I guess soldiers are not allowed Freedom of Speech are they?

dahunan

Lifer
Jan 10, 2002
18,191
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Thursday, November 27, 2003

Telling the truth won't set you free

By ROBERT FISK
BRITISH COLUMNIST

Take the case of Drew Plummer from North Carolina who enlisted during his last year in high school, just three months before 9/11.

Home on leave, he joined his father, Lou, at a "bring our troops home" vigil. Lou Plummer is a former member of the U.S. 2nd Armored Division whose father, unlike Bush, served his country in Vietnam. Asked for his opinion on Iraq by an Associated Press reporter, Drew Plummer replied, "I just don't agree with what we're doing right now. I don't think our guys should be dying in Iraq. But I'm not a pacifist. I'll do my part."

But free speech has a price for the military in the United States these days. The U.S. Navy charged Drew Plummer with violating Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: disloyal statements. At his official hearing, he was asked if he "sympathizes" with the enemy or was considering "acts of sabotage." He was convicted and demoted.

Yet still the U.S. media turn their backs on this. How revealing, for example, to find that the number of seriously wounded U.S. soldiers brought home from Iraq is approaching 2,200, many of whom have lost limbs or suffered facial wounds. In all, there have been nearly 7,000 medical evacuations of soldiers from Iraq, many with psychological problems.

All this was disclosed by the Pentagon to a group of French diplomats in Washington. The French press carried the story. Not so the papers of small-town America, where anyone trying to tell the truth about Iraq will be attacked.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/150059_fisk27.html
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
I thought they had the 'freedom' to agree with the administration while serving/in uniform, didn't know that 'freedom' extended when they are away from the military.
 

JackStorm

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2003
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Heh...They're free to say whatever they want, aslong as they don't say ANYTHING negative about their leaders or countries actions. And this is nothing new to the military.

And now that we're fighting all these "evil man" and "terrorists" the Bush admin will not allow any questioning. I mean, what if news of what happens in Afganistan were to leak to the public? What if people found out it isn't "stable" or "finished"? I mean, bin laden and al qaeda must be hiding in Iraq or something, right? Can't take the attension from Iraq back to Afganistan.
The root of all evil is Saddam hussein after all.

So, yeah. Anyone who says anything, must be "sympathizing with the enemie" or " thinking about acts of sabotage".

PS: Yes, I was ranting, I just couldn't help myself.
 

LunarRay

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2003
9,993
1
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I wonder what all the draftee's might have said upon return from the event in VietNam? Doubt they had any praise for the military or the actions back then... guess it is one of those 'times they are a changing' things.. Wonder if they get to vote for the side out of power? Maybe the ballot is filled out for them.. by their betters.
 

Shad0hawK

Banned
May 26, 2003
1,456
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when a person is enlisted in any of the armed forces he forfeits his constitutional rights in favor of the uniform code of military justice.


people should read that paperwork they sign.
 

Ryan

Lifer
Oct 31, 2000
27,518
1
81
Originally posted by: Shad0hawK
when a person is enlisted in any of the armed forces he forfeits his constitutional rights in favor of the uniform code of military justice.


people should read that paperwork they sign.
Yep, that's what happens. Too bad it's something most civilians will never understand, I guess that's why they're not in the military.
 

LunarRay

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2003
9,993
1
76
Originally posted by: Shad0hawK
when a person is enlisted in any of the armed forces he forfeits his constitutional rights in favor of the uniform code of military justice.


people should read that paperwork they sign.
Commissioned as well. But, not all rights are forfeit.. you agree to abide by the UCMJ. That document is really well put together. With one exception.. the catch all article 134 or what ever it is.. a vague statement that means anything can be a violation.. just about.

 

Shad0hawK

Banned
May 26, 2003
1,456
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Originally posted by: LunarRay
Originally posted by: Shad0hawK
when a person is enlisted in any of the armed forces he forfeits his constitutional rights in favor of the uniform code of military justice.


people should read that paperwork they sign.
Commissioned as well. But, not all rights are forfeit.. you agree to abide by the UCMJ. That document is really well put together. With one exception.. the catch all article 134 or what ever it is.. a vague statement that means anything can be a violation.. just about.
there are a few like that. but the military never portrays itself as a democracy.

if martial law is ever declared, this would be the law of the land.


 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
70,091
5,283
126
I see nothing but a steady stream of military people on TV telling me how they love being in Iraq and how everything is wonderful over there and we got to stay the course and on and on and on. Why aren't they court martialed for expressing their opinion. They are aiding and abeting the enemy which is us.
 

LunarRay

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2003
9,993
1
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Originally posted by: Moonbeam
I see nothing but a steady stream of military people on TV telling me how they love being in Iraq and how everything is wonderful over there and we got to stay the course and on and on and on. Why aren't they court martialed for expressing their opinion. They are aiding and abeting the enemy which is us.
ROFL... yeah... I guess that could be true.. we are us and not them and if we ain't them we are the enemy.

If we ain't with them we be again them.. so it holds.. :)

 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
81
Originally posted by: Shad0hawK
when a person is enlisted in any of the armed forces he forfeits his constitutional rights in favor of the uniform code of military justice.


people should read that paperwork they sign.
Funny... in your oath your swear to uphold the constitution...but can't avail yourself to it. Seems odd no?

And I think people enlisting are in general more concerned with the checks they'll be able to sign and don't bother reading or don't have any other choice but strave.
 

Mean MrMustard

Diamond Member
Jan 5, 2001
3,144
10
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Don't question such things, Zebo, that could be treacherous, or should I say, treasonous. We all know the establishment is correct and therefore, anything else threatening it is against freedom and "unAmerican".
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
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Originally posted by: LunarRay
Originally posted by: Shad0hawK
when a person is enlisted in any of the armed forces he forfeits his constitutional rights in favor of the uniform code of military justice.


people should read that paperwork they sign.
Commissioned as well. But, not all rights are forfeit.. you agree to abide by the UCMJ. That document is really well put together. With one exception.. the catch all article 134 or what ever it is.. a vague statement that means anything can be a violation.. just about.


Article 88?
 
May 16, 2000
13,526
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Originally posted by: Shad0hawK
Originally posted by: LunarRay
Originally posted by: Shad0hawK
when a person is enlisted in any of the armed forces he forfeits his constitutional rights in favor of the uniform code of military justice.


people should read that paperwork they sign.
Commissioned as well. But, not all rights are forfeit.. you agree to abide by the UCMJ. That document is really well put together. With one exception.. the catch all article 134 or what ever it is.. a vague statement that means anything can be a violation.. just about.
there are a few like that. but the military never portrays itself as a democracy.

if martial law is ever declared, this would be the law of the land.
If martial law is ever declared, THIS would be the law of the land.

Kristin
(actually i don't think it's that good of a site, but the title conveys my message perfectly)
 
May 16, 2000
13,526
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Originally posted by: Zebo
Originally posted by: Shad0hawK
when a person is enlisted in any of the armed forces he forfeits his constitutional rights in favor of the uniform code of military justice.


people should read that paperwork they sign.
Funny... in your oath your swear to uphold the constitution...but can't avail yourself to it. Seems odd no?

And I think people enlisting are in general more concerned with the checks they'll be able to sign and don't bother reading or don't have any other choice but strave.
You are very correct. In fact, it is EXACTLY that sentiment in the oath of enlistment that allowed me to serve in the military, KNOWING full well the corruption and vileness I would encounter therein. I joined with noble purpose, to uphold the constitution of the united states, to defend my country against all 'enemies', foreign AND DOMESTIC. I did that. And not once during my time did I spout tripe, or turn a blind eye, or keep my mouth shut, or any other such CRIME AGAINST NATURE, PLANET, AND COUNTRY. I openly disagreed with philosophies expressed WHILE completing my duties expertly and efficiently.

Anyone who follows blindly violates their oath of enlistment. America is not a nation of serfs, but individuals capable of dertermining right from wrong and acting not out of arrogance, ego-centricism and greed, but out of reason, wisdom, and honor. Those are the attributes I found most often missing in those I served with.
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
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KNOWING full well the corruption and vileness I would encounter therein.
And what would that be? I was a 18 month wonder, joined for the same noble purpose, but had no inkling of this "corruption and vileness" before going in or my time there. In fact my last month in..all at the hospital at NAS in pensacola I got the best care ever from the military hospital there..better than any civilian hospital. And the .mil always kept good on all thier promisies and was always a fair and merit driven insitution.

And not once during my time ....keep my mouth shut, or any other such CRIME AGAINST NATURE, PLANET, AND COUNTRY. I openly disagreed with philosophies expressed WHILE completing my duties expertly and efficiently.
How'd things turn out?

individuals capable of dertermining right from wrong and acting not out of arrogance, ego-centricism and greed, but out of reason, wisdom, and honor. Those are the attributes I found most often missing in those I served with.
I know plenty of people this has cost promotions. A more public fiqure is Col. Hackworth who said in 1971 we'd loose vietnam and we had wrong policy to CBS. This cost him general. The elite does'nt want questioners they want a hit squad.
 

LunarRay

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2003
9,993
1
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ZEBO,

Had to locate it..

"934. ART. 134. GENERAL ARTICLE

Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court."

The salient part is: "conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces". This could mean failing to pick up a piece of trash that wandered by while awaiting a bus outside Time Square Station.
Article 134 was used so often years ago that I thought by now it would be less often used today by amending to be more specific. It would be like having a State law that said "any action or inaction a police officer deems illegal even if it is not in the penal code or never before prosecuted"
Not a good 'law'


 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
70,091
5,283
126
It's sort of tough to codify laws against evil thinking without being a little vague.
 

mastertech01

Moderator Emeritus Elite Member
Nov 13, 1999
11,849
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I remember in the mid 90's when our President was entwined in much controversy, and the Brass called all us NCOs together and warned us, that any comments private or public bringing negative light on the President could result in punishment under the UCMJ. They were being specific to warn the NCOs to shut the hell up and to keep your opinions to yourself. This is nothing new and likely will never change.
 

burnedout

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
6,249
2
0
Originally posted by: mastertech01
I remember in the mid 90's when our President was entwined in much controversy, and the Brass called all us NCOs together and warned us, that any comments private or public bringing negative light on the President could result in punishment under the UCMJ. They were being specific to warn the NCOs to shut the hell up and to keep your opinions to yourself. This is nothing new and likely will never change.
Yeah, two related instances from the mid-90s particularly come to mind - "don't ask, don't tell" and "Monicagate" I recall that there were a few memos covering other events through the years as well.
 

XZeroII

Lifer
Jun 30, 2001
12,572
0
0
Originally posted by: TheSnowman
sure it is legal, but the point is that it is sick and wrong.
If you were in combat and you had to rely on everyone around you, would you want someone there who keeps talking about how they don't agree with their commanding officer? Heck no! It would make everyone else nervous. In the military, you keep that crap to yourself.
 
May 16, 2000
13,526
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Originally posted by: Zebo
KNOWING full well the corruption and vileness I would encounter therein.
And what would that be? I was a 18 month wonder, joined for the same noble purpose, but had no inkling of this "corruption and vileness" before going in or my time there. In fact my last month in..all at the hospital at NAS in pensacola I got the best care ever from the military hospital there..better than any civilian hospital. And the .mil always kept good on all thier promisies and was always a fair and merit driven insitution.

And not once during my time ....keep my mouth shut, or any other such CRIME AGAINST NATURE, PLANET, AND COUNTRY. I openly disagreed with philosophies expressed WHILE completing my duties expertly and efficiently.
How'd things turn out?

individuals capable of dertermining right from wrong and acting not out of arrogance, ego-centricism and greed, but out of reason, wisdom, and honor. Those are the attributes I found most often missing in those I served with.
I know plenty of people this has cost promotions. A more public fiqure is Col. Hackworth who said in 1971 we'd loose vietnam and we had wrong policy to CBS. This cost him general. The elite does'nt want questioners they want a hit squad.
I've made study and education my primary focus in life, so by the time I was 20 and joined the military I had a VAST understanding of the general slant of military and governments. I had no illusions about blind patriotism, or how the military worked, or how our government operated. Classification based on personal/goal achievement instead of national security, ego-centricism, under the table deals, wholesale environmental abuse...basically a super-strong central corrupted government seeking benefits for the 1% aristocracy. Capitalism over democracy. Ruling the sheep. That sort of thing.

I was only in 2 years. Went from E1 to E4 in that time, and was up for E5 testing. Not many decorations, but that happens when you're at a flag command instead of on a ship or in a campaign somewhere. Even so I did manage to do a couple minor awards. I met some good people while I was in, but I also met a lot of really REALLY bad people. Those dedicated to ignorance, service regardless of intent, high on their own testosterone and prejudices. Again, being in a command of mostly very very high ranking people things are different than for the average joe who only deals with a couple officers his whole enlistment. Hell, at E4 I was the LOWEST ranking person on staff, which went up to a 3 star admiral. Different world to be seen there. Also, as a Yeoman, I saw a lot of stuff that other enlistee's never do...and study the reg's a bit more as well. Anyway, even with my ideals and outspoken attitude I never actually made it to disciplinary action. I was threatened, MANY MANY times, but never backed down. And when I wouldn't they always did. So I got out after two years, honorable discharge, and went my own way. Overall it was a great time, wouldn't trade it looking back...but neither do I have illusions about what I saw.

There's no doubt I couldn't have progressed very far in the military, but it was never my intention to. I wanted to do my time, to serve my country as an ideal, without ever sacrificing my disappointment of that ideals tarnishment by current administrations. I did that. I earned my right to take part in our civil process, moreso than any spoiled brats today that are just out for themselves and never give back to their communities or nation.
 

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