Hearing set for Saturday for Marine who criticized President Obama
A Marine Corps Administrative Separation Board is set to hold a hearing Saturday at Camp Pendleton in the case of Sgt. Gary Stein, accused of making improper statements about President Obama in violation of military law.
The board, composed of at least three Marines, will recommend to Marine brass whether Stein should be dismissed from the Marine Corps because of statements that he posted on a website he created, Armed Forces Tea Party.
Stein, 26, an Iraq War veteran, posted that he would not follow illegal orders such as to kill Americans or take away their weapons. He posted other comments criticizing Obama's healthcare proposal and calling on Republicans to defeat Obama in this year's election.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits military members from criticizing the chain of command or engaging in political activities in ways that imply they are acting as military members.
Stein's enlistment runs through July. A nine-year veteran, he had hoped to reenlist.
At an Administrative Separation Board, the Marine is allowed to have a lawyer and present evidence. Stein, a weather forecaster, has said he stayed within Department of Defense rules in his comments and that the charge against him has been "drummed up" to silence other Marines.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Gary Stein. Credit: Associated Press