Marine Says He'll Continue to Post on Tea Party Facebook Page

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by BeatNavy, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    Marine Says He'll Continue to Post on Tea Party Facebook Page
    By Joshua Rhett Miller - FOXNews.com
    A Camp Pendleton Marine whose Facebook posts ignited a debate about whether active duty troops are allowed to criticize the president of the United States says he intends to keep posting his views on the Web.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/15/marine-says-hell-continue-post-tea-party-facebook-page/

    An interesting real world case of where military members don't have free speech, something worth thinking about for people who are considering the military: are you Okay with keeping your political views on the DL?
     
  2. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    Good for him.
     
  3. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    Uhh not good for him, it violates UCMJ and is illegal.
     
  4. jtoye

    jtoye NAPS '12 appointee

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    Not when he is recommended for Court-Martial.
     
  5. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    I mean good that he's taking a stand for what he believes, and hopefully he will be allowed to express himself without having to fear prosecution.
     
  6. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    No, he should fear prosecution. We took an oath and agreed to abide by the UCMJ as military members. It doesn't matter what you believe, he does NOT have the right, in his position, to criticize his commander in chief.
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    As a military member, you have to be careful about how you express your opinion.

    Certain methods are a "no go."
    There are appropriate ways to express your views. It would appear some of the Sgt's original posts crossed the lines. As the article stated, he is not in UCMJ trouble, but has been counseled.

    IMO, it sounds like his superiors took appropriate action for political speech that crossed the line, but was not terribly critical.
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Just so we are clear:

    Hopefully our resident legal expert will chime in as well:

    Military members may be members of a political party. They may attend events of these parties. They can be members of the Tea Party if they want. They can display bumper stickers for political candidates on the cars and in their yards (I believe one sign per yard limit). They can discuss political items/topics.

    They cannot attend political rallies in uniform. They must make sure when making statements that they make them as a citizen and not as part of their military affiliation. They cannot make comments against the President or other elected officials.


    So basically this guy can make his page and make posts; however, he cannot as apparently he did step over the line of criticising the president. He could potentially expouse the virtues of the Tea Party all he wanted though.

    I think I got everything correct, but caveat emptor (I speak lawyer too :shake:)
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have a friend who is a full bird, he has said that facebook and my space is a big issue now. People tend to forget that as much as they think it is anomynous, it really isn't. It is creating a problem because of the gray issue. The military is stating that this is as if you are in uniform, the marine feels that this is private.

    Yes, you can attend a Tea Party not in uniform, but here's the difference if his profile says his name, his rank, his location, and then has pics of him in uniform to boot, can be seen as the military's defense stance. If it doesn't have his military connection in his profile than to me (not a lawyer) places the military in poor standing.

    Believe it or not facebook is now used in hiring practices, especially if you are going govt. They look for everything. There is a college kid fighting his expulsion at our DS's college because on his facebook he placed pics of him holding a beer, actually multiple pics. The school was notified and since they all signed a letter swearing that they would not drink on campus under age, and this proved it was on campus and he is underage he got the thanks, but don't return notification. Be very careful what you put on facebook you never know who is looking!
     
  10. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    You're right PIMA. But...this was OK back then:

    Military families speak out against Iraq war at Pittsburgh rally
    By Alden Long
    7 August 2003
    The daughter of Staff Sergeant Charles Pollard, who is stationed in Iraq, and her mother spoke out against the Iraq war and called for US troops to be brought home at a noon-time press conference Wednesday, July 30, outside the federal building in downtown Pittsburgh.

    Robin and DeShauna Ponton also took part, along with some other military families, in a 200-strong protest against George W. Bush’s appearance at the Urban League convention held July 26-30 in this Pennsylvania city.

    Staff Sergeant Pollard is a 43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh. He was called up and sent to Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company. He is a 22-year military veteran and has been in Iraq since May 24. Pollard was featured along with other soldiers in a July 2 Washington Post story in which he and other US troops spoke out against the war. “U.S. officials need to get our asses out of here,” he told the Post. “I say that seriously. We have no business being here. We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad.... All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks.”

    When asked how soon he thought the US should pull out of Iraq, his reply was, “As soon as we can get the hell out of here.” He added, “The President needs to know it is in his hands, and we all need to recognize this isn’t our home, America is, and we just pray that he does something about it.”


    At last Wednesday’s rally, Tim Vining from the Thomas Merton Center, a Catholic charitable group that organized the antiwar demonstrations in Pittsburgh and the protest against Bush’s appearance at the Urban League, introduced the speakers. He said, “We are gathering here today to lend our support to Charles Pollard, a US soldier who spoke out and was featured in the July 1 Washington Post article on low troop morale. We are here to give voice to soldiers who are asking hard questions of our officials.”

    DeShauna Ponton, Robin’s mother, was first to speak. DeShauna is from Perry Hilltop in Pittsburgh and is a child nutrition advocate with the Just Harvest organization. “President Bush has been lying about the weapons of mass destruction that have caused our soldiers to be in Iraq. I think it is time to bring the troops home. President Bush says he is looking for the weapons of mass destruction. He should look in the mirror. He is not only killing many Iraqis, but he is killing people from here. They should bring the troops home.”

    Robin Ponton, Sergeant Pollard’s daughter, is a 13-year-old eighth grade student at Frick International Studies Academy in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Speaking tearfully, she said, “I want my Dad home. I don’t want him to be in Iraq. I don’t want him to die. I want them to bring my Dad home.”

    Sanford Kelson, a local attorney and Vietnam War veteran opposed to the occupation of Iraq, also spoke. He said, “Like so many wars, we are finding out that people are being sent to war to die for lies. Three-and-one-half-million Vietnamese died in Vietnam. How many Iraqis have died? Bring the troops home now.”

    DeShauna and Robin Ponton spoke with the World Socialist Web Site after the rally. DeSahuna explained, “I came here because I support my daughter in speaking up about what has happened to her father. When we are out together, and if we hear on the news or hear someone talking about another soldier having been killed, Robin begins to worry that it is her dad until the name is made known.

    “Robin and her father were born on the same day. She was born on his 30th birthday. On her birthday, he sent her a card that was signed by everyone in his unit. Bush does not see the human side of this war. Each letter her father writes to Robin, he writes as though it is his last. We are proud of him; we are proud that he went to fight and proud that he is strong enough to speak out about the war.

    “I feel we have been lied to. We were told that basically Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. We were told we had diagrams, we knew where they were. They have not been found. Where do you think Saddam Hussein is hiding them? In his back pocket? We have been lied to and the troops are over there being shot at. They should be brought home now.

    “I am glad the lies are coming out, but Bush is not sending the troops home. There are many reasons for this war. Bush wants to control a country and control the oil. It is also like the movie Wag the Dog. Bush’s popularity was going down so he started this war. The point is that people like Robin’s father are over there fighting and being killed, not for the reason we were told, but for other reasons.

    “The money they are using for this war could be used to feed people. A lot of people are hungry and children need to get the right nutrition. This war money could be used to feed the hungry, for education and for housing. There are a lot better ways to use this money than waging this war in Iraq. They attacked Clinton for lying about an affair. As far as I am concerned that is no business of mine. That is between Hillary and him. But these lies, they involve American soldiers and people are getting killed because of his lies.

    “I can’t say that Charles has been used. He signed up on his own and knew what he was getting into. He went to Iraq to do his duty, but now we have found out that Bush lied. It is now time to bring them home. There are people in the military and in military families who are against the war. They are not being represented in the press. We are proud of him that he went over and we are proud of him that he spoke up. We have not heard from him since he spoke out and was quoted in the Post at the beginning of July. We expect to hear from him soon.

    “I support my daughter speaking up. I have always taught her to look beyond herself, to look at the needs of other people who may not have food or parents. I have always taught her to see that many people are not as fortunate as her and to speak up about injustices.”

    Robin Ponton also elaborated on her feelings, “Those against the war are not being represented. All of the people want to come home. It is too hot over there, and they don’t like what they are there for. My friends are against the war. One of my friends, her cousin’s father is also in the war and she told me she knows how worried I am. Bush lied. Bush said that the troops would be brought back, but they probably won’t be coming home soon. Every time I call my grandmother, the conversation is about my dad. Everybody misses him. All my family backs me up. My father had planned a vacation with me. He was going to retire soon and we were going to travel together. Now all of those plans have been messed up because of the war.”

    Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz attempted to quiet the soldiers and smooth over the crisis in his recent trip to Iraq. After his return, Wolfowitz reported on the July 27 Sunday morning talk shows that the soldiers were not opposed to their assignment in Iraq; they just wanted to know a firm date for when their tours of duty would end. Wolfowitz reiterated that plans to build up an Iraqi police force were a top priority, as were efforts to bring in military forces from other countries to relieve the US contingents.

    The day after Uday and Qusay Hussein were killed in a US military operation in Mosul, the Army announced a plan for rotating fresh troops into Iraq and bringing home the troops who have been stationed there the longest. Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division, who were sent to Kuwait last September and have twice had their orders to return home rescinded, are to be replaced under the plan by a Stryker brigade, elements of the 82nd Airborne Division and additional National Guard units.

    However, a day after announcing the plan for rotating the troops, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld qualified it. Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld declared, “There are a whole series of unknowables that are buried in there. And I think what will determine what actually happens will be several things. One is the number of international forces that we are able to bring in. A second will be how the security environment evolves over a period of time. And it is those things that will determine the actual number of US forces that will be needed.”

    ABC News quoted one unidentified 3rd Infantry Division soldier the week before saying, “If Donald Rumsfeld were here, I would ask him for his resignation.”
     
  11. MakeItHappen

    MakeItHappen Member

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    "But...this was OK back then"

    Who gave it the "OK" ?
     
  12. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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  13. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    "They cannot attend political rallies in uniform. They must make sure when making statements that they make them as a citizen and not as part of their military affiliation. They cannot make comments against the President or other elected officials." kp2001

    In the news article on Fox, he stated that he was speaking as a citizen, not a sergeant. The question is, was his page stated as a citizen? If so, there should be no problem.
     
  14. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    I know this is a little off topic and rather esoteric, (I think there is a lawyer on the boards though) but how do constitutional rights apply to military members? Are constitutional rights that conflict with UCMJ (i.e. free speech) the only ones which don't apply to the military, or does UCMJ just completely supersede all civilian rules? For example, are military members subject to searches without a warrant, do they have protection from self incrimination, do they have different second amendment rights, etc. I know some items automatically can't coexist with the rules of UCMJ, but what about the others?
     
  15. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    There are a LOT of rules, regulations, etc., that military members must abide by and many DO seem to take away your rights. That's the price of service and you understand that going in.

    But do NOT think the military legal/justice system is "out to get you." I've lived under it as a kid and then until now...that's 50 years. And it's never been a concern. There's just somethings you know NOT to do.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  16. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    Then I guess the sergeant is in a "not to do" area? What other way could he express himself? I guess he could come election time, but could he do anything in an election besides vote?
     
  17. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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  18. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Personally I think he's really REALLY close to crossing the line...from the VERY LITTLE I know about him and his situation.

    The SIMPLEST thing to do is NOT MAKE AN ISSUE of being a marine!!! Make absolutely certain NOBODY can take your comments as "official" or "representing the Corps" or "actions/conduct that bring discredit upon himself or the Corps..." that sort of thing.

    I have a facebook page; I use it to keep in touch with folks (family mostly) and candidates and folks interested in USAFA.

    It's VERY clear I'm in the USAF...BUT I DO NOT EVER discuss politics, my personal opinions re: politics, etc. NEVER.


    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  19. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    The Media, have you ever heard of any action taken against Staff Sergeant Charles Pollard?










    BTW, I don't agree with this Marine, poor choice made.







    jam??? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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