A matter of freedom of speech
To the Editor:
Sgt. Gary Stein, a Marine who used his Facebook page to criticize President Barack Obama, has been given an "other-than-honorable" discharge. An other-than-honorable discharge is given to a person serving in the military who commits a "serious offense" that significantly differs from conduct expected of a military person. It also means that this young man will lose all the benefits that he had earned for his honorable service for the past nine years.
Sgt. Stein called President Obama a liar and a “domestic enemy” on his Facebook page. Stein questioned Obama's birth certificate. Another discussion on his site said Stein would refuse to obey orders given by Obama. He later clarified to say he meant illegal orders, which he has explained as orders such as sending the military to Syria without Congressional approval.
This is a young man who has devoted his life to serving his country. He did not say anything about our “anointed president” that has not been said before in a public forum. If we were to carefully review our president’s record and the records and hidden agendas of the many sycophants he has surrounded himself with, this young man’s allegations would pale in comparison.
This young man did not embezzle funds, did not cause the deaths of innocent individuals, did not trade our nation’s secrets for political gain and did not place the United States in a fiscal dilemma that is going to have severe ramifications on the well-being of future Americans. He has not sold our nation into the hands of unscrupulous nations that would enjoy seeing our demise and he has not placed our national defense at risk by appointing individuals who have no idea as to the strength and hatred of our enemies and who are so inept as to not even believe the dangers we face when it is shown to them. These people are in business for themselves. They want as much money and power as we allow them to steal. This young man committed no crime and yet he has been tried, convicted and sentenced by individuals who have crucified him because they are cowards and probably fear the retribution of those in power.
He simply used his God-given right of “Freedom of Speech” to express his feelings about a frontrunner that many of us do not trust and who are fearful of his vengeance. Is this what we have come to? Are we going to let this young man’s life be destroyed because he expressed his opinions? If he is guilty of anything, he is guilty of poor judgment. He simply believed he was still living in a democracy. He has now been taught that this democracy only exists for certain individuals and if you are not a member of their club, then you had better be careful of what you do and say.
Isn’t it time we stopped worrying about our own lives and reached out and helped this young man? Or are we all afraid to speak up and possibly annoy our “anointed leader” into destroying our own lives? Something he and his cronies are doing as I write this essay.