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Poll: Should Members of Military Be Free to Publicly Slam Civilian Leaders?

"Tea Party Marine" case is throwing a spotlight on different rules for service members.

 

The U.S. military has limited the free speech of troops since the Civil War, including not being allowed to criticize civilian leaders like the president.

So it's no wonder that Marine Sgt. Gary Stein is facing discharge for bashing Barack Obama on his Tea Party Facebook page. Should these First Amendment restrictions apply in this era of social media?

Tumblingdie April 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM
A very interesting question, indeed! In my time in the Army 69 - 71 it was well understood amongst us draftees that the Army owned us outright! It was not a problem, but there is/was always some grumbling going on in the barracks as well as in the trenches. The issue at hand is the social media access through which each individual can have a voice on the public stage - instantly! So, the natural grumbling that used to go on amongst a small group or a few friends now has the power to be broadcast to everyone's ears. My conclusion is this: the military to some degree still 'owns' enlistees for the duration of their tour. In order to be effective it must be this way. One aspect of that is the suspension of ones God given rights as a citizen of this great country until their return to civilian life. In this case I don't think the soldier in question should be discharged, BUT, since his case has gained so much publicity and notoriety that it should be used to set the standard for all 'future' breaches of conduct regarding the Commander in Chief and made clearly known to all GI's and civilians alike that misconduct of this type may lead to discharge. We will always have our points of views and our freedoms to express them openly but not within the military...it's an opportunity to show forgiveness but also make the policy perfectly clear for future reference
CA Dude April 07, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Yes!
CA Dude April 07, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Would citizens prefer that members of the military start wearing masks when they state their public opinions? Free speech rules and applies to all citizens, including military personnel.
Virginia April 07, 2012 at 11:07 PM
they fight for freedom of speech.....they should have freedom of speech.....
TVOR April 08, 2012 at 01:01 AM
No sir, it does not. At least not to the same extent. This is a matter of fact.
Boss Mann April 08, 2012 at 09:58 PM
They are puppets of the military. We don't want them to think. They do what they are told. End of story. Don't like it, don't join.

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