UPDATE: April 6th, 2012
As fate would have it, and certainly as I suspected would be the case, the recommendation for discharge was given against Mr. Stein. The final decision will take a while, however I would not be surprised that if in fact reduced to Lance Corporal and discharged under less than honorable circumstances that he file an appeal based on the arguments for which his defense attorney’s have made.
UPDATE: April 5th, 2012
Mr. Stein posted a message today to his supporters at around 5:44 AM, it went like this:
Today just might be one of the most important days of my life. Today my 9 year career with the Marine Corps will be on the line for a statement of nearly 2 dozen words. My heart is heavy this morning I tie up my boots and start my hour drive to Camp Pendleton. It hurts me to know that I could be punished for the one of the constitutional rights I have give the last 9 years of my life to protect.
While I could have better chosen my words when making the comments in question, I feel that they do no warrant the punishment that could be handed down today. “Semper Fi” is just not some catchy words that you see on a Marine Corps poster, or on a recruiter video. They are the very embodiment of a Marine, and words I hold very near and dear to my heart. I do not take wearing the name tape “U.S. Marines” for granted, it is both a privilege and an honor. It is my duty as a Marine and a American to uphold the Constitution and the values of our Founding Fathers. It is our freedoms as Americans that set us apart for every other country and has made a country to be feared.
In just a short 3 months a 23 days I will be leaving my beloved Marine Corps (if not sooner). I will leave knowing that I proudly and honorably served my country for 9 years making many personal sacrifices. It has been as honor to serve with the Marines that I have over the past 9 years, whether or not the stand up for me today. A CWO I worked for last year once told me that we are just not fellow Marines but we a family and even through this I feel the same way.
So now I must go answer for what to many more Americans and Service Members is an everyday conversation, which has been blown out of proportion. I hope to come out on top, because win today for me is also a win for Freedom and the Constitution.
Today he faces a separation board.
I certainly respect anyone who has an opinion, even ones for which I personally do not hold, and in some ways find to be particularly vile and stationed in a deep sea of ignorance. But the problem here is not, and should not be about Gary Stein’s freedom of speech, or even his opinion of his top commander, Mr. Obama. The problem is that he broke rules and regulations. He violated a legal contract, one for which he gave an oath, and a signature. Surely Mr. Stein should understand that rules are in place for varied reasons, and that at no point do we agree with all rules. I respect Mr. Stein’s right to an opinion. I respect Mr. Stein for defending his country, my country. I respect Mr. Stein for loving his Corp, and his country. I do not respect Mr. Stein’s negligence, and deliberate attempt to disobey regulations.
More information can be found below:
For the post for which Mr. Stein made, it can be found at his personal Facebook page linked below:
UPDATE: April 4th, 2012
At no real surprise to me, Mr. Stein’s request for a an injunction and a restraining order were denied by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Huff, yesterday. Today, he will face a military administrative separation board which will determine his fate in the Marine Corp.
As quoted from the North County Times:
“In court, Stein’s attorneys argued two points: First, they said, Stein’s posts were constitutionally protected free speech, and second, the military had not given Stein adequate time to fight the move to kick him out.”
I believe that case law, both civil and military, will show that this may be deemed as speech that is not protected by the First Amendment. Furthermore, I would argue that the internet constitutes an open forum to the public. On one account, DoD 1344.10 may be deemed as vague given the rise in social media, however, the Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook pages was intended to be viewed by anyone. Because of this, the letter for which Representative Hunter wrote to Congress may in some accounts have some validity to it. The court however may not even tackle this issue, and if they did, I would side with the notion that given the intent of the page, and privacy settings among other things would not ultimately deem DoD 1344.10 as void. It is unlikely, in my firm opinion that the court would tackle social media outlets however. We will see.
Fore more information on the matter you can go to the following links:
UPDATE: April 3rd, 2012
“Update from Gary: Him and his attorneys are filing a lawsuit today against the his Commanding Officer Col. Dowling, MCRD San Diego Commanding General B. Gen Yoo, the Secretary of the Navy and the DOD, for the violation of his first amendment and due process rights. Documents will be made available later this evening or tomorrow morning.”
Due process within the United States Constitution can be found in the Fifth, and the Fourteen Amendments. The Fifth Amendment is stated as:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The Fourteenth Amendment is stated as:
“Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”
From both of these Amendments arise different concepts of Due Process: (1) Substantive, (2) Procedural, (3) Incorporation of the Bill of Rights, (4) Prohibition against Vague Laws. It’s important to understand that in many instances civil law will be handled differently than cases pertaining to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
More information will be posted later.