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Camp Pendleton Marine Faces Boot For Anti-Obama Facebook Posts

The U.S. Marine Corps was reported today to be taking steps to boot a Camp Pendleton-based sergeant out of the military for criticizing his top superior, the commander in chief.

Marine Sgt. Gary Stein

Above: Marine Sgt. Gary Stein

Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, 26, of Temecula, said the Corps notified him Wednesday that he will be subject to administrative separation proceedings for making statements about the president "that are prejudicial to good order and discipline'' -- a violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military justice, according to U-T San Diego.

Stein also stands accused of violating Defense Department rules when he created his "Armed Forces Tea Party'' web page on Facebook in 2010, the newspaper reported. The page has nearly 18,000 followers.

Under Defense Department rules, a service member can express personal views about politics but not as a representative of the Armed Forces.

Stein told U-T San Diego that he has done nothing wrong and that he believes the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech trumps the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A preliminary inquiry into Stein's online activities was launched on March 8 by his commanding officer at the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Until this week, Stein worked as a weather forecaster at Camp Pendleton on behalf of the depot, according to U-T San Diego, which reported that he was

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reassigned Wednesday after being restricted from computer access at work.

Stein told the newspaper that he can't remember exactly what he posted that spurred the controversy but paraphrased it as, "I say screw Obama. I will not follow orders given by him to me.''

The comment was made on Stein's Facebook page during an online debate about American troops potentially being tried for burning Korans in Afghanistan. He later added a comment to clarify he meant "unlawful orders.''

It was unclear early today when the administrative separation proceedings against Stein would take place.

Stein faces a discharge under "other than honorable'' conditions, and might also have his rank reduced and be ordered to pay back some or all of his $45,000 in bonus money and education fees for real estate classes, according to U-T San Diego.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | March 22, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. ― 5 years ago

When I was in the Army they made it clear how our rights changed. Speaking out against our government was one of the liberties we lose. It's called Sedition. This guy doesn't have to like Obama, but he disobeyed orders he was made fully aware of when he joined the military. I remember our drill sergeant telling us time and again we had to accept this so long as we chose to wear a uniform. I'm not sure discharging him versus a lesser disciplinary action was appropriate, but that's the military for you.

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Avatar for user 'jessicaku'

jessicaku | March 22, 2012 at 10:20 a.m. ― 5 years ago

Wow, it's dumb when you talk "behind" your boss' back on facebook but to do that when you're employed by the government/marines? That's a special kind of special right there.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 22, 2012 at 11 a.m. ― 5 years ago

This is just one more in a long line of fame-seeking hypocritical morons trying to get in their 15 minutes under the guise of the "tea party".

The military is doing the right thing booting this guy.

If I posted derogatory things about my superiors on Facebook and the company I work for got wind of it, I would be in trouble too - there should be no special treatment just because this guy is in the military.

I hope he has to pay back the $45,000 he received in bonus and education that the article mentions as a possibility.

Maybe he'll be hired as an advisor for radical tea party loonie Duncan Hunter Jr., they seem to be at the same level of intelligence.

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Avatar for user 'ibcalif'

ibcalif | March 22, 2012 at 12:16 p.m. ― 5 years ago

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