Pajamas Media Lies About YearlyKos Incident
He was in direct and blatant violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) when he stood up and began talking politics in uniform. But to read Pajamas Media's liefest*, you might think "an as yet unidentified soldier" -- who was mentioned in the same post as having been interviewed, by the way, so I don't know where the webmasters are getting this "unidentified" bullshit -- was being robbed of his free speech rights.
What happened, you ask? The DailyKos sets the record straight. To sum up: a uniformed soldier took it upon himself to go to the Yearly Kos convention and lecture current and former military members (who, between them, had served eight combat deployments) about adversity. Jon Soltz, a captain in the Army Reserves who served in the Iraq war as part of the 1st Armored Division, eventually had had enough of this buffoon violating the UCMJ and disregarding proper military bearing and escorted him out. The day before, this moron had confronted retired general Wesley Clarke, the latter of whom warned him about talking politics while in uniform. The regulations pertaining to this may be found here and here. If Soltz had not done what he did in removing the soldier, he would have been seen as condoning a breach of the UCMJ and would himself have landed in hot water.
That sparked the usual, vile and wholly uninformed criticism by the far right blogosphere and paid liars such as Michelle Malkin and Matt Drudge. Note to you losers: do your fucking research before you take up some idiot's cause, because you might actually be doing him more harm than good. The soldier will probably not face court martial, but chances are he will be disciplined for his actions by his commander. That could include a permanent mark on his record, and even a less than honorable discharge if the matter is persistently publicized. Soltz and Clarke did this guy a favor by first warning him of the regs in the UCMJ, and then by removing him from the premises before he went so far past the point of no return that he ended up in even hotter water than he undoubtedly has.
Good readers, I am a U.S. Air Force BMT washout. I enlisted in 2001. I can tell you right now that I was in long enough to learn that you do not get involved in politics while wearing the uniform. You may not understand the reason behind the regulations, but it exists and it is actually a very good one. When uniforms and politics mix, it usually ends up resulting in bad things happening. Examples of this are Fidel Castro, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, Moammar Qaddafi, and Manuel Noriega. So you can imagine, I hope, why the UCMJ forbids active duty soldiers from participating in uniform in political events. Had he been wearing his civilian clothes, he would have been in the clear. But this "unidentified" soldier chose to wear his dress uniform. Having gone through BMT, he knew that he was violating military law.
Pajamas Media, in trying to make the YearlyKos convention look bad for hypocrisy over free speech, lied about the incident. As you can see in the link to the entry, several people have pointed out the regs forbidding this guy from doing what he did. Even those who shared the disgrace to the uniform's views backed this key fact up (I have screen captures). Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with that "unidentified" soldier's opinions, what he did was still wrong and still illegal. Using this incident to promote a lie, Pajamas Media will probably do more harm than whatever good it falsely claims to be doing for this soldier by bringing attention to his misconduct that will likely result in harsher discipline. The Pentagon is going through a bunch of scandals right now, and the last thing it needs is a soldier using the uniform to make the top brass look bad.
*: Full disclosure: I posted a comment on the Pajamas Media blog page. I posted it at 8:48 A.M. EDT, but for some reason it showed up as three hours earlier.