The Washington Post has reported that anti-war marines are being punished for denouncing United States state terrorism. It does not surprise me given the barbarous conduct of the marines and the U.S. military in the Iraq War. When some of our heroes decide to protest the war, they are threatened with less than honourable discharge. Note that Liam Madden served in the occupation and Adam Kokesh are both in the Individual Ready Reserve. They did their tour of duty or satisfied their military obligation and dared to wear the precious uniform in demonstrations against the war. They have to sit around in the Individual Ready Reserve to satisfy their eight-year obligation, but they are no longer on active duty and have no military obligations or meetings or training.
Such activity is the very highest display of patriotism and soldierly devotion to country. I can think of no other more judicious and noble expression that a military person, in or out of uniform, can engage in.
During the Vietnam genocide Lieutenant Susan Schnall was a nurse in the navy. There were eight nurses that were killed in Vietnam. She was court-martialed for participating in an antiwar demonstration in uniform, and for her activities in leafleting from the air antiwar literature onto naval installations.
However, the marines and other branches now go after the non-commissioned officer or the grunt. As the article points out in the Washington Post, Gary Kurpius, the National Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, is actually supportive of antiwar military expression:
“Kurpius noted the example of retired generals — including at least one Marine — criticizing the war effort, even though retired top officers retain certain obligations to the military.
“I see them on CNN all the time, badmouthing the administration,” Kurpius said. “Why is something not done about those individuals, when these poor troops are being hammered?”
Many of these brassy retired officers drove SecDef Rumsfeld out of the administration and have denounced the war. The marines being persecuted are also no longer on active duty status and are in graduate school or other civilian pursuits.
This is update on Post story:
Antiwar Marine Blasts Military
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: June 4, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An Iraq War veteran accused the Marine Corps on Monday of causing a ”disgusting waste of government resources” by holding a hearing about whether he should be punished for wearing his uniform during an anti-war protest.
Marine Corps officials argue they are enforcing military codes in the case of Cpl. Adam Kokesh.
Kokesh, 25, participated in an anti-war protest in Washington in March. When he was identified in a photo caption in The Washington Post, a superior officer sent him an e-mail saying he might have violated a rule prohibiting troops from wearing uniforms without authorization. Kokesh responded with a letter that contained an obscenity.
Kokesh is a member of the Individual Ready Reserve, which consists mainly of those who have left active duty but still have time remaining on their eight-year military obligations. His service is due to end June 18, but the Marine Corps is seeking to let him go two weeks early with a less-than-honorable discharge.
That could cut some of his health benefits and force him to repay about $10,800 he received to obtain his undergraduate degree on the GI Bill.
Kokesh’s attorney, Lt. Jeremy Melaragno, said during an administrative separation board hearing that his client’s free-speech rights are at stake.
”It has everything to do with freedom of speech,” Melaragno said. ”Ask yourself, would we be here if he was advocating for the Bush administration?”
During a break in the hearing, Kokesh told reporters that the case appears to be punitive.
”More importantly, it’s a case of fraud, waste and abuse and a disgusting waste of government resources,” Kokesh said. ”While Marines are dying every day in Iraq”…