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Thread: Judge Rules Stolen Valor Act Unconstitutional

  1. #1
    Senior Member Goldwater's Avatar
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    Judge Rules Stolen Valor Act Unconstitutional

    While I think claiming you're a veteran or earning medals when you didn't is contemptable...should Bush have ever signed this law? Is this a serious enough thing to make it a crime when so many Politicians lie on a daily basis?

    What about the fat guy at the end of the bar who claims he fought in the gulf war and got a silver star...and he didn't...do we throw him in jail?

    I have mixed emotions

    DENVER — A law that makes it illegal to lie about being a war hero is unconstitutional because it violates free speech, a federal judge ruled Friday as he dismissed a case against a Colorado man who claimed he received two military medals.
    Rick Glen Strandlof claimed he was an ex-Marine who was wounded in Iraq and received the Purple Heart and Silver Star, but the military had no record he ever served. He was charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail to falsely claim to have won a military medal.
    U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn dismissed the case and said the law is unconstitutional, ruling the government did not show it has a compelling reason to restrict that type of statement.

    Judge rules Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

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    I agree with the law. To serve our country is one of the most honorable things a man or woman can do. To claim that one served when they didn't is a smack in the face to all of our veterans.

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    Senior Member Goldwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawneeMoon View Post
    I agree with the law. To serve our country is one of the most honorable things a man or woman can do. To claim that one served when they didn't is a smack in the face to all of our veterans.
    I agree...and with the fact that this law was passed in 2005...it doesn't look like we'll see a slippery slope of other laws against lieing.

    But suppose some politican lied about being part of the civil rights demonstrations in the 60's, would that be a good reason to make a law against lieing about being part of the civil rights movement? Because that's a slap in the face to those guys too.

    I guess I'm thinking from a legal standpoint...is lieing about military service anything but annoying to vets and people like you and I? Don't we make things crimes when they cause damages or harm?

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    Penny for your thots Macduff's Avatar
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    By this logic, libel laws are unconstitutional.

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    Senior Member Goldwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    By this logic, libel laws are unconstitutional.
    Lieing about medals isn't libel.


    Main Entry: 1li·bel
    Pronunciation: \ˈlī-bəl\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, written declaration, from Anglo-French, from Latin libellus, diminutive of liber book
    Date: 14th century
    : a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression b (1) : a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt (2) : defamation of a person by written or representational means (3) : the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures (4) : the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldwater View Post
    I agree...and with the fact that this law was passed in 2005...it doesn't look like we'll see a slippery slope of other laws against lieing.

    But suppose some politican lied about being part of the civil rights demonstrations in the 60's, would that be a good reason to make a law against lieing about being part of the civil rights movement? Because that's a slap in the face to those guys too.

    I guess I'm thinking from a legal standpoint...is lieing about military service anything but annoying to vets and people like you and I? Don't we make things crimes when they cause damages or harm?
    I think lieing about military service becomes an issue when someone uses that claim for financial gain, be it housing, free meals or whatever. I'm not sure that lieing about being a part of the civil rights movement would be the same because they were not employed by the government like a soldier would have been.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Devil505's Avatar
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    I guess I'd want to know under what circumstances the lie was said before I'd agree with illegality..

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    While I deplore those who lie, it does bring up Constitutional issues. The best solution I read was for the DOD to put up a publicly accessible list of service personnel who were awarded medals of valor. This would allow douchebags like Rick Glen Strandlof to be revealed for what they are:


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    Penny for your thots Macduff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Wind View Post
    While I deplore those who lie, it does bring up Constitutional issues. The best solution I read was for the DOD to put up a publicly accessible list of service personnel who were awarded medals of valor. This would allow douchebags like Rick Glen Strandlof to be revealed for what they are:

    I like that idea. You'd still get the guys who claim they were on a double secret mission for the government so that's why there's no file. But hopefully people would see through them.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Chief's Avatar
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    The penalty should be... enlistment. Give me these guys, and I will put them in a position to earn their claimed medals. I have billets in Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti, and a few less exotic, such as Germany, Guam, Hawaii, and San Diego.

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