Free Speech Threatened In Sergeant’s Discharge

constitution 2 SC 300x198 Free Speech Threatened in Sergeants Discharge

Sergeant Gary Stein’s fight to stay in the Marine Corps is one of the most important First Amendment court cases of the year. Given the First Amendment’s central place in our Bill of Rights, this case deserves close scrutiny by those who value our Constitution. For those who are unfamiliar with the case, Sergeant Stein was recently given an “other than honorable”  discharge from the Marine Corps for postings he made about President Obama on Facebook.  Specifically, he wrote: “Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him.” Sergeant Stein later clarified that he would not follow unlawful orders from Obama. Why does this case matter? It matters because it deals with a soldier’s right to free speech. Before you say “whoa, soldiers are not entitled to free speech rights like civilians are,” consider what the military has to say on this issue. Troops are encouraged to “carry out the obligations of citizenship” and are allowed to express a “personal opinion on political candidates and issues.” U.S. soldiers are some of the most respected people in our country. If anyone deserves to have free speech rights, it is the military. After all, they risk their lives for the cause of freedom. Shouldn’t they be able to partake in those freedoms as well?

After serving for nine years as a Marine (including time spent in Iraq), Sergeant Stein was given an “other than honorable discharge.” This was a big decision by those who made it. He did not have to be discharged at all for the remarks he made, or he even could have been given a still-negative “general discharge.” Instead, he was given an “other than honorable discharge” typically reserved for those whose conduct significantly deviates from what is expected of a US military member. He will lose most of his benefits and be demoted in rank to lance corporal as a result of the discharge. In short, he will lose his career and lose it in a bad fashion.

Sergeant Stein should have not been discharged as a result of what he said. A broad spectrum of supporters have rallied to his defense, from the Tea Party and the United States Justice Foundation to even the ACLU. On his own behalf, Stein stated: “If I am guilty of anything, it would be that I am American, a freedom loving conservative, hell bent on defending the Constitution and preserving America’s greatness.” A former staff judge advocate for the Marine Corps, Brigadier General David Brahms, came to his defense. Brahms, with 49 years as a lawyer with the Marines, said in a written statement: “I do not believe that… the behavior in question violates the cited UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) provision.” Furthermore, Brahms stated that the rule which Stein is said to have violated, Department of Defense directive 1344.10, is difficult to understand.  He said:  ”If I cannot understand 1344.10 as a 74 year-old retired brigadier general and staff judge advocate to the Commandant of the Marines, there is little hope that a sergeant would understand.” When you consider that Sergeant Stein even put up a disclaimer that the views he expressed were not those of the US military, you have a compelling case that Sergeant Stein should not have lost his job over the comments he made.

Sergeant Stein made a courageous decision to speak out against the Obama administration and lost his nine year career with the Marines as a result. His unjustified discharge should come as a sobering reminder that our rights to freedom of speech may not be nearly as strong as we think.





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  1. porterv says:

    I used to be proud of having served in the Marines. Not any more. Not when someone exercising his rights as an American can be persecuted. Just like so much else in American life the Marine Corps has turned to excrement.

  2. Hmm, reminds me of the stories of Soviet Russia I’ve read in school.

  3. John Handforth says:

    In a speech on the Senate Floor in 1998, then Senator Joseph Biden maintained: “…the only logical conclusion is that the framers [of the United States Constitution] intended to grant to Congress the power to initiate all hostilities, even limited wars.”

    On December 20, 2007, then Senator Hillary Clinton proclaimed: “The President has the solemn duty to defend our Nation. If the country is under truly imminent threat of attack, of course the President must take appropriate action to defend us. At the same time, the Constitution requires Congress to authorize war. I do not believe that the President can take military action — including any kind of strategic bombing — against Iran without congressional authorization.”

    We had a Republican President when Joe Biden and Hillary made those statements. They now defend and approve the actions of King Barack. Romney wants to be President and Obama has already made himself King.

  4. RacerJim says:

    The Marxist narcissistic thin-skinned usurper simply threw yet another brave warrior unded the bus because he told the truth.

  5. Betsy K. Larsen says:

    If ANYONE has the RIGHT TO EXPRESS HIS OPINION OR FEELINGS ABOUT THE CURRENT “administration” and their trampling of the United States Constitution, it would BE A MARINE! They are in constant danger of loss of life, and should have EVERY RIGHT UNDER THE SUN TO EXPRESS SUCH A THOUGHT AND ATTITUDE! This is SO WRONG THAT THERE IS NOT ONE WORD TO APPROPRIATELY EXPRESS JUST HOW WRONG! But it should be a CALL TO ARMS FOR EVERY AMERICAN WHO LOVES THIS COUNTRY AND WHAT SHE SHOULD STAND FOR, TO OPPOSE THIS “regime” and RETAKE OUR NATION AND PUT HER BACK TO THE GREATNESS THAT SHE ONCE STOOD FOR! AND WHICH IS NOW BEING TAKEN DOWN BY THE ENEMY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BARACK HUSSAIN OBAMA! He and his bunch of czars and FREEDOM MURDERING THUGS AND CRIMINALS WILL NOT ONLY TAKE THIS FREEDOM OF SPEECH AWAY FROM MARINES AND THE WHOLE MILITARY, WHO HAVE MADE AMERICA THE FREE NATION THAT SHE WAS, BUT WILL ALSO RIP IT FROM WE, THE PEOPLE, OF AMERICA!!!! The biggest question we must ask ourselves, is ARE WE GOING TO ALLOW THIS TO BE STOLEN, ROBBED, RIPPED FROM OUR HANDS AND BOW TO THIS CHARLATAN WHO SEEMS TO THINK THE “HE IS KING”???! Are we going to ALLOW ALL THOSE WHO WENT BEFORE US AND THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR OUR FREEDOM, TO HAVE DIED IN VAIN?????!!!!!!!!! Can we, in good concience, allow this to happen to our grandchildren, their children, and all the future Americans who will come after us? Will our conciences be at peace if we do? Can we sleep with ourselves, knowing that we allowed this to happen, that we did nothing to stop this from becoming a COMMUNIST STATE, or a monarchy under a KING THAT IS WORSE THAN ALL THE KINGS WHO ENSLAVED THEIR SUBJECTS DOWN THROUGH HISTORY? Another NERO PERHAPS? OR worse? These are things that ALL AMERICANS SHOULD CONSIDER AND GIVE SOME VERY DEEPLY SERIOUS THOUGHT TO!!!! We owe it to our grandchildren, and to our great grandchildren and beyond, to do better than just sit by “helplessly” while our nation is sold to this peice of filthy, diseased mu SLIME TRASH! We OWE IT TO OUR ANCESTORS, TO THOSE BRAVE FIGHTING COLONISTS WHO FOUGHT WITH RAKES, SHOVELS, AND PITCHFORKS TO CREATE THIS NATION THAT WAS BORN OF BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS AND MANY PRAYERS TO THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, MOSES AND ISSAC!!! TO THE GOD OF ONE NATION!!!! ONE NATION, UNDER GOD!!!! Fall to our knees and ask for His forgiveness, and beg that He will bring us truly OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND BACK, BACK INTO THE LIGHT OF THE LORD GOD JEHOVAH!!!! Not, not as the stupid woman in the White House said, because she still wallows in the darkness born of genuine stupidity and deliberate IGNORANCE BECAUSE THAT IS HER CHOICE! HER CHOICE TO BE “YOKED” TO THE “ONE” WHO WILL TAKE HER TO HELL BY HER OWN BAD CHOICE!!! AND, We Americans need not follow her and her husband into the same hell of blindness, for, WE HAVE A CHOICE AS TO WHICH PATH TO CHOOSE! LET US, AS AMERICANS, BORN OF THE SAME GREATNESS AS OUR FOREFATHERS, CHOOSE INSTEAD, THE PATH THAT OUR PATRIOTIC ANCESTORS CHOSE, GOD AND LIBERTY!!!!!

  6. Kingfish says:

    If you think you can trust our government, read this…. .

  7. Eugene L. Beacham says:

    The Sargeants remarks may not be appropiate for a true commander in chief and president, understanding that you follow orders with out question. But this is not the condition here. This man is a Gihad Muslim, communist illegal immigrant not legally our president, therefore he has a right to protest the actions of this man. Obama has disrespected his office, the Constitution, and the American people and all true Americans are appalled that he is still in offiice. He has done everything he can to destroy the American way of life while claiming with eloquent speaches tobe doing good . One example is calling a do nothing Congress, when it is his traitorest Senate playing politics instead of bringing up bills for vote which could produce an economic recovery. I heard at least 6 congressmen complain about this.

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