ONTD Political

Marine's Facebook posts on Obama go too far

9:55 am - 04/14/2012
What would happen if you posted derogatory comments about your boss on a Facebook page that you knew would be read by your co-workers?

How would your boss react if in those Facebook posts you called him or her a "coward," a "domestic enemy," and boasted that you wouldn't be following the boss' instructions in the future?

And what if your boss is the president of the United States and you are a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps?

That's essentially the case of Sgt. Gary Stein, a nine-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, who is on the verge of being discharged from the military for making comments on Facebook about his boss: the commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama.

Stein posted comments on both his personal Facebook page and on The Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook page he created, mocking the president. On those pages he referred to President Obama as a "domestic enemy," a coward, and even superimposed President Obama's face on the poster for the movie "Jackass."

But the comment that really drew the ire of Marine Corps brass was this post from Stein:
"As an Active Duty Marine I say 'Screw Obama' and I will not follow all orders from him ... has [sic] for saluting Obama as commander-in-chief ... I will not!"

It's pretty clear that Stein will not be adding President Obama as a friend on Facebook any time soon.

The U.S. military has alleged that Stein's postings violated military regulations prohibiting partisan political statements while in active service in the military. Consequently, Stein was charged with conduct "prejudicial to good order and discipline."

But Stein doesn't see it that way. Stein appeared earlier this week on CNN's "Starting Point" arguing that the Facebook posts were not his views as a U.S. Marine, but, "...my personal opinion as Gary Stein."

Members of the military are free to give their personal opinions about political candidates, but Stein's Facebook post begins: "As an Active Duty Marine I say 'Screw Obama...' " This clearly gives the appearance that Stein is speaking as a member of the Marine Corps.

Secondly, the Marine Corps motto is the Latin phrase "Semper Fi," which means "always faithful." The motto isn't "faithful only nine to five." Every Marine I have ever met has made it clear that being a U.S. Marine is a 24-hour a day job.

Bottom line: Stein, upon enlisting, agreed to follow the rules of the U.S. Military, which contain express regulations prohibiting certain partisan political speech. As a result of his apparent violations of these regulations, a military panel ruled last week three to zero to discharge Stein from the military.

In normal times, this case would have likely received little media coverage. But these are not normal times. Instead, we live in a grotesquely partisan era.

Consequently, three Republican congressmen publicly came to Stein's defense: Reps. Allen West, Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter. Hunter even sent a personal letter to the Marine Corps in which he stated in part: "I urge the Marine Corps to withdraw the discharge proceedings and allow Sgt Stein to complete his enlistment."

West, a former U.S. Army officer, issued a statement paradoxically conceding that Stein should face some form of discipline -- although less than discharge -- but then in essence pointed his finger at President Obama as the cause for Stein's conduct: "If America had leadership that gained the respect of our military, instead of simply using them as stage props for speeches, this atmosphere would not exist."

Adding to the growing partisanship of this case is that the lawyer now representing Stein -- Gary Kreep -- was one of the lead organizers of the birther movement, which contended falsely that President Obama was not born in America and, thus, not legitimately the president. Kreep even created a 28-minute infomercial on the birther issue in which he hawked "Got a Birth Certificate" bumper stickers for $30 each.

You have to wonder if Stein had made the comments at issue about a Republican president if these men would be offering the same support. (It's a rhetorical question: We all know the answer.)

Inserting partisan politics into our military is dangerous. Our nation's military cannot be divided into political factions where loyalty is based on whether service members agree with the political views of the commander-in-chief.

As the U.S. Supreme Court noted when upholding restrictions on partisan politics in the military: We live under "...the American constitutional tradition of a politically neutral military establishment under civilian control."

There should be zero tolerance by the military for any partisan politicking by active duty service men or women. This is not only "prejudicial to good order and discipline," but could lead to the loss of lives.

We already have one dysfunctional institution marred by partisan infighting -- the U.S. Congress - we can't afford another.


Bye, asshole. Kiss all your bennies goodbye. Also, you got the BIRTHER LAWYER. Nice job. After NINE YEARS, you KNOW that it's a 24/7 job. You're doing a very poor job of covering your butt at this point.
doverz 14th-Apr-2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
"If America had leadership that gained the respect of our military, instead of simply using them as stage props for speeches, this atmosphere would not exist."

Oh fuck off, you douche bag. First of all, seems like Stein is one of the only people to declare this message in public, so either people don't share this belief or they're not dumb enough to post messages like this on Facebook. Secondly, regardless of your politics, you are supposed to follow the orders given to you in the military. That seems to be what millions of soldiers are doing, so why the fuck is Stein so special??

Also, I would totally discharge this guy. If he doesn't want to follow Obama's orders, then he's a danger to the people in his squadron. I wouldn't want to be serving with this guy, unsure if he would have my back.
sixdemonhag 14th-Apr-2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
He should get a bad conduct discharge. Or at the very least a discharge under other than honorable conditions. Let him wear that around his neck for the rest of his life.
shukivengeance 14th-Apr-2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Do you think they'd want to take his veteran benefits away over this though?
bestdaywelived 15th-Apr-2012 12:42 am (UTC)
They should.
oceandezignz 15th-Apr-2012 01:06 am (UTC)
Last I had heard about this case, they were considering giving this turd a dishonorable discharge - which would pretty much shame him, lost benefits, etc.
shukivengeance 15th-Apr-2012 01:52 am (UTC)
Yeah with a DD you lose everything, and it's the worst type of discharge. I'm actually pleasantly surprised they're coming down on him so hard. I expected other than honourable or bad conduct at best.
tmlforsyth 15th-Apr-2012 03:33 am (UTC)
I'm not a JAG lawyer, but I think that can get you jail time, though maybe just for Officers. You don't have to like the President or respect him as an individual, but if you take an oath, you serve that office and you respect the office at the very least.

If I were the President, I'd bust him down to Private and make him serve out his enlistment in Antarctica, then find a way to Article 15 his ass on many minor charges, so he's in a permanent no pay due status, until he gets a dishonorable discharge at the end of his enlistment
kaowolfie 15th-Apr-2012 04:07 am (UTC)
That would be cruel to the other folks in Antarctica.

I would also be concerned that dude might turn violent, and again, there would be other people who would suffer for it while not having much of nowhere to go to escape him.
tmlforsyth 15th-Apr-2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
I think other Marines there would keep him in check.
erunamiryene 15th-Apr-2012 03:32 am (UTC)
He'll probably end up with an other-than-honorable, which means he still loses his benefits.
thefathomist 15th-Apr-2012 07:40 am (UTC)
Last I heard, he'd been recommended for a "less than honorable discharge". I was under the impression that could include simply a general discharge.
grazie 15th-Apr-2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
He did receive "other than honorable discharge."
shukivengeance 14th-Apr-2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
I agree. There's more to this than just a guy expressing his opinion. These kind of views make him untrustworthy for his unit.
masakochan 15th-Apr-2012 04:19 am (UTC)
If he doesn't want to follow Obama's orders, then he's a danger to the people in his squadron. I wouldn't want to be serving with this guy, unsure if he would have my back.

THIS x 1,000,000.
corinn 15th-Apr-2012 04:56 am (UTC)
If he doesn't want to follow Obama's orders, then he's a danger to the people in his squadron. I wouldn't want to be serving with this guy, unsure if he would have my back.

I'm wondering if that's why one or more of the "three people" who saw the comment reported him.
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