Case of Obama-bashing Marine renews debate over First Amendment rights
By Jeremy Herb - 04/08/12
The case of a Marine who is facing discharge for posting disparaging comments about President Obama on Facebook has renewed a debate about free speech rights for members of the military.
A review board on Thursday recommended that Marine Sgt. Gary Stein be discharged for comments on his “Armed Forces Tea Party” site, where he called Obama “the domestic enemy,” superimposed his face on a “Jackass” movie poster and said he would not follow some orders from Obama.
Service members are banned from engaging in political speech or activities while representing the military.
Stein and his lawyers argue he was acting as a private citizen when posting on the Facebook page, and say the Marine Corps are violating his First Amendment rights by prosecuting him for his comments.
Stein has an ally on Capitol Hill in Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), a Marine reservist who sent a letter to the Marines Tuesday urging them to drop the case against Stein.
Hunter received a response Friday from Marines Maj. Gen. Vaughan Ary, staff judge advocate to Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, according to Hunter’s spokesman.
- Board recommends other-than-honorable discharge for anti-Obama Marine (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Dismissal sought for Marine who portrayed Obama as ‘Jackass’ on Facebook (mercurynews.com)
- Marines seek DOD guidance on social media use (seattlepi.com)
- Panel Says Marine Should be Dismissed (myfoxorlando.com)
- Board: Marine who criticized Obama should be dismissed (newsday.com)
- Marine Corps, Stein, and comments (onemorecup.wordpress.com)
- Panel Says Marine Should be Dismissed (myfoxphoenix.com)
- Panel Says Marine Should be Dismissed (myfoxny.com)
- Military board: Marine should be dismissed (news.yahoo.com)