Gary Stein, Marine Who Called Obama an "Enemy" on Facebook, Discharged

Categories: Politics
gary-stein-facebook.jpg
Never a good idea to call your boss "an economic and religious enemy."
Gary Stein, the 27-year-old Marine who spewed anti-Obama rhetoric on his "Armed Forces Tea Party" Facebook page, was discharged yesterday for popping off his political views.

Pentagon policy, military prosecutors noted, limits military members' political speech while in uniform. But beyond handbook regulations, talking smack about your boss, specifically, the president, will almost always cost you your job.

If you didn't catch the Facebook message, here's what the Marine said: "Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him."

Naturally, the American Civil Liberties Union has stepped in to defend Stein, citing First Amendment rights. "Since the days of Valley Forge, I seriously doubt that there haven't been members of the armed forces who haven't complained about their government," ACLU's David Loy told the Los Angeles Times.

Of course, there is "complaining about their government" and there is publicly calling the president "an economic and religious enemy."

Superiors had warned Stein about his online diatribes -- but he ignored those warnings. It probably didn't make him look any better when he photoshopped Obama's face onto a movie poster with the title "Jackass." Or when he called the president a coward, or when he said he wouldn't salute the commander-in-chief.

Even worse, he posted all this under the banner of the "Armed Forces" group.

Stein has been demoted from sergeant to lance corporal. The "other than honorable" discharge means that Stein, who served in Iraq, is ineligible for most veteran benefits -- which is the example of how you really shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. Stein's lawyers say they will appeal the case.

Of course, any money he loses from this he'll just gain tenfold if Fox News signs him on as a contributor.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly  

My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
Ralph Harris
Ralph Harris

You know, the military and the civilian leaders expect their Solders to follow orders period. If this discipline is not maintained, and if solders are allowed to have independent thought, they may not follow all orders...Solders cannot be allowed to criticize their military or civilian leaders...or such discipline will break down....

Of course this is the same thing that Adolf Eichmann stated after being found guilty in 1962 at the West German NAZI war crime trials....said he was just following orders and could not criticize Hitler....they hung him anyway...

This doctrine of solders not criticizing their civilian leaders is right out of the Third Reich hand book. You would think that the Marine Corp would recognize that a solder that thinks for himself is a asset and not a liability...he should have been promoted!

Steve Buzonas
Steve Buzonas

I believe this article is incorrect in the fact that it states he photoshopped the president onto a jackass movie poster.  I understand that picture was posted by another to his wall.

Additionally, some may say insubordination, others compare it to simplistic scenarios of working a civilian job.

Working for a corporation pales in comparison.  The corporation does not have the ability to affect your freedom.  The military is a much larger entity.  There are channels in place where one can voice their opinions through the chain of command, however, a sergeant likely has no say powerful enough to sway the president or congress, or even reach that level through chain of command.

A member of the armed forces is also an American.  They are entitled to the freedoms that they have sworn to protect.  If you were a cashier at a supermarket, is it likely that you will lose your job because you voiced your opinion on the legality of proposals in congress?

AINTNAYUN
AINTNAYUN

The President of the UNITED STATES is the commander in Chief in the military Chain of Command. Insubordination anywhere in the chain of command cannot be tolerated or the military cannot and will not function. He knew that when he joined and took the oath to support and obey the lawful orders of those appointed over him and he clearly violated that oath repeatedly. The military had no choice other than discharge; because his actions was ostensibly INSUBORDINATE and UNPATRIOTIC. He should try that in Canada, China, Russia, North Korea, Great Briton, or Mexico even or any Military in any Country IN THE WORLD and see first hand what would really happen to him. He should thank his lucky Stars that he did it in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, because he is still alive. I spent 30 years in the Military and fought in many conflicts around the globe, and was subjected to many instances of racism by fellow soldiers but never lost my military bearing or became insubordinate to the chain of command or criticized the Commander in Chief or disrespected that office. He clearly knew and understood the rules but blatantly and repeatedly violated those rules! VIOLATIONS OF RULES ARE GROUNDS FOR DISCHARGE EVERYWHERE AND IN  MANY PLACES DEATH!

Dae
Dae

  "He knew that when he joined and took the oath to support and obey the lawful orders of those appointed over him." If he felt said orders were unlawful then.....

Ilovechunk16
Ilovechunk16

Well its kinda like as if i worked at say.. mcdonalds; i can complain about how corporate it is or how little i am paid or whatever, and i cant be sued by the federal government. But if i were to go out on facebook and post parody pictures, and blast mcdonalds in public, i would be fired by them. The marines, was his JOB, regardless of whether it was a goverment job or not, you still cant talk shit on your boss and not expect repercussions. He isnt being charged with a federal crime but still its unprofessional.

Dae
Dae

I don't understand when having an opinion became unprofessional. This really does nothing more than show people that voicing an opinion (freedom of speech) is a punishable offense.and can be dangerous the their livelihoods. (A bit like "Pavlov's Bell": in my opinion). Enforcement of the idea that if you speak your mind you will be punished. Eventually will people stop speaking their minds in order to protect their jobs?

AINTNAYUN
AINTNAYUN

YOU OBVIOUSLY NEVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY.SO THERE IS NO POINT EXPLAINING HOW SERIOUS HIS ACTIONS WERE!HOW-EVER IF YOU HAVE A JOB, WHEN YOU GET TO WORK TRY INSULTING AND DISRESPECTING YOUR BOSS! TELL HIM HOW YOU WILL NOT TAKE ORDERS FROM HIM, AND CALL HIM A FEW CHOICE NAMES IN THE PROCESS! TELL HIM YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH AND YOU CAN SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT BECAUSE IT IS A FREE COUNTRY. GO AHEAD, TRY IT!

Dae
Dae

 You assume much. I have served in the military for the better part of a decade. If something happens that I don't agree with at work or anywhere else I feel compelled to voice my concern/opinion on the matter. My job shouldn't be in jeopardy because I show the capacity to think for myself.  If that is a problem for you, let me know I'll speak up for you.

Dae
Dae

It's okay to die for the freedoms, He just wasn't allowed to have any of them...

Anon
Anon

Ah, but y'all just get wet in the drawers when anyone talks S about Bush, especially anyone prior military.

Whatever happened to neutrality in the news.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...