March 8, 2012 by staff
Antiobama Facebook, Freedom of speech and military order may be on a collision course at Camp Pendleton over a Marine’s Facebook page that is highly critical of President Barack Obama.
The Marine, Sgt. Gary Stein, said Monday that he is under investigation by base officials for posting comments on his personal Facebook page that say he would not follow orders issued by the president.
Stein, 26, of Temecula, is also the founder of an Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots Facebook page, which prompted Marine Corps officials to warn him in 2010 about his political activities.
Stein said officials indicated on Monday that he may be charged with violating a provision of the Uniform Code of Military Justice addressing “good order and discipline in the armed forces, or conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.”
“I’ve had better days,” Stein said after meeting with his commanders. “They’ve read me my rights and said I made disloyal comments about the president, and are now questioning whether I can even run the page.”
A Marine Corps spokeswoman said Stein has not been charged with any violation and had no immediate information about the investigation that Stein said is under way.
Two years ago, Stein was counseled by base officials to be cautious about any blatant endorsements of candidates, the tea party or using his uniform in any way to influence an election.
Stein, a staunch opponent of Obama who does not believe the president was born in the United States and calls his birth certificate a fraud, first launched the tea party page as a protest against Obama’s health care legislation.
That page has nearly 10,000 followers, and most of its comments are anti-Obama.
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