previous post next post  

Stolen Valor...

You can have legitimate concerns about the Stolen Valor law, an issue now making its way through the courts.

But, to those who think the whole thing is overblown, who cares if a bunch of old pharts or young wannabes-never-been-there-and-wouldn't-dream-of-actually-going-but-want-the-respect bragging and claiming heroism they never demonstrated - well, how about the ones who co-opt other people's actual heroism

Like this guy, Dick Stoops, who Jonn Lilyea exposed over at This Ain't Hell?

Today there is a story in the Kansas City Star (you should read the whole thing, really, this is just a snippet) with this little tidbit in it:

...The voice was that of Sterner. The Star had asked Sterner to run through his database two sentences from the veteran’s Distinguished Service Cross, or DSC, citation.

From the 812 DSC narratives from the Korean War, the computer made one hit: a word-for-word match with a passage describing one man’s heroism.

And it was not the Kansas veteran’s.

It was that of Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard J. Hartnett, who had gone back to Pennsylvania after the war and died in 2003.

The Star then called back the reporter who had written the original story. The reporter had taped the hourlong interview and had photocopied the medal citations from the nominee’s office wall.

As The Star began to read Hartnett’s entire citation, the other reporter gasped. Except for the name, date and location, they were identical.

Sterner then ran the Kansan’s Silver Star citation through the same screening process. Again, just one hit.

This one came from another DSC citation. The recipient: Army Cpl. Fabian Nieves-Laguer. He was a member of the famous “Borinqueneers,” the 65th Infantry Regiment from Puerto Rico.

It took Sterner’s computer 14 seconds to make the match.

“Gosh, he didn’t even bother to write his own wording,” said Sterner. “This shows so clearly the value in a database that documents these awards.

Read the whole thing here.  The federal Stolen Valor law may or may not survive.  Regardless, the best bleach is sunshine - like the bright light the Schantag's and others provide at POW Network

Mr. Stoops is not worthy to mow the grass around PFC Dennis' grave - but perhaps he should mow the grass at a veterans cemetery.  Especially one full of wartime death dates.


But last week in Colorado, a federal judge dismissed a case against a man who falsely claimed he was a Marine captain who had been wounded while serving in Iraq and had received a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn said the law unconstitutionally punished speech based on its content without a compelling government interest to justify the restriction. The decision set precedent only in Colorado, but it may open up more challenges nationwide.

That's what happens when you have Lefty activist judges who are ignorant of the law and feel compelled to write it themselves.

10 USC Sec. 771. Unauthorized wearing prohibited

Except as otherwise provided by law, no person except a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, as the case may be, may wear -
(1) the uniform, or a distinctive part of the uniform, of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps; or
(2) a uniform any part of which is similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps.

(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 34.)

Hizzonner has declared that a *Federal* law is unconstitutional, and he acted 'way above his pay grade when he did it.

Look for it to be overturned on appeal.
Judge Blackburn is a gift of Dubya.  We'll see what we see.
Misrepresentation masked as freedom of speech I suppose.   Freedom, which is so tasty and sweet comes with a small but rather bitter side order of responsibility.  So many plates gluttoned down except for those greens.  Is it really so hard to show some respect?

Though it looks like heroism can be picked up and worn from the appearance of admittedly rather swanky uniforms and well worded awards, I'm sure those that have the good right to wear them can see past that idea.  They were already heroes before the threading, letters and flowery speeches.  Indeed this is the type of hero that eats more than their share of greens to risk their blood and joy and life for other's freedom.  One can still be a hero of another type but this Stoops is not one of them, no he pulls the skin of heroism around him not knowing that instead of heroism all he shines with is the aspect of loser.  No he shall not earn the right to be respected but shall instead steal the right to be scorned.

I hope it is overturned or there will be a tide of this sort of rubbish and a terrible temptation for actions a shade below the wigs and lawyers.
You didn't like your veggies as a kid, did you Argent?
BillT, *I hope you're right and it's  overturned on appeal!* But many people consider the whole "Stolen Valor Act" as a "Freedom of Speech Issue." There are three things *not* protected by "Free Speech in the First Amendment to the US Constitution." They are fraud, perjury and identity theft. Then you should look at the DoD looking at it from their own view, you do the same thing with the VA and the DOJ. Then you send them back to the States,  so they do the same things.

BillT, what was the absolutely *first* thing you did upon entering the Military? Yes, you swore an oath to serve. The way "The Stolen Valor Act" is written, the maximum penalty is one year in prison and/or a fine. As I see it, the maximum penalty shall be that as prescribed by law, both on a Federal and State level for each infraction of the particular law. The sentences shall be served consecutively  and not concurrently. This may take some of the popularity out of this BS.
BTW, the law I cited? It's not the Stolen Valor Act -- it's the *original* law, from 1956.

And declaring that law an unconstitutional abridgement of free speech is a helluva reach.
@BillT,  I read your comment, agreed, it's the *original 1956 law!* Bill, you now see that helluva reach. I can think of a few candidates for the undivided attention of Hobart Hempworth, tho local trachea tweaker (hangman) from Tumbleweeds comic strip. The problem is this, has the *original 1956 law" been amended it into oblivion. How much of this BS has it stopped recently? *HEMPWORTH, GET YOUR A$$ IN HERE RIGHT NOW!*

Now, you know why I'm so dang GRUMPY!
It makes me wonder how many of said Judge's friends claim awards and service they neither performed nor earned, and how he would react to someone claiming to have passed the Bar-when they did not.  After all, it's "Free Speech" and as long as said false lawyer didn't actually hang up a shingle to play Lawyer for PAY...
"“Gosh, he didn’t even bother to write his own wording,” said Sterner. “This shows so clearly the value in a database that documents these awards."

Where is this data base.  Who can access it?  Anybody know?
If you read the KC Star article it's in there:
And since when has fraud been a constitutionally-protected form of speech?...

Since 20 January, 2009.
Ooo.  Subtle, Bill.

Casey - therein lies one of the foci of the matter.  I've always preferred going after the SV guys from the fraud angle.  Which is easier to do when they've done something like get VA bennies or a job, etc.

The SV law essentially criminalizes those "at the pub" war stories as well.  Of course, usually only at the point where the lie has taken on a life of it's own, and the guy can't back down from it without being hugely embarassed.  

If Stoops used his false record to get into the Guard when he otherwise wouldn't have, he moves to the level of fraud.  It will be interesting to see how Kansas authorities choose to proceed.

In some ways, the SV law gives prosecutors a tool to take an easy route out when there's no clear personal gain outside of stolen esteem and respect.