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August 06, 2007

Interview With Censored Soldier; Question For Stolz: If You're So Strict On The Rules, Why Didn't You Call Foul On A Soldier Using His Uniform To Attend (And By Implication *Support*) The YearlyKos Political Gathering?

Rick Moran of Rightwing Nut House interviews him.

More Kos spinning -- apparently now we're chickenhawks for coming to the defense of a sergeant threatened with punishment.

Here's my question for Kos and Jon Stolz:

Assuming that the below-cited DoD policy is the operative rule concerning attending a political rally in uniform, why were the Kossacks willing to let this sergeant appear at YearlyKos at all? If, as I read it, the prohibition seems to be on mere attendance of a political event in uniform, lest the uniform suggest official military endorsement of it.

Yet the YearlyKos people did not cry foul when a uniformed sergeant was walking around their event. Only when he wanted to ask a question did Stolz threaten to have him punished by his superior officers.

Was Stolz content to have the sergeant lend the uniform -- and the suggestion of military approval of YearlyKos's aggressively anti-war message -- but only balked when the sergeant actually wanted to ask a question which could challenge him?

In other words, was Stolz happy to see this rule, if it is a "rule," broken so long as it was being broken to the benefit of the YearlyKos and the anti-war cause generally, but only decided to become strict about the rule when there appeared a chance that uniform might be used to undermine him?



Should an officer enforce rules selectively, permitting the wearing of a uniform when that uniform can be construed as supporting his own political position, and then seeking punishment when the uniform in question could be construed as undermining his political position?

I don't know. I think, however, Stolz should be asked why he didn't threaten to sic the MPs on the sergeant simply for lending his uniform to the YearlyKos cause. He didn't seem to mind "my uniform" (as he called it) being used in that manner.

DoD policy. There may be additional policies; I don't know jackdoodle about this stuff.

It is DoD policy that:

3.1. The wearing of the uniform by members of the Armed Forces (including retired members and members of Reserve components) is prohibited under any of the following circumstances:

3.1.1. At any meeting or demonstration that is a function of, or sponsored by an organization, association, movement, group, or combination of persons that the Attorney General of the United States has designated, under Executive Order 10450 as amended (reference (c)), as totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive, or as having adopted a policy of advocating or approving the commission of acts of force or violence to deny others their rights under the Constitution of the United States, or as seeking to alter the form of Government of the United States by unconstitutional means.

3.1.2. During or in connection with furthering political activities, private employment or commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity or interest may be drawn.

3.1.3. Except when authorized by the approval authorities in subparagraph 4.1.1., when participating in activities such as unofficial public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration, which may imply Service sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or activity is conducted.

3.1.4. When wearing of the uniform may tend to bring discredit upon the Armed Forces.

Stolz seems to be pitching his bitch on 3.1.3. Why didn't he complain earlier based on 3.1.2?

What parts of the UCMJ or DoD policy might prohibit an officer from selectively punishing enlisted men based upon their politics, I wonder?

Kos and Stolz seem to be pressing for the rule that uniforms can be worn at anti-war rallies -- clearly a use of the uniform for political speech -- but that, somehow, it is a violation of the rules for a soldier to re-state that which is being officially reported by his generals.

In other words, they seem to believe political speech in uniform is just jake when that speech is directly contrary to the official military position and in fact in service of undermining that position. When the speech affirms the official military position, a grave breach has occurred.

That seems a strange position to take, no?

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posted by Ace at 11:58 AM

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