Marine Corps to Ask Pentagon for Social Media Rules

Marine Corps officials are working on a request

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Marine Corps officials will ask the Pentagon to update the rules governing troop political activity on social media, our media partner North County Times reports.

    The decision was prompted by the recommended dismissal of Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Gary Stein. Stein posted anti-Obama statements on Facebook and participated in Tea Party events, which landed him at a military board hearing at the beginning of April.

    "No formal request has been made, but one is being worked on right now," said Capt. Kevin Schultz, a spokesman at the headquarters of the Marine Corps in the Pentagon.

    The request will initially go to the Department of Navy channels and then to Defense Department legal officials, Schultz said to North County Times.

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    Attorney J. Mark Brewer tells NBC 7 reporter Lea Sutton what evidence they will present for Sgt. Gary Stein, a Marine who is appearing in court for making negative comments toward President Barack Obama on social media.

    That confirmation comes after a legal adviser to Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, told Rep. Duncan Hunter last week that such an effort was being made.

    "I have directed my staff to contact the Department of Defense's Office of Legal Policy to recommend an update of the directive to provide service members with additional guidance on how to use social media in a responsible manner," the legal adviser, Maj. Gen. V.A. Ary wrote in the letter released by Hunter's Washington office.

    Stein, a nine-year member of the U.S. Marines, started a Facebook group called "Armed Forces Tea Party" in 2010. The page displayed posts that Stein's commanding officers eventually called into question.

    Stein’s defense had argued the military laws are too vague.

    “The military is unilaterally deciding what their own terms mean without giving any clear direction to Sgt. Stein or anyone like him. What is a partisan cause?” said Stein’s defense attorney Gary Kreep.

    Stein continues to operate his Armed Forces Tea Party page on Facebook, and he continues to attract nationwide attention, appearing on a CNN segment Tuesday morning.

    Read the full story on North County Times.
     

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