Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sweet! I knew I had common sense on my side: letter from Florida Veterans for Common Sense

FLVCS LETTER to Senators and Representatives

June 3, 2007

Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Chairman Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee
Senator Carl Levin, Chairman Senate Armed Forces Committee
Representative Ike Skelton, Chairman House Armed Forces Committee
Representative Bob Filner, Chairman House Veterans' Affairs Committee

Dear Senators and Representatives:

Florida Veterans for Common Sense wishes to make you aware of an un-American,
unpatriotic attack by the U.S. Marine Corps against decorated marines who
have served in Iraq and were honorably discharged. When the Marine Corps found
out that discharged marines still in the Inactive Ready Reserve were speaking
out and protesting against the occupation of Iraq, the Corps re-activated them
for a hearing to revoke their honorable discharges as punishment. FLVCS knows
of several honorably discharged marines facing this harassment.

The Corps claims that the Uniform Code of Military Justice was violated by
the marines because they spoke out against the war and while wearing a marine
uniform at a demonstration. The action of the Corps is nothing less than an
attack on the free speech of all American citizens, and particularly veterans.

The marines in question do not deny they have spoken out against the war and
that on occasion wore parts of their military clothing at demonstrations.
Neither marine wore a full uniform. They wore camouflage fatigues without the
marine insignia, a right they have earned in blood. There is no law, or regulation
against wearing camo. A camo shirt, pants, and hat is not a uniform. You can
see people wearing camo everyday all around America.

The corps claims that is against regulations to wear a uniform, or apparently
a part of a uniform, at political events. If that is correct, the regulation
is selectively enforced by the Department of Defense. President Bush, Vice
President Cheney, and other politicians often have soldiers in full dress uniform
standing behind them for the cameras at political events.

In short, the Marine Corps is attempting to stifle legitimate pro-American
speech, which should not be tolerated. Are we fighting in Iraq to lose our
freedoms at home? The Marine Corps has a war to fight against Al Qaeda and shouldn’
t be wasting its time harassing veterans who exercise their democratic right
to free speech. The Commandant of the Marine Corps should be summoned to
Congress to explain the Corps' actions and to explain why those responsible should
not be held accountable.


Gene Jones
For: Executive Committee Florida Veterans for Common Sense.

Letter of Support From The Military Project

After multiple tours in Iraq, Adam Kokesh, Liam Madden and Cloy Richards
received honorable discharges from active duty. These Marines continued to
honor their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States
against all enemies, foreign and domestic by joining Iraq Veterans Against
the War and speaking out against a war they saw as illegal and immoral.

As a result of exercising their right to freedom of speech, (a right they
were told they were fighting for in Iraq) the Marine Corps, while admitting
that The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) does not apply to
Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) service members, is trying to refuse them IRR
honorable discharges for alleged violations of the UCMJ! This bold attempt
by the government to suppress the views of our service men and women must
not go unchallenged.

The Military Project sees Adam Kokesh, Liam Madden, Cloy Richards, The IVAW,
and all active duty and reserve troops who have the courage to speak out
against this illegal war as true patriots and heroes. We urge all people of
conscience to "Support The Troops!" by sending letters of support and
financial donations to IVAW and by contacting elected officials to tell
them, "Let Our Troops Speak! Stop Harassing Heroes!"

IVAW- Legal Defense Fund
PO Box 8296
Philadelphia, PA 19101

The Military Project