TODAY, SENATOR AND 2008 PRESIDENTIAL WANNA-BE BARACK OBAMA ATTEMPTED TO 'SCARE' UP SOME VOTES IN WHAT'S BEING CALLED THE "1/2 WILLIE HORTON." SPEAKING IN HAMPTON, VA, OBAMA DECLARED THAT THERE IS A "QUIET RIOT" OUT THERE AND HE DIDN'T MEAN THE HEAVY METAL BAND.
THE "QUIET RIOT" IS AFRICAN-AMERICANS WHO MIGHT "ERUPT" AND TOUCH OFF RIOTS. APPARENTLY ONLY THE BI-RACIAL SENATOR CAN STOP IT.
THE RACIST COMMENTS FROM THE BI-RACIAL SENATOR CAUSED A FEW ALARMS BUT THE SENATOR ASSURED US HE WAS "JUST GETTING IN TOUCH WITH MY RIGHT SIDE. MY WHITE SIDE! MY RIGHT SIDE! WAIT . . . ."
WE LEFT HIM FUMBLING FOR THE RIGHT ANSWER AND CURSING THE FACT THAT THERE WAS NO ACTRESS ON THE HORIZON HE COULD TAR AND FEATHER TO TRY TO WIN THE RACE AS HE HAD DONE IN 2004.
Starting with Adam Kokesh and let's go over a few basics. If you're reporting (even just reading from the AP wire), you have no excuse to fail to note that, in the hearing, Adam Kokesh was questioned as to whether or not he voted in the 2004 presidential election or whether or not he could be considered "a card carrying member" of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Carey Gillam (Reuters) could note that, others played dumb. Neither was pertinent to the hearing nor acceptable questions for the US military to note and the "are you a card carrying member" of any organization or group has historical antecedents in this country so don't even call yourself a member of the press if you stuck to reading the AP wire. (Yes, I've read the e-mails, I'm aware there's a long list of posers.)
Iraq Veterans Against the War notes the following:
- Iraq Veterans Against the War scored a victory for free speech today in Kansas City, MO. A panel of three Marine Corps officers recommended today that Adam Kokesh receive a general discharge under honorable conditions. Adam and his attorney will, however, appeal this finding on the grounds that Adam is entitled to his full honorable discharge. In a seemingly hypocritical contradiction, the Marine Corps panel, as well as the prosecution's key witness, Major Whyte, agreed that the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) does not apply to members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Regardless of this, several other honorably discharged IVAW members are facing a similar hearing based on their stance against the war. IVAW members will continue to tell the truth about our experiences in Iraq and in the military and fight to bring our brothers and sisters home from Iraq now.
- Adam, Liam Madden and Cloy Richards appeared on Good Morning America on Sunday, June 3rd. Click to watch the video and other video coverage.
- More updates will follow. To donate to the IVAW legal defense fund, click here (check "Legal Defense Fund" in the Current Special Project section).
- For the latest on Adam's hearing, click here.
Okay, let's speak slowly because there is confusion thanks to bad reporting (or 'reporting'): the panel and Cry Baby Whyte both admitted that the UCMJ did not "apply to members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)." If you can absorb that, then you know only real issue remains.
David Montgomery (Washington Post) (the only reporter other than Gillam who doesn't embarrass themselves) reports that Kokesh "protested the war while wearing parts of his uniform during a theatrical demonstration in Washington in March." It was street theater and though Heather Hollingsworth apparently never heard of the Supreme Court, that's no excuse. With UCMJ not covering Kokesh, there's nothing to resolve, the Supreme Court ruled on this in 1970. As we explained Sunday at The Third Estate Sunday Review, Schacht v. United States addressed this. UCMJ does not cover Kokesh, that was admitted in the hearing. That immediately means the issues were resolved in Schacht v. United States. Kokesh is not classified active duty. He participated in street theater. The US military may not have liked Kokesh's actions but the Supreme Court's already informed them that no one really gives a damn what they think of theatrical productions. Justice Huge Black writing for the majority of the Court: "The street skit in which Schacht wore the army uniform as a constume was designed, in his view, to expose the evil presence in Vietnam and was part of a larger, peaceful antiwar demonstrations at the induction center that morning." The skit? Three people (including Schact) -- two in military drag, the third dressed in Viet Cong drag. Water pistols loaded with a red liqud, fired when one of them said, "Be an Able American." The victim would fall to the ground, one of the actors would shout, "My God, this is a pregnant woman." The Court of Appeals noted, "Without noticeable variation this skit was reenacted several times during the morning of the demonstration." This is quoted in Justice Hugo's opinion. In fact, let's move to the conclusions. First, remember the military hearing thought they could reject that Kokesh was involved in street theater. The military thought the same before and the Court set them straight:
The Government's argument in this case seems to imply that somehow what these amateur actors did in Houston should not be treated as a "theatrical production" within the meaning of 772 (f). We are unable to follow such a suggestion. Certainly theatrical productions need not always be performed in buildings or even on a defined area such as a conventional stage. Nor need they be performed by professional actors or be heavily financed or elaborately produced. Since time immemorial, outdoor theatrical performances, often performed by amateurs, have played an important part in the entertainment and the education of the people of the world. Here, the record shows without dispute the preparation and repeated presentation by amateur actors of a short play designed to create in the audience an understanding of and opposition to our participation in the Vietnam war. Supra, at 60 and this page. It may be that the performances were crude and [398 U.S. 58, 62] amateurish and perhaps unappealing, but the same thing can be said about many theatrical performances. We cannot believe that when Congress wrote out a special exception for theatrical productions it intended to protect only a narrow and limited category of professionally produced plays. 3 Of course, we need not decide here all the questions concerning what is and what is not within the scope of 772 (f). We need only find, as we emphatically do, that the street skit in which Schacht participated was a "theatrical production" within the meaning of that section.
Are we clear? I know Heather Hollingsworth (AP) isn't but is everyone else clear? Operation First Casualty is street theater and it has been performed repeatedly (in NYC on Memorial Day). Now let's move to the issue of the fatigues. Remember, Kokesh is not active duty, remember UCMJ -- by the hearing itself -- does not apply to him. Justice Black, writing for the Court:
This brings us to petitioner's complaint that giving force and effect to the last clause of 772 (f) would impose an unconstitutional restraint on his right of free speech. We agree. This clause on its face simply restricts 772 (f)'s authorization to those dramatic portrayals that do not "tend to discredit" the military, but, when this restriction is read together with 18 U.S.C. 702, it becomes clear that Congress has in effect made it a crime for an actor wearing a military uniform to say things during his performance critical of the conduct or [398 U.S. 58,63] policies of the Armed Forces. An actor, like everyone else in our country, enjoys a constitutional right to freedom of speech, including the right openly to criticize the Government during a dramatic performance. The last clause of 772 (f) denies this constitutional right to an actor who is wearing a military uniform by making it a crime for him to say things that tend to bring the military into discredit and disrepute. In the present case Schacht was free to participate in any skit at the demonstration that praised the Army, but under the final clause of 772 (f) he could be convicted of a federal offense if his portrayal attacked the Army instead of praising it. In light of our earlier finding that the skit in which Schacht participated was a "theatrical production" within the meaning of 772 (f), it follows that his conviction can be sustained only if he can be punished for speaking out against the role of our Army and our country in Vietnam. Clearly punishment for this reason would be an unconstitutional abridgment of freedom of speech. The final clause of 772 (f), which leaves Americans free to praise the war in Vietnam but can send persons like Schacht to prison for opposing it, cannot survive in a country which has the First Amendment. To preserve the constitutionality of 772 (f) that final clause must be stricken from the section.
Is anyone confused still? The US military was told (STRONGLY) by the Court that they had no say over theater productions, they were told theater productions included street productions. The only reason there's any doubt about this is because DUMB ASS 'reporters' and 'news readers' didn't learn their damn history, don't know their Constitution and apparently will dumb down American without anyone ever calling them out on it. This issue was addressed by the Supreme Court in 1970. The hearing yesterday made it very clear that UCMJ did not apply to IRR. The minute that was made clear, there was no longer any question about it, Schacht v. US was the only ruling that mattered.
David Montgomery (Washington Post) notes Kokesh may appeal and that, following the next step (marine corps has to endorse the recomendation) his attorney Mike Lebowitz states they may appeal (civilian court) because "There's still a First Amendment issue involved. We have a lot to go on if we take it to federal court." Indeed they do and bad reporting serves no one. If you're last name is Montgomery or Gillam, chances are you did the people a disservice by failing to inform them of what was at stake which, while very personal to Adam Kokesh, effects all Americans. As Rebecca (rightly) notes the US military's actions need to be called out and when the US military thinks it does not have to obey the Supreme Court, the US press should be up in arms.
Turning to news of war resistance, AP reports on brothers Leif, Leo and Luke Kamunen who self-checked out while on Christmas break [we noted Randy Furst (Minneapolis Star Tribune) report on the brothers yesterday], that the three had signed up for the National Guard and that Chris Beron (recruiter) denis Luke Kamunen's statements that Beron told him he wouldn't be going to Iraq. Apparently, AP's never heard the many reported stories of When Recruiters Lie (which predate the current illegal war). The brothers reveal that they hadn't even discussed the decision with each other -- Luke: "We saw each other a couple days later and we're saying, 'What, you didn't go back either?" To restate from yesterday, Luke is discharged now, Leo and Leif plan to turn themselves in at some point in the future.
Meanwhile, Common Ground reports on an upcoming event in Canada, Our Way Home Peace Event and Reunion. The multi-day event will be held from July 4th through 8th at the Brilliant Cultural Center in the community of Brilliant, part of the city of Castlegear, British Columbia, Canada. "We invited you to participate in the second annual Our Way Home Peace Event and Reunion weekend, which honours the courage and contribution of US war resisters who came to Canada during the Vietnam War as well as the courageous US war resisters who sought safe haven in Canada after resisting the war in Iraq. The event also honours the thousands of Canadians who helped them resettle in this country, both then and now. US war resisters who came to Canada during the Vietnam War offer our world an important model of non-violence, as do those US war resisters arriving in Canada today during the US War in Iraq." Who'll be there? US war resister Kyle Snyder will speak, Daniel Ellsberg will be the keynote speaker, Leonard I. Weinglass will take part, Tom Hayden, Michelle Mason (director, Breaking Ranks, which will be shown at the multi-day festival), David Zeiger (Sir! No Sir!) and many more.
The movement of resistance within the US military grows and includes Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
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