Iraq War Vet Blasts Marine Corps at Disciplinary Hearing

Note the headline.  The press is overly desirous of anyone connected to the military who will speak disparagingly about it or the war.  This young man violated a regulation then cursed, in writing, to a Brig. General.  What did he honestly expect the Corps would do?  But that isn’t what is important here.  It’s only important that the big, bad Marine Corps is picking on the little guy! <insert sarcasm wherever you like>. 

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (June 5) – A military panel has recommended a general discharge for an Iraq  war veteran who wore his uniform during a war protest and later responded with an obscenity to a superior who told him he might have violated military rules.

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh participated in the protest in March, clad in a uniform that had his name tag and other insignia removed. After he was identified in a photo caption in The Washington Post, a superior officer sent him a letter saying he might have violated a rule prohibiting troops from wearing uniforms without authorization.

After a hearing Monday before an administrative separation board at the Marine Corps Mobilization Command, the panel decided not to recommend an other-than-honorable discharge , choosing instead the general discharge.

“This is a nonpunitive discharge,” said Col. Patrick McCarthy, chief of staff for the mobilization command. “The most stringent discharge that could have been received is other than honorable, and the board chose to raise that up to a general discharge.”

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.

His attorneys said Kokesh was not subject to military rules during the protest because he was not on active duty. They said the protest was a theatrical performance, which meant wearing a uniform was a not a violation of military rules.

The military considered it a political event, at which personnel are not allowed to wear their uniforms without authorization.

Kokesh said he might appeal the board’s ruling on principle.

“Frankly, I’m very disappointed with this decision and I’m very disappointed with the board members who made it,” he said. “I do not think it was in the Marine Corps spirit to take the easy road or to not take a stand. In the words of Dante, the hottest layers of hell are reserved for those who in times of moral crisis maintain their neutrality, and I think that’s what happened here today.”

Marine Capt. Jeremy Sibert said in closing arguments that military personnel can be punished if their civilian behavior “directly affects the performance of military duties and is service-related.” He said Kokesh’s actions could affect how people view the Marine Corps and discourage recruits.

“A lot of us believe in this uniform. At some point, Cpl. Kokesh decided he was above that,” he said.

Full Story

Debate Night Round Table at ‘Heading Right”.

I and few others have started a new blog, “Heading Right”….

Heading Right

Notables (I’m not included, because I’m not notable) include:

Captains Quarters

Fausta’s Blog

Atlas Shrugged

bRight and Early

etc…

(full blogroll available at the site)

Although the blog has been up for a week or so, we’ll be kicking things off in style on debate night, May 3rd.

We’ll be doing a live blog session during the debate. Followed by a round-table ‘after action’ show on Blog Talk Radio following the debate.

Current contributors for the after action show are:

Ed Morrissey: Captain’s Quarters

Kit Jarrel: Euphoric Reality

Rick fr: bRight and Early

Mike fr: House of Chin

…but the list keeps growing…

Updates as to the panel will be available at Heading Right.

Thanks,

Chin

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

An interesting piece about America’s ‘decent into fascism’.  Of course, the author takes huge leaps and places incredible weight on a litany of unrelated events.  However, Democracy in America is the delicate balance between fascism and communism. Examinations into the perils of each are worth noting, no matter how fantastic.

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.

They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy – but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree – domestically – as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government – the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens’ ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors – we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don’t learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of “homeland” security – remember who else was keen on the word “homeland” – didn’t raise the alarm bells it might have.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable – as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.

Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism. I am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the events we see unfolding in the US.

The Hunt for a Fred October: Fred Thompson, in or out?

It’s not news that the media is abuzz with speculation as to a possible Fred Thompson run at the Presidency. As ‘Law and Order’ co-star Sam Waterston noted today, it’s the worst held secret in Washington. Join us tomorrow on ‘House of Chin Live” as we discuss the implications of a Thompson announcement. Our guest will be former Thompson aide and current co-host of “The Voice”, Kelvin Moxley. We’ll also discuss insights from ‘Draft Fred Thompson 2008 Committee’ co-chair and U.S. Congressman Zach Wamp. Rep. Wamp was unable to commit to a live interview due to House committee meetings. However, House of Chin conducted an exclusive interview, prior to broadcast, for this program.

Tune in tomorrow to House of Chin LIVE!. Only on Blog Talk Radio.

Showtime:

Thursday April 26th 11:00-11:30 a.m. EST

Live talk and your phone calls.

Call in number: (718) 508-9941.

blog radio

Nugent: Gun-free zones are recipe for disaster

Ted Nugent was on Glenn Beck last week in a great interview. Here, he has written as a quest for CNN on the subject of gun control.

Nugent: Gun-free zones are recipe for disaster – CNN.com

 

By Ted Nugent
Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Rock guitarist Ted Nugent has sold more than 30 million albums. He’s also a gun rights activist and serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association. His program, “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild,” can be seen on the Outdoor Channel.

Read an opposing take on gun control from journalist Tom Plate: Let’s lay down our right to bear arms

WACO, Texas (CNN) — Zero tolerance, huh? Gun-free zones, huh? Try this on for size: Columbine gun-free zone, New York City pizza shop gun-free zone, Luby’s Cafeteria gun-free zone, Amish school in Pennsylvania gun-free zone and now Virginia Tech gun-free zone.

Anybody see what the evil Brady Campaign and other anti-gun cults have created? I personally have zero tolerance for evil and denial. And America had best wake up real fast that the brain-dead celebration of unarmed helplessness will get you killed every time, and I’ve about had enough of it.

Nearly a decade ago, a Springfield, Oregon, high schooler, a hunter familiar with firearms, was able to bring an unfolding rampage to an abrupt end when he identified a gunman attempting to reload his .22-caliber rifle, made the tactical decision to make a move and tackled the shooter.

A few years back, an assistant principal at Pearl High School in Mississippi, which was a gun-free zone, retrieved his legally owned Colt .45 from his car and stopped a Columbine wannabe from continuing his massacre at another school after he had killed two and wounded more at Pearl.

At an eighth-grade school dance in Pennsylvania, a boy fatally shot a teacher and wounded two students before the owner of the dance hall brought the killing to a halt with his own gun.

More recently, just a few miles up the road from Virginia Tech, two law school students ran to fetch their legally owned firearm to stop a madman from slaughtering anybody and everybody he pleased. These brave, average, armed citizens neutralized him pronto.

My hero, Dr. Suzanne Gratia Hupp, was not allowed by Texas law to carry her handgun into Luby’s Cafeteria that fateful day in 1991, when due to bureaucrat-forced unarmed helplessness she could do nothing to stop satanic George Hennard from killing 23 people and wounding more than 20 others before he shot himself. Hupp was unarmed for no other reason than denial-ridden “feel good” politics.

She has since led the charge for concealed weapon upgrade in Texas, where we can now stop evil. Yet, there are still the mindless puppets of the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun organizations insisting on continuing the gun-free zone insanity by which innocents are forced into unarmed helplessness. Shame on them. Shame on America. Shame on the anti-gunners all.

No one was foolish enough to debate Ryder truck regulations or ammonia nitrate restrictions or a “cult of agriculture fertilizer” following the unabashed evil of Timothy McVeigh’s heinous crime against America on that fateful day in Oklahoma City. No one faulted kitchen utensils or other hardware of choice after Jeffrey Dahmer was caught drugging, mutilating, raping, murdering and cannibalizing his victims. Nobody wanted “steak knife control” as they autopsied the dead nurses in Chicago, Illinois, as Richard Speck went on trial for mass murder.

Evil is as evil does, and laws disarming guaranteed victims make evil people very, very happy. Shame on us.

Already spineless gun control advocates are squawking like chickens with their tiny-brained heads chopped off, making political hay over this most recent, devastating Virginia Tech massacre, when in fact it is their own forced gun-free zone policy that enabled the unchallenged methodical murder of 32 people.

Thirty-two people dead on a U.S. college campus pursuing their American Dream, mowed-down over an extended period of time by a lone, non-American gunman in possession of a firearm on campus in defiance of a zero-tolerance gun ban. Feel better yet? Didn’t think so.

Who doesn’t get this? Who has the audacity to demand unarmed helplessness? Who likes dead good guys?

I’ll tell you who. People who tramp on the Second Amendment, that’s who. People who refuse to accept the self-evident truth that free people have the God-given right to keep and bear arms, to defend themselves and their loved ones. People who are so desperate in their drive to control others, so mindless in their denial that they pretend access to gas causes arson, Ryder trucks and fertilizer cause terrorism, water causes drowning, forks and spoons cause obesity, dialing 911 will somehow save your life, and that their greedy clamoring to “feel good” is more important than admitting that armed citizens are much better equipped to stop evil than unarmed, helpless ones.

Pray for the families of victims everywhere, America. Study the methodology of evil. It has a profile, a system, a preferred environment where victims cannot fight back. Embrace the facts, demand upgrade and be certain that your children’s school has a better plan than Virginia Tech or Columbine. Eliminate the insanity of gun-free zones, which will never, ever be gun-free zones. They will only be good guy gun-free zones, and that is a recipe for disaster written in blood on the altar of denial. I, for one, refuse to genuflect there.

In a related story, World Net Daily offers this insight…

As the nation debates whether more guns or fewer can prevent tragedies like the Virginia Tech Massacre, a notable anniversary passed last month in a Georgia town that witnessed a dramatic plunge in crime and violence after mandating residents to own firearms.

In March 1982, 25 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw – responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill. – unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of “Wild West” showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender.

The crime rate initially plummeted for several years after the passage of the ordinance, with the 2005 per capita crime rate actually significantly lower than it was in 1981, the year before passage of the law.

Prior to enactment of the law, Kennesaw had a population of just 5,242 but a crime rate significantly higher (4,332 per 100,000) than the national average (3,899 per 100,000). The latest statistics available – for the year 2005 – show the rate at 2,027 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the population has skyrocketed to 28,189.

(Story continues below)

To learn more about gun bans and their relation to violent crime rates, check out these links…

http://www.reason.com/news/show/28582.html

http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/guncontrol_20010302.html

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=15304

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.22768/pub_detail.asp

Ex-Duke Players Ponder D.A. Lawsuit

It looks like the Duke boys are looking to cash in.  In a world of frivolous lawsuits, I can’t blame them.  Hell, everybody else cashed in, from Networks to race hustlers.  Why shouldn’t the actual victims get paid? 

Ex-Duke Players Ponder D.A. Lawsuit, Cleared Of Sex Assault Charges, 3 Former Students Not Ruling Out Civil Suit Against Mike Nifong – CBS News

(CBS/AP) Despite an apology from the prosecutor who pursued rape charges against their clients, the lawyers for three exonerated former Duke lacrosse players were weighing a lawsuit against him, and legal experts said their case could have merit.

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong’s issued a carefully worded apology to the players on Thursday, but it may not have been enough to prevent the former players from suing him.

So far, attorneys for David Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty have not said whether they plan a civil action against Nifong. But they have not ruled it out.

Prosecutors generally have immunity for what they do inside the courtroom, but experts said that protection probably doesn’t cover some of Nifong’s more questionable actions in his handling of the case — such as calling the lacrosse players “a bunch of hooligans” in one of several interviews deemed unethical by the state bar.

“I think their chances of success suing Mr. Nifong are reasonably good, despite what we call prosecutorial immunity,” said John Banzhaf, a professor at the George Washington University School of Law.

On Wednesday, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper threw out the case against the three young men, pronounced them innocent and delivered a withering attack on Nifong, portraying him as a “rogue” prosecutor guilty of “overreaching.” Cooper said Nifong rushed the case, failed to verify the accuser’s allegations and pressed on despite the warning signs.

Iraq: Is Anyone Planning for U.S. Pull Out? – Newsweek The War in Iraq

This is a nice article in Newsweek discussing the U.S. options, or lack thereof, in Iraq.  Below is only an excerpt.  Be sure to click through the link to get the entire story. 

Iraq: Is Anyone Planning for U.S. Pull Out? – Newsweek The War in Iraq – MSNBC.com

By Christopher Dickey and John Barry

Newsweek

April 23, 2007 issue – The battle lines may be clearer in Washington than in Iraq. A Democratic-controlled Congress wants to set a timetable for U.S. combat troops to get out of a fight the American public no longer supports. When he meets with congressional leaders this week, President George W. Bush will vow again to veto any such bill. And like the president, Republican Sen. John McCain—decorated veteran, presidential hopeful and stubborn supporter of the U.S. troop surge in Baghdad—warns of apocalyptic consequences if there’s a pullout.

“This is an historic choice, with ramifications for Americans not even born yet,” McCain recently told students at Virginia Military Institute who were about to graduate from gray cadet uniforms to desert camouflage. A premature U.S. withdrawal would create “a Wild West for terrorists” who believe “we Americans are their ultimate target.” For the Iraqis, warned McCain, a U.S. pullout would lead to “genocide” in which “we would be complicit.”

He could well be right. In the Middle East, aid workers, regional leaders, Iraqi officials and ordinary civilians agree that if the Americans leave quickly, Iraq’s disastrous condition could be made much worse. They warn of a massive flood of refugees heading for the borders, of massacres as Sunnis and Shiites cross paths, of a proxy war funded by Iran and Saudi Arabia within Iraq itself. “The consequences of [this] not working out are catastrophic,” says an aid worker overseeing part of the U.N. relief effort in Iraq, who doesn’t want to make any comment on the record that might sound political.

That’s why the White House is asking for more time. The surge of more than 20,000 additional American troops that Bush announced earlier this year now looks to total well over 30,000, in addition to the 134,000 already in the country. To meet those numbers, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week that the tours of many soldiers in Iraq would be extended. The idea is not that the troops will be able to end the insurgency quickly, but for them to tamp down the violence long enough for rebuilding and political reconciliation to take root. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” says David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency specialist who is part of the team pulled together by Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq.

Yet there’s a growing sense among both America’s allies and its enemies that U.S. combat troops, at least, will be out of Iraq by the end of next year. The House bill calls for withdrawal by August 2008; the Senate sets a nonbinding goal of March 31. But the bottom line is the same: goodbye to Baghdad. “The implosion of domestic support for the war will compel the disengagement of U.S. forces,” writes Steven N. Simon of the Council on Foreign Relations. “It is now just a matter of time.” West Point’s Gen. Barry McCaffrey, after an intense week of briefings in Iraq last month, warns that the American military cannot sustain this level of commitment for much more than another year. The U.S. Army “is going to start to unravel” because it is stretched so thin by the war, he says.