bringing several interesting questions along with it
…On Thursday, the military issued a warning to the organizers of the march (who are not affiliated with or funded by the Paul campaign) and reminded them of DoD Directive 1344.10 paragraph 188.8.131.52 that restricts active duty personnel from participating in political marches that could be viewed as an official endorsement of a candidate, whether dressed in uniform or civilian clothes. Kokesh and Cox have encouraged attendees to act according to their own conscience. In a message on the Facebook event page, they wrote,
It is an absurd proposition to say that members of the military supporting candidates in uniform would be construed to represent official positions of the government and rules regarding free speech for members of the military have only been used to silence dissent and keep the true will of the troops from being relevant in the American political discourse. Well, NOT ANY MORE!
From: Weger, Joel A CIV OGC, Ethics [mailto:joel.weger@NAVY.MIL]
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 8:17
Subject: [ETHICS] Partisan Political March
It has come to our attention that a partisan political march targeting military personnel is being organized for February 20, 2012. See link
As a reminder, active duty personnel are prohibited by DoD Directive 1344.10 paragraph 184.108.40.206 from marching in a partisan political parade regardless of whether they are in uniform or civilian clothes. Reservists not on active duty and retirees may not march in uniform pursuant to paragraph 4.1.4. Reservists not on active duty and retirees may march in civilian clothes provided that they do not otherwise act in a manner that could reasonably give rise to the inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement.
The directive is a lawful general regulation. Violations of paragraphs 4.1. through 4.5. of the Directive by persons subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice are punishable under Article 92, “Failure to Obey Order or Regulation.”
In addition, DODI 1334.01, paragraph 3.1.2 prohibits the wearing of the uniform by members of the armed forces (including retired members and members of reserve components) during or in connection with political activities.
You may wish to advise your command regarding this particular event because of the apparent solicitation of active duty personnel.
Joel A. Weger
Department of the Navy
Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Ethics)
That policy was put in place for a reason. This country established that the Civilians would be in charge of the Military for a reason.
Yet Weger specifically said “parade:” I assume for a reason. Does that mean a “gathering” would be viewed differently?
I’m interested in the impressions and views of those who have waaaay more experience and historic background than I on this…
I will also be interested to see the coverage — if any — by the LSM. This seems to be a significant symptom of Teh Times.