From: firstname.lastname@example.org (J.D. Baldwin)
Subject: Re: US Military Rules (was Re: Kelly Flynn.)
Date: 05 Jan 1998
In article <01bd1664$5fbe7560$a34056d1@georgest>, George Stankow
> > Actually, "denigrating one's bosses" is limited to high political
> > officials, and is pretty narrowly defined. A general speaking
> > contemptuously of the President to the press would be in trouble,
> > but a private bellyaching to his comrades would not.
> Article 88 -- Contempt toward officials
> Article 89 -- Disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer
> Article 91 -- Insubordinate conduct toward warrant officer,
> noncommissioned officer, or petty officer
> I won't include the relevant passages, but they're all pretty specific
> about what is and isn't allowed. Technically, a private bellyaching
> to his comrades is indeed guilty of a violation of one of those latter
As long as we're being technical, this is "technically" incorrect. "A
private bellyaching to his comrades" about a warrant, NCO or PO is
*not* inviolation of Article 91, since the disrespect must be
committed within the sight or hearing of the object of the disrespect.
Thus, Chief Jones must *hear* Seaman Smith call him an asshole, or no
offense is committed.
For a commissioned officer, no such requirement exists, *however*
there is a "private communications" exception, which provides that a
statement intended to be purely private is not subject to these laws.
Of course, if it's being prosecuted at all, it's a pretty good bet
that the communication wasn't all that "private," right?
> No one will prosecute it, certainly, unless it indeed creates a
> situation leading to problems within the unit. Remember, you give
> up a lot of rights when you raise your right hand in front of the
> flag -- freedom of speech is one of them.
Believe it or not, there are a few idiots out there -- educated men in
other respects -- who maintain otherwise. I'd say that Article 88 is
a slam-dunk, 100% effective refutation of the ludicrous idea that
military personnel have *all* their Constitutional rights intact.
Nowhere else in U.S. law is a citizen restricted by *prior restraint*
from criticizing the President and Congress.
Something a lot of people don't realize, though, is that the military
justice system puts some actual *teeth* into rights the civilian
system barely pays lip service to. Speedy trial comes to mind.
From the catapult of J.D. Baldwin |+| "If anyone disagrees with anything I
_,_ Finger email@example.com |+| say, I am quite prepared not only to
_|70|___:::)=}- for PGP public |+| retract it, but also to deny under
\ / key information. |+| oath that I ever said it." --T. Lehrer