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Thread: Marines discharge sergeant for Facebook posts for criticizing President Barack Obama

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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    Would someone provide examples of quotes that are OK, and those that cross the line?

    It'd be terrible if soldiers could voice their opion/civilly critique the president/administration's actions.
    It depends. When in uniform or stating your comments as a military member, you have to answer with the military position. That is "the position of the pentagon on this issue is such and such", which makes clear that it may not be your opinion, but that it is the official opinion. ON facebook, I think(we did not have facebook nor the internet when I served, so I could be wrong) you can state your opinion on issues as long as you do not invoke your military status or suggest breaking military regulations nor US laws. We were told that if we were approached while in civilian clothes by reporters, we could offer our opinions, but that we had to make it clear that those where our personal opinions and not those of our command, branch of service, the military our the government.
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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    It depends. When in uniform or stating your comments as a military member, you have to answer with the military position. That is "the position of the pentagon on this issue is such and such", which makes clear that it may not be your opinion, but that it is the official opinion. ON facebook, I think(we did not have facebook nor the internet when I served, so I could be wrong) you can state your opinion on issues as long as you do not invoke your military status or suggest breaking military regulations nor US laws. We were told that if we were approached while in civilian clothes by reporters, we could offer our opinions, but that we had to make it clear that those where our personal opinions and not those of our command, branch of service, the military our the government.
    Interesting.

    I guess there's a balance of sorts, though it's understandable how some soldiers get pissed off with the higher-ups. You would not believe some of the things my brother-in-law has to deal with. Apparently his friend video-taped the actions of some sargeants and other military higher-ups peeing on corpses/etc. If he were to reveal the evidence he'd be fired, so he just has to shut up and say nothing about such actions, or be demoted or worse. There are soldiers out there who video-record and keep, ahem, the very nasty and secret parts of war that the general populace don't know about.

    He's had to kill 23 insurgents. He's gone through a lot of ****, and he's expected to choke down his experiences and emotions to not make those powerful people in suits from being "offended." In my world, I would allow any severity of critique from my military, because I want to know what they think and, hell, they're ******* dying out there.

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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    Interesting.

    I guess there's a balance of sorts, though it's understandable how some soldiers get pissed off with the higher-ups. You would not believe some of the things my brother-in-law has to deal with. Apparently his friend video-taped the actions of some sargeants and other military higher-ups peeing on corpses/etc. If he were to reveal the evidence he'd be fired, so he just has to shut up and say nothing about such actions, or be demoted or worse. There are soldiers out there who video-record and keep, ahem, the very nasty and secret parts of war that the general populace don't know about.

    He's had to kill 23 insurgents. He's gone through a lot of ****, and he's expected to choke down his experiences and emotions to not make those powerful people in suits from being "offended." In my world, I would allow any severity of critique from my military, because I want to know what they think and, hell, they're ******* dying out there.
    First there are proper channels that any military member can go through to report violations of orders/proper conduct/military rules, no matter their rank or the relative rank of those involved, particularly with evidence. The only way he would get into trouble for reporting it if they had something they were keeping on him, and it would have to be very serious for any military lawyer to not be able to get him off. Or, if he released such evidence to the general public before he gave it to his COC. Even if he is afraid of some conspiracy thing going on, he can insist on going through certain channels that would ensure that a record is kept of everyone who found out about what info he had. There are issues with people trying to cover stuff up, but it isn't as widespread as people think (not with the internet available to help show proof). Just because the public doesn't find out about everyone that gets into trouble for stuff, doesn't mean that people don't get into trouble for doing stuff.

    (And yes, I know that comes off as somewhat naive, but I also know that there is always someone who is eventually going to listen to you, particularly if you ensure that you have evidence of what you are reporting and evidence of who you informed. You tell enough people in the chain of command, particularly the upper chain, someone will jump on it, even if it is mainly for their own promotion/benefit.)

    Second, there is a big difference between blowing off steam with friends/family by voicing how you feel about people/policies you have to deal with or that might affect your life and posting that stuff on the internet that also includes a direct link to you and your current military service/rank/info. And this guy was told to knock it off. He was even posting while on base, at work, in uniform (according to one of the initial reports on this).
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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcogito View Post
    The first article I read on this lead me to think the Marine shouldn’t have been discharged. It quoted some of the criticisms the Marine made about Obama but they weren’t too over the top. Also, he is enlisted and enlisted members have a bit more leeway under the UCMJ in this area than officers do.

    But I kept digging and found some other things he posted regarding Obama:

    “Obama is the economic enemy”
    “He is the religious enemy”
    “He is a coward”
    “He IS the Domestic Enemy”
    "As an active duty Marine, I say screw Obama and I will not follow any orders from him” (he later said he meant ‘unlawful’ orders)
    “I will not salute him"
    He superimposed Obama’s face on a poster for the movie Jackass

    Currently those of us in the military do NOT have the same freedom of speech as civilians. We can argue over whether or not that law is just, but it is the law. You can criticize the policies of a President without attacking him or trying to undermine him as the CinC. It is done every day by service members all around the world, including on this very board. This Marine crossed the line.
    Okay... so what order did he not obey? None...

    This didn't occur as the result of a lack of obedience... it was because someone took a screenshot of his facebook page... that's utterly ridiculous...

    This isn't a 1 time occurrence with the Obama Administration, either...

    I'm sure you've all heard about the extravagant GSA meeting, and all the wasted money from the conference... and how those people resigned before being fired... the reason that came to light wasn't the huge expenditures (only $800K... which is rather menial by Government waste standards... and about what a conference for 300 employees would cost… If you figure, flight, hotel, and accommodations for 4 days…) it's because they were openly criticizing Obama's green initiatives policy...

    The more controversial videos showed GSA members mocking Obama in planning for the conference, especially in regards to the green initiatives policy… but somehow they've suddenly disappeared… as the narrative is bashing them for the rap video… and the waste of money...

    Before that you had the firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal… because he spoke open and honestly to a Rolling Stone reporter… who then did him a major disservice by publicizing things most people keep off the record… Still he didn’t go against any policy… he just was open and honest with a brazen personality…

    Obama relieves McChrystal of command - US news - Military - msnbc.com
    The Runaway General | Politics News | Rolling Stone


    There are several other cases along the same lines… but somehow, all the information on them is cleaned up from the internet, and hard to access… ill keep looking for other ones like these, where the people didn’t necessarily do anything wrong… but are forced to resign because someone forwarded up the chain that the people were criticizing the president (something which became a national pass-time for liberals under Bush)…

    People who make mistakes are forced to resign often to be the scapegoat by the administration… but when the people are being targeted for speaking their honest opinion about the President’s flawed leadership… it’s not they that should be removed, it’s the President…
    Last edited by IndepCentristMA; 04-27-12 at 04:18 AM.

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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    I highly doubt that the President would care two bits about the opinion that an enlisted person in any branch (unless we're talking MCPON or similar level) has of him or what such a person may say about him online (to his face is most likely another matter entirely).

    The chain of command however, cares a lot. It shows disrespect for leaders and has the potential to be a big problem, particularly if the President makes a policy or gives an order that might directly impact that person's life.
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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by IndepCentristMA View Post
    Okay... so what order did he not obey? None...
    But in doing what he did he violated the UCMJ, which carries even more legal weight than an order.

    This isn't a 1 time occurrence with the Obama Administration, either...
    I have served through the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. There is nothing about this unique to Obama.

    Before that you had the firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal… because he spoke open and honestly to a Rolling Stone reporter… who then did him a major disservice by publicizing things most people keep off the record… Still he didn’t go against any policy… he just was open and honest with a brazen personality…
    And before that GEN Shinseki was shown the door when he, to the chagrin of Bush and Rumsfeld, told Congress that the Iraq War would take hundreds of thousands of troops and a decade to accomplish. So what is your point? That Presidents fire people who don’t toe the line? Well you’re right. But if you think our current President has a monopoly on that you haven’t been paying attention.

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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by IndepCentristMA View Post
    Okay... so what order did he not obey? None...

    This didn't occur as the result of a lack of obedience... it was because someone took a screenshot of his facebook page... that's utterly ridiculous...

    This isn't a 1 time occurrence with the Obama Administration, either...

    I'm sure you've all heard about the extravagant GSA meeting, and all the wasted money from the conference... and how those people resigned before being fired... the reason that came to light wasn't the huge expenditures (only $800K... which is rather menial by Government waste standards... and about what a conference for 300 employees would cost… If you figure, flight, hotel, and accommodations for 4 days…) it's because they were openly criticizing Obama's green initiatives policy...

    The more controversial videos showed GSA members mocking Obama in planning for the conference, especially in regards to the green initiatives policy… but somehow they've suddenly disappeared… as the narrative is bashing them for the rap video… and the waste of money...

    Before that you had the firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal… because he spoke open and honestly to a Rolling Stone reporter… who then did him a major disservice by publicizing things most people keep off the record… Still he didn’t go against any policy… he just was open and honest with a brazen personality…

    Obama relieves McChrystal of command - US news - Military - msnbc.com
    The Runaway General | Politics News | Rolling Stone


    There are several other cases along the same lines… but somehow, all the information on them is cleaned up from the internet, and hard to access… ill keep looking for other ones like these, where the people didn’t necessarily do anything wrong… but are forced to resign because someone forwarded up the chain that the people were criticizing the president (something which became a national pass-time for liberals under Bush)…
    those people at gsa were fools
    but your take is they did not deserve to be fired for wasting the taxpayer's money
    in your conspiratorial opinion, those federal employees who wasted money on worthless extravagance were fired only because they expressed opposition to his green initiative
    without any proof of that claim i can only contend you likely own a large supply of tin foil
    McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as "shortsighted," saying it would lead to a state of "Chaos-istan." The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the **** up, and keep a lower profile.
    After arriving in Afghanistan last June, the general conducted his own policy review, ordered up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The now-infamous report was leaked to the press, and its conclusion was dire: If we didn't send another 40,000 troops – swelling the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan by nearly half – we were in danger of "mission failure." The White House was furious. McChrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted. It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president's ass.
    The general's staff is a handpicked collection ... and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority
    [emphasis added by bubba]
    But part of the problem is personal: In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk **** about many of Obama's top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a "clown" who remains "stuck in 1985."
    McChrystal reserves special skepticism for Holbrooke, the official in charge of reintegrating the Taliban. "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal," says a member of the general's team. "Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous. He's a brilliant guy, but he just comes in, pulls on a lever, whatever he can grasp onto. But this is COIN, and you can't just have someone yanking on ****."
    The Runaway General | Politics News | Rolling Stone
    those comments were both imprudent and impudent
    the president could tolerate - hell, he should welcome such hard won opinion in private. but in public, the voice must be singular. it must be the president's. and mccrystal was not savvy enough to understand that
    the point being, mccrystal's firing, like truman's in korea, was absolutely the correct thing to do - because those general's public remarks served to undermine their president. that gave those president's no other option



    People who make mistakes are forced to resign often to be the scapegoat by the administration… but when the people are being targeted for speaking their honest opinion about the President’s flawed leadership… it’s not they that should be removed, it’s the President…
    no. the time to articulate one's ardent dissent is behind closed doors, when policy is being shaped. while the decisions are being made. once those policies, those decisions have been crafted, then everyone in that room MUST walk out the door in lockstep, supporting the policies formed when everyone was free to voice their thoughts and concerns
    we are negotiating about dividing a pizza and in the meantime israel is eating it
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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    Well... like it or not, if you serve in the military, Obama is the Commander in Chief, and you can't run him down publicly and not expect backlash.

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    Re: Marines discharge Sergeant for Facebook posts criticizing President Barack Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Comment_Guy View Post
    Well... like it or not, if you serve in the military, Obama is the Commander in Chief, and you can't run him down publicly and not expect backlash.
    Actually you can. You just have to do it within the set of rules. I bitched about Bush and Reagan all the time when I served despite them being my commander in chief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Uh oh Megyn...your vagina witchcraft is about ready to be exposed.

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    Re: Marines discharge sergeant for Facebook posts for criticizing President Barack Ob

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake
    I guess there's a balance of sorts, though it's understandable how some soldiers get pissed off with the higher-ups. You would not believe some of the things my brother-in-law has to deal with. Apparently his friend video-taped the actions of some sargeants and other military higher-ups peeing on corpses/etc. If he were to reveal the evidence he'd be fired, so he just has to shut up and say nothing about such actions, or be demoted or worse. There are soldiers out there who video-record and keep, ahem, the very nasty and secret parts of war that the general populace don't know about.
    Erm, this is already all over the internet...

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke
    (And yes, I know that comes off as somewhat naive, but I also know that there is always someone who is eventually going to listen to you, particularly if you ensure that you have evidence of what you are reporting and evidence of who you informed. You tell enough people in the chain of command, particularly the upper chain, someone will jump on it, even if it is mainly for their own promotion/benefit.)
    LOL yes just like if you report violations of police officers to their commanders, you're sure to get justice...
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