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Anti-Obama Marine Faces Boot

Facebook page, Obama digs risking Gary Stein's job: Corps
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2012 2:40 AM CDT
'Tea Party' Marine Faces Boot
Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Gary Stein is being threatened with dismissal for violating Pentagon policies barring troops from political activities.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Gary Stein)

(Newser) – A Marine is being threatened with dismissal for criticizing President Obama and launching an Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook page, encouraging service members to speak out. Camp Pendleton Sergeant Gary Stein, who also declared weeks ago that he wouldn't follow the "unlawful" orders of his commander in chief, has been told he's violating Pentagon policy barring troops from political activities. A preliminary hearing was held earlier this month, and officials are deciding now whether or not to boot Stein, reports AP. He has already been removed from his job at a recruiting station in San Diego, and given a desk job with no access to computers.

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"I'm completely shocked that this is happening," said Stein, a nine-year member of the Marine Corps. "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?" Pentagon directives bar service members in uniform from sponsoring a political club, or participating in discussions advocating for or against a political party, candidate, or cause. Commissioned officers also may not use "contemptuous" words against senior officers, including the president or defense secretary. (Read more Gary Stein stories.)

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