Last Updated:July 29 @ 05:31 pm

Segel: The Stolen Valor Lie vs. Political Lies vs. Lying To Congress

By Thomas D. Segel

The latest newscasts have included stories about the Supreme Court accepting a review of an Appeals Court ruling that the Stolen Valor Act was unconstitutional. That court had ruled a law making it a crime to lie about receiving military medals was unconstitutional because it violated an individual’s First Amendment right to free speech.

During my 26 year Marine Corps career, I had the privilege of knowing numerous people in the armed forces who had received the recognition of their country for acts of valor or meritorious service. Though all were exceptional individuals, almost to the man they discounted their acts of courage as “just doing their duty.”

For any person to falsely wear the uniform, rank and decorations of those who dedicated their lives to the service of their country is so despicable an act that there are not sufficient words to express how repugnant it is to any who have served with honor. Should the perpetrator of such misdeeds be allowed to publicly flaunt his false heroism without condemnation and physical punishment would be a permanent insult to the thousands upon thousands of American heroes who have truly been worthy of our continued praise.

It is interesting to note that members of Congress or any individual seeking public office can lie to the American people early and often. He or she can make claims, promises, state facts, and figures, make accusatory statements about opponents…and see nothing wrong with such actions. Even the President of the United States, regardless of political party, has been shown to repeatedly lie to the American people when he thought the lie would serve his position better than speaking the truth. These actions also, according the Appeals Court, would all be acceptable under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. That understanding of the document seems very strange to me. Nowhere do I read that we have the right to lie.

By the same logic, Congress does not believe we have the right to lie to that regal body. If anyone is found to have lied to Congress they have committed a crime and are punished under the law.

Is there a special law for politicians and fake military heroes? Are these individuals, none of whom are held in very high esteem, all given license to do what the average American can never do without facing some form of punishment? Lie in court and you are charged with perjury. Lie to the police and you can be charged with impeding law enforcement. Lie to Congress and they will attempt to strap you to the rack.

But, the other side of the coin allows the political elite to lie to America about anything and everything without fear of retribution. Now we can add to that list former servicemen who served dishonorably or without distinction and pretenders who never served their country for a single day of their lives…all lining up to wear the stolen valor of those who lived, fought and often died courageously in defense of the nation. According to our own justice system they can lie with impunity and claim as their own heroic acts they never engaged in or even witnessed. They can reap the rewards of true heroes and bask in glory they will never deserve…so says the court.

Supreme Court…You had better make this right!

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13 Comments

  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    October 19, 2011 @ 9:46 am

     
    Obama has been living off the stolen valor of past American Presidents just like he is living off the stolen wealth of past generations of American wealth producing citizens who sacrificed their life blood and life force to build an American economy he would so eagerly cast into the dust of Socialist wealth redistribution, not only on a nationwide, but now a worldwide scale. He has attempted to reap the rewards of that which was earned by others which is what defines him, and is the definition of his Socialist agenda. He has already packed his socialist sausage into our Supreme court with two socailist Supreme court judge appointments. We will soon see just how packed our supreme Court has become.

    “Sic Transit Gloria, Sic transit Valorum” when it comes to the Socialist Supremes.
     
     
     

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  2. genesalComment by genesal
    October 19, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    I blame the Courts.  Judicial Activists.  The slippery slope is alive and well.  Cops can lie, teachers can lie, politicians can lie, candidates can lie and you can even ‘lie to Congress’ by just saying ‘I do not recollect’.  If they can’t ‘recollect’ and retain information I do not want them working for my representation in the first place.  Now you can lie and make yourself out a hero, instead of the coward you really are.  Not only a slippery slope in action but it’s happening in an upside world where good is bad, bad is good, up is down, patriotism is frowned upon and anything goes.  I stand in awe and bewilderment as to the vast amount of God’s mercy and tolerance.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      October 19, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

      Remember that by all historical references the real devil is the great deceiver, the beautiful fallen Angel of light who would rather rule in his socialist hell than serve in a Capitalist heaven where all prosper. Lying his his native tongue.

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  3. newsjunkyComment by newsjunky
    October 19, 2011 @ 11:30 am

    Giving people the privilege of lying all in the name of free speech is nothing short of diabolical.  To dishonor those who have sacrificed and served their country in order to permit others to deliberately lie about anything they choose to lie about is extraordinary to say the least.  Countless people have died on the battlefields defending our country, and many who have made it home are often missing arms and legs or in some cases mentally impaired.  Allowing others to deliberately perpetrate lies about serving in the military because of their so-called rights is to worship the father of lies who unfortunately has garnered a great following in these prophetic end of days.

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  4. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    October 19, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

    The Muslims have a good word for it… ‘taqqiyah’. A basic precept in the Quran.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      October 19, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

      Yes, they do it for a purpose, we do it because we can, it’s our Right.  You are absolutely right Mort-f

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      October 19, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

      Obama is just following his early Muslim Indonesian teachings which he always defaults to when put under pressure.

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  5. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    October 19, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    The ‘freedom of speech’ guarantee in the Constitution prevents Congress from punishing a person for speaking out in disagreement with government actions or policies.
    It DOES NOT give a person the ‘right’ to say anything he wants … at anytime he wants … to anyone he wants.

    Inappropriate speech (lies, insults, and incitements) do NOT qualify as Constitutionally ‘protected’ and SHOULD have consequences relative to their harm.

    The Supreme Court has ruled incorrectly on this subject in the past.  It is to be hoped that they will eventually her a case which causes them to reconsider the current status of the ‘guarantee’.  

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      October 19, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

      Yes I agree with you in case you were wondering about my statement.  I was trying to point out that the Koran let’s you lie to further Islam: whereas we tend to abuse the 1st Amendment just because there seems to be no one who want’s to stop the people from lying (ie: courts, judges).  In my opinion it’s a disease with no cure and a misnomer such as the supposed ‘war on drugs’ that will never be won.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      October 19, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

      When your actions and upbringing bring you no personal honor, you must of necessity steal the upbringing, values and Honor of others who actually have earned it.

      Enter Obama and “Yes we can” spend and use up all that came before us before we leave office as we lead from behind where it is safe, and claim all the credit for the deeds and achievements of those who actually put it on the line and risked all to acquire that which they so freely give away with both hands.

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    • Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
      October 21, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

      However, with the two most recent appointees now shown to have given false statements to Congress during their confirmation hearings, can we expect them to want to rule in favor of a person’s word being their honor…or will they go along with say whatever is necessary – you know, ‘the end justifies the means’ sort of gobbleygook!

      Thank you to all who have served! Those who have served our country should NEVER be dishonored!

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  6. The SentinelComment by The Sentinel
    October 20, 2011 @ 1:41 am

    Indeed, the court that ruled such arrant nonsense, won’t be able to punish perjury!

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  7. luisclintonComment by luisclinton
    October 27, 2011 @ 1:22 am

    On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear the lawsuit of United States v. Alvarez. The case is a challenge of Free Speech v military honors. The free speech protections of the First Amendment could be violated by the Stolen Valor Act. If this is the suit, then the regulation, intended to shield military honors, might actually be unconstitutional. Resource for this article: Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments about Stolen Valor Act.

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