View Poll Results: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

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  • Yes

    23 39.66%
  • No

    26 44.83%
  • More than currently allowed, but not freely

    2 3.45%
  • Less than currently allowed

    7 12.07%
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Thread: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

  1. #11
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    I beleive members of the military do unless it places their mission or unit in harm's way.

  2. #12
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Of course military members should be able to express their political opinions. That's a sacrosanct right in the United States. Expressing an intention to disobey orders while in the military... that's a different matter. He is legally compelled to follow orders, no matter what he thinks of them. I don't know if he will face any kind of court martial for his declaration, but I do know that he will face one if he disobeys an order, regardless of his opinions on it. Ultimately, someone with a lot more training and knowledge about the law than he has will determine if the president issues an unlawful order in his capacity as commander and chief.
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    No they are not. They are still people.
    They are still people. They are not civilians, and they are governed by the military code of justice.

    Military Personnel Have Free Speech Rights | NewsReal Blog

    In the case of Sergeant Stein, he was “counseled” by his military superiors after creating a Facebook page for Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots and after posting online comments critical of President Obama’s healthcare plan. The sergeant’s entrepreneurial publishing efforts caught the attention of his chain of command, and not, apparently, in a good way. Indeed, Sergeant Stein was warned that by exercising his free speech rights, he may be running afoul of Defense Department directives that limit and circumscribe a military member’s political activities.

    A more recent military case that reached the Supreme Court, Parker v. Levy,17 has further defined the limits of military free speech. Dr. Levy was convicted for making disloyal and disrespectful comments to enlisted personnel intended to promote disaffection among the troops, in violation of articles 133 and 134, and for failure to obey a lawful order, in violation of article 92.
    Although the issue on appeal was the vagueness and overbreadth of articles 133 and 134, the Supreme Court's decision has considerable application to the issue of military free speech rights. The Court said that while members of the armed forces were not excluded from the protection of the first amendment, a different application was required because of the fundamental need for obedience and discipline. Stressing this uniqueness, the Court stated that civilian first amendment standards do not automatically apply to the military.18
    Free Speech, the Military, and the National Interest
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  4. #14
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Of course military members should be able to express their political opinions. That's a sacrosanct right in the United States. Expressing an intention to disobey orders while in the military... that's a different matter. He is legally compelled to follow orders, no matter what he thinks of them. I don't know if he will face any kind of court martial for his declaration, but I do know that he will face one if he disobeys an order, regardless of his opinions on it. Ultimately, someone with a lot more training and knowledge about the law than he has will determine if the president issues an unlawful order in his capacity as commander and chief.
    That is not entirely true. He is obligated to follow lawful orders. Of course the problem is that unless you have spent significant time studying the laws, knowing for sure what is or is not a lawful order is not a simple thing. Guessing wrong could have devastating effects on your life. Thankfully it is very rarely an issue.
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    They are still people. They are not civilians, and they are governed by the military code of justice.

    Military Personnel Have Free Speech Rights | NewsReal Blog





    Free Speech, the Military, and the National Interest
    Well, now you know why I did not say they where civilians. However, 99.99 % of the time, some one in the military is going to have no reason to even know the few limits that are imposed on them in terms of free speech.

    Oh, and not being civilians does not make military personnel government property as you claimed.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    anyone speaking their mind against the commander in cheif is subject to multiple rules.ill use an example saying you voted against obama is not considered treason,saying you dislike obama is likely not treason,saying you are gonna vote him out though can be seen as dissent.practically anything that does agree with us politics can be charged under article 134a ,article 81 for conspiriacy,article 92,and especially article 88,contempt against the president,vice president etc.


    Uniform Code of Military Justice (UJMJ) - Main Menu


    when you enlist for the military you literally sign away all your rights,and its not any fine print,they tell you in paper and in person,and ask you like 40 times are you sure you want to go through with it.

  7. #17
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    From a prior military member's blogsite:

    You Are Government Property
    No, this is not a joke, or clever euphemism. As a member of the US Armed Forces, give your heart to what ever God you believe in, because your ass belongs to Uncle Sam. You will be required to stay in shape, wear your hair according to policy, and obey all standing orders relating to your personal health.
    When I was in the Army, I processed more than a few sets of disciplinary papers charging soldiers with "Destruction of Government Property" for getting a tattoo, getting sunburned, or breaking a leg on a ski trip. Basically, if you're screwing around and hurt yourself so bad that it interferes with you being fit for duty, you can expect to catch some manner of hell for it.
    Ten Things To Know Before You Join The Military
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

  8. #18
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Newbie (to this particular issue) question here.

    What is the reasoning to not allow military folks to fully engage in free speech in the first place?

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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Newbie (to this particular issue) question here.

    What is the reasoning to not allow military folks to fully engage in free speech in the first place?

    the military believes you can freely vote,but showing any dis-interest in any politician can be viewed as rallying the troops against the government they serve.ironically our own oath is in conflict with itself should a civil war break out in this country,but is heavily against any form of rebellion.


    as far as the military is concerned you are entitled to your opinion but keep it to yourself.just keep in mind the military is still run by old generals who believe if you dont go to church your a godless communist.actually everything you do is support of communism to them,but luckily these old men are being phased out through retirement and there are very few left,but yet those very few still run the highest positions in the military.

  10. #20
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    Re: Should military members be able to freely express their opinions on politics?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman
    What is the reasoning to not allow military folks to fully engage in free speech in the first place?
    From my recollection, the emphasis is on neutrality. The military is supposed to be an apolitical entity so the higher-ups frown on any political extremism. Obviously this is very subjective which allows for widely differing policies from base to base. Pretty much any political speech is permissible provided that it is not performed in uniform or made to look like the official stance of the military.

    In this particular case I would bet the issue is the label "Armed Forces". This is how so many veterans groups get away with "extreme" political speech even in cases of active duty or reserve members.

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