my point better.”


On March 1, Stein wrote on a closed forum for active-duty meteorologists and oceanographers that he would say "Screw Obama" and not follow all orders from him (http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/11/45536.htm), according to Courthouse News.


“Obama is the economic enemy,” he wrote in the post. “He is the religious enemy ... He is the ‘fundamentally change’ America enemy … He IS the Domestic Enemy.”

Five minutes later, another Marine took down his post, but not before someone Stein knew took a screen shot and forwarded the comment to Stein’s superiors.


Stein had already been warned about a Facebook page he had started in 2010, which he named Armed Forces Tea Party (https://www.facebook.com/ArmedForcesTeaParty).


“They said, ‘All we ask is that you write that the views are not that of the Marine Corps or the Department of Defense,’” Stein said. He said he put up the disclaimer that day.
The Facebook page, which had six moderators, including Stein, included posts about contraception, gays in the military, pundit Keith Olbermann and Obama. One post included a photo of Obama with the word, “Jackass” written underneath. Stein said that was not his post.


Service members are, according to Directive 1344 of the Department of Defense (http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/defense_ethics/ethics_regulation/1344-10.html), allowed to express personal opinions on political candidates, but not as representatives of the Armed Forces.


Last month, a three-member military panel recommended that he be booted from the Marine Corps. On Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo accepted their recommendation that Stein be dismissed for violating military law (http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/25/11394219-marine-who-criticized-president-obama-on-facebook-to-be-discharged?lite).


Stein said he repeatedly told Marine Corps officials he would shut down the Facebook page and not speak with the press if they allowed him to complete his contract, which ends in three months, but they refused.



“I think they’re trying to use me as an example,” Stein said. “Senior officers don’t want to hear, ‘You were the person who let this Gary Stein situation get out of hand. I think there might have been peer pressure among the senior enlisted.”


Maj. Michael Armistead, a Marine Corps spokesman at Camp Pendleton, could not confirm whether this negotiation took place.


“If he was in front of me right now, I would salute him, say, ‘Yes, Mr. President, No, Mr. President,’ and when I walked away, I would still disagree with his policies. But those are two separate things.

DancingMaenid
04-26-2012, 09:34 AM
I think it's probably more complicated than first amendment rights. As far as I can tell, this man's first amendment rights haven't really been violated -- the right to free speech doesn't mean that there won't ever be consequences for our speech. Being in the service is much like civilian jobs in that you don't have a right to that job. Your employment depends on your ability to fulfill your duties.

I think soldiers should be able to express their opinions, including opinions that are critical of the president or U.S. government. However, it looks like this soldier's comments went beyond simple criticism. He claims he wouldn't follow orders from Obama, and I think his superiors would be justified in being concerned that this attitude could prevent him from performing his duties.

I don't know if discharging him was justified in this instance or not, but I think his comments were unprofessional. I wouldn't make comments about how much I hate the CEO of my company and would refuse to follow their instructions, and if I did, I could see how my bosses could find that alarming.

FalconMage
04-26-2012, 09:35 AM
The Sargeant is an idiot. One of his posts referenced his service as a Marine. The moment he did that, it was over.

This is covered by UCMJ, and military members DO surrender some rights as a consequence of their service. For example, there are ways to lose double-jeopardy protections.

This is not a First Amendment case.

Prozyan
04-26-2012, 09:36 AM
President Obama is the commander in chief, the highest point on the military chain of command. By showing disrespect and openly stating he would refuse to follow his orders, this Marine crossed the line.

Its like calling your boss an asshole. Sure, you can do it, but there will be consequences.

kuwisdelu
04-26-2012, 09:41 AM
I think soldiers should definitely be allowed to criticize the president and the government without fear of repercussion, given the the disclaimer that their opinion doesn't reflect the opinion of the military or whatever. You shouldn't have to give that up when you join the military, IMO, or take any government job.

I can certainly see saying you'd refuse to follow orders as a valid reason for dismissal, however. That's quite different from criticism then.

muravyets
04-26-2012, 09:48 AM
It's far worse than calling the boss an asshole. By making this statement, the man was suggesting he would commit insubordination, dereliction of duty, and just about everything else that legally covers military personnel refusing to follow orders without justification.

US military personnel are not obliged to follow illegal orders, but this soldier being a Limbaugh "Ditto-head" does not make Obama an illegitimate president nor his orders illegal. Not liking Obama's policies is not a justification for refusing to follow orders. Let him show Obama issuing illegal orders and then he might have a leg to stand on.

Further, US military personnel are sworn to defend and protect the United States, its citizens, and its Constitution. That means that he doesn't get to un-American-ize anyone, including Obama, on the basis of whatever he imagines their religion is or isn't, so that crack about Obama being the religious enemy is also a failure of his understanding of his duty.

This idiot is lucky he just got discharged, instead of facing the risk of a potential investigation and court martial. The fact that he has been discharged and is now free to run his mouth as much as he likes is proof that his rights were at no time violated. The government has done nothing at all to silence him -- though I wish they would. I'm so tired of that bullshit.

Nymtoc
04-26-2012, 09:49 AM
I think soldiers should definitely be allowed to criticize the president and the government without fear of repercussion, given the the disclaimer that their opinion doesn't reflect the opinion of the military or whatever. You shouldn't have to give that up when you join the military, IMO, or take any government job.



The fact is, you do give that up.

I am a very strong supporter of free speech, but let's remember that members of the military live and work under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which most of us do not. Moreover, Sgt. Stein wasn't just criticizing the President, he was attacking--with a milder version of the F-word--his boss, the Commander-in-Chief. The sergeant would have gotten into trouble if he had used the same language to attack his platoon or company commander.

Should he have been discharged? I think the discharge is warranted, though he now says he regrets his words.

Being an Army veteran myself, I know something about the stresses and strains of living under military command.

blacbird
04-26-2012, 09:53 AM
This is not a First Amendment issue. Sgt. Stein is not being subjected to criminal prosecution for anything he said. His employer, on the other hand, has decided that he no longer should be employed by them, on account of things he said. The First Amendment protects him against criminal legal sanction, not against civil action.

The President of the United States is Sgt. Stein's ultimate Commander. Stein proved himself too big a dumbass to merit continued employment.

That is all. Carry on.

caw

kuwisdelu
04-26-2012, 09:57 AM
The fact is, you do give that up.

*shrug* Doesn't mean I have to agree with it.

NB: Also doesn't mean I think what he said was limited to "criticism."

Zoombie
04-26-2012, 11:15 AM
Joining the military entails giving up certain freedoms. That includes free speech when it comes to being your commanding officer, and they don't call the President the Commander in Chief for nothing.

Open and shut, it seems.

thebloodfiend
04-26-2012, 11:36 AM
What a dumbass. Let's see, if I worked at McDonalds and called my district manager -- "“the economic enemy, the religious enemy, the America[n] enemy ... the Domestic Enemy.” on Facebook (keeping in mind that underlings of my boss are my friends on FB) I'd be fired. Insulting your boss is like pissing in your water hole. Yes, he has the right to say whatever he wants, but the military has every right to discharge him. Disagreeing, and saying that shit /=/. If you want to join the military, you should have to accept that your commander in cheif, ie Obama, is your boss. There's no draft. It's voluntary.

It's like me choosing to work as a PR rep for Michelle Bachmann (why the fuck would I?) and wondering why she fires me when I start preaching tolerance for gays and calling her a bigot. I'm right, but she still has the right to get rid of me.

And if you enlisted under Bush, but have to work through an Obama term, why are you so dumb that you can't wait to call the Prez "an enemy of America" until he's out of office?

Mharvey
04-26-2012, 11:40 AM
I believe the decision to discharge him was appropriate, namely because of the opening line:

A U.S. Marine who made Facebook posts calling President Barack Obama "the domestic enemy" and saying he would not follow "all orders from him."

President Obama is Commander and Chief. If you're a soldier, you took an oath to follow his orders. If you can no longer do that, then it's very appropriate you get discharged. I just can't see how the military can be run like a democracy and still work... so I guess I gotta say a soldier should not have the first amendment right to criticize the president, in or out of uniform.

Yorkist
04-26-2012, 12:28 PM
If this guy had been bitching about Obamacare or something, this might be mildly disconcerting. If he was just chatting about how Romney had his vote, same.

But he wasn't. *shrug*

The deeply cynical part of me wonders whether this guy is going to become five-minute poster boy for the Tea Party, though.

We are in deep, deep trouble when military personnel see themselves as political party first, American second.

Nymtoc
04-26-2012, 12:34 PM
We are in deep, deep trouble when military personnel see themselves as political party first, American second.

Well said! :Thumbs:

DancingMaenid
04-26-2012, 01:25 PM
The fact is, you do give that up.

I am a very strong supporter of free speech, but let's remember that members of the military live and work under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which most of us do not. Moreover, Sgt. Stein wasn't just criticizing the President, he was attacking--with a milder version of the F-word--his boss, the Commander-in-Chief. The sergeant would have gotten into trouble if he had used the same language to attack his platoon or company commander.

I don't believe that members of the military should have to give up any freedoms that civilians have. I don't agree with that, so if it were just a matter of that, I'd be on this guy's side (with the caveat that he knew what he was getting into when he signed up for the military).

However, I think the issue with his statements (that is, that he basically called his commander in chief an enemy whose orders he wouldn't follow) is more or less equally valid whether we're talking the military or civilian jobs. I can't think of many jobs where saying you don't respect your boss and won't follow their orders would be okay. The only difference I see is that in the military, being able to follow orders is far more likely to be a major life-or-death or national security matter, whereas if I don't follow orders at my job, nothing of particular importance will happen.

Nymtoc
04-26-2012, 03:07 PM
I don't believe that members of the military should have to give up any freedoms that civilians have.

If that were the case, no military could function. Discipline and unquestioning obedience of orders (except illegal orders) are the basis upon which every military unit must operate. Obeying orders, accepting the mission and showing respect for superiors--no matter what you may think privately--are imperative. They are needed to maintain cohesion, which is vital in combat.



I can't think of many jobs where saying you don't respect your boss and won't follow their orders would be okay. The only difference I see is that in the military, being able to follow orders is far more likely to be a major life-or-death or national security matter, whereas if I don't follow orders at my job, nothing of particular importance will happen.

You got that right.

In sum, I don't know why so many people who have not experienced the military think it should operate like some kind of social club. Scratch that--I do understand.

Gregg
04-26-2012, 10:41 PM
This is not a First Amendment issue. Sgt. Stein is not being subjected to criminal prosecution for anything he said. His employer, on the other hand, has decided that he no longer should be employed by them, on account of things he said. The First Amendment protects him against criminal legal sanction, not against civil action.

The President of the United States is Sgt. Stein's ultimate Commander. Stein proved himself too big a dumbass to merit continued employment.

That is all. Carry on.

caw

Agreed.

Same with most private business. Most employees of small business are "at will" employees, meaning that they can be fired for almost any reason (other than for discrimination, etc).
I remember we fired an employee because he was telling all new workers what a terrible company we were. What a dope.

Snowstorm
04-26-2012, 10:52 PM
This is not a First Amendment issue. Sgt. Stein is not being subjected to criminal prosecution for anything he said. His employer, on the other hand, has decided that he no longer should be employed by them, on account of things he said. The First Amendment protects him against criminal legal sanction, not against civil action.

The President of the United States is Sgt. Stein's ultimate Commander. Stein proved himself too big a dumbass to merit continued employment.

That is all. Carry on.

caw

x 3.

The instant he posted he would not follow "all orders from him," meant Stein intended to disobey orders. And in my view, it was also a seditious act. Good riddance.

thothguard51
04-26-2012, 10:54 PM
The guy was given a chance and told to stop his postings several times by the Marines. He chose to ignore the warnings.

While I feel he exercised what he considered his right to free speech, what he forgot about is that he volunteered to join the Marines and by doing so, he agreed to follow the UCMJ.

Romantic Heretic
04-27-2012, 12:00 AM
I voted yes at all times, because he does.

That does not mean he is free of consequences for his speech. He doesn't get to decide who the 'domestic enemy' is. He swore to follow orders from the Commander-in-Chief, which happens to be the President.

What he said is close to treason, and there is no way any military force will tolerate a traitor in their midst.

veinglory
04-27-2012, 12:16 AM
Any soldier suggesting he is not going to obey the commander has just talked his way out of a job. That goes beyond just 'having an opinion'.

Lavern08
04-27-2012, 12:24 AM
Any soldier suggesting he is not going to obey the commander has just talked his way out of a job.

That goes beyond just 'having an opinion.'

Indeed. ;)

FalconMage
04-27-2012, 01:01 AM
How many countries all across this planet have suffered from military takeover?

The military is subservient to civilian authority, and this (arguable) surrender of First Amendment freedom as a member of the military is part of that. We *do* surrender some measure of freedom of expression when we join the military.

For very good reason.

And just for record, my father was Air Force, and I spent 7 years in the Navy. My birth certificate is with the US State Department. I've grown up with this. That doesn't make me an expert. But the familiarity is personally derived.

kuwisdelu
04-27-2012, 01:21 AM
How many countries all across this planet have suffered from military takeover?

I would think being forced to give up the right to voice your criticisms of the government would fuel the exact kind of resentment that would result in a military coup rather than the oer way around. Maybe not. There are many reasons I'm not a soldier.

Jersey Chick
04-27-2012, 01:43 AM
I think there's a difference between being critical of policies and openly stating you, as a member of the military, will defy orders from the Commander in Chief.

veinglory
04-27-2012, 01:47 AM
Indeed, civil disobedience and a military career do not mix.

Vince524
04-27-2012, 01:52 AM
There is no free speech issue here. He's a uniformed member of the serivce, he knows the rules. His public remarks go against the chain of command.

He has a right to his own opinion, but not to express it as anyone else on this board might.

While I can wonder if there was another reasonable response to what he did, I don't find this really unreasonale. I also think he is correct when he says that they are making an example of him. To that, my response would be, "Ya think?"

Vince524
04-27-2012, 01:54 AM
PS, my issue with the poll is that I think a soldier should be able to speak his mind, while out of uniform and while in private.

Death Wizard
04-27-2012, 02:04 AM
If this guy had been bitching about Obamacare or something, this might be mildly disconcerting. If he was just chatting about how Romney had his vote, same.

But he wasn't. *shrug*

The deeply cynical part of me wonders whether this guy is going to become five-minute poster boy for the Tea Party, though.

We are in deep, deep trouble when military personnel see themselves as political party first, American second.

You called it. He's reportedly starting his own radio show.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/gary-stein-tea-party-marine-radio-program_n_1456699.html

Celia Cyanide
04-27-2012, 02:21 AM
I think soldiers should definitely be allowed to criticize the president and the government without fear of repercussion, given the the disclaimer that their opinion doesn't reflect the opinion of the military or whatever. You shouldn't have to give that up when you join the military, IMO, or take any government job.

I can certainly see saying you'd refuse to follow orders as a valid reason for dismissal, however. That's quite different from criticism then.

My thoughts exactly. Seriously, anybody who goes on facebook and says, "I'm not going to follow orders from my superior," can expect to be fired. If this were an act of civil disobedience, I could respect it, but it doesn't seem to be.

Nymtoc
04-27-2012, 02:30 AM
PS, my issue with the poll is that I think a soldier should be able to speak his mind, while out of uniform and while in private.

There is nothing to stop him from speaking his mind when he is talking in private. It's the public nature of Sgt. Stein's attack on the President that caused the furor and got him sacked.

This question of being "out of uniform" doesn't have much to do with the issue. If you are a soldier (sailor, marine, whatever), you remain under military law no matter what you wear.

FalconMage
04-27-2012, 03:09 AM
I would think being forced to give up the right to voice your criticisms of the government would fuel the exact kind of resentment that would result in a military coup rather than the oer way around. Maybe not. There are many reasons I'm not a soldier.

As long as our military is all-volunteer, I would argue the opposite.

I don't know how typical my experience is, but this is something that our instructors were very explicit about.

You must COMPLETELY divorce your military status from political opinion while on active duty. And this is particularly with reference to the chain of command.

You should also note that this sargeant was given repeated warnings to halt. I can't find a link to it any longer, but I saw a quote from his Facebook posts that included, "As a member of the Marines, I say screw Obama."

You could put any civilian arm of government in place of "Marines," and would probably have a case against being dismissed. I'm not sure about that. But the military reference, that I *am* sure about.

Rob Lefebvre
04-27-2012, 03:34 AM
I would think being forced to give up the right to voice your criticisms of the government would fuel the exact kind of resentment that would result in a military coup rather than the oer way around. Maybe not. There are many reasons I'm not a soldier.


No one has ever given up free speech. I work at a company that makes dental equipment. If I go on face book and talk smack about them than I can be fired or written up. It is in our employee handbook. The military is no difference. There is a huge difference between speaking with reprecussions (of which everyone does regardless of the first amendment) and not being allowed to speak for fear of legal action. If this is called a case of free speech can't I argue that yelling that I have a bomb on an airplane if also part of my first amendment right and should not have any reprecussions.

thorjansen
04-27-2012, 03:36 AM
I wonder if the guy is humping for a media job or book/movie deal once he's out. He's complaining about "15 words" he said, but he did write a lot more than just those 15 words he's referencing in the press.

cmi0616
04-27-2012, 04:59 AM
Being in the service is much like civilian jobs in that you don't have a right to that job. Your employment depends on your ability to fulfill your duties.


Exactly.

If you went up to your boss, and said "Hey, boss, guess what? Fuck you!" Chances are, you'd be out of a job. That's not much different then what this guy did. It's common sense, really.

thorjansen
04-27-2012, 05:04 AM
That's not much different then what this guy did.

Actually, it's worse because he admits to insubordination as well. It's more like telling your boss, "Hey, I don't want to write that report, so fuck you!"

nighttimer
04-27-2012, 07:33 AM
PS, my issue with the poll is that I think a soldier should be able to speak his mind, while out of uniform and while in private.

Sorry, but you can only choose from one of the choices offered. No substitutions. :cry:

Sgt. Stein should be able to speak his mind and articulate whatever views he has. Soldiers should not forfeit all their free speech right while being asked to defend this country and possibly die for those rights.

However, Stein took it too far. He can't disparage his Commander-in-Chief in such a way and suggest he won't follow the president's orders. That is clearly beyond the pale and he deserves to be bounced out on his ass.

The armed forces has to function in a certain way and whether you're a member of the Tea Party, an avowed socialist, or radical Muslim, if you can't abide by the rules and remember you have to respect the office of the President of the United States even if you don't respect the man with the job, then GET OUT.

Roger J Carlson
04-27-2012, 07:24 PM
My how times have changed. There was a time when it was okay (apparently by some) to disobey direct orders...as long as it was Bush's "illegal war".

President Bush is a Sociopath (starting about here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1028620#post1028620))

Romantic Heretic
04-28-2012, 12:31 AM
All the links in that thread are broken, so I can't verify your claim.

However their is one distinct difference. George W. Bush started an illegal war. Under international law, laws that the U.S. had agreed to, a nation cannot go to war against another nation unless one of two criteria is met. The first is that an aggressor nation has attacked them first. The second is if the UN Security Council has authorized the use of force against a nation.

An example of the first criteria is when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur War. An example of the second is when the U.S. and other nations attacked Iraq after it invaded Kuwait.

The second invasion of Iraq was completely illegal. Iraq had not attacked America. The U.N. Security Council had not given permission to the U.S. to attack Iraq. The only reason for the attack, as I've stated before, was to tell the world that the U.S. was in charge and this is what happened to nations that got out of line. Iraq wasn't attacked because it was dangerous, but because it wasn't. The people who had planned the Iraq invasion had been wanting it for a decade because they thought the war would be quick and cheap.

Had I been a member of the U.S. armed forces I would have refused to go to Iraq. I would cheerfully have faced a court martial, prison or a death sentence. Because the Second Iraq War was illegal and obeying any order to participate in it was an illegal order.

Sgt. Stein's case is different. He would, as he made clear, have disobeyed orders not because they were illegal, but simply because he doesn't believe Obama should be President. That is insufficient reason for disobeying orders.

Disobeying illegal orders is one thing. Disobeying because the President doesn't have your political support is quite another.

whistlelock
04-28-2012, 12:41 AM
If you dig into this you'll find his one facebook post was not an isolated incident. He started a political group called Armed Services Tea Party among other things. He was warned several times by his chain of command to stop.

He persisted with that last insubordinate post and paid the price.


Oh, and a clarifying point; he's not a Soldier. He's a Marine. Soldiers are in the Army. Marines are in the Marines.

Monkey
04-28-2012, 01:00 AM
Yeah, I was all prepared to be upset when I first saw this on facebook.

Then I read what he actually said. A soldier who calls the Commander-in-Chief the enemy and outright says he'll commit insubordination if given any orders he doesn't like needs to be dismissed. Case closed, IMO.

I'm not surprised he's planning out his radio debut.

Apparently, to the far right, a soldier dismissed for something like this is a hero, but a gay soldier deserves booing. And the constitution must be respected...except where it needs to be amended so that private individuals don't make personal decisions the GOP disapproves of.

It's such a twisted set of values...

mscelina
04-28-2012, 01:00 AM
All the links in that thread are broken, so I can't verify your claim.

However their is one distinct difference. George W. Bush started an illegal war. Under international law, laws that the U.S. had agreed to, a nation cannot go to war against another nation unless one of two criteria is met. The first is that an aggressor nation has attacked them first. The second is if the UN Security Council has authorized the use of force against a nation.

An example of the first criteria is when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur War. An example of the second is when the U.S. and other nations attacked Iraq after it invaded Kuwait.

The second invasion of Iraq was completely illegal. Iraq had not attacked America. The U.N. Security Council had not given permission to the U.S. to attack Iraq. The only reason for the attack, as I've stated before, was to tell the world that the U.S. was in charge and this is what happened to nations that got out of line. Iraq wasn't attacked because it was dangerous, but because it wasn't. The people who had planned the Iraq invasion had been wanting it for a decade because they thought the war would be quick and cheap.

Had I been a member of the U.S. armed forces I would have refused to go to Iraq. I would cheerfully have faced a court martial, prison or a death sentence. Because the Second Iraq War was illegal and obeying any order to participate in it was an illegal order.

Sgt. Stein's case is different. He would, as he made clear, have disobeyed orders not because they were illegal, but simply because he doesn't believe Obama should be President. That is insufficient reason for disobeying orders.

Disobeying illegal orders is one thing. Disobeying because the President doesn't have your political support is quite another.

Seeing as you're Canadian, I would opine that you would never have been allowed the privilege of serving in the US military. It's easy to be cheerful about penalties you would never face.

That being said--

Funny how the social pendulum switches sides with changes in the affiliation of the administration. Seeing as the Obama administration is continuing the 'illegal war', I must admit to finding these sentiments highly amusing.

However, I'm torn on the issue of the poll. Growing up with a military father, however, with active members of the military in my family, I have to say that in my opinion, the soldier should have the rights to free speech off work and out of uniform, in a setting where his opinion does not reflect his position in the army. Facebook doesn't count. Facebook posts are irrevocable if someone catches a screen shot. In that kind of permanent record, he should be held responsible for what he says. If he'd been shooting darts in a bar, drinking and bullshitting with his buddies, that's different.

Roger J Carlson
04-28-2012, 01:28 AM
All the links in that thread are broken, so I can't verify your claim. My only "claim" is that the tenor of this board was very different when Bush was president. I submit that this fact has a lot to do with the disparity of opinion between the two. That is just an observation and my opinion, but while that doesn't make it a fact, it also doesn't make it false.

nighttimer
04-28-2012, 01:57 AM
My how times have changed. There was a time when it was okay (apparently by some) to disobey direct orders...as long as it was Bush's "illegal war".

President Bush is a Sociopath (starting about here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1028620#post1028620))

What a five-year-old thread has to do with this thread escapes me.

The only similarity between the two seems to be the only person posting here that posted there is you.

Any other correlation you'd have to explain since you did a crap job of implying it.

Funny how the social pendulum switches sides with changes in the affiliation of the administration. Seeing as the Obama administration is continuing the 'illegal war', I must admit to finding these sentiments highly amusing.

I wonder what it is you find amusing about the sentiments of a U.S. soldier calling his Commander-in-Chief the enemy, suggesting he go screw himself and saying he would not follow his orders? (http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/11/45536.htm)

It's one thing to say these things among your online buddies. Do it under certain other conditions and you're disobeying a lawful order and you're subject to Article 92, failure to obey an order or regulation and court-martial.

I don't care if the president's last name is Obama, Bush, Clinton or Harding. If you can't respect the man in the office, bite your damn tongue and respect the office.

Stein didn't and that's why Stein is about to be an ex-soldier. Sucks for him. Let him run for Congress as a Tea Party conservative and then he can bitch all he wants about the president.

However, I'm torn on the issue of the poll. Growing up with a military father, however, with active members of the military in my family, I have to say that in my opinion, the soldier should have the rights to free speech off work and out of uniform, in a setting where his opinion does not reflect his position in the army. Facebook doesn't count. Facebook posts are irrevocable if someone catches a screen shot. In that kind of permanent record, he should be held responsible for what he says. If he'd been shooting darts in a bar, drinking and bullshitting with his buddies, that's different.

Apparently the Marines disagree. Facebook does count.

My only "claim" is that the tenor of this board was very different when Bush was president. I submit that this fact has a lot to do with the disparity of opinion between the two. That is just an observation and my opinion, but while that doesn't make it a fact, it also doesn't make it false.

It also doesn't make it true. That was then and this is now.

Celia Cyanide
04-28-2012, 05:32 AM
My only "claim" is that the tenor of this board was very different when Bush was president.

No, your "claim" was: There was a time when it was okay (apparently by some) to disobey direct orders...as long as it was Bush's "illegal war".

I can't say if that is the case or not, because, as RH said, the link is broken, so we have no idea what that thread was about.

Zoombie
04-28-2012, 05:56 AM
To be fair, I'm offended that Obama is continuing an illegal, bloody, mostly pointless war!

...but that's not really what this thread is about, is it?

Williebee
04-28-2012, 06:18 AM
Looking over the previous thread, the "tenor" isn't actually that different. Same argument, with some for and some against, followed by a derail. :)

clintl
04-28-2012, 06:21 AM
What's illegal about the war in Afghanistan? Iran was an illegal war. Afghanistan was not - the Taliban harbored and protected terrorists who launched direct attacks on the US, and refused to turn them over. It's really shocking how many people have forgotten that.

blacbird
04-28-2012, 08:01 AM
To be fair, I'm offended that Obama is continuing an illegal, bloody, mostly pointless war!

Define "illegal" in the context of Afghanistan. That word "illegal" is being thrown around here like an overripe canteloupe, as if it has a precise, tightly constrained meaning.

I won't argue about the term "pointless", however. Not at this point.

As for Sgt. Stein, the focus of this thread, I'm damn happy that guy will no longer be serving in the United States Marine Corps. The Marines have for two centuries taken extreme pride in the principle of following orders, no matter what. By and large, that has served us well over that time, despite occasional strategic fubars. For a marine non-com to announce publicly that he will not follow orders from the Commander-in-Chief guaranteed him a ticket to civiliandom, and I'm glad of it. Now Stein can go out and rant all he wants about Obama or anybody else. But he can't expect, even in civilian life, to do such things without the risk of civil consequences. The First Amendment doesn't guarantee him protection from disagreement, criticism, or private sanction for expressing his views. Only that he won't get thrown in jail.

caw

AncientEagle
04-28-2012, 08:07 AM
If you dig into this you'll find his one facebook post was not an isolated incident. He started a political group called Armed Services Tea Party among other things. He was warned several times by his chain of command to stop.

He persisted with that last insubordinate post and paid the price.


Oh, and a clarifying point; he's not a Soldier. He's a Marine. Soldiers are in the Army. Marines are in the Marines.

Thank you for saying this. But don't expect anybody to listen. Marines resent it. Soldiers resent it. But it goes on and on.

DavidZahir
04-28-2012, 08:37 AM
Military law is pretty clear on this subject.

muravyets
04-28-2012, 09:02 AM
What's illegal about the war in Afghanistan? Iran was an illegal war. Afghanistan was not - the Taliban harbored and protected terrorists who launched direct attacks on the US, and refused to turn them over. It's really shocking how many people have forgotten that.
Thanks for reminding us. It annoys me too that people seem to blur every line there is on those wars. It makes it really hard to pinpoint exactly what the law is and what actions violate it.

There are lots of very good arguments for ending the war in Afghanistan, like, now. There are also very good arguments for why we should probably not have started it in the first place, but illegality is not one of them. Iraq was the illegal action, and Obama ended that as promised (though I still blame him for refusing to investigate those who started it). Afghanistan may have been a monumentally bad idea, but it was not illegal.

But as Zoombie pointed out, that's not what the thread is about because Stein did not claim he would refuse to follow Obama's orders because they are illegal. He said that over a political disagreement with the president's policies. Aside from any question of the value of the Afghanistan war, if we've gotten to the place where people will refuse even to do their frigging jobs because they've got their heads stuck so far up their ideological asses, then we may very well be doomed as a nation. Let's hope Stein represents a teensy-tiny little minority of blowhards. In my more bitter moments, I doubt that.

Thank you for saying this. But don't expect anybody to listen. Marines resent it. Soldiers resent it. But it goes on and on.
Sorry. I'm guilty of it, too. I guess I just knee-jerk fall back on "soldier" as a generic term for anyone who fights in an organized military group and whose feet touch the ground. You know, as if "soldier" is a broad category of warrior, differentiated from "sailor" and "aviator."

Zoombie
04-28-2012, 11:39 AM
Define "illegal" in the context of Afghanistan. That word "illegal" is being thrown around here like an overripe canteloupe, as if it has a precise, tightly constrained meaning.

Sorry, should have specified the Iraq war, as I follow RH's interpretation of said events. (And thanks for the reminder, as it's way too damn easy to blur the two wars into a single bloody mess)

Still, this Marine is the only one I've met so far (well, read about) who I'd be fine with calling an Ex-Marine. That's how goddamn stupid I think he is.

Don
04-28-2012, 06:26 PM
You know, as if "soldier" is a broad category of warrior, differentiated from "sailor" and "aviator."
There's the generic term, right there, but it's not too popular for some reason, so people fall back on the less-loaded term.

Celia Cyanide
04-28-2012, 07:15 PM
Looking over the previous thread, the "tenor" isn't actually that different. Same argument, with some for and some against, followed by a derail. :)

can you explain what happened, in that situation, then?