WND EXCLUSIVE
 
Thousands to Facebook Marine: We've got your back
 
Crackdown: Military threatening to dismiss sergeant for opposing Obama online
 
by Drew ZahnEmail
 
Drew Zahn is a former pastor who cut his editing teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. He is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."
The White House may not be happy about Marine Sgt. Gary Stein’s Facebook fan page criticizing the commander in chief, but the social media have embraced him, making his page a beehive of conversation and soaring his “likes” count to over 23,000 and growing.
 
Stein’s Armed Forces Tea Party page was founded in April 2010 as a way to give even active military members a forum for voicing opposition to the Obama administration’s allegedly unconstitutional actions.
 
Stein’s first post discussed politicians’ plans to repeal Obamacare and was followed the next day by post quoting Theodore Roosevelt: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
 
But Stein’s assertions of free speech on Facebook – coming from an active duty Marines officer – have become a springboard for controversy.
 
The page is filled with comments from some cheering him on with the Marine motto, “Semper Fidelis,” while others are calling him a “traitor.”
 
The military has also taken notice, beginning an investigation that could lead to Stein’s dismissal from the Marine Corps.
 
As the Associated Press reported, Stein’s commanding officer ordered a preliminary inquiry after receiving allegations that Stein had posted political statements about Obama and declared he would not follow unlawful orders from the commander in chief.
 
According to Pentagon directives, the AP continued, military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement. Commissioned officers also may not use contemptuous words against senior officials, including the president.
 
If found in violation of military rules, Stein could face both discharge and having his rank reduced to lance corporal.
 
On the Facebook page, Stein claims he has already been removed from his job at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego and given a desk post with no access to computers.
 
“I’m completely shocked that this is happening,” Stein said earlier this week. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve only stated what our oath states, that I will defend the Constitution and that I will not follow unlawful orders. If that’s a crime, what is America coming to?”
 
Shortly thereafter, Stein posted a public statement on the site (edited for grammar and spelling):
 
“I swore an oath to obey the orders of the president … but those orders must be lawful,” Stein writes. “It is the duty of each and every service member to know the difference between an unlawful and lawful order. We need to educate our service members on the Constitution. Just following orders is not a defense when having to answer for following unlawful orders.
 
“The allegations drummed up against me are no more than an agenda by the Marine Corps to use me as an example,” he continues. “I have never spoken on behalf of the Marine Corps or in uniform. I have stayed within guidelines DOD Directive 1344.10 and made sure to. 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.”
 
The Marine Corps, the AP reports, said Stein is allowed to express his personal opinions as long as they do not give the impression he is speaking in his official capacity as a Marine.
 
Notably, the Facebook page at the heart of the controversy states clearly at the top, “We do not represent, and are in no way affiliated with the military, or United States Armed Forces.”
 
The page describes its purpose is to “offer a forum that will allow the voices of the U.S. Armed Forces to stand with the tea-party movement and be heard.”
 
It asserts, “Our Armed Forces place their life on the line for political agendas every day; is it common sense to think that they should have no opinion about what they are potentially sacrificing their lives for? We say no! Let them be heard.”
 
Among the 21,000-plus people who have “liked” Stein’s page and the many more who have commented at Armed Forces Tea Party are a wide range of opinions.
 
“Gary, Americans support our First Amendment right to free speech,” writes poster Maureen Taylor. “We support you and defend your rights. Semper Fidelis, my friend!”
 
A man claiming to be a Marine veteran and posting under the moniker Jamaica Jim asserts, “The military is here to defend democracy, not practice it. … This is blatant insubordination of an active duty Marine.”
 
“I have the deepest respect for Sgt. Stein. I’m just not sure he’s going about this the right way,” posited a poster calling herself Sugar Babet. “It didn’t work out so well for Col. Lakin. This administration likes to strong arm people. I will be praying for you.”
 
Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, a career Army soldier, eventually faced court martial for refusing to obey orders from a commander in chief he believed ineligible to hold the office of president. During his court martial, Lakin was not allowed to call witnesses or present evidence regarding his reason for disobeying orders. Under the burden imposed by the judge, he was convicted of missing a movement and disobeying orders and served six months in the military prison at Ft. Leavenworth.
 
A licensed physician in Maryland, Lakin was also denied license to practice medicine in Kansas following his release.
 
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This man took an oath to support the constitution and an unlawful order is against the constitution.  He has the right not to support an unlawful order and obummer has no right to issue an one. Now who is wrong??

One more time, I will quote the only, best, Democrat President; John F. Kennedy, who, incidentally, was experienced as a Navy man & a war hero; " You are a citizen first, & a soldier, second ". This man, a citizen-soldier, has every right, off duty & on his own equipment, to engage in the free exchange of comments & ideas under Freedom of Speech. The same right as guaranteed & unalienable to even the communists in our society-(unfortunately). I have my own feelings about, & do not use the ' social internet medias' such as farcebook & others, I think that was a mistake on his part, however, I see nowhere, that he has done anything denigratory against the USMC, of whom, I have as a Veteran myself, the deepest respect for, being most glad to know their presence near me in Viet Nam & other places. For the life of me, I cannot understand the manic drive in the services, to placate an egomaniac bent on undermining Our Free Society, meaning of course; oblabber. To me, & many others, the respect I have felt all these years for the Marine Corps, may in the future be reserved for those who ' do the work '; the ones whose lives are the first to be under fire in the front, & now, in the privacy of their own homes, or the inner sanctums of their own minds. By the way, I know that ALL Marines are to be prepared for combat at all times, from the clerk at a desk, to the upper command ranks. Are you ? Shame on Command for allowing the travesty of ' political & thought control ' to enter into the dialogue of command for the sake of ' bowing & scraping to please ' his beastliness ''. To those officers in command, I ask you, when we take this country back, will you then bow back the other way, as a sapling bent with the wind & whims of controversy ? Is this the new definition of the fighting man's motto of " Adapt & Survive " ? Perhaps the USMC's, long admired epsrit de corps is now bolstered only by your junior officers & dedicated enlisted, & you need to get back into action to revive that pride in yourselves & the Corps that you may rightfully brag on. The Corps needs to back this man as only a fellow Marine can; a brother-in-arms. The meaning of which, only a combat veteran who has witnessed the Corps in action, can appreciate & uphold. I have. I am very sorry to have to have said any of this, as I thought, at least the Corps, of all others, was bigger than this.To USMC Sgt Gary Stein, WE the People, have your back- Hang in there Brother ! 

Mr. McCloud, excellent post. Thank you for your service to this once great nation. I, as a Navy veteran, always admired the Marine detachments that I had the honor of serving with. They were always very professional and exemplified what it meant to serve. This Sargent deserves the backing of the corps just as if he were in battle and I believe you have uncovered the real problem as being with the flag officers. I have visited the facebook page and posted my support for him.

As an NCO and not a commissioned officer he has every right to express his political opinion as long as he qualifies it as not representing the Marine Corp point of view and that these are his own personal opinions.  If they try to separate him and he can get a good freedom of speech lawyer they will eat the Marine Corps lunch.  The only way they could possibly have a case against him is if he has a picture of himself in uniform on his facebook page or if he made statements which would be detrimental to good order and discipline.  The big thing is the disclaimer.  As an enlisted man he has every right to express his personal opinion of the pretender in the oval office.  If he were a commissioned officer it a whole different story.  This in no way is the same situation as LTC Lakin.  I'm not a lawyer but I was trained to investigate espionage, sabotage, and subversion.  This really should not surprise anyone.  All one has to do is watch and listen to testimony on TV by members of the military and it is quite obvious that the entire upper echelon of all our military services are in bed with Body Odor and the democrats, especially that traitorous, disloyal, scum bucket who fills the position of chairman of the joint chiefs.

I know what the directive says, Marvin, but I don't think the Corps is going to just let this go. Maybe, and I hope so, but we will see....I don't think he will be on the list for promotion to E7 do you?

Incidentally if he wasn't acting as a marine how come everyone knows he is?

BTW.....

You know as well as I do that noone is going to join the upper echelons of the Military unless they follow the PC guidelines. Those that are there now didn't get there by not conforming..... And it has been that way since before Washington took the job from the Continental congress.  (Think Benedict Arnold and Horatio Gates)

I knew dozens of ticket punchers in the Nam, one of them even got to be Joint Chief Chairman where he got Bush the daddy to stop the First Gulf War. Several of them used to leave their desks in Bangkok and UtaPao to ride with me   across the Mekong once every month so that they could get Combat Pay,  a VSM and an Air Medal and credit for one combat mission on their ticket.

 

Jim Bertram

Major,  USAF  Ret.

 

That's not the point.  The point is they want to give him a discharge under other than honorable conditions.  He hasn't done anything to deserve an other than honorable discharge.  If he deserves an other than honorable conditions discharge why don't the court martial him.  If he has a good lawyer he will demand a court martial and make mince meat out of any case they might try to bring against him.  And, by the way, his freedom of speech is protected by the UCMJ which has precedence over any directive. I know all about the ticket punchers.  Had an Army LTC commander one time who could not fire a 38 revolver but he was there only to get his ticket punched.  When it came to real world intelligence work he was dumber than a box of rocks.  Saw another LTC use his driver like a servant.  Poor kid was polishing his boots, cleaning his weapon, and every other thing that he should have been doing for himself, but he might get his hands dirty.  He was on an 18 month accompanied tour in Germany.  Everybody else did 36 month tours if accompanied, but he came from the pentagon and was going back to the pentagon.  The most arrogant SOB I ever saw.

Come on guys, and I am sure you know better, Harry. The DOD Directive 1344.10 is quite plain and the message was given numerous times to us while on active duty.

I agree with the Sergeants position and probably share most of his opinions.

But if he wants to take a political stand he must leave active duty first. The Marine Corps simply cannot and will not ignore this sort of public display from an active duty Marine. 

 

Jim Bertram

Major, USAF  Ret

Albuquerque on the Rio Grande

I'm sorry James, but you are just absolutely flat wrong.  As an enlisted (that's the key word-enlisted) person he has every right to express his point of view.  For officers it is a whole different ball game.  As long as he does not do it in uniform or represent his opinion to be an official Marine Corps opinion he can say what ever he wants as long as he does not advocate violence or rebellion.  If anyone has violated this law it is Body Odor.  When he has personnel in uniform at one of his political rallies and he is not addressing a military organization or on a military base he is wrong.

you are wrong. a supreme court ruling in 2010 gave enlisted and nco s the right to do as this man did

A HUGE thank you to all servicemen & women!!!!  Because of YOU, we remain a free country!  One of my sons is in the Army at Ft Campbell & has completed one tour in Iraq.  I say let's send ALL the politicians to the warring countries and see how they do!!!  (We can send obama home to Kenya.)  Marine Sgt Gary Stein, thank you for taking a stand!  There is also a FB entitled Patriots for Sgt Gary Stein (USMC) which I just joined.  Praying for you & all of our troops.  God bless you and God bless America!!!

The tragedy of Obama is nearly immeasurable.....only time will tell how long and at what costs it will take to unravel the damage..........this assumes "we the people"  have seen the light and get off our a.s in November and reject him in tsunami fashion.

Once again Harry you are spot on.  It will take years if not decades to undo what Body Odor and the Democrats have done in the past 3 1/2 years.  It isn't just Odorcare.  Its the staggering debt, the unlimited regulations, destruction of our upper level officer corp through political correctness, and the list goes on and on.  If he is reelected we will probably never be able to repair the damage.  I suspect that if he is reelected you will see this website and many other simply disappear.  Then one day there will be a knock on your door and the Feds will be there to confiscate your firearms.

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