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Tell It Like It Is


Courts Steel Stolen Valor Act




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Disclaimer:
Thomas Segel is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

Tell It Like It Is
March 24, 2011 | 1,694 views | 2 comments

Harlingen, Texas, March 24, 2011: Those who have worn the Dress Blue uniform of the United States Marine Corps all know the red stripe running down the trouser legs represents blood shed for this country. They also know the various medals for valor or military merit are never “won”, but are awarded in recognition of specific acts by an individual member of the armed forces.

During the decades of Marine Corps service plus a journalism career I have been very fortunate to have known dozens upon dozens of our nation’s heroes. In that distinguished band of brothers were men who were awarded the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross and multiple awards of the Silver Star and Bronze Star for exceptional valor. Also among that proud assembly should be listed those almost uncountable numbers of men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds inflected by the enemy. I still feel that I was privileged to stand in the shadows of such worthy members of the warrior clan.

While writing about everything from combat action to individual exploits across the years, I have also periodically encountered those vile pretenders who falsely portrayed themselves as soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines. These frauds generally advanced the story that they had a history of performing heroic acts and being highly decorated by a grateful nation.

Some of these military fakes were quickly unmasked, but there were others who advanced themselves with the stolen valor of real heroes for a number of years.

Finally, through the efforts of some dedicated veterans the 2005 Stolen Valor Act was passed by Congress and signed into law. The Stolen Valor Act makes it a crime punishable by up to a year in prison for falsely claiming to have received high military decorations.

Now the liberal leaning 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Stolen Valor Act is an unconstitutional restraint on free speech and a threat to every citizen. Said Chief Judge Alex Kozinski when rendering the decision of the court, “Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying.”

Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain writing in dissent claims the majority has misinterpreted 40 years of Supreme Court decisions and that the high court has consistently held that “the right to lie is not a fundamental right under the Constitution.”

Using this court decision as a foundation, I would assume the 9th Circuit would also declare that laws against lying to federal officers, IRS agents, or Congressional Committees are also unconstitutional. That should free many citizens who are now looking at the world from behind the barred windows of prisons. After all the Court said that for mortals living means lying. It should also be pointed out that Chief Judge Kozinski feels the Stolen Valor Act “...is a threat to every citizen who fibs to embellish his or her image.”

Unless this despicable decision is referred on to the Supreme Court and reversed, the country can again expect phony heroes to creep out from under their respective rocks across the United States. After all, why should they be punished for pretending to be valiant? Members of Congress and the Executive branch of government lie to Americans every day...and they always pretend to be heroes.

Semper Fidelis
 
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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Ken Semlinger  
Poth, TX  
March 27, 2011 11:27am
 
"the right to lie is not a fundamental right under the Constitution". Even in dissent lying has become a "right" to the 9th circuit. God Help Us!

 
Just1Marine  
Seattle  
March 26, 2011 3:54pm
 
Its a Life Long Promise not just a "logo" ~SEMPER FIDELIS~

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