Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Court Martial for declaring the president a "Domestic Enemey"

Recently, on Facebook (There's a reason why I don't have an account), a marine sergeant posted several comments on a forum board.  He did similar actions on a marine internal network built for meteorological and oceanographic communication.  They were seen by three people, including a superior officer, and then they were taken down.  They included several comments about Obama being the enemy, including:  (Source)

"As an active-duty Marine, I have sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Obama is the economic enemy, the religious enemy, the domestic enemy."

 and also

"I say screw Obama. I will not follow orders given by him to me."

The second is a paraphrase.  I believe in stead of screw, the original comment included a more vulgar word.

This is not the first time he has gotten into trouble for things he has said on Facebook.   The first time, the American Civil Liberties Union spoke up for him. 

There are several things different about this time.  First of all, the first quote implies a willingness, if not desire, to physically harm/kill the president, as opposed to merely  having a political opinion.  In addition, the second quote, which he later backed off from (claiming he was referring to 'unlawful orders"), is a fairly obvious statement of intent to commit a military crime (assuming he didn't just mean unlawful - or more likely had a radically different idea of what is lawful for a president - which by the very nature of his comments seems to be true.)

The military is using a rule that in the past has been applied to commissioned officers  (Lieutenant and higher) in attempt to discharge this non-commissioned officer.  Note they have NOT completed the Court Martial, a panel simply decided to have one.

In light of the institutional values that the marines work hard to instil - loyalty and respect for authority, I fully expect the mostly conservative military to discharge this radical soldier.  They might make it dishonorable.

This is in my opinion the appropriate response.  Not because he criticized the president, but because of the extent that he has done so.  

I don't blame him entirely.  I blame the GOP.  They have gone out of their way to court the radical right, and encouraged such radical talk.   Rush, Beck, and crew have turned what was once a polite argument into something that verges on treason.

This young, stupid marine, took his clues from them.  He saw everyone else talking like that and thought it was appropriate.  He had no idea how vicious and close to treason those people are.  Nor did he take into account that he was in the military with greater expectations and requirements, and unlike them, does not have people carefully advising him about the limits he must not cross.

As such, he has stepped over the line, and the military will in all probably discharge him.  If he is smart, he can arrange to make it an honorable discharge, as opposed to a dishonorable one.   But he doesn't strike me as smart.

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