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Old 07-18-2010, 07:23 AM
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revwardoc revwardoc is offline
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Angry Judge: Law penalizing fake heroes unconstitutional

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.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Denver said prosecutors are reviewing the decision and haven't decided whether to appeal. The spokesman said that decision would be made by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington and prosecutors in Denver.

Strandlof's lawyer, Bob Pepin, said he hadn't spoken to Strandlof since the ruling was issued. Pepin said he would advise Strandlof not to comment publicly because the case might be appealed.

"Obviously, we think this is the right decision, or we wouldn't have been making the objections to the statute to begin with," he said. Pepin said Strandlof has been living in a halfway house in Denver while his case is in the courts.

The law has also been challenged in California and in a case now before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Denver attorney Christopher P. Beall, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, said the Stolen Valor Act is fatally flawed because it doesn't require prosecutors to show anyone was harmed or defamed by the lie.

"The government position was that any speech that's false is not protected by the First Amendment. That proposition is very dangerous," Beall said.

"It puts the government in a much more powerful position to prosecute people for speaking out on things they believe to be true but turn out not to be true," he said.

Beall said the ACLU was not defending the actions Strandlof is accused of, but took issue with the principle behind the law.

Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., who sponsored the Stolen Valor Act in the House, predicted the decision will be overturned on appeal.

"This is an issue of fraud plain and simple," Salazar said in a written release. "The individuals who violate this law are those who knowingly portray themselves as pillars of the community for personal and monetary gain."

Pam Sterner, who as a college student wrote a policy analysis that became the basis of Salazar's bill, said the issue isn't free speech but misrepresentation. Sterner, a former Coloradan who now lives in Virginia, said authentic medal winners' credibility suffers when impostors are exposed because the public becomes suspicious of even true stories of heroism.
I'd rather be historically accurate than politically correct.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:14 AM
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Gimpy Gimpy is offline
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Default Like I always say

Somebody get a ROPE!

No----make that TWO ROPES!

One for the asshat who falsely claimed the medal AND the stupid judge!

Gimp (hangman extraordinare)



"I ain't no fortunate son"--CCR

"We have shared the incommunicable experience of war..........We have felt - we still feel - the passion of life to its top.........In our youth our hearts were touched with fire"

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:36 AM
DMZ-LT DMZ-LT is offline
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Thumbs down

Mr. Shamwell is still telling his SF stories at another bar , I guess he has to with his two SF tattos. Sad
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:24 PM
elmbow elmbow is offline
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So, we want to make it against the law to be a liar? Why, if it isn't harming others? PX warriors are in no shortage, so what? The guy is either trying to get laid or get elected. If the woman, or the voters he's wooing are too stupid to see through his machinations, too bad for them. Does his lying about his Bronze star somehow diminish yours?
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by elmbow View Post
So, we want to make it against the law to be a liar? Why, if it isn't harming others? PX warriors are in no shortage, so what? The guy is either trying to get laid or get elected. If the woman, or the voters he's wooing are too stupid to see through his machinations, too bad for them. Does his lying about his Bronze star somehow diminish yours?
First, get your statements to align with the facts. It's not a 'Bronze Star' that the liar is flashing around, but a Silver star and a Purple Heart. Secondly, it does diminish those actual and verifiable awards to genuine heroes; why do you think that the heroes were recognized in the first place? They accomplished something special and unique, and we should honor that fact, not have those awards trivialized by some low-life, shit-eating scumbag.

And finally, try to understand that any freedoms that we enjoy - speech, religion, press, etc. - are not absolute freedoms. You cannot say every thing to comes to mind; you cannot print every thing to come before your typesetter, and you cannot worship in certain ways. Living societally, we intrinsically surrender some measure of each freedom in order to maintain a reasonable level of civility.

Most of the lying wannabees are either in the process or have already committed some fraud, and their lying was the means by which they were successful. In other words, their lying was aiding and abetting the commission of a felony.
One Big Ass Mistake, America

"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:00 AM
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Arrow ...

"If the woman, or the voters he's wooing are too stupid to see through his machinations, too bad for them..."

Since so relatively few ever do take the oath, it would not actually be possible for civilians to know whether they were being fooled or not - which is what the wannabe banks on, and which is what makes the deception so much worse; worthy of strict control.

An innocent or uneducated error is easily forgivable, but claiming valor recognitions is the equivalent of desecrating the memory of those who did give all - the maimed and damaged, the lost, the families, and all who sought to help them survive another day.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:40 PM
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reconeil reconeil is offline
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Default "Mickey Mouse" Judge.

When-the-hell does any U.S. District Court Judge get to DECREE that Stolen Valor Act is no longer valid & is: "Unconstitutional"? My a--!!! Such insults ALL Medal Holders.

Besides, who gave Judge Blackburn the very same muscle that FIVE Supreme Court Justices have? NO ONE.

Plus, I'll betcha that if any in his court were accused of falsely passing oneself as a District Court Judge, or even just a lawyer for that matter,...same wacked-out Judge Blackburn most likely would DEMAND The Death Penalty for such a Despicable Act against Superior Beings.

Honor & Medals of Valor mean very little or diddly to such believing selves Society's Betters.

Whereas Self-aggrandisenent & Power Over All Others MEANS EVERYTHING to such.

Still,...shoudn't The Supremes on their very own set that Arrogant Yokel straight?
Wouldn't such be the Sensible, Lawful, Just, Rightful & Patriotic thing to do?

My Salute & "GarryOwen" to all TRUE Patriots.
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