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Judge: Law penalizing fake heroes unconstitutional

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posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by groingrinder
reply to post by airspoon
 


So why is it illegal to claim you are a law enforcement officer? Does that not fall under the same Constitution?


Cops have authority & arrest powers... "heroes", so called, and other "used to be in the military" don't.

If party leaders can "Constitutionally" lie wars into being where millions suffer & die, I could care less if Joe Blow tells tall tales of military bad-assness to get laid.

If being a fat liar was a crime.. congress and their loser party leaders would all be serving life sentences.




posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 06:15 AM
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So if you are living in the US, you can now use this case to lie in your resume?

Criminals get more freedoms than the honest people in this corrupted system...


edit to say; Lying is not freedom of speech imo.

[edit on 18-7-2010 by Grey Magic]



posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 08:28 AM
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reply to post by Grey Magic
 


The act of lying is extremely subjective and often hard to prove. For instance, when a lady wears make-up, she is in effect lying about her looks. When people speak of religion, they often lie about personal experiences with a higher being, though they themselves don't see it as lying. How would you prove otherwise?

Sometimes, lying is not protected by the 1st Amendment, such is the case when under oath or in an act of fraud. Other times, when a lie does not directly produce a victim, then it should be protected under free speech.

Take this scenario for instance, what if some shady fella came snooping around your lawn. He then starts to ask whether or not you are "Grey Magic". Because you don't know this fella, you say, "Never heard of him". Should you be prosecuted?

My personal philosophy and the philosophy of liberty suggests that if an action does not produce a victim, then it shouldn't be a crime. We already have far too many criminal laws that makes our country the leader in incarceration, even more so than Russia at the peak of the USSR. Do we really want to add on to that and tighten the ropes more? Give the authorities even more reason to snub the liberty of its citizens? If we allow the government to start prosecuting people for the simple act of lying, then where would they draw the line? If history hasn't taught us that our rulers fail to draw a solid line, then we simply haven't kept our eyes open.

Don't get me wrong, I am a disabled veteran and I have all but given my life for my country. I actually worked my butt off and sacrificed everything I held dear. My life will never be the same again. For someone to come along who had never lifted a finger for his community to steal my glory is an insult to me and my brothers-in-arms who gave so much, however we sacrificed so to secure the liberties of others. Liberty is far more important than whether or not I feel insulted.

“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.” --Thomas Paine



posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by airspoon

Sometimes, lying is not protected by the 1st Amendment, such is the case when under oath or in an act of fraud. Other times, when a lie does not directly produce a victim, then it should be protected under free speech.


I believe that is the context that needs to be taken in this situation. I'm unsure of whether the debate is about what this man did being wrong, or the Stolen Valor act.

In this mans situation, he is guilty of fraud by pretending to be a veteran. It's not the same as if he told some chick in a bar he was a vet to get laid, he used his purported status as a vet to get people to donate money, or otherwise invest in causes and organizations that he created or promoted.

Looking at his history he seems to be a career con man, and has a history of scams and frivolous lawsuits.

As far as the Stolen Valor act, I can't see in general lying about being a vet being illegal. I can see wanting to protect that memory and identity and why the law was created.

Many faces of 'fake vet' Rick Strandlof exposed



posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 02:39 PM
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If lying about heroic deeds is constitutional and within rights to free speech then the names of those who lay claim to be heroes should be able to made public and these "cowards" should be publicly ridiculed and discredited.

Anyone laying claim to heroic deeds should face worse consequences that a person dishonorably discharged from the military.

What a slap in the face of the real heroes who sacrificed all and ask for so little.

Idiot judge.



posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by groingrinder
reply to post by airspoon
 


So why is it illegal to claim you are a law enforcement officer?


Because a LEF can say that and get people to comply. That becomes fraud. If you're trying to get a girl in bed, it's not illegal to say that you're a cop.

AIRSPOON, you have some great and thought-provoking threads. Good job!


I think the judge absolutely made the right call. It's not illegal to claim to be anything (basically lie) UNLESS there is further action taken based on that claim (as there is with a cop). Claiming to be a vet is just a lie. It's the same as a person claiming to be a dancer, doctor or engineer. If you take further ACTION as a doctor, then it would and should be a problem.



posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by Grey Magic
edit to say; Lying is not freedom of speech imo.


So, Congress should makes laws to prevent anyone from lying and they should be arrested if they do? That's what you're saying by the above quote.



posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by ThaLoccster
In this mans situation, he is guilty of fraud by pretending to be a veteran.


No, he's guilty of fraud by collecting money under false pretenses. It's not illegal to lie, it's illegal to defraud. The line is between saying I'm a vet and making other people do things based on that lie, because it results in injury to another person.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by airspoon
Instead of criminally penalizing these arm-chair heroes, there should be a national registry of all who make those claims. With that being said, I think that some of it should be illegal, such as taking it further than trying to get a girl in bed. Not only does it degrade those who have sacrificed so much, but it also gives true heroes a bad image.


This is not quite a national database, but it comes pretty close. Their track record speaks for itself.

POW Network



What do other members think, should it be illegal or has this judge made the right call?

It should be illegal to make these kinds of claims. It is already illegal to claim to be a doctor, so how is this any different?



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 05:05 PM
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Stolen Valor? Another useless law passed based on emotions instead of logic.
c'mon guys, a lot of people brag and pretend to be other than they are.
It happens by the minute all over the world.
Snake oil salesmen.
Used car salesmen.
Tradesmen brag about their experience.
I had an uncle that came to Florida and bragged about being a Big Builder from up North. In fact he was a small subcontractor.

Who hires someone based on being a war hero?
Don't employers usually care about the person's experience in the business?
Charging him with the Stolen Valor law was a waste of good tax payer money.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 05:48 PM
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The Stolen Valor Act is mostly to prosecute those who wear or display military awards and medals when they haven't earned them and I completely agree with this, however I don't agree with making a criminal out of someone who makes wild claims about their military experiences.

Does it piss me off? Absolutely and I think they should be socially ostarsized for doing such a thing but I also believe in the Constitution, which is the main reason that I served and sacrificed for my country. Don't get me wrong, there isn't many things that makes me more angry, than someone who claims an honor that I and many of my brothers in arms have earned and sacrificed unimaginable consequences for. Not only is it cheating those who have served and/or sacrificed, but it's also making us look bad. Nobody wants a fat slob, weak personality, soup-sandwich or over-all weak mind and body type of person to be representing their military unit/branch. We all worked very hard to accomplish what we have accomplished and the dedication, sacrifice and fortitude eventually paid off in the end, only to have some scum-bag come along claiming to have done the same when he obviously isn't made of the same "material" to include the mental and physical strength.

With that being said, my sacrifices were given for a reason other than my own honor and that reason happens to be the Constitution. If I don't hold that above all else, then my sacrifices were in vein and my honor is only but a fleeting illusion.

As far as wearing or displaying the medas and awards without earning them, I completely agree that this should be illegal with a stiff penalty. It basically amounts to theft as each award, each campaign medal and each badge was bought with blood, pain, tears and over-all hell. When you falsely display those awards, medals and badges, you are basically stealing the honor that was bought with the blood and effort put into it.

--airspoon



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 01:30 PM
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Military.com source stolen valor




DENVER -- A law that makes it illegal to lie about being a war hero is unconstitutional because it violates free speech, a federal judge ruled Friday as he dismissed a case against a Colorado man who claimed he received two military medals.



Here is some more info to add on to this thread. Personally I think this is just sick, I read this and simply said wow.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 09:41 PM
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Originally posted by airspoon
reply to post by truthquest
 



It doesn't matter why they are telling the lie. If their lie leads to financial damages, like hiring someone based on the idea they are a war hero and they turn out to be disloyal, then they should be able to be sued. Therefore, I'm not so sure any additional laws are needed for that purpose. So, if you lie and your lie causes consequences, I'd think you could sue under the existing system. I would think that should be enough as taking it beyond that may be simply forcing your morals on someone else.


If you are hiring someone based upon their war experiences, without any proof of such experiences, then it is your own fault. Also, I said that if they defraud someone, then they should be held criminally liable. However, we can't circumvent the Constitution just because something seems horrible.

--airspoon


It isn't the act of speech that is illegal, its the act of financial damage the person causes for which speech was merely a tool used to do the damage. Just like cars are not illegal but hitting someone with your car is illegal. If someone's lies cause financial damage they should have to compensate that and I don't think it violates the constitution to require such compensation. Just because something is my fault doesn't mean it can't also someone else's fault too.

How believable the lie is should not be part of the equation because then you are basically saying gullible people should be allowed to be scammed and there should be no consequences for the scammer. Having been scammed myself, I'd be pissed if I found out where the guy lived and was prevented from getting restitution for the damages.

Edit - I edited out a scenario since upon looking back it was already addressed but it was responded to lighting quick so now I'll edit it back in:

Scenario: A man comes over offering prime grade Florida land for building my dreamhouse. I am excited and hand over a big check. He then hands me the deed. When I visit Florida I find my land is uninhabitable swampland.

[edit on 24-8-2010 by truthquest]



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by airspoon
Although I agree that the law is unconstitutional, there is nothing that aggravates me more than people falsely claiming to be a Navy Seal, SF commando or war heroe with stories of themselves standing knee deep in hand grenade pins.

Instead of criminally penalizing these arm-chair heroes, there should be a national registry of all who make those claims.



Like Jews in germany? or Sex offenders?

Sure... its not penalizing....

Ya know, for someone so hard up on those who dont speak decent english, you shold probably look that word penalizing up.





With that being said, I think that some of it should be illegal, such as taking it further than trying to get a girl in bed. Not only does it degrade those who have sacrificed so much, but it also gives true heroes a bad image.



You just don't understand what free speech means do you?

How about Free Market? You do understand that one though right? I thought so.

Your ignorance astounds me.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


The government doesn't have to run or administer the registry and in fact, I wouldn't support a government run. However, as another poster pointed out, there is something similar to what I had suggested and I fully support that. I do not however support throwing someone in prison or criminally punishing them based on something they say. I believe in the 1st Amendment protection of our right to free speech.

--airspoon



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 09:59 PM
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reply to post by truthquest
 


Okay, lets run with that scenario. Personally, I feel it would be your fault, for simply not checking up before handing over your money. If you came to me for help after being cleaned out like that, I would be extremely hesitant to help, as sometimes people need to learn the hard way. If someone is ripped off in such a manner, then they definitely need to learn the hard way.

However, I wouldn't be completely against penalizing someone who took your money after lying to you about swamp land because they obviously committed fraud and they should be punished for that. Should they be punished for simply talking about their good land, without trying to commit tangible fraud? To push it further, what if someone goes around telling you that they have good land in Florida, but they aren't committing fraud? Fraud is one thing and if you are going to penalize folks for fraud, then fine but we shouldn't penalize these folks for simply lying.

To relate this to the situation at hand, if it is fraud you are worried about with fake heroes, then punish them for the fraud. We already have laws against that and don't need to outlaw a whole other behavior because it can lead to fraud. If we did that, where would it stop? Should we outlaw alcohol too, since it can lead to DUI?

The last thing we need, is more laws. Someone talking about military experience that they don't have, isn't really hurting anyone. Sure, it sucks and isn't fair to those of who have busted their humps to achieve and sacrifice what we have, but it doesn't hurt us, and therefore produces no victims, unless you commit an already established crime with it.

FWIW, everyone one of us who has served, knows that we receive a form called a DD214, listing our service and accomplishments. An employer only need to ask for a 214 to verify service/experience. Every vet can simply pull this form off of the internet and so an excuse as to why one wouldn't have it is really null and void. If someone gets defrauded due to employing someone based on a lie, then they too are at fault. Why not just throw them in jail too for wasting tax dollars in investigating a crime that shouldn't have happened in the first place?

--airspoon



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