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Fake veteran faces 'stolen valor' charge

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posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 02:08 PM
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Fake veteran faces 'stolen valor' charge


www.cnn.com

Richard Strandlof said he survived the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon. He said he survived again when a roadside bomb went off in Iraq, killing four fellow Marines. He'd point to his head and tell people he had a metal plate, collateral damage from the explosion.

None of it was true. On Friday, the FBI arrested him on the rare charge of "stolen valor."

"The penalty for his crime is up to one year incarceration and a $100,000 fine," it said.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
en.wikipedia.org




posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 02:08 PM
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The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 (the Act), signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 20, 2006,[1] is a U.S. law that broadens the provisions of previous U.S. law addressing the unauthorized wear, manufacture, sale or claim (either written or verbal) of any military decorations and medals. It is a federal misdemeanor offense, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for not more than 1 year and/or a fine; the scope previously covered only the Medal of Honor.


Wow. I'm just pretty speechless about this one. So apparently, if you LIE about having received a medal, you can go to jail.

I am almost speechless about this one. People lie all the time. I don't think it's a good thing to lie, but to face a year in federal prison because you lied about getting a medal?

Written or verbal....I just think this is a bit over the top. It's been around for a long time apparently, but used to only apply to medal of honor winners, until 2005.

Lying is bad, mmkay. But prison for lying when people in power do it all the time...this guy isn't facing charges for stealing money, or anything like that, just for lying about being a vet and fooling a lot of people...even Congress apparently...

When you slap the big guys in the face with their own gullibility, they have plenty of rarely used laws they can dust off to use on you, apparently.

I don't like at all that he lied about his service. I don't like at all that he is being charged, not with perjury, or fraud, or theft, but with 'stolen valor.'

How, in the name of all that is great in this country, can someone actually STEAL a concept? Valor is not something tangible. If you have valor, it's on your own merit, and nothing anyone could EVER do, can steal that from you.

Your 'valor' is as much in 'the eye of the beholder' as your beauty. This just sounds ridiculous to me.

www.cnn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by KSPigpen
 


I agree... simply exposing the said liar should be punishment enough.

An exposed liar will have a very hard time functioning in society... why spend the tax dollars to further punish them?

Prison should be reserved for those, out to hurt a person or persons... not for petty crimes.

Now- if he had used his survival story to collect donations.. that'd be another story.



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 02:30 PM
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There have been a slew of fake 9-11 Survivors uncovered lately. Is the Moon Full, or Mercury conjunct with Mars or something?

You are right, it's basically imprisonment for lying...which is wrong, and should be wrong, unless said lying was done under oath, in which case it's perjury, which is okay to be imprisoned for, as those who lie under oath prove themselves to be morally corrupt.

However, in the case of claiming to be a 9-11 Survivor, he is committing acts of fraud, by means of his lies, for monetary gain.

Do you realize how much money he has received because of the media attention he has gained from his lies? He is paid to speak at galas and dinners, or to attend events.

It's not so much the lie that ran him afoul of the law, even though his doing such was repugnant and opportunistic, but cashing in on that lie and profiting off his fraud.

Granted, that makes him no worse than any TV Evangelist, however, just as the Police don't like people who pretend they are Police to scam people, the Military doesn't like it when people pretend they are Military to scam people.

I think the punishment suits the crime, although it was probably enough outing him and his graft to the media and the gullible American people who were duped by him.



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by fraterormus
There have been a slew of fake 9-11 Survivors uncovered lately. Is the Moon Full, or Mercury conjunct with Mars or something?

You are right, it's basically imprisonment for lying...which is wrong, and should be wrong, unless said lying was done under oath, in which case it's perjury, which is okay to be imprisoned for, as those who lie under oath prove themselves to be morally corrupt.

However, in the case of claiming to be a 9-11 Survivor, he is committing acts of fraud, by means of his lies, for monetary gain.

Do you realize how much money he has received because of the media attention he has gained from his lies? He is paid to speak at galas and dinners, or to attend events.

It's not so much the lie that ran him afoul of the law, even though his doing such was repugnant and opportunistic, but cashing in on that lie and profiting off his fraud.

Granted, that makes him no worse than any TV Evangelist, however, just as the Police don't like people who pretend they are Police to scam people, the Military doesn't like it when people pretend they are Military to scam people.

I think the punishment suits the crime, although it was probably enough outing him and his graft to the media and the gullible American people who were duped by him.


Now, I can certainly understand your rationale, Frat. I thought it interesting that he's not FACING any fraud charges... perhaps they are to come later, or something, but you would think that it would be more of slam dunk, legally, to go for fraud, or larceny or something, rather than stolen valor, provided you have some proof.

There was no mention of any pending charges associated with any money being taken under false pretenses. It certainly DOES stand to reason that he would be compensated for the time he devoted to these lies in the company of those that were duped by him, so money had to have changed hands somewhere.

Makes me wonder if this wasn't just something to get him behind bars with until they can collect enough evidence.

The law, just seems a bit ridiculous to me. I don't think you could steal 'valor' if you wanted to. You can misrepresent yourself, you can persuade others to believe you and give you money, but I suppose the title of a law doesn't really have to mean anything anyway.

"theft of exceptional or heroic courage' just didn't have the same 'ring' to it, I guess.



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 03:15 PM
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That's nothing, I have heard of a guy that claims to be a natural born citizen and people believe him enough to say he does not have to prove it.


But then again, I could say that I have played with Lee Greenwood while he sang "God Bless the USA" which is true, but it would be difficult to prove other than the fact that I was in the University of Tennessee Band at the time and he did perform at both a home game and at the 1990 Cotton Bowl game. That still would not be enough for some that would pull out the old "pics or it didn't happen" line.



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 04:03 PM
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reply to post by Ahabstar
 


and nothing you have said has anything to do with this thread


if you want to attack the presidant of the usa , make another thread and dont troll this one.



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 04:39 PM
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People say it's wrong to lie about medals, past war experience, etc.

I agree. However, it's just a liar being a liar, and the natural punishment is exposing said lies and showing him to the world what a braggart he really is.

As for him defrauding the 9/11 victims fund, or whatever he did. That is doubly worse than simply lying about one's history. However, there are already laws in place for punishing fraudulent behavior, and he can be charged with that.

This new... "Valor" law is absolutely disgusting. I'm a disabled veteran by the way, so it's not like I'm some "lefty" that has no idea as some would say. I find the current state of the military to be despicable. True valor goes unnoticed and braggarts, deceivers and manipulators run the show. There really isn't any "Valor" to steal to begin with.

He's received his public tar and feathering, and he can be charged with fraud. Leave it at that.



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by KSPigpen
 


Even here on ATS there are those that have to brag what big bad vet warriors they are. I am always suspicious of those that think their service real or falsified gives them more legitimacy than anyone else; especially on the www. where anyone can claim anything, without anyone being able to prove differently.


However if everyone that lied was sent to prison it would be a "prison planet" ala Brother Alex.






[edit on 12-10-2009 by whaaa]



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by fraterormus

Do you realize how much money he has received because of the media attention he has gained from his lies? He is paid to speak at galas and dinners, or to attend events.

It's not so much the lie that ran him afoul of the law, even though his doing such was repugnant and opportunistic, but cashing in on that lie and profiting off his fraud.


Kind of like Al Gore, huh?



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


There is a fine line between political baiting/trolling and expressing situational humor. In this particular case it is more a comical commentary on those that require proof beyond all proof when the answer should be obvious.

There is an obsessive hysteria over the Obama Birth Certificate for some and a just as dubious free pass from others that falls mainly on political ideologies. That situation is really no different than the ones that believe every alien/UFO story that comes down the pike because they want to believe and the die hard guard of the "pic or it didn't happen" which will not entertain the possibility due to their preconceived implausibility.

While it is not overly likely that a 9/11 survivor would go out and sign up for military service and receive a Medal of Valor for an attack on the battlefront it sounds far more believable than Veteran of the first Gulf War, whose job was to paint the targets for the laser guided Smart Bombs missed being in Towers on 9/11 because he had to take his girlfriend to a doctor's appointment that morning...Yet I personally know that person. I could also mention another factoid about his life and you would call it absolute BS, but it is all completely true.

Why the levity in the previous post you might ask? Just a reaction to yet another insane law of over-punishment in which a panel of self-righteous (and in-evidently humorless) empty suits will decide on what is and what is not reality based on their own narrow perceptions of life and what they have lived of it.

But I will put this challenge out there to you or anyone that wishes to take it up. Go to this thread and watch the video there. It is my submission to the video contest. Watch the part at the beginning where I am speaking unscripted directly to the camera. Watch it a couple of times if you wish. Study my face and eyes. Try to know as much of me as you can and answer the following question. Am I a person that has ever met, let alone talked with all or any of following people: The original drummer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, a guitarist from .38 Special, a photographer of Sammy Davis, Jr., George H. W. Bush and/or Jake Busey or do you think I would be guilty of stolen valor, if I made such a claim?

Most would say I was off my nut if I did make such a claim (or suffering from senility if I were 70 years old). And that is why I find the law to be laughable. No one can know what all a person has experienced in another person's lifetime. Especially someone that wasn't there the whole time and is a complete stranger to the person in question.

[edit on 12-10-2009 by Ahabstar]



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by whaaa
reply to post by KSPigpen
 


Even here on ATS there are those that have to brag what big bad vet warriors they are. I am always suspicious of those that think their service real or falsified gives them more legitimacy than anyone else; especially on the www. where anyone can claim anything, without anyone being able to prove differently.


There is ways to check if someone makes claims and gives units and dates.

Almost ever unit going back to WW2 has ether a web page or there is a history with dates and actions of that unit.

I have run into many that did not check out with the unit history or unit web sites.

I see stories one like this and i know they are BS just because the military does not do things that way.
www.abovetopsecret.com...

How can i tell, Because it went outside of military rules and regs and that would have to had been covered by paperwork up the chain of command and no officer can control where that paperwork would have gone.
that is why few offices would ever bypass rules and regs.
officers cover themselves by using rules and regs not bypassing them.

But if you post that its BS you will be called a troll or worse.
I have even been banned from one site after making a post about a fake.



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 10:52 PM
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I've personally never met a former military man that wasn't a Navy Seal, Army Ranger or Marine Recon...

I suppose no one does the books, fixes the Humvees or cooks the meals anymore...



I actually have developed a set of questions that anyone in Special Ops would have no problem answering, I use them in regular conversation and the answers I get tell me what i need to know about the individual...

I don't know if charging him is such a good thing. He is just a liar and now he is exposed...

Let him live with his shame...

Note: If you served your country, it does not matter what you did; you are a hero in my book...

Semper



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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Hmm isn't this a case of freedom of speech? If the guy did no harm and didn't make any money off of his lies then I don't see how the stolen valor charge could actually be used.
If a person wants to lie using their voice and they aren't causing any real harm then what's the big deal?
Unless he was making money doing this?
So if I were to lie right now and say I am a veteran could I get in the same trouble? That isn't right!?
This law sounds unconstitutional. Am I right?

[edit on 10/13/2009 by darklife]



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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People, where has patriotism gone?

It's a good thing that the man is in prison and not on the streets any longer. He's much safer in prison.

Those of us that lost friends and family or served in Vietnam do not appreciate people that brag that they were in the military and served in Vietnam.

I was a respectable business woman and church leader for many years but I was and still am a biker.

I have gone to Bike Week in Daytona since I started riding my own bike in the early seventies.

More than once I have seen men get badly beaten because they lied about serving our country.

In my opinion is it second to treason to lie about being in the military and being in combat.

My sweetheart served three years in Vietnam. I lived through listening to the body counts and searching the newspaper nightly to see who died from my hometown in Vietnam.

If someone tells us he served in the military you can bet he is going to get asked questions. If he lies we have nothing to do with him.

I just one of those people whose father served in WW2 and the Korean war.

All of my uncles served in combat in WW2.

All 4 of my husbands served in Vietnam.


When a man/woman put themselves in harms way representing my country they are special people whose service should be honored and possers punished.

Edit to add: Wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt and claiming to be a biker is almost as bad as saying you are/ were military when you were not. I despise fakers of any sort.

[edit on 13-10-2009 by dizziedame]



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by semperfortis
I've personally never met a former military man that wasn't a Navy Seal, Army Ranger or Marine Recon...


Too bad. Some of us were into Electronic Warfare and wound up our careers on a PoS Combat Logistics Ship. About the closest I got to Navy Seals was when we had to pick up a group and transport them to another vessel.

For the rest. It's not a matter of just lying. Certain benefits are awarded to people for past military service... it's not much, but things like access to medical facilities, education benefits, exchanges. There is also the matter of representing the US military in a bad light. Partaking in political rallys in uniform is generally frowned upon, if not out and out prosecuted. The fake MOH laws came into being partly because that an MOH recipient warrants military honors and as such, it would essentially be an "impersonating an officer" sort of offense. They extended it because the sleaze bags impersonating lower ranks became an issue.

Its real simple. If you want to enjoy the "prestige" of the uniform, go sign up and to the job. If the impersonator won't do that, then they aren't worth the blood that was spilled over the last 240+ years to afford their freedom.


[edit on 13-10-2009 by RoofMonkey]



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by darklife
Hmm isn't this a case of freedom of speech? If the guy did no harm and didn't make any money off of his lies then I don't see how the stolen valor charge could actually be used.


That's the problem with most people. Everyone see this as being a "victimless crime". "Hey, the guy was just pretending to be a Soldier. Big deal." Well, it is a big deal to the guys that have been thru the training and actually done the job.


Originally posted by darklife
If a person wants to lie using their voice and they aren't causing any real harm then what's the big deal?
Unless he was making money doing this??


A lot of the scumbags are. Check out a book called, "Stolen Valor". There are guys in prison that are getting VA benefits that have never spent a day in the military, simply because they said they were and it wasn't checked, or they are using a stolen DD-214.


Originally posted by darklife
So if I were to lie right now and say I am a veteran could I get in the same trouble? That isn't right!??


Why isn't it "right"? If you're using that lie for any sort of gain (money, position, etc), it's wrong


Originally posted by darklife
This law sounds unconstitutional. Am I right?


Why do you think it's unconstitutional?



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 02:03 PM
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good lets lock up geroge bush jr. he claimed he was pilot in reserves but hey i could phony up some pictures of me in a flight suit climbing into a jedt and fake documentds



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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Now, I certainly AGREE that what he did was wrong....there is absolutely NO QUESTION in my mind about that.

What I question is the premise of the law to start with.

There are a lot of people that have displayed valor in situations....those people will ALWAYS have that. The have acted with valor and no one could possible EVER take that away from them.

To me, valor is not a tangible thing. It's a CONCEPT. I can say you acted with valor, someone else (even YOU) might say you were just doing what had to be done.

I could say you have cowardice. Again, that is a concept and open to my own interpretation. If someone can 'steal' valor, why can they not 'steal' dignity, or bravery, or compassion?

I agree people should be called out for lying. If they have committed fraud, they should be prosecuted for it. What I DON'T believe is that someone can 'steal' valor.

If you have acted with valor, that is ALWAYS yours and the only one that could erase it would be you. I think it was just a really dumb choice of words. I can understand the need to stop people from lying, or taking advantage of others while claiming to be something they are not. I just don't agree with the phrase.

It would seem to me that when we make it illegal to 'steal' a perception, almost everything can become a crime.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by proteus33
good lets lock up geroge bush jr. he claimed he was pilot in reserves but hey i could phony up some pictures of me in a flight suit climbing into a jedt and fake documentds


Hey, let's lock up John Kerry, since he claimed to have been on a Swift Boat and I could phony up some pictures and buy some medals to show everyone.


Lame. Try again.




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