Re: Marine who criticized President Obama on Facebook to be discharged
Just for clarification, over the past century, particularly over the past six decades, the United States Military has severely disciplined its personnel—including the issuance of bad conduct discharges—for disrespectful conduct toward our presidents. Obama’s is light-years from the ONLY Administration under which this has happened.
Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) makes it a crime for military personnel to use contemptuous words against:
--the vice president
--the Congress in the aggregate or ANY of its members individually
--the Secretary of Defense
--the secretary of ANY military department
--the Secretary of Homeland Security
--a Governor, or legislature of any state, territory, commonwealth, or possession in which he/she is stationed or just merely visiting
The military defines “contemptuous” as comments insulting, rude, disdainful, or otherwise disrespectfully attributing to other qualities of meanness, disreputableness, or worthlessness.
Just for good measure, for every count of violating article 88 of the UCMJ, the military throws in an additional count of violating article 134—bringing dishonor on the military services.
And, to add to the horror, any officer (commissioned or non-commissioned) warrant officer (commissioned or non-commissioned) who attempts to influence subordinates’ votes accordingly, faces a mandatory 5-year prison sentence under 18 USC (United States Code) 609.
Then there’s DOD (Department of Defense Directive 1344.10. This ditty BANS active duty personnel from running for office, participating in partisan political management or campaigns other than minor clerical assistance.
Active duty personnel need to think long and hard before they shoot their mouths off in violation of articles 88 and 134 of the UCMJ. And this also applies to RETIRED personnel. If you’re drawing a military pension and decide to surrender your better judgment to abject stupidity by demeaning any of the folks on the above list, you could well lose it.
This marine aligned himself with the Tea Party movement. This isn’t a crime. In fact, when it started, that movement consisted of some well-meaning people who had become fed-up with the out-of-control spending in Washington, DC.
But, unfortunately, when the movement reached down to the voter level, myriad colossal assholes came out of the woodwork. And, many of these people—none of whom speak for the legitimate Tea Party movement—feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to demean any of the folks on the above list, especially a president.
Military personnel do NOT have the same rights as we civilians take for granted. Under many circumstances, military personnel do NOT have the freedom of expression. And, under many other circumstances, they do NOT have a right to remain silent when charged with crimes; they do NOT have the right to have an attorney present during questioning.
Of course, they never mention this sort of thing in the recruitment brochures or during recruitment sessions. The large print giveth; the small print taketh away. Buyers beware!
Military service is an honorable and unselfish profession that takes an uncanny degree of dedication and self-discipline. It deserves a perpetual and unquestioned respect from the civilian population. But, people need to understand what they’re signing up for BEFORE they sign on that bottom line.
The armed force is a microcosmic representation of socialism in action. The pay is woefully inadequate for the dedication required. But in return, they promise to take care of you when you join its ranks. They’ll feed you, provide you with a place to live, take care of your medical needs, and they’ll even plant you if you die while a member.
The irony of it all is the fact that your sworn duty is to defend this nation’s FREEDOM—to the death if necessary—but when you take that oath to do so; you give up your OWN!
On the surface, this sucks big time and we civilians need to be ever grateful that people seek out a military life and are willing to live with it. I’ll shout it from the nation’s mountain peaks: I COULD NEVER DO IT!
However, the military can’t run by consensus. It must operate by strict discipline and unquestioned compliance with lawful orders given by officers and noncoms. And, thankfully, the military does its level best to keep the General Custer effect under control.
Even if the pessimists are right, in the end, the optimists will have had a much more enjoyable trip through life.