Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lies, Misplaced Words And The First Amendment

I would probably have missed the story all together - the Connecticut Senate race - if I hadn't at one time played tennis with the current Republican candidate, Linda McMahon. The story wasn't about Linda, but her shoo in opponant, AG Richard Blumenthal, and his "misplaced words" regarding his military service during the Vietnam War.

He claimed to have actually served in the Marine Corp in Vietnam. Wrong on both counts. A technicality, to be sure, but the Reserves isn't quite the same unless you actually are deployed to the war zone. Nor is serving stateside after five deferrments. Oh my. Talk about "dancing with the politician", this was a beaut and of course he took full responsiblity for those "misplaced words." I wonder if he need have bothered.

A court case has just been decided in favor of a Pomona, CA man who claimed he was a retired Medal of Honor Marine. He wasn't. He plead guilty with the provision he could appeal on the basis of his First Amendment rights.

He not only lied, he violated the 2007 Stolen Valor Act. I need to misplace a few words of my own in writing that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in his favor, 2 to 1, that the law was a violation of his free speech rights.

That being the case I wonder if all the "misplaced words" and outright "lies" that we are constantly being subjected to really require the breast beating penitence they are given when found out. Save it! The courts are giving you free reign to say what you'd like.

Interesting, isn't it, that both these men were or claimed to be military men. Obviously there is a lot of honor involved with having served. As well there should be. No wonder the Marine's are always looking for a "few" good men. They aren't always easy to find.

As for claiming the Medal of Honor in a lie and getting a pass, what can be said? Those who are legitimate recipients did so, many losing their lives in the effort, to give one the right to lie?



Margie's Musings said...

Disgusting, Isn't it, Mari? I get more and more disgusted with politics in general all the time.

Word Tosser said...

DISGUSTING, it a mild word for this.. when did flat out lying become a right?