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Apr-26-2012 20:09printcomments

Should a Marine Give-Up His or Her Rights Simply Because They Have Agreed to Serve Their Country?

There are a considerable number of Marines who visit Salem-News.com regularly and I would love to hear their take on this issue...


(HARRISVILLE, NH) - The title of this piece poses an interesting question . . . a question of where the issue of freedom of speech ends and willful damaging of the necessary authority structure begins.

Sgt. Gary Stein, 26, a meteorologist at Camp Pendleton, who posted the comments on the Facebook Armed Forces Tea Party page, will be discharged on “other than honorable” terms. His comments specifically stated that he would refuse to follow orders issued by President Obama. He later removed that post and verbally qualified it saying that he meant “unlawful orders”. Still, the damage had been done and there was no taking it back.

I have said it before but it is well worth repeating . . . every right granted to us by the Constitution should be sacred. All rights specifically contained therein were included for a good reason. People like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin discussed, debated, argued, dissected each of them and came to a final agreement (after a lengthy analysis) of which rights should be included and which should not.

"As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions." --James Madison, National Gazette Essay, 1792

In my opinion, trying to second guess these august individuals is a fool’s errand is usually prompted by an over-inflated ego.

Still, the need for a command structure in our armed forces and respect for the authority dictated by that command structure is obvious. Situations arise where taking time for democratic decisions will cost lives and a command decision must be made and subsequent orders must be followed or people will die.

This brings us to the current situation involving the posts made by Sgt. Gary Stein. Was it simply his failure to include a qualification of which orders he would follow and which he would not that resulted in his ultimate “less than honorable” discharge? We will probably never know for sure any more than we will know if he really meant that he would refuse to follow only “unlawful” orders. Could it be that it is a situation where excess power prevails to the point that respect for individual rights becomes non-existent? I don’t know if anyone could possibly make an accurate determination at this point.

Sgt. Stein, an Iraq veteran, has been outspoken with his political views for some time now. He has been spoken with on more than one occasion during his nearly nine year career in the Marine Corps for similar remarks. It appears that he may have been confused about where his rights as a U.S. citizen end because he agreed to serve his country as a U.S. Marine. It has been noted that he intended to re-enlist at the end of this tour of duty.

Maybe it would be helpful to examine Sgt. Stein’s complete record . . . one built over the past nine years (some of which was spent in a war zone). Along with his record, we should examine the record established by the current Administration. Have they shown respect for the individual rights guaranteed and protected by the Constitution? Has this Administration exhibited any of the traits that Sgt. Stein has accused them of having? I.e. Is there any truth in his numerous posts?

To be honest, I can’t make a call on this issue. I can see both sides of the issue pretty clearly but I simply cannot read minds and that is what I believe it would take to know the truth. Still, should putting on a uniform take away the rights granted to a U.S. citizen by the Constitution?

There are a considerable number of Marines who visit Salem-News.com regularly and I would love to hear their take on this issue... if only to help develop a firm opinion of my own. How about it gentlemen? Would any Marines who are no longer on active duty care to comment and give their opinions?


Writer Robert Collinsworth is an American who isn't hesitant to talk about the good side of his country, and that is a welcome thing in this day and age. Salem-News.com admittedly, is very critical of both American politics, as well as those of other nations that we perceive is being wrong in their motives and actions. At the same time, within these structures we criticize, are many outstanding people who make each day a better place for all those around them. They embody and personify the American spirit that is sometimes fleeting, but always present. <

These are some of the things Robert takes into account when writing commentary that is designed reach people, to "get them thinking" in his words, and indeed it does. Salem-News.com's goal is for all people to be on the same page, we appreciate Bob's more conservative approach toward that same goal."

You can write to Bob Collingsworth at this email address:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Anonymous April 28, 2012 1:35 pm (Pacific time)

Editor are you talking about the brothers of dishonorable character you met at the "Displinary Barracks?"

Editor: Even as a Marine Corps prisoner I was surrounded by men with twice the character of you.  I admit things and that is what sets real men apart from those of your ilk.  Your racism is something you can pack up your backside 'Mike'. And if anyone wonders what this lame-o is specifically referring to, let me direct you to this article: http://www.salem-news.com/articles/march282011/usmc-mutiny-tk.php  You see, even prisoners can take the upper hand from the haters, this story is about a day I took on the entire Marine Corps at the age of 18, and f*cking won.. yeah!  Jerks that hurt people will always lose, the innocent will always have representation, no matter how much suffering takes place first, and as some already know, obviously not 'mike' here who decided not to use his/her name for some reason, laws and rules only have meaning when they aren't being enforced in a spirit of lawlessness.  This goes for every dirty stinking cop too who abuses people, screw 'em all, every last one, they too can fall and fall hard, and they deserve to, as to all people who are abusive.  Status quo doesn't equate to right, short hair and country music doesn't make you a man, and one more thing, for the people suffering, chivalry is not dead, in spite of how many 'mikes' are out there flapping.

Anonymous April 28, 2012 10:28 am (Pacific time)

For those of you who are really interested in justice, the below link provides you the perfect opportunity to donate to such a cause. We must not allow organized minorities to create mobs to adversely impact our legal system.

 Editor: What kind of rank BS is this? I am more worried about white racists like yourself doing the same thing.

In time we will wipe out these mobs, totally and completely. They are nothing more than evil and deadly "porch monkees" as so named by community organizers from Chicgo, and friends of Obama. Not kidding!

 Editor: You're the only person whose manner resembles an ape around here, were your parents brother and sister?  Come on... admit it now!

Unbelieveable morons who count on you to be as stupid as they are.

 Editor: Well there's the statement of a century

Though in some cases...KEEP HOPE ALIVE AND LET'S GET JUSTICE FOR AN AFRO-PERUVIAN American. If Obama had a son, he would look like this victim of racist hate by minorities. The above statement is 100% factual, and cannot be disproven, so why do some want to avoid facts? They are evil, and must be dealt with in a very lawfully intense manner. Semper Fi

Editor: Sepmer fi my ass, you have no business writing the mantra of my brothers and I, you are a sad little turd, time to go spinning down the drain.  Racist links aren't posted here.

Anonymous April 27, 2012 3:46 pm (Pacific time)

May I add one more thing...Every bone in my body, every thought I have, every website I visit, says NO VIOLENCE!! We are strong on NO VIOLENCE..Its interesting to me, that the U.S./NATO is bombing every country on the planet, raiding raw milk dairies with swat teams, police brutality trained by israel,, killing people with tazers, etc, etc. etc. but they call people such as me as potential terrorists. Dear Lord..Jesus come soon :-)

Anonymous April 27, 2012 1:38 pm (Pacific time)

Why dont we address the real issue here. Our government, has been taken over by foreign bankers. We dont have a government anymore. We have very few representatives that uphold their oath to the Constitution, they are all bought and paid for by corporations and bankers. Many marines are waking up to this fact. This is why the feds sent out reports to sheriffs all over the country on who potential terrorists are. Returning veterans, Constitutionalists, Ron Paul supporters just to name a few. And, this is why foreign troops have been training in the U.S. for the past few years, while marines and national guard are sent overseas. They may obey their Constitutional oaths, and not fire on American people, or confiscate firearms, and the elite know this. I told people many years ago, that the police state was not for extreme jihadists/muslims etc., it was being set up for the American People. Obama says the war on terror is over. Then why are we not ending TSA, DHS, Patriot Act, NDAA?? Instead we are expanding them. TSA at bus stations now. The fed's MIAC report was written in 2009. http://www.infowars.com/secret-state-police-report-ron-paul-bob-barr-chuck-baldwin-libertarians-are-terrorists/

LanceThruster April 27, 2012 1:21 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you for a thought provoking piece. While I disagree with the individual's politics, I think we should always err on the side of not restricting free speech, those serving included.

April 27, 2012 11:26 am (Pacific time)

Support/elect Ron Paul, and this question will become irrelevant. Our only choice.

Luke Easter April 27, 2012 10:36 am (Pacific time)

If it’s ok for, “Civilians” to burn the American Flag w/o repercussions and yet those who defend this same flag do not have free speech? Are we talking about the President who claims to be a, “Christian” yet because Sarah Jessica Parker was manning the phones during the first election campaign he said I can’t wait to see the, “New Sex and The City.” Same guy guzzling beer in the White House Garden with two guys calming a racial incident while the rape/murder of PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson years before still goes unsolved? Hey! Received my Honorable Discharge as a USMC Sergeant in 1974. Let them take that away if everyone not associated with serving this country can say what they want and get away with it. Is not Jane Fonda portraying Nancy Reagan in a new movie? Well,… if that doesn’t beat all. Except for the two term President who ended up in Canada to avoid the draft. Hehe!

Anonymous April 27, 2012 7:03 am (Pacific time)

He will regain his stautus under President Palin next year shortly after she is sworn in as CIC. Our military should always be protected from evil leadership. I myself addressed the character of LBJ back in the 60's, but my timing was perfect as President Nixon vacated the investigation shortly after he was sworn in. Obama and his regime are acting illegally as is obvious even to the grifters out there. Amazing how those grifters see a treasonous sob like Manning okay, but a real hero who exercises a warning to America, is ignored by them. This clearly demonstrates why those who hold people like Manning as justifiable in their anti-American activities, thus they will always be irrelevant fringe whacko's. And cowards. Impeach obummer and his thugs immediately congress, just do it!

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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