Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tea Party Activist Gary Stein Gets The Boot

I love this story.
Gary Stein was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. He's also an avid supporter of the Tea Party and, as they are apt to be, quite the anti-Obama Tea Partying Marine.
In fact, he is so anti-Obama that he is vocal in his opposition to the Commander-In-Chief, and,m on his Facebook page has taken to calling the president, "The real enemy."
And or his outspokenness, and threat to disobey any orders sent down via the president, Sgt. Gary Stein has lost his bid to stay in the Marine Corps.  Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo ordered the Stein, a veteran of nine years, be removed from the service with an other-than-honorable discharge and reduction in rank to lance corporal.
A Marine can receive an other-than-honorable discharge if the basis for his or her dismissal is a serious offense representing a "significant departure from the conduct expected." And, an other-than-honorable discharge means Stein loses most of his veteran benefits.
Stein's attorney, Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation, says they will fight on, pressing a federal court case and appealing through Marine Corps legal channels for his reinstatement. His defenders are an unusual mix of attorneys with ties to the Tea Party and other conservative causes, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union. 
In fact, ACLU attorney David Loy said the legal team does not believe Stein's Facebook postings on his Armed Forces Tea Party page and other sites are anything more than legitimate and allowable expressions under the First Amendment.
Like when Stein said he would not follow orders given by President Obama, the Commander-In-Chief, nor would he ever salute the president.
When challenged, almost instantly, by his fellow Marines about his comments, Stein backtracked, withdrew them, apologized and later said what he meant was that he wouldn't follow any "unlawful" orders issued by the commander in chief.
Which, of course, is not what he said.
And Marine prosecutors argue that those statements, when combined with Stein's speeches at Tea Party gatherings, and selling anti-Obama bumper stickers on his Armed Forces Tea Party page, clearly broke the rules.
Here's my two cents: if you join the military, your boss is the president of the United States. You don't like that, then ask to be released. otherwise, do the job for which this country and it's taxpayers ask of you.
I imagine there were quite a few members of the military who weren't real keen on W's "War For Oil" or "War For WMD" or "War For Saddam" but they followed orders and did as they were told. Or, they asked to be released. Or, failing all that, simply kept their mouths shut.
Gary Stein could take a lesson from that last bit.
Although now, as a private citizen, her can say and do whatever he wants, and become just another Tea Party wingnut.


mrs.missalaineus said...

but the same ACLU couldn't give me the time of day when we were trying to get them to represent a group of students who had their cell phones confiscated in the middle of class without just cause or reasonable suspicion.

sometimes it's hard to watch an organization you love take the side of someone whose beliefs you have no respect for.

in my mind he's no different than any employee slamming their boss on facebook and then losing his job- if he had a contract that could show he had not violated the terms of his employment he might have a leg to stand on, but if he is 'at will' then he, like the rest of us 'at will' employees, have to watch what they say about whom on the interwebz.


Ron said...

Former Sergeant Stein took an oath to obey the Commander in Chief when he joined the Marines. He broke that oath and was rightly discharged from the Marines. That's the way discipline in our armed forces work Corporal Stein, check your Constitution.