1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Discuss politics - join our community by registering for free here! HOP - the political discussion forum

Iraq activists threatened with legal action

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by michaelr, May 28, 2007.

  1. michaelr

    michaelr New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Here not there
    By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff
    Saturday, May 26
    BRATTLEBORO -- A local son turned U.S. Marine turned anti-war activist has been threatened by military authorities for activities related to his opposition of the Iraq war.
    Liam Madden, 22, formerly of Bellows Falls and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War confirmed he received a letter from the Marine Corps earlier this month informing them he was being recommended for discharge from the individual ready reserves.

    Madden, who now lives in Boston, declined to speak further on the advise of his attorney.

    But Adam Kokesh, 25, of Washington, D.C., shared a similar letter in which he was recommended for a dishonorable discharge from the Marine reserves. The first step for Kokesh is a hearing on June 4 in Kansas City to answer the charges in the letter.

    "It's so petty and stupid," Kokesh told the Reformer Friday afternoon.

    "Certainly it seems that they have been targeted because of their anti-war activities," said Amadee Braxton, the director of organizational development for Iraq Veterans Against the War, about Madden and Kokesh.

    When Kokesh received the letter from the Corps, at first he was scared, wondering what kind of trouble he had gotten himself in to. But as a veteran of the war, he feels he has "a moral imperative to speak out."
    "You've got to take a stand," he said, adding "I wasn't going to shut up."

    A Bellows Falls Union High School graduate, Madden was a co-founder of the Appeal for Redress, in which active-duty service members appealed to Congress for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

    In June, he, Kokesh and a dozen other veterans are embarking on a bus tour of 20 military installations on the East Coast to talk to soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors about why they oppose the war. One of the first stops of the bus trip will be Kokesh's Kansas City hearing at Marine Corps Mobilization Command.

    His threatened bad discharge -- under other than honorable conditions in military parlance -- was a result of Operation First Casualty, a "mock combat patrol" he and eleven other war veterans, including Madden, participated in during a protest in Washington, D.C., on March 19, and an e-mail exchange between Kokesh and the officer recommending his bad conduct discharge.

    Kokesh doesn't deny he was disrespectful in an e-mail to the officer who informed him of the potential action against him, telling him to perform an anatomically impossible act before calling himself a PFC or "Proud (expletive) Civilian."

    Nor does he deny that he participated in the mock combat patrol in a military style uniform. He insisted he wore no markings or insignia on his camos, but according to the letter he received, he could be charged with commission of a serious offense for appearing "at a political event or activity in the Washington, D.C., area in your Marine Corps uniform which violated (regulations)."

    Eugene R. Fidell, the president of the National Institute of Military Justice, said that Kokesh's discharge classification from the reserves would not impact the level of benefits he has been promised as a result of his active duty.

    Both men received honorable discharges -- Madden in January and Kokesh last November -- from active duty service that included tours in Iraq. As a member of the inactive reserves, Madden is subject to recall for another three years. Kokesh's obligation is due to expire June 18, 14 days after his Kansas City hearing.

    Fidell was baffled by the Marine Corps action.

    "It's a highly dubious business to go after someone in the ready reserves for exercising their First Amendment rights," he said. "It's a very doubtful action on the government's part."

    He and Braxton both expressed concerns that the military might initiate other similar actions as a way to stifle dissent within the ranks.

    "We are concerned about the outcome of these two cases because it will send a message to other veterans who justifiably want to speak out about their experiences in the war," said Braxton. "This could have a chilling effect."

    Despite the letter recommending his discharge, Kokesh plans to participate in another mock combat patrol this weekend, this time in New York City.

    "I still love the Marine Corps," he said, despite the action levied against him.

    Does being in the Military mean that you have no first admendment rights?
     
  2. mysteryman

    mysteryman New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Western Ky
    To answer your question about first amendment rights,the short answer is YES,sort of.

    While on active duty,you are not free to insult the CinC,or those officers appointed over you,nor are you free to question the govts policies.

    EVERY service has that rule.
     
  3. drippinhun

    drippinhun New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's part of the pact you make when you join the military. You give up your rights and do what you are told. I, for the life of me, cannot understand why anyone would join since our military has done nothing but the beckoning of corporation interests since the Korean War. I guess the young's need to exhibit bravery and bravado or lack of opportunities they face in the market place trump common sense.
     
  4. Sgt Schultz

    Sgt Schultz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    The suburbs of St. Louis
    That is not quite true. While you may not insult you are still free to criticize the President and government policies while on active duty. Criticism and insulting/disparaging the President and/or government policies are two different issues.
     
  5. mysteryman

    mysteryman New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Western Ky
    Nope,many join because of their sense of honor,their belief in the fact that as a citizen you have certain obligations and also because of the fact that someone has to do it.

    Your appalling lack of understanding about the military stuns me.
     
  6. Sgt Schultz

    Sgt Schultz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    The suburbs of St. Louis
    Agreed. I certainly didn't join or make a career of the Air Force because I wanted to be brave or serve corporate interests.
     
  7. drippinhun

    drippinhun New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That sense of honor was thrown out with Vietnam. Playing off the sacrifice of our fathers in WW2, the entire con should have been called out. And when we had the opportunity to regain the time-honored tradition, our so-called leaders frittered it away in places like Nicaragua, Haiti, Grenada, Panama, Iraq and Bosnia. One isn't serving the organ that protects our country. And that mister, is what our past soldiers sacrificed for.
     
  8. mysteryman

    mysteryman New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Western Ky
    Since you have already stated that you are violently anti-military,nothing anyone can say will change your mind.

    But lets examine a few things anyway.
    Do you have any idea what the job of the military actually is,besides defending the country?

    Military money has financed many of the things you use everyday.
    The internet for starters.
    It was originally a DoD system called "Arpanet",and allowed rapid communications between the military.
    Kevlar used to protect police officers was designed for the military first.
    Your cell phone is derived from military communications.
    There are more,but the list is to long.

    The military also conducts humanitarian missions.
    After the tsunami hit in SE Asia a couple of years ago,the first rescue and aid personnel on scene were the sailors and marines of a US aircraft carrier battle group (USS Abraham Lincoln CVN 72).
    They provided thousands of pounds of food,medical supplies and other relief supplies.
    They also set up and had running a fresh water distillation plant capable of producing thousands of gallons of fresh drinking water every day.

    http://www.talkingproud.us/InternationalTsunami10.html

    In almost EVERY natural disaster of the last century,from floods to typhoons to earthquakes,the US military has responded immediately.

    The army reserve builds roads in Cost Rica,the USAF tracks and plots hurricanes that may affect international shipping or that might threaten land.
    http://www.hurricanehunters.com/

    There are US military personnel serving in many countries as "peacekeepers" by providing logistical support for the UN operations.

    The USMC provides security at EVERY US embassy,worldwide.
    The US Coast Guard provides security for the shipping lanes,along with the US Navy.
    They gaurantee freedom of the seas to every vessel,and they protect the US territorial waters from incursion by foreign fishing fleets.

    The US military does more then just "kill people and break things",and if you understood exactly what the complete role of the military was,you would realize just how wrong you are.
     
  9. Dave

    Dave New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good posts mysteryman. One thing I'd like to add about first ammendment rights. If someone goes public insulting the private company they work for, they can expect to be fired. If you work for the military if you are openly critical of your bosses, you can expect a discharge or a courtmartial. There really isn't much difference here between the military and civilian world except for what the bosses are capable of.
     
  10. drippinhun

    drippinhun New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Having a father who was shot up on Guadalcanal [buried Andersonville], my aunt's father who was the 6th Fleet Commander, his father who was the first Officer of Flag to be killed in World War II [both father and son buried on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy], and other ancestors who date back to the War for Independance who served, I'm very much in tune to what our military does. I'm not talking about the exceptions, I'm talking about how it is being used for battle and now policing.
     
  11. mysteryman

    mysteryman New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Western Ky

    Then if you already know everything I posted,how can you say with a straight face...
     
Loading...

Share This Page