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Old 04-25-2012, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default Marine Sgt. Gary Stein

I'm honestly surprised that nobody has yet created this thread.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:00 AM   #2
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I haven't read on this much and honestly don't know the rules. But isn't he the head of command, and he is saying he refuses to obey and respect his superior.

Right?
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:33 AM   #3
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You guys do not want to get me started on this piece of crap. He's a disgrace to the Corps and the Armed Forces, end of story.

However, it must be said that the fact that he lasted that long says a good deal about just how scared the upper echelons of the military are of social media. It took them a year to finally boot this guy... way too long imho.

I don't know what the actual percentages are, but I'd say that among military officers, we're about 90% mid-spectrum conservative, with a standard deviation either direction depending on how "Christian" you are. I have zero religious motivations, so I'm more moderate leaning than some of my contemporaries. Military Officers tend to be white, upper-middle class, and have conservative leaning parents... these are just the facts.

On the other hand, enlisted people are much more diverse culturally, with a much higher percentage of minorities and overall come from a much lower socioeconomic background. There are far more liberal enlisted people than officers... these are just the facts.

The UCMJ, and several DOD directives that are part of our yearly mandatory training are very clear about exactly what you can and cannot contribute while wearing a uniform. The directives were intended to preserve in part the long- standing tradition that the military remain an apolitical body whose duty is to obey the orders of its civilian leaders.

Where this guy went wrong was very basic. It's a severe violation of the UCMJ to use your position as a member of the military for political influence. The President is our Commander In Chief, and if we as members of the Armed Forces are given any "control" as to who our military leader is, then we become a Military Dictatorship. Civilian control of the military cannot be a fine line. It has to be absolute. If a single Sergeant can publicly tell his boss to f'off, then so can a General, and the public instantly loses faith in who is in control of our military. It gets very ugly from there on out.

He went wrong and is out of the miltary because he had NOBODY on his side. Not only were his actions illegal, but nobody bought his crap. Conservative and liberal officers were against him, conservative enlisted were against him, and liberal enlisted were really against him. He has a very small following of extremely right-leaning retired senior enlisted and that's all... virtually nobody on active duty wanted to go anywhere near this guy. All of the stink was made by retired dudes "on behalf" of the "masses of disgruntled service folks out there who didn't have a voice"... problem was there aren't any masses.

As a taxpaying citizen, I certainly have some reservations about how the government is currently handling the governing of the country, and I voice my opinion at the voting booth, by donating to certain causes, by staying as informed as I can, and by trying my best to be a good role-model for my kids and neighbors. In fact, I feel that it's part of my civic responsibility to be "politically active"... and I do as much as I can, which could be more, but I'm happy with what I currently contribute.

As a military officer, I adhere to my oath and follow my orders. And to be safe and to keep with my oath and be within the UCMJ, I really can't/shouldn't do more than I currently do.

OK, so people will then say "but your oath says "support and defend the constitution of the US against all enemies foreign and domestic", so doesn't that mean when the government tramples over the Constitution, that you have a responsibility to stop them, IE, USE YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH AND SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT AS A SOLDIER... no.

You don't have that right as a soldier. Your 1st amendment rights are restricted specifically for this reason... yes, your rights are restricted via the UCMJ, which is why it's ILLEGAL to speak out. You operate under a different set of rules when you decide to put on a uniform, and you actually do give up some rights to become a soldier, and speaking out against the civilian leadership of the military is one of them.

This whole thing is not hard to understand, and it's not hard to understand why it has to be this way. When you put on your uniform, shut the hell up and do your job.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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can someone link to info or post cliff notes so I don't get trampled by the wall of text?
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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Oh.... just remembered some people might not know who this guy is...

He is WAS a Marine Corps Sergeant who started the Armed Forces Tea Party... basically a I HATE OBAMA site... douchebag. He wasn't skirting the line with that site, he was over it, but the establishment was being very careful about how they tried to shut him down.

About a month ago, he was feeling a little cocky and this is what happened today:

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...d-take-it-back
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:27 AM   #6
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Maybe this hasn't been national news for all that long, but down here in San Diego it's been in the press for a while (MCB Pendleton is here.)

Sam pretty well summarized it. To be honest, as many self-proclaimed constitutionalists as we have here, I'd have expected at last someone to jump in and defend a first amendment position on this, and to be honest, I'm kind of proud to see that nobody has taken that line.

To expound on what Sam said, the Tea Party site was not, in my opinion, the worst of it. My favorite quite came from a posting he made on the Marine Corps Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Services facebook page:
"As an active Marine I say, 'Screw Obama' and I will not follow orders from him."


Now, depending on how strongly you consider facebook to constitute a soapbox, and the intent of his posting to incite others, this could be interpreted as anything from insubordinate conduct and failure to obey a lawful order all the way to mutiny and sedition, which are punishable by death.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
To expound on what Sam said, the Tea Party site was not, in my opinion, the worst of it. My favorite quite came from a posting he made on the Marine Corps Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Services facebook page:
"As an active Marine I say, 'Screw Obama' and I will not follow orders from him."


Now, depending on how strongly you consider facebook to constitute a soapbox, and the intent of his posting to incite others, this could be interpreted as anything from insubordinate conduct and failure to obey a lawful order all the way to mutiny and sedition, which are punishable by death.
Joe, this was the ultimate reason he's being discharged. The Tea Party stuff was very small-time, and although he was in trouble over it, the Corps was giving him every opportunity to keep serving... but he lost his damned mind with that post.

With that comment, he's lucky he wasn't an officer... we have a thing called Article 88, and talking ---- about senior gov't officials goes way harder on officers than enlisted. Gen Stanley McChrystal came close a few years ago.

Article 88, Contempt Towards Officials
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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It does raise the question of where "the line" is.

If a President and Congress authorized martial law, including opening fire on protesting citizens, would all military be expected to "shut the hell up and do your job?"
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
If a President and Congress authorized martial law, including opening fire on protesting citizens, would all military be expected to "shut the hell up and do your job?"
but that's not what happened. you join the military you follow orders, the end.

same goes for real world. if i posted the same thing about my boss, i wouldnt expect to maintain my job or paycheck.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
It does raise the question of where "the line" is.

If a President and Congress authorized martial law, including opening fire on protesting citizens, would all military be expected to "shut the hell up and do your job?"
Depends on if you're posing the question in moral terms, legal terms, or practical terms.

In moral terms, of course not. Each soldier must answer to himself or his god for his own decision.

In legal terms, still no. As I understand it, the Nuremburg defense is generally not recognized as valid in cases of specific use of military force (ie, firing on civilians), and each soldier would be legally culpable for following those orders.

In practical terms...well, I suppose eventually a disobedient soldier may be publicly vindicated, but at least in the short term he should have every expectation of losing his job and facing possible imprisonment, no?
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:41 PM   #11
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To be clear, I am not defending the actions of the Sargeant in question, just raising the tangential question of where soldiers would openly disobey direct orders.

The confiscation of legally owned firearms post-Katrina still kind of weirds me out, on top of every regular police department being outfitted as "tactical operators."
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:21 PM   #12
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i hear you.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
To be clear, I am not defending the actions of the Sargeant in question, just raising the tangential question of where soldiers would openly disobey direct orders.
Understood. I just wanted to make the distinction between the various kinds of consequences for disobedience.

Quote:
The confiscation of legally owned firearms post-Katrina still kind of weirds me out, on top of every regular police department being outfitted as "tactical operators."
You have to admit, it's a fairly creative way to circumvent the whole martial law thing -- if you're not allowed to use the military as police, just turn the police into the military.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
The confiscation of legally owned firearms post-Katrina still kind of weirds me out, on top of every regular police department being outfitted as "tactical operators."
How soon and how much time did you spend in NOLA after Katrina. Serious question. Also, what records do you have which demonstrates that firearms were confiscated by Feds rather than locals?

I know NOPD did it, but you can't tell me your afraid of the feds because of something the local police did.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,192347,00.html
I'd be ultra-pissed if the police took my weapons and then told me I needed the bill of sale and had to endure a criminal background check to get my steel back.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:36 PM   #15
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I read this story (first I heard of it), and thought the guy was lucky. Not gonna obey an order? They can shoot you for that.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:37 PM   #16
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You have to admit, it's a fairly creative way to circumvent the whole martial law thing -- if you're not allowed to use the military as police, just turn the police into the military.
I thought the DOJ and Obama made it very clear that local police shouldn't enforce fed laws...
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:38 PM   #17
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I read this story (first I heard of it), and thought the guy was lucky. Not gonna obey an order? They can shoot you for that.
code red.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Understood. I just wanted to make the distinction between the various kinds of consequences for disobedience.



You have to admit, it's a fairly creative way to circumvent the whole martial law thing -- if you're not allowed to use the military as police, just turn the police into the military.
I don't like this one-bit, but I also don't think the locals were totally in the wrong. If NOLA was designated as a "war zone" which it was and should have been, this would make more sense. NOLA looked like downtown Mogadishu, I don't really blame the police for cleaning weapons out of abandoned homes (abandoned is subjective) because street gangs were going to take them if the police didn't. I blame the police for the way weapons were returned to their rightful owners.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
To be clear, I am not defending the actions of the Sargeant in question, just raising the tangential question of where soldiers would openly disobey direct orders.
The UCMJ is pretty clear in making a distinction about "lawful orders," and also treats separately the (relatively) less serious crimes of insubordination / disrespect / contempt versus the more serious matters of disobeying orders / missing movement / desertion.

You can access the whole section on Punitive Articles here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/te...7/subchapter-X

While there are potentially three separate issues in this situation (insubordination, refusing to follow orders, and potentially inciting mutiny and sedition), the matter of openly disobeying direct orders is pretty simple. A lawful order cannot be disobeyed. An illegal order (eg: "Marine, go execute those civilians") must be disobeyed.

The interesting thing, however, is that I can't think of any time in recent history in which this has actually been tested. It is a testament to the officers and civilian leadership of the US Armed Forces that, for the most part, they tend not to do things like instructing their subordinates to slaughter civilians in gas chambers. Even at Abu Ghraib, it would seem that while the commanding officers failed to properly oversee the actions of the soldiers under their command, I haven't seen any evidence which suggests that they directly ordered the torture of prisoners. (Admittedly, I wasn't there.)
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #20
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code red.
You know, it's funny that you mention this. One thing that really bugs me about A Few Good Men is that, after Lt. Col. Markinson starts whispering conspiracy theories into Kaffee's ear, the whole issue of the illegal fenceline shooting (which is how the whole thing started, mind you) seemed to just dry up and vanish.
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