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acg8276
02-20-12, 07:28 AM
WASHINGTON—Xavier Alvarez was in good company when he stood up at a public meeting and called himself a wounded war veteran who had received the top military award, the Medal of Honor.

Alvarez was lying about his medal, his wounds and his military service, but he wasn't the first man to invent war exploits.
He was, however, one of the first people prosecuted under a 2006 federal law aimed at curbing false claims of military valor.
Concerns that the law improperly limits speech and turns people into criminals for things they say, rather than do, are at the heart of the Supreme Court's review of his case and the Stolen Valor Act.
Veterans groups have come to the aid of the Obama administration, which calls the law a narrowly crafted effort to protect the system of military awards that was established during the Revolutionary war by Gen. George Washington. The high court will hear the case Wednesday, which is Washington's 280th birthday. "They're committing fraud. They're impersonating somebody else. They take on attributes of somebody else, attributes of a hero who served honorably," said Pam Sterner, whose college term paper calling for the law wound up in the hands of members of Congress. "When you do that, impersonating someone else, that's fraud, not freedom of speech."

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20003513

fl1946
02-20-12, 01:49 PM
Call me stupid, call me dumb...but I can't seem to accept the rationale that wearing/displaying unearned military awards and decorations, and claiming a "Seal carried your shot-up torso" 3 clicks over to Laos is a Second Amendment right to lie. There are a lot of wanna be's and impostors out there.

FistFu68
02-20-12, 03:10 PM
:beer: Just a quick question b-4 I open up a Cold Brewtoniumn.My former Wifes Ex Hubby Who QUIT(WHIMPED OUT) ROTC-NAVY,Well when Patties PaPa died and Was being Buried at Arlington,He showed up wearing an ROTC-Navy Dress Uniform.He said He got Permission too do so.Is this Legit? :usmc: :iwo:

Zulu 36
02-20-12, 03:14 PM
:beer: Just a quick question b-4 I open up a Cold Brewtoniumn.My former Wifes Ex Hubby Who QUIT(WHIMPED OUT) ROTC-NAVY,Well when Patties PaPa died and Was being Buried at Arlington,He showed up wearing an ROTC-Navy Dress Uniform.He said He got Permission too do so.Is this Legit? :usmc: :iwo:

If he was in ROTC at the time of the funeral, yeah, it would be OK. Otherwise, no.

Zulu 36
02-20-12, 03:46 PM
I don't know of a case of "Stolen Valor" that was brought without a complaint from a citizen. The FBI certainly isn't going out there beating the bushes looking for those cases on their own.

Plus, lie to the FBI and see what happens.

irpat54
02-20-12, 04:33 PM
This has been talked about before, on other threads, in connection with the Stolen Valor Act. My opinion is that no one can steal valor. They can only act like jerks by pretending they have this or that decoration, but they can no more steal anyone's valor than they can steal someone's inner integrity. The valor is symbolized by the medal or ribbon, it is not inside the medal or ribbon. A bronze star does not contain any valor within it, it just doesn't. A bronze star awarded to someone is for that person's service and valor, it is not the valor itself, as if the person had no valor until he received the medal from someone.

In a store window, a Purple Heart, in a box in the window, does not contain wounded people.

The only time I have a real problem with these idiots who pose, is when they derive some concrete benefit from it, e.g. VA benefits, money, bennies of any kind whatsoever.

But can they really steal someone's valor?

What if I stand up and say I am a former Congressman, but I am not. Did I just cause a Congressman's honor to be compromised? No. I would be an idiot and a jackazz to pose as something I'm not.

But I cannot steal their identity, I cannot steal their valor, I cannot steal anything at all except wear a medal that symbolizes this or that.

What if I said I wrote a biography about Abraham Lincoln, and it turned out I did not? So what? That means I have something wrong with me upstairs, is all.

These posers, there is something dreadfully wrong with them somewhere, but they still cannot steal anyone's valor. How would they be able to do that?
if someone believes that you are Congressman so-n-so, and you do something that tarnishes that name,, and then it is found out that you are not himself,, that doesn't mater in the world of public opinion,, for some the stench of what you did will stick to his name for a very long time if not forever,, look at the lies and false accusations of some repubs, today,, they have been proven wrong but still keep finding there way back into the stream.. so i disagree with you here,, they can and have in the past stolen name and valor.

FistFu68
02-20-12, 04:36 PM
:beer: Sgt.Z...No He had Wimped out of Navy ROTC...Years before,So when the Former Woman Beater and Wannabe and I finally do meet don't B-Surprised if tha Fur Flies!!! :mad: :iwo:

acg8276
02-20-12, 04:55 PM
if someone believes that you are Congressman so-n-so, and you do something that tarnishes that name,, and then it is found out that you are not himself,, that doesn't mater in the world of public opinion,, for some the stench of what you did will stick to his name for a very long time if not forever,, look at the lies and false accusations of some repubs, today,, they have been proven wrong but still keep finding there way back into the stream.. so i disagree with you here,, they can and have in the past stolen name and valor.

It's not "stolen valor" but whatever perk, attention or benefit these posers are getting from the misrepresented status that is being stolen. They all have their own reasons for what their doing and for the most part it may be "something wrong upstairs" but when these people get unwarranted praise, attention, political gain or even monetary rewards that is where the stealing comes into the mix. And sometimes all their stealing is someones trust.

Like a bozo I met years ago in the MCL who I was introduced to as Captain so n' so. Only to learn when I got to my Reserve unit the good Captain was in fact only a Staff NCO. There should be penalties for such behavior. While not stealing someones valor, they are tainting and detracting from those that deserve the honors.

ggyoung
02-20-12, 04:57 PM
Reminds me of a incident that happened while I was at Los Pouges. It was time for x-mass leave. A Sgt. Buddie of mine caught one of our battery sh--heads at the bus stop. He was wearing a Silver Star and a P.H. Now this guy not been to Vietnam. My Buddie grabbed him by the head and brought him to the Gunnies office. Well by the time he left he had earned more than P.H. He went to the BAS to be patched up.

advanced
02-20-12, 05:50 PM
Of course if they're democrats they can just say they misspoke like that poser Marine reserve in Conn, now a senator. The people in that state didn't have a problem with his lying asss at all.

The DUKE
02-20-12, 08:45 PM
What does this have to do with the "SECOND AMENDMENT"??

irpat54
02-20-12, 09:21 PM
Here's the real problem---you either have free speech or you don't.
There really is no middle ground.
We can go into a rage, and rightly so, when some jackazz burns the American flag.
We can be as angry as we can get when we see someone say he or she hates the United States of America, their own country.
We can go crazy when we see or hear anything really offensive to basic American values.
We can hate it if a group of weirdos set the USMC flag on fire.

But if they cannot do these things, then WE, the regular people, are not free to do other things.
The two groups of people cannot be separated, under the law. Both groups are either free or they are not free.

I would rather be free than not be free. And if punishing idiots takes away MY freedom along with theirs, that's something I'm not willing to support.
yes but to use it for personal gain,, or then to tarnish someones rep,, there should be penalties for fraud and for destroying ones reputation..imo

Zulu 36
02-20-12, 10:22 PM
It seems to me that none of our Constitutional Rights, as enumerated in the Bill of Rights, are absolute. If they were absolute, there would be no libel or slander laws, no perjury laws, no "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater" laws (or it's corollary "yelling 'movie' in a crowded firehouse"), no gun control laws laws of any sort, no exceptions to the search and seizure provisions, no Miranda Warnings, no taxpayer paid lawyers, etc.

All the exceptions to the rules are constructs of Congress or the Courts. Sometimes the Constitution gives specific authority to create regulations to manage certain things, other times it is silent. Taken literally, this silence would be a prohibition to regulate. Congress and the Courts frequently view this silence as permission, not prohibition.

If it were OK for people to claim to be Medal of Honor recipients as a free speech matter, then why not give one to every citizen at birth, or have no such award at all? Or give to anyone who desires, a DD-214 with choice of branch, rank, awards, combat service, etc. Why make people bother to earn those accolades? Let anyone be a Major General of Navy SEALS with a MoH, a Philippines Insurrection Medal, a GWOT Medal and ten different kinds of jump wings.

Military service is not compulsory now, but a voluntary service. The accolades of that voluntary service should be protected by law. When service is compulsory, it is even more important to protect the accolades of that service.

If someone were to flash a purported FBI commission book and badge, he'd get nailed to a legal cross whether he profited or not from the claim. I see a distinction without a difference.

acg8276
02-21-12, 12:13 AM
There is a point where fraud has been commited. Any assertion or claim of status that is untrue is in fact a fraudulent one. While our constitution protects our freedom of speech there are no protections for fraudulent behavior.

So to make false claims of military status or heroics that have been recogonized officially with awards is a crime. Especially when said claims provide any gain, be it political, monetary or whatever. And as such should be a punishable offence. for the person making the claim.

silverdollar
02-21-12, 07:20 AM
If they outlaw lying, just think how many lawyers will be added to the unemployment numbers.

acg8276
02-21-12, 10:44 AM
hahahahaahha====excellent point

A knowing laugh???

acg8276
02-21-12, 11:47 AM
Your integrity and honest answer to that last one should keep you out of the un employment lines Dave.

Semper Fi

fl1946
02-21-12, 10:51 PM
Here is the other issue. If "they" can make lying (not under oath) a crime, for lying about military service, then they can make lying about your age a crime too, if they wanted to, or lying about anything, so that you could actually be prosecuted for not being truthful in everyday life, even by mistake. It would know no bounds.

So it is a matter of free speech. Are the posers idiots and jackazzes that need their azzes kicked? Yes. But do you really want laws that require you to tell the truth about everything all the time, not just military service but everything?

What kind of a step would it be from lying about military service to lying about anything? Do you think the power to make laws against lying about military service could never go any further than that, into other areas of everyday life?

You could be mistaken about any subject whatsoever, and be prosecuted for "lying".

It has been said time and time again throughout our history that "you cannot legislate morality". You cannot make people act "right" by prohibiting every kind of conduct we don't like them to engage in.

If you can prosecute them for lying about military service, you also have the power and the clear power to enact laws prohibiting differences of opinion, and you could pass a law making remarks against the president, treasonous.

This kind of power is really unlimited, once you unleash it in one particular area, because if the government has the power to make ONE law, then it will have the power to make similar laws in other areas besides military service, and then you have a police state, where you will never have to worry again about military posers or anyone, including what you yourself say, because once laws are passed, you won't be saying too much of anything anymore.

When you give power to the government, any government, that government does not have to restrict its use of that power to any one particular area---they can branch out. And then it is too late.
If you are under 21 and caught with alcoholic beverage, it's a crime albeit possibly a misdemeanor. This is where age is the deciding factor.

Mongoose
02-22-12, 07:35 AM
I think those who impersonate a person decorated for valor, is a person who more than likely never accomplished much in life. Nor does he have much, if any family. They are looking for something they can't achieve on their own. However, I'm like Dave. We let people burn our American flag and allow people to stand up and yell, God Dame America, all under the guise of free speech. If your going to go after those who impersonate people decorated for valor. Then go after those who impersonate Americans.

ChuckH
02-22-12, 01:06 PM
This just in 40 minutes ago:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court appears to be sharply divided over a law that makes it a crime to lie about having been awarded top military honors.
The justices engaged in spirited debate Wednesday over the constitutionality of a 2006 law aimed at curbing false claims about military exploits.
Some justices said they worried that upholding the Stolen Valor Act could lead to laws that might make it illegal to lie about an extramarital affair or a college degree.
But others indicated that the law is narrowly drawn to try to prevent people from demeaning the system of military honors that was established by Gen. George Washington in 1782.

R Landry
02-22-12, 11:30 PM
As to Alvarez, the man whose false medal claims are the center of this case, he is currently in jail, not because he lied about military medals, but because he claimed his ex-wife on his health insurance, a lie that amounts to fraud.
That, plus his other lies, leads inevitably to one question: Is Alvarez just a nut case?


His lawyer pauses awkwardly when asked the question, and then acknowledges: "Certainly some of his colleagues have been quoted as saying that. When you first meet him and talk to him, it's pretty clear that you can't trust anything that comes out of his mouth."