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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 06:42 PM
Original message
Judge rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional
Source: Marine Corps Times




Judge rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional

By Dan Elliott - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Jul 16, 2010 19:14:54 EDT<[/i>

DENVER A law that makes it illegal to lie about being a war hero is unconstitutional because it violates free speech, a federal judge ruled Friday as he dismissed a case against a Colorado man who claimed he received two military medals.

Rick Glen Strandlof claimed he was an ex-Marine who was wounded in Iraq and received the Purple Heart and Silver Star, but the military had no record he ever served. He was charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail to falsely claim to have won a military medal.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn dismissed the case and said the law is unconstitutional, ruling the government did not show it has a compelling reason to restrict that type of statement.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Denver said prosecutors are reviewing the decision and havent decided whether to appeal. The spokesman said that decision would be made by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington and prosecutors in Denver.




Read more: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2010/07/ap_fake_hero_penalty_071610/
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. You realize it's Freeper types who do this kind of shit most often, right?
Don't know of many liberals who would make false claims about military service.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Uhh, what about AG and now US Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
24. He never claimed a medal he didn't have
and in fact never claimed specifically that he was in Vietnam. He did misspeak and he likely went to the edge of truth too often - and then stepped over.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #24
35. He did claim that he was, and served, in Vietnam, incl. when speaking to vets.
"In Vietnam we had to endure taunts and insults, and no one said, 'Welcome home.' I say welcome home."

"We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam."

"When we returned, we saw nothing like this. Let us do better by this generation of men and women."

"I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back to all kinds of disrespect. Whatever we think of war, we owe the men and women of the armed forces our unconditional support."
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one-eyed fat man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. What about the fakes scamming the VA?
OK, you got some bozo lying about things he never did in places he never was to impress yahoos in a bar is one thing, but to make up fake records and military claims to scam the VA for benfits is another thing altogether. If the judge wants to give a guy whose only crime was to fake a few medals, maybe he should just let a few real vets kick his ass and let it go. But if they made one damn penny in donations, government benefits, that is fraud and they should be burned for it.

In a dozen cases under investigation in the northwest, the fraud totals more than $1.4 million.

*Larry Lewis Porter, 52, Seattle, Washington, sentenced April 19, 2007, for Mail Fraud in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain disability benefits from Veterans Affairs. Porter was sentenced to 37 months in prison. Porter claimed he suffered PTSD from experiences in the Navy, however investigation revealed the events were fabricated. Loss Amount: $134,000

*Roy J. Scott, 71, of Port Angeles, Washington pleaded guilty August 31, 2007, to Use of an Altered Military Discharge Certificate to obtain VA Compensation and Medical Benefits, and Unlawful Wearing of United States Military Medals and Decorations. Scott claimed he had served in the Marine Corps in Korea, that he was wounded in combat in Korea, and that he had been awarded the Korea Defense Medal, Korea Star Medal, and a Purple Heart (due to alleged gun shot wounds sustained during combat in Korea). Scott claimed to be honorably discharged, when in fact, he never earned those medals, never served in Korea or any foreign country and was Court-Martialed out of the Marine Corps. Loss Amount: $21,960.

*Merrick K. Hersey, 64, of Vancouver, Washington, Hersey was indicted August 1, 2007, for Use and Possession of Forged or Altered Military Discharge Certificate and False Statements. Hersey is a fugitive and is being sought by law enforcement. Hersey applied for benefits claiming he served in 1967-68, was awarded two Purple Hearts (for wounds sustained in active combat) and the Bronze Star (awarded for heroism). Hersey claimed he suffered from PTSD and sought benefits. In fact, Hersey never served in the Marine Corps at all. Loss Amount: $2,688.

*Michael D. Heit, 58, of Harrington, Washington, pleaded guilty yesterday (September 20, 2007) in U.S. District Court in Spokane, Washington to Use and Possession of a Forged or Altered Military Discharge Certificate and False Claims of Military Medals. Heit claimed he was a Vietnam vet who was held as a prisoner of war. He claimed to have been awarded three Purple Heart medals and the Silver Star. None of that is true. Loss Amount: $3,500

*Elvin J. Swisher, 70, of Idaho, is charged with Wearing Unauthorized Military Medals, False Statements, and Theft of Government Funds. Swisher falsely claimed he was wounded in Korea and that he had been awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart and other medals for valor. Loss Amount: $95,000.

*Carlos Riosvalle, 83, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced April 9, 2007, in Multnomah County for multiple counts of Theft by Deception. Riosvalle collected benefits claiming to have been shot down while a pilot in World War II. In fact Riosvalle never served in the armed forces. Loss Amount: $22,818.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/waw/press/2007/sep/operationstolenvalor.html
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #16
36. What about it,? What you quoted amply shows that getting anything from feds by lying already
Edited on Sat Jul-17-10 08:09 AM by No Elephants
violates seveal different laws.
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
29. Was TominTib a freeper?
Mr. Seal Team Three before it even existed?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
46. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #46
48. Yeah, he ran for President in 2004.
What does he have to do with this thread?
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Travis Coates Donating Member (489 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #48
50. Go back and read the post I responded to
I'll let you figure it out from there
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. Yea, but your post is confusing,
Edited on Sat Jul-17-10 01:19 PM by drm604
since Kerry didn't lie about his military service.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #53
64. It was VERY confusing
Kerry was the victim of Swiftboat lies which don't deserve to be repeated here. Thanks to you, drm604, for having the presence of mind to challenge the BS and shut down the nonsense that has no relation to this subject. :thumbsup:
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #64
66. Travis has his pizza
but he'll probably be back with more BS under a different name.
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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #46
52. Does The Term "Swiftboating" Mean Anything To You?
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
59. Does that matter? (nt)
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
75. Freeper types listen to C&W most often too. Should C&W be banned?
...er, um, bad example.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #75
76. I say, hell yes!
Unfortunately, I can't find anything in the Constitution that would permit the legislation I want. (Darn--foiled again!) :evilgrin:
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SunnySong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #75
89. Yeah but its not constitutional... nt
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm guessing there is something interesting
In the judges background.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. Looks like it's OK for Mark Kirk (R-IL) to wear the Cong. Medal of Honor now
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. Not quite
The Medal of Honor is protected by its own law, which predates the Stolen Valor Law.

I feel they should just make it legal for a veteran to kick the living shit out of wannabes. This would solve the problem quickly and efficiently.
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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. The punishment should be compulsory service
Most of the wannabes wouldn't be caught dead actually serving, so to me the most just punishment is to make them enlist. They want to wear a medal? Make them earn it.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. Naw...
There should be compulsory "service" for anyone who is stupid enough to vote for a Dem OR a republican...

And their first born...

Vote for the war parties -- go to war!!!
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #27
47. Hmmm, so you are saying only stupid people vote for Dems or...
repubs, who do you vote for?
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #47
67. If you voted for the Dems
thinking that they'd get us out or keep us out of war...

That would be stupid...

The Dems are nothing if not war lovers, just like the repugs:

Wilson -- WWI
FDR -- WWII
Truman -- Korea
Kennedy/Johnson -- Viet Nam escalation
Bush I -- Iraq
Clinton -- the former Yugoslavia/Iraq bombings
Bush II -- Afghanistan/Iraq
Bush III -- Ooops, Obama -- He owns Afghanistan now...

They HAVE to have war...the phony ponzi scheme of a permanent war economy would collapse like a house of cards -- even faster than it is...
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Arkana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #27
63. Hmmmm...so you're saying that even though I don't support either occupation
that because I vote for Democrats I should have to get my ass shot off in the Middle East?
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #63
68. Hey, just sayin'
I vote for the Peace Candidate...

I don't qualify to get MY ass shot off... I've been a war abstainer since 1964.

I realized that blowing up folks in other countries for the corporate capitalist masters was total bullshit -- --

VERY STUPID... :eyes:
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
37. Nope. that's already against the law. See Reply 16.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is a huge slap
at those of us who served during wartime and were honestly awarded our medals
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
19. It is, but I agree it should be protected speech.
That's the thing about the first amendment- you know it's protecting speech you agree with when it protects the most disgusting speech.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #19
39. the law always distinguished between truthful speech and lying, however, as in libel laws.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #39
45. True, but a lie that does not impugn another's character (as in this case)
.. does not rise to that level.
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PacerLJ35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #19
54. It's also against the law to impersonate a military or police officer...
You could say they were just playing "dress up"...and that's "protected". There are certain things the law protects, and there are certain things the law deems more damaging than trying to protect someone's "right" to wear medals or even wear a military uniform.
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #54
88. It's only against the law
If your purpose was to deceive people into believing you're a cop or military officer. If you dress up for a costume party, it's not illegal.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
38. Self Delete.
Edited on Sat Jul-17-10 08:16 AM by No Elephants
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
5. Preemptive move to protect Dim Son nt
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. psst...Bush nom'd Blackburn
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Impeach him! Right Fucking Now!
:evilgrin:
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11 Bravo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
6. I am really conflicted here. Part of me says, "contemptible, yes ... illegal, no." But ...
another part of me says, "Damnit, I earned those little bits of ribbon and metal! How dare anyone lay a baseless claim to something which I bled for!"

As I said, deeply conflicted.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I know how you feel
In this case, I support the judge and the ACLU. It's a free speech issue, and I don't want to see speech limited except where there is very good justification for it. Here, without a showing of actual harm, there's no reason to punish free speech--no matter how contemptible.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I kinda feel the same way
you do, no matter how repungent, it is free speech.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. Agreed.
Part of me is sad, part is cynical- if we made lies illegal, we'd have no politicians left on either side.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 02:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
30. I agree.
I also support the right of real Vets everywhere to shove those medals up the faker's asses when they get caught lying about a purple heart.
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dark forest Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Seems to me
that, if done for monetary or political gain, it could be prosecuted as frraud.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #13
31. I think you have a point.
Fraud is not protected as free speech.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
40. How dare they, indeed. Nothing changes that. But should they be jailed for it?
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. but he lied in the commission of a crime. the lie was deception to get money from people as Campaign
contributions
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #11
41. Judge says, in effect: then get him for defrauding folks out of money by false pretenses.
this law, whether right or wrong, allows law enforcement to nail someone for bragging, period, even if no one believed him or her, or relied on the lie to donate anything.

Lying about anything to separate folks from their property is already against the law, as when people say they have cancer in order to raise money from friends and neighbors.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. Kudos to the judge
To make such stupidities against the law is the height of our weirdo fascist troop fetish. Enough already. Basta.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
26. Ya Basta!
Finally, a breath of fresh air in one of these ridiculous threads...

:hi:
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
77. +1 nt
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
15. IF OP LINK DOESN'T WORK:
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OrderedChaos Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
18. I agree with the judge
but, if the person who lied about military service and awards gets a tangible advantage from a lie, then it goes beyond Free Speech and encroaches on fraud. Receiving aid from the VA would fall under that. As well as utilizing services offered only to vets.
As for the politicians, bring them down. Of course, all this is out in the open for them, but nothing ever happens from it.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #18
42. see reply # 41.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
21. Why write a law for something that can be rectified with
a good ass kicking?

Bush wore a medal he didn't earn. An ass kicking would have done him a lot of good. I think it was a meritorious unit medal for a unit he no longer belonged to.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #21
43. A different law covers wearing medals you never earned. this one is about lying, period.
See the body of Reply #16.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #43
49. Lying to defraud, yes that should be prosecuted, but
simply fabricating can be dealt with more directly.
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SILVER__FOX52 Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
22. If certain people wear military medals or brag about their
military experience, let them. It does not diminish the honors, actually earned. This is a waste of time. Decorated Ex-Marine.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #22
44. A separate law covers wearing unearned medals.
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
23. Free speech should never mean you have a right to lie. Lying is considered purgery in court, and a
sin in religion and an act of ill will in society, so how can
it be protected? 

This is dumb shit and why people think they can lie and still
be at ease within themselves unless they are under oath.  

Read Brad Blanton's Radical Honesty if you want to learn how
destructive lying is to both relationships and to the psyche.

To rule that it is protected speech is immoral and unhealthy
in every way.  We try hard as parents to get our kids not to
tell
lies, and we have a government that condones it!  How absurd.
And stupid. We fight for this pettiness while we allow
genocide
all over the world in our name because of a bunch of liars.  

Sicko fucks, those americans.

You all need to watch David  Bowie's last DVD, Reality Tour
and take a break.

Pay attention to : "I'm Afraid of Americans" and a
few others to get your feet back.  
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ThomasQED Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. Actually, free speech DOES mean you can lie
That's the "free" part.

If someone lies and commits fraud as part of that lie, well we have laws for that.
If someone lies in a relationship and it harms the relationship, well we have laws for that (divorce).
If someone lies in court (perjury), well we have laws for that.

With all due respect, not only do you not understand the concept of free speech, but you are suggesting we outlaw things that our laws can already handle *when necessary*. And what you are suggesting borders on thought crime. How are you going to prove that someone knew what they were saying was a lie? It's not always going to be obvious.

While lying is immoral and unhealthy, so is what you suggest.
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PacerLJ35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #28
55. That's the point...most people pretending to be mil vets are committing fraud
Many pretend to be who they aren't as a means to an end. I know of cases where people were awarded scholarships, given donations, or received some other service, recognition and/or goods because they pretended they were somebody they weren't. That's fraud.
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ThomasQED Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. I agree
That's fraud and they should be prosecuted for fraud.

According to the article, "...the Stolen Valor Act... makes it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail to falsely claim to have won a military medal."

I.e., just for SAYING it. Not for committing any fraud.
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #56
72. The big picture the law represents needs to become common knowledge so we can debate it.
Edited on Sun Jul-18-10 10:42 PM by earcandle
Aristotle said a speaker has free speech, but the listener
needs to look for principles of ethics, logic, and passion in
one's speech before they make any decisions base on the free
speech of the open market or open podium.. 
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #28
69. The double bind is something we need to address. The ability to deal with ambiguity is a sign of
mental health, but setting someone up for something they have
no education for seems treasonous.
IMNSHO... 
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #28
78. All that, and misspelling "perjury". nt
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #78
79. I thought the poster was referring to binjury and purgery--the supermodel's curse
My mistake. :evilgrin:
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #23
57. of course lying is protected speech
And should be. In cases of fraud and perjury, lying can be part of a criminal act, but to suggest that lying itself should be a criminal offense is absurd. Yes, parents want their kids to not tell lies, but to suggest that when kids (or teenagers or adults) do lie it should fall under the jurisdiction of the legal system is pretty frightening.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 04:55 AM
Response to Original message
32. Something I've noticed about medl/ribbons of late...
Most of the Generals/Admirals I see on TV look like the the standard joke about eh Soviet Janitor with so many medals he could barely stand up.

I don't now what happened, but the rows of ribbons have grown to the degree some of these people should topple over.. I realize a lot of ribbons are for service in various theater, but it it has gotten tot the point of absurdity. Do they now award a medal becasue you put the seat down after using the toilet?

Maybe it's just me, but National Defense, GCM and a few others were fine. Medals earned for valor stand on their own merit. I think Eisenhower wore 3, MacArthur 8-10...today, it's in the 20's. Maybe it's just me, but the whole process seems to have been demeaned.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. I think some of those ribbons you see are for kissing republican
ass!
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #32
60. I think we see more ribbons today because we have more conflicts.
There aren't any new frivolous ribbons. There may be one duplication, in the National Defense Service Medal re-authorized for service in in the war on terror after 9/11, and the Global War on Terror Medal also authorized for service after 9/11. But that's about it.

Today's troops are awarded service and campaign ribbons for both Iraq and Afghanistan. They serve multiple tours in multiple war zones (often involuntarily stop-lossed), and they are entitled to those awards. Some may also have earned awards for service in Kosovo and Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and their ribbons reflect their service in multiple conflicts.

Those who served in other eras may not have had the opportunity to earn multiple awards, but it never was about the medals anyway, was it?

I spent today at a Veterans Outreach. We used to call it "Stand Down for Homeless Veterans," but we changed the name because many veterans who are struggling--but not yet homeless--have too much pride to accept handouts meant for homeless vets.

We do the Outreach quarterly, bringing together a wide range of service providers: the VA, with two dozen specialists (half equipped with laptops) to determine eligibility and plug vets into the VA system; employment and housing assistance specialists; a dentist; eye testing and referrals; clothing and toiletries; legal assistance to clear minor offenses; substance abuse treatment and counseling assistance; Vet Center PTSD counseling; barbers; meals and entertainment; state veterans service reps; and much more.

At these events I spend most of my time talking to the vets coming in, hearing their stories about the jobs that aren't there for them, their financial and marital problems, their war memories, their problems dealing with the VA. Symptoms of PTSD often are obvious, even to a layman, while others who are employed seem to be having problems on the job from "battle mind" (the "Don't fuck with me" attitude of those recently returned from combat).

You made a comment focused on something we've all noticed, Ras, so my reply is not to disagree with you but to add some perspective on issues that I know you also agree with. We are all concerned less about medals than with the difficulties that face our returning troops today. They may get a few more medals--but they're paying for it, in spades.

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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #60
70. Karma +1 +1 +1 +1 for you and those working to help those vets who could use some assistance. n/t
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 04:22 AM
Response to Reply #32
65. I think it has been demeaned a little
It was a source of bewilderment for a friend of mine (UK then NZ Navy) that some US medals were fairly pointless - "Medals for turning up" is how he put it. Flicking through the list on wiki, he may have a point: There's the "Sea Service Deployment Ribbon" you get for being on a boat; the "Overseas Service Ribbon" you get for being on boat overseas; the "Arctic Service Ribbon" for being in the arctic circle... There seems to have been a clutch of not-so-special medals in the 80s.

On the other hand, he on the HMS Antelope when it was sunk, and all he got was wet.

Reminds me of Red Dwarf:
Lister: Hey, I didn't know you had any medals. What are they for?
Rimmer: Three years long service. Five years long service. Nine years long service, and... 12 years long service.

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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 07:21 AM
Response to Original message
34. How embarassing that the DOJ would try someone on this but let banksters walk.
Shows some pretty messed up priorities.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
51. Can we split the difference?
I see what the judge is saying. Its a damn shame anyone would do this, and disrespectful in the extreme. I have met men who claimed medals that they had not won, Although never a one who hadn't a, actually served, and b wasn't suffering from some sort of mental illness characterized by a basic inability to really know what they were doing. Ive given them a pass on this ground, as their mis truth hurts no one and merely allows them to get through what remains of their own broken lives.

But speech is what speech is. I can freely say I am a millionaire, a famous rock star, a firefighter, 6'2 with bulging muscles and great hair, or a woman. What is it that makes this one thing not speech, and constitutionally protected?

That said, can we or are we splitting the difference? Its one thing to be able to say you are (fill in the blank). But I do not think fabricating a medal would fall into free speech. Thats more like trying to make a fake ID or program a card to let you into a high security area. Can we still bust anyone who dares to make/buy/steal a medal that they did not earn? And if so, it presents a fairly simple solution to all of this. Words are wind, if there's some relevance to the knowledge, just say "wheres the medal?"
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
58. I think it's the right decision, as it's clearly a restriction of speech
Edited on Sat Jul-17-10 07:16 PM by fishwax
People who misrepresent themselves in that way for material gain, as has been pointed out, can (and should) be prosecuted for fraud.
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U4ikLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
61. Did I mention I am solely responsible for winning WW2?
This was all before I was even born!!!
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #61
62. WOW--thanks!
:rofl:
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #61
71. Woo Hoo! Thank you! You saved America a lot of money!
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KakistocracyHater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
73. so free speech=a lie?
an update needs to be made to the Bill of Rights. Or an Amendment.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. A lie without intent to defraud, not as part of a conspiracy, etc = free speech, yes. n/t
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KakistocracyHater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #74
80. he lied with fraudulent intentions, so I don't get your response, he lied
when he claimed to be the recipient of silver star/gold star/whatever......
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. If I told you that the sky was green when I knew it wasn't, that would be a lie.
If that's all I said, it's still a lie, but legally doesn't rise to the level of fraud.

If, however, I told you the sky was green and that for a small sum of money, I could make it blue again, that would be fraud.

Similarly, if this guy had said he was the recipient of a medal as part of a scheme to get money from someone, that would be fraud.
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KakistocracyHater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-10 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #81
83. what if he was interrupted on the speech-giving circuit before he committed
the fraud? What if he got elected because of his fake merits-people are impressed by the type of awards he lied he had, people listen to "heroes"......I suspect he was interrupted & I expect more like him to appear. Some will get thru on phony merits, it is a precedent set by W.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-10 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #83
86. Now you're dipping into conspiracy to commit fraud..
You would have to be able to connect a pattern of lies and the personal gain.

This law was not about fraud, it was a about just the lie portion, regardless of personal gain. That's where it falls afoul of the first amendment.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-10 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #83
87. He wasn't running for office
You may be thinking of someone else.

He was organizing vets and was about to raise funds to assist homeless vets. I think one person said he saw him, in effect, passing the hat at one appearance, but I don't think there was any clear evidence that he actually took in any money--and if there had been, prosecutors would have charged him with fraud. At the time he was charged, the fund-raising effort had not yet gotten off the ground. It was in the process of filling out paperwork on the group's leaders that the vets became suspicious about his bona fides.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-10 03:47 AM
Response to Reply #81
84. Your posts are spot on in defending free speech
If we criminalized lying, we'd ALL be in jail.

The stolen valor issue reminds me of the flag-burning amendment issue. True freedom means maximum freedom of expression, even if that means we must tolerate speech we find odious or contemptible. The ACLU often defends speech and conduct with which it disagrees in order to defend the protected liberties outlined in the Constitution and its Amendments. Some isues are stickier or more complex than others, but if we err, I'd prefer we err on the side of liberty. I don't see this issue as one of the sticky ones.

In this case, I think you're absolutely correct: lying is protected speech. When it's associated with fraud or other crimes, our criminal laws on those crimes address it. There is no need to criminalize lying.
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
82. Ex-Marine?
If that's what the guy was saying, that was his first mistake. There's no such thing as an Ex-Marine ;)
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-10 05:17 AM
Response to Reply #82
85. LOL!
All the Marines I know (including some who left the Corps 40 years ago) quickly straighten out anyone who refers to an "ex-Marine."

Being Army, I naturally give my Marine Corps buddies hell. But I've also celebrated with them at the Iwo Jima on the Marine Corps birthday, and when that day comes around, I'm the first to tell them, "Semper Fi."
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