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US Marine punished for criticizing the president and saying "he would not follow orders from the president if it involved violating the rights of US citizens".
Anton Spaans's profile photoOtto de Voogd's profile photo
He took a known risk when he started publicly criticizing the US president. I'm not feeling too sorry for him. The president is his boss. If I started criticizing my boss online (in public) and they found out, I would probably be fired on the spot.
What kind of country is it when you can't criticize your government or leaders?

The "boss" argument is weak, I don't think that if you criticized your boss you'd be stripped of the benefits you had built up even if you got fired. More importantly your boss is not an elected official - elected officials can by definition be criticized, it's part of their job "description", something they should know when they run for office (in a democratic country at least).

When you are president a lot of people won't like you and say so, it's a fact that a president has to accept.

Second point is that statement about not following orders that would violate the rights of citizens. What's the problem with that? Such orders should never be given in the first place, and if they are I sure hope the military wouldn't follow them.

We can guess that referred to the NDAA, which is probably an unconstitutional law, that violates fundamental rights. A law that Obama unfortunately signed.
He can criticize as much as he want, but just not as a member of the armed forces. As a soldier he knew he had limitations on his free speech when he signed up. He took a risk and lost.

I do agree that stripping him from his accrued benefits is wrong.
Apparently the 1st amendment doesn't apply to everybody then, and military rules trump the constitution. I don't know why I always thought that the constitution was above everything else, meaning that even military laws and rules have to abide by the constitution.

"He can criticize as much as he want, but just not as a member of the armed forces." Isn't that a contradiction? In practice he can't criticize all he wants because he is a member of the armed forces.

I am not arguing what the military rules allow him to do or not, I am arguing that those rules are wrong, That they are either not constitutional, and/or unethical in a democratic society.

But yes, stripping him of his accrued benefits is the most vindictive part of the punishment, it wouldn't look so bad without that.
Also note that nothing this guy said would have reached a large audience without this trial. They gave him a platform that made his words reach millions of people instead of the dozens of followers he probably had on Facebook in the first place.

Oh and in the process they trashed the reputation of the US even further than it already was, by showing the world yet again how meaningless the US constitution has become.
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