Tea Party Marine who ‘said he wouldn’t follow orders from Obama’ faces charges
An American Marine sergeant who started a Facebook group that is openly critical of President Barack Obama is facing possible dismissal from the Corps.
Sgt Gary Stein – a Camp Pendleton Marine who started the Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party – has been told that he is in violation of Pentagon policy barring troops from political activities.
Sgt Stein, who has been in the Corps for nine years, said he started the page to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights.
As well as posting comments saying he will not follow the unlawful orders of Obama – the commander in chief – he also criticised Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The Marine Corps said that Stein’s commanding officer ordered a preliminary inquiry on March 8 after receiving allegations that Stein posted the political statements violating the Pentagon’s directives.
‘After reviewing the findings of the preliminary inquiry, the commander decided to address the allegations through administrative action,’ the Corps said.
Sgt Stein said he planned to fight the charges. He had applied to extend his service, which was set to expire in a few months.
He added: ‘I’m completely shocked that this is happening.’
‘I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve only stated what our oath states that I will defend the constitution and that I will not follow unlawful orders. If that’s a crime, what is America coming to?’
In a statement on the Armed Forces Tea Party page this morning, he added:
‘If I am guilty of anything it would be that I am American, a freedom loving Conservative, hell bent on defending the constitution and preserving Americas greatness.
‘I am no more the Leader of the Armed Forces Tea Party than any other of 18,000 members are. I just happen to be normal guy who started a Facebook page and who hold the Tea Party values close my heart and believes the Tea Party can enact real change in this country.’
In addition to being discharged, Sgt Stein said he would have his rank reduced to lance corporal if he is proven to be in violation. Read more: Dailymail