Marine faces dishonourable discharge for Facebook comments

As the popularity of social networks continues to increase, their users often learn the hard way about the dangers and consequences of ‘over-sharing’ or posting comments without first thinking them through properly. Sometimes, those consequences can seem severe, as in the case of the British student sentenced last month to 56 days in prison for racial slurs which he posted on Twitter. Sometimes, they can appear nonsensical, as in the recent case of the American high-school student who was expelled when his school claimed that he had used a school computer to post tweets that included swear words from his home in the middle of the night.

The latest high profile instance of sharing-gone-wrong is that of United States Marine Sergeant Gary Stein, 26, who posted comments on Facebook stating that he would not follow the orders of his commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama.

Stein, who is a meteorologist, posted comments to a Facebook group called METOC – accessible only by oceanographers and meteorologists in active military service. There, he described President Obama as ‘an enemy to America’.

On his personal Facebook account, he posted numerous images ridiculing President Obama, including one in which the President was described as ‘Jackass Number One’. On the ‘Armed Forces Tea Party’ page, which Stein founded on Facebook, anti-Obama sentiments aren’t hard to find. According to Reuters, it was here that he stated that he would refuse to obey the President’s orders, comments which he later removed and restated with the caveat that he had meant he would only refuse unlawful or illegal orders.  

A Marine Corps review board has been investigating the case, and has ruled that Marine Sgt Stein should be ejected from the military with a less-than-honourable discharge. While the finding of the review board is not binding, it will make a recommendation to the commanding officer of the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, Brigadier General Daniel Yoo.

But this is new territory for the military, which does not yet have established procedures or guidelines for managing how its personnel use social media. Many articles in the Uniform Code of Military Justice are, bizarrely, too specific to apply to the particular situation of a non-commissioned officer (as Stein is) publicly or privately expressing disrespect towards his most superior commander. Perhaps the most relevant clause will be UCMJ Article 134, which states that:

…all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.”

That would seem to be the end of the matter, except that Stein and his supporters (including a coalition of attorneys) claim that the First Amendment guarantees his right to freedom of speech.

Brigadier General Yoo is expected to deliver his personal decision on Marine Sgt Stein’s fate within the next few weeks. Stein may be given a general discharge without consequence, but if he is discharged dishonourably, he stands to lose his military benefits, and would also lose the right to call himself a military ‘veteran’, a protected term, and one which Stein seems to relish using on his Tea Party page.

As the military works to establish procedures and guidelines for handling infractions involving personnel and social media, this latest incident stands as a reminder to all – both inside and outside of the armed forces – of the need to think carefully before posting comments on social media. The consequences for anyone of casually sharing a half-formed thought or a controversial viewpoint can be severe – although whether those consequences are just and proper or not often remains far from certain.

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Again this is classic examples of Facebook/social networking taboos or things that should not have been posted! I can not believe that some people have to 'post' there every move on facebook for the whole freaking world to read! I do not use Facebook and do not see a reason for it, and even if I did, I would not post things like 'My boss is a f-in idiot' or 'I going to kill so and so' etc, etc. it is time to stop and think before posting so ridiculous statements, regardless of how much you believe in them!!! Some things are best not stated in a public area. I do not openly criticize my boss, or my company, or the President of the United States, because I am smart enough to realize that if any of these things were to get back to the respected people then I would be looking for a new job! This also reminds me of when I was in High school (1992-1996) a student in the computer lab left his email client open and his buddy thought it would be funny to send a message to the president saying that I am going to kill you. Needless to say the SS took this serious and came to the school to talk with the student whose account was used!

Edit:
here is a classic example of what not to be posting of Facebook: http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...-facebook-while-on-the-run/

Regardless of the UCMJ, there's also the consideration of freedom of association, protected as part of the 1st amendment by the Supreme Court.

This former marine is free to express himself however he likes. The Marine Corps is also free to choose not to associate themselves with him if they don't like what he's saying about their Commander-in-Chief.

(I'd also note, which many seem to be missing, that SAYING you aren't going to follow orders is not the same as DOING it, so while they may have acted precipitously, their right to freedom of association is still the true determining factor.

the UCMJ is the highest law of any serviceman in the us armed services. i thought article 88 would apply but he would have had to have been a commissioned officer. maybe they are charging him under article 94, sedition. servicemen are subject to the law that is the most restrictive, either civilian or ucmj.

If he posted this in some official Marines website or published material, I would agree with the charges...but Facebook? That is stepping over bounds no matter the President. But then again I'm biased towards the Marines...my father was one and my son is in the Marines ROTC

That would seem to be the end of the matter, except that Stein and his supporters (including a coalition of attorneys) claim that the First Amendment guarantees his right to freedom of speech.

Except when you are in the military, you no longer have the same rights as an average US citizen, which is why there are laws that are very specific under the "Uniform Code of Military Justice"

This is why Military courts and JAG, outside of the citizen legal system exist, and it also works both ways, as Military personnel are PROTECTED from lawsuits and criminal investigations for 'killing' people on the battlefield during War and other Military operations.

If this person 'succeeds' in establishing normal 'freedom of speech' claims for conduct 'forbidden' in the UCMJ, it will open a Pandora's box that will allow other military personnel to be held accountable to the non-military legal system as well, which would a disaster for the base intent and operations of the military.

When you are in the Military you belong to the Military that requires a set of conduct that normal citizens are not subject; however, it also gives them latitude and freedom to complete their mission that normal citizens are not subjected.

People don't stop to think that operating a Nuclear power submarine with Nuclear missiles is not something normal citizens can legally do, and by trying to mix citizen rights with military rights, it will backfire and damage these 'explicit' additional rights that Military personnel are given.


There is a reason why the duality of rights and laws exists for the military. Even the 'chain' of command being imperative to the operation of the military.

Subversion is not something the Military takes lightly and why this person was 'warned' many times that they were in violation of the UCM conduct.


How about just adding in a capitalistic viewpoint...
If you posted in a public forum and created a public group that called your Boss names and discredited your company/brand, how long do you think it take for your Boss to fire you?

Free Speech even in the non-military has limits, in that you can say what you want, but you are also subject to the ramifications of what you say. Sure you have the freedom to call your boss a douche and say your company sucks, but don't expect them to keep you as a valued employee.

With the military this is also true, except instead of just damaging the company image/brand, it can result in the serious geo-political incidents and the loss of lives.

People have been being discharged for saying 'crap' about the president and generals going back to the civil war, what makes this guy more 'special' than the people discharged before him? He was even warned, which a lot of the people dismissed in the past were NOT.

When Bush was president, military people were discharged for dissent and saying things about Bush, why can anyone justify that it is now ok, just because the political party of the president has changed?

Here in the USA our military members take a oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America against enemies foreign and domestic. Freedom is speech is supposed to be protected. To kick him out of the Marines is pathetic considering how much disregard Obama & administration has had for our Constitution is more disgraceful than what this Marine did. Personally I do not agree with what he did in being a member of a branch of the military that prides it's self on honor code, but the action is way over the top...discipline him in context.

Since this is a Sergeant in the Marines, that means he took the Oath of Enlistment at MEPS (which is a lovely place), and any time he reenlists. That oath goes like this...

"I, (state your name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

If you didn't catch it, he also took an oath to obey the President. Uh-oh! While I was in the Air Force, I didn't like Bush Jr. all that much, and I didn't buy the reasons why we went into Iraq, but I kept that to myself, and I stood by that oath and did what was asked of me. Joining was my choice after all.

revparadigm said,
... To kick him out of the Marines is pathetic considering how much disregard Obama & administration has had for our Constitution is more disgraceful than what this Marine did.

Your statement about the Obama administration is an opinion fueled by your political ideologies, which really doesn't have a place in the military because then you would have a bunch of sailors, soldiers, marines, and airmen going back on their oath because they have an (R) next to their name, and the president has a (D).

Also, if they do go back on their oath, then they should be kicked out regardless. The marine is free to say what he wants, but he's not free from the consequences that go with it. If you want to try it out, run into a movie theater and yell, "fire!" What happens next is a load of fun because you'll be in for a surprise. See how far, "I HAVE A RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH!" gets you.

Well, I don't know the US but looks like real freedom of speech exists in the Netherlands. You can tell your boss or a police officer or whomever "I think you are an idiot" and they cannot do anything. It is merely expressing your thoughts.

AtriusNY said,
Well, I don't know the US but looks like real freedom of speech exists in the Netherlands. You can tell your boss or a police officer or whomever "I think you are an idiot" and they cannot do anything. It is merely expressing your thoughts.

You can tell your boss they are an idiot, but they can also work to have you removed from your job. (Although it is significantly harder in the Netherlands that the US where you can still be fired for being gay.)

AtriusNY said,
Well, I don't know the US but looks like real freedom of speech exists in the Netherlands. You can tell your boss or a police officer or whomever "I think you are an idiot" and they cannot do anything. It is merely expressing your thoughts.

So you can insult the person employing you ,and he does not have the right to fire? That is pretty stupid. Imagine if you owned a company and one employee started to insult and there was absolutely nothing you could do about it.

Looks like they're trying to put a scare into the military. Follow our illegal orders or else. They're supposed to be serving the people by defending the constitution, not upholding a presidents lawful or unlawful orders.

scratch42069 said,
Looks like they're trying to put a scare into the military. Follow our illegal orders or else. They're supposed to be serving the people by defending the constitution, not upholding a presidents lawful or unlawful orders.

*Sigh* I knew a comment like this was coming. Your reply doesn't really make any sense...

imachip said,

*Sigh* I knew a comment like this was coming. Your reply doesn't really make any sense...

Sigh all you like but I have the right to express an opinion.

"this latest incident stands as a reminder to all - both inside and outside of the armed forces - of the need to think carefully before posting comments on social media. The consequences for anyone of casually sharing a half-formed thought or a controversial viewpoint can be severe."

I think the fact that this statement exists, just shows the breakdown of one of the most fundamental characteristics of a civilized society, eroding away into the background.
Free speech shows its true integrity when you hear something that you do not like, and yet you would still defend that person's right to say it, without fear of consequence.

MikadoWU said,
2nd Amendment - Right to bare Arms
1st Amendment - Freedom of Speech

You're wrong. The 2nd amendment is the right to BEAR arms. I love my new claws.

MASTER260 said,

You're wrong. The 2nd amendment is the right to BEAR arms. I love my new claws.

Yes, it gives every American the right to hang a pair of Bear arms on their wall. How could this possibly be misconstrued?

MikadoWU said,
2nd Amendment - Right to bare Arms
1st Amendment - Freedom of Speech

Ok, looking over the typos... You do realize this does not apply to military personnel. Do you know why the military has its own court system and JAG officers, because the rights of Military personnel are not the same.

Sure you can 'say' whatever you want, it is not 'illegal'' however, go call your boss a fat idiot, and see how long you keep your job. You won't be 'arrested' for saying it, but you also have deal with the ramifications and have the 'guts' to deal with what your words might provoke.

Free speech means you can't be arrested for calling your boss a bad name, it doesn't protect you from your boss firing you or beating the crap out of you in the parking lot...

Being part of the military does not mean you gave up the right to dislike your President, you do not give up your right to freedom of speech. However, you give up the right to ignore an order from a superior officer or someone who is higher in rank than you. Stating that he will not following any order given by President Obama, I believe, even with the caveat, is breaking the contract he signed with the military.

I should say that I am not American and I don't have the emotional attachment to the law that Americans do but the thing about Freedom of Speech in my mind is, it is a responsibility as well as a right. You have the freedom to say what you feel but you must also understand that there are repercussions of what you say. Sometimes, to me, a person lacks conviction, if they hide behind the 2nd Amendment.

Yes, they are some instances where the 2nd Amendment is necessary but it is not a blanket protection for you to say whatever you like, whenever you like and get away with it.

As a former Sgt. in the Corps, I feel bad for this young Marine. However, every Marine knows the rules. The Marine crossed a forbiden line and has earned this Judgement. Freedom of speach is great, when lives are not on the line. I am not going into all the details and reason why, if you been there you know, if you have not, you may never understand.

Good Luck Marine, Semper Fi

MikadoWU said,
As a former Sgt. in the Corps, I feel bad for this young Marine. However, every Marine knows the rules. The Marine crossed a forbiden line and has earned this Judgement. Freedom of speach is great, when lives are not on the line. I am not going into all the details and reason why, if you been there you know, if you have not, you may never understand.

Good Luck Marine, Semper Fi


I'll agree that he crossed into the forbidden area with this. Especially saying it publicly. However, no lives were on the line at the time and given the public nature of it he wouldn't be deployed with all his time being taken up by JAG and UCMJ proceedings.

That being said, there's still no UCMJ regulation or AR (not sure what the Marine equivalent is) disallowing his actions. On the chance he would have been deployed - you know as well as I do that disliking the CIC, your CO, 1st Sgt, or even squad leader doesn't mean you're a danger to the rest. A soldier will fight for the lives of their own regardless of not liking a higher rank.

KCRic said,

I'll agree that he crossed into the forbidden area with this. Especially saying it publicly. However, no lives were on the line at the time and given the public nature of it he wouldn't be deployed with all his time being taken up by JAG and UCMJ proceedings.

That being said, there's still no UCMJ regulation or AR (not sure what the Marine equivalent is) disallowing his actions. On the chance he would have been deployed - you know as well as I do that disliking the CIC, your CO, 1st Sgt, or even squad leader doesn't mean you're a danger to the rest. A soldier will fight for the lives of their own regardless of not liking a higher rank.


Life on the line or not is not relevant. Subversion is not allowed, be it any superior Officer.

Especially when the person was 'warned' repeatedly that it was crossing the line. This is when the debate ends of whether it his words and posts were a violation of the UCMJ.

Just for disobeying the requests of superior officers to remove the content and stop doing this in a public forum, that alone is a violation of the UMCJ.

PERIOD

FISKER_Q said,
I can't understand how a bunch of lawyers can so totally and completely misunderstand what freedom of speech is.

Freedom of Speach means that you are free to "Do whatever you feel like", without consequences, doesn't it?

By joining the military, he willfully gave up that right:


I, Gary Stein, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

rfirth said,
By joining the military, he willfully gave up that right:

No he didn't, he just swore he would obey the orders of the president, and by saying he wouldn't he broke that contract, which he got fired for.

Freedom of speech wasn't involved anywhere in the process, as such it is not relevant, which is the fundemental principle that apparently him, his followers and a bunch of lawyers fail to understand.

Had he said that he think that Obama is a jackass, but he will follow his orders, then freedom of speech might've been relevant, but even then, i wouldn't be surprised there's a specific code of conduct for military personnel that could limit his Freedom of Speech, as these types of people are of course expected to adhere to a specific standard whether on the job or not when representing the government through the job that they do.

FISKER_Q said,

No he didn't, he just swore he would obey the orders of the president, and by saying he wouldn't he broke that contract, which he got fired for.

Freedom of speech wasn't involved anywhere in the process, as such it is not relevant, which is the fundemental principle that apparently him, his followers and a bunch of lawyers fail to understand.

Had he said that he think that Obama is a jackass, but he will follow his orders, then freedom of speech might've been relevant, but even then, i wouldn't be surprised there's a specific code of conduct for military personnel that could limit his Freedom of Speech, as these types of people are of course expected to adhere to a specific standard whether on the job or not when representing the government through the job that they do.

He said he wouldn't follow his boss's orders, then he said he would. Too little too late, Dishonorable Discharge for this moron.

TechJunkie81 said,

He said he wouldn't follow his boss's orders, then he said he would. Too little too late, Dishonorable Discharge for this moron.


He may have SAID he wouldn't, but he did update by saying he wouldn't follow an illegal/unlawful order. And he never actually DIDN'T follow an order. I can see discharging him, but a dishonorable discharge simply isn't going to happen.

Fezmid said,

He may have SAID he wouldn't, but he did update by saying he wouldn't follow an illegal/unlawful order. And he never actually DIDN'T follow an order. I can see discharging him, but a dishonorable discharge simply isn't going to happen.

Many people also put on their seatbelt when the police discovers them driving without a seatbelt.

Your point being?

FISKER_Q said,

Many people also put on their seatbelt when the police discovers them driving without a seatbelt.

Your point being?


Many soldiers talk about doing a lot of things. Going AWOL, saying if they had the power they would nuke the entire middle east, saying they will punch an officer, and so on.

You can tell a higher rank you're going to do 'x' or not going to do 'x'. You know what they do? Nothing. Aside from informing you of what will happen if you proceed. Past they, saying you won't follow an order is not punishable. Actually not following an order when it's given is the only thing that's punishable.

So, what was your point again?

KCRic said,

Many soldiers talk about doing a lot of things. Going AWOL, saying if they had the power they would nuke the entire middle east, saying they will punch an officer, and so on.

You can tell a higher rank you're going to do 'x' or not going to do 'x'. You know what they do? Nothing. Aside from informing you of what will happen if you proceed. Past they, saying you won't follow an order is not punishable. Actually not following an order when it's given is the only thing that's punishable.

So, what was your point again?

The relevant law text is quoted in the article.

FISKER_Q said,
I can't understand how a bunch of lawyers can so totally and completely misunderstand what freedom of speech is.

Wow, armchair lawyers are so fun...

Yes you will NOT be arressted for things you say, which is what the 1st Amendment is all about, It doesn't say it will protect you from your words though, just that the government will not arrest you.

People too easily confuse 'government protections' of the constitution and the right to say crap to anyone and then get offended when someone punches you in the face.

One is a government limitation and one is a civil matter.

The 1st Amendment does not protect you from being sued or hit or fired or have someone go all Good Will Hunting on your ignorance...

Try it, go call your boss a fat hog, and see how the unemployment system works.

Heck call the big guy at the bar a stupid f-in douche, and when he is pounding your face in the floor, maybe you will realize the 1st amendment does not protect you from the ramifications of your 'free speech'. (Just you won't be arrested for calling him a f-in douche.)


I get so tired of seeing people conflate 1st amendment rights with the lack of taking responsibility for their words.

For example: Dr Laura saying the N-word on the radio 11 times had nothing to do with the 1st amendment, in fact it protected her from being arrested for her words. However, it did not protect her from her sponsors quiting, and people no longer listening to her program. (And ironically, she went on Television and said her 1st amendment rights were being violated. No they weren't, in fact they were in place and protecting her.)

(Get it?)

Harsh but that is what you deserve when you are still an an active member of the military. Political activism is what you should do AFTER you have finished your service.

Gary Stein should be dishonorably discharged. Saying he won't take orders from the President is comparable to saying "I'm not going to do my job because I don't like my boss." You would get fired if you said that.

Kyle said,
Gary Stein should be dishonorably discharged. Saying he won't take orders from the President is comparable to saying "I'm not going to do my job because I don't like my boss." You would get fired if you said that.
Part of the oath I and other service members take says, "I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Some service-members take that part extremely seriously, and have used it against the president in cases where they've made decisions that service members thought were un-constitutional. He should have chosen his wording better, but he still has a right to refuse unlawful orders.

MiukuMac said,
As I recall, freedom of speech doesn't give you the right to insult your boss without repercussions ;-)

And service members take an oath saying that they won't do that. Quite honestly, he has no defense.

NPGMBR said,

And service members take an oath saying that they won't do that. Quite honestly, he has no defense.


I don't think you can sign away your first amendment rights... And it's a VERY slippery slope if you can. As an example, at least in Minnesota, just because you sign a lease that says your landlord has the right to enter your apartment at any time without warning does not mean it's true -- and you can sue the landlord for each time he enters without permission and without notice. There's some rights you can't give up.

Fezmid said,

I don't think you can sign away your first amendment rights... And it's a VERY slippery slope if you can. As an example, at least in Minnesota, just because you sign a lease that says your landlord has the right to enter your apartment at any time without warning does not mean it's true -- and you can sue the landlord for each time he enters without permission and without notice. There's some rights you can't give up.

There's a bit of a rather HUGE difference between what it means to sign a piece of paper with a landlord, and with a government department. Plus look at that 99% rubbish, they're getting arrested for having free speech. Free speech does NOT exist in america, if you think it does you really are misguided and delirious.

MiukuMac said,
As I recall, freedom of speech doesn't give you the right to insult your boss without repercussions ;-)
The governments need to stop calling it freedom of speech then because it's not.

NPGMBR said,

And service members take an oath saying that they won't do that. Quite honestly, he has no defense.


What?! As a vet I'm appalled at your lack of knowledge but willingness to speak on the matter. We sign no such document. It's implied that we don't speak out like he did but we're still allowed to. The military holds an open-door policy when you have qualms with a lateral or higher rank. You just have to show proper respect and courtesy when addressing them.

The only oath we take is to defend the Constitution - nothing else. Not you, not the president, not even the country itself. We take an oath to defend freedom, specifically America's freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. Without that document we have nothing. Though these days it seems not even that matters to the powers that be.

zikalify said,
The governments need to stop calling it freedom of speech then because it's not.

Let's quote Wikipedia here, since they quote UN Declaration of Human Rights:

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Article 19 of the ICCPR states that "[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice".

Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".[1][2]

--

He's free to parade around the streets claiming whatever he likes. If I publicly said my boss is a nazi, I'd get fired on the spot and I couldn't claim he violated my freedom of speech.

KCRic said,

What?! As a vet I'm appalled at your lack of knowledge but willingness to speak on the matter. We sign no such document. It's implied that we don't speak out like he did but we're still allowed to. The military holds an open-door policy when you have qualms with a lateral or higher rank. You just have to show proper respect and courtesy when addressing them.

The only oath we take is to defend the Constitution - nothing else. Not you, not the president, not even the country itself. We take an oath to defend freedom, specifically America's freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. Without that document we have nothing. Though these days it seems not even that matters to the powers that be.

Don't be appalled....Matter-of-fact I have very good knowledge on the matter as I too am a Vet and served eight years in the Corps. If you read my post again you'll noticed that I made no mention of signing a document. What I said was "service members take an oath." We are allowed to have our personal politial beliefs but we keep them to ourselves. You are not allowed however, to make disparaging remarks about the Commander in Chief and others in your chain of command in a public forum.

The problem here is that this guy has stated that he will not follow the orders of the President and that is a violation of his oath. I specifically remember take the oath at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) when I joined.

n_K said,

There's a bit of a rather HUGE difference between what it means to sign a piece of paper with a landlord, and with a government department. Plus look at that 99% rubbish, they're getting arrested for having free speech. Free speech does NOT exist in america, if you think it does you really are misguided and delirious.

What are you talking about? Who is getting arrested? Not this guy, he is getting fired from a job, HUGE difference. I have lived in America for 30 years and have never doubted my free speech or hesitated to say anything on my mind. In fact, I don't know a single person who has ever made the slightest reference implying they feel like they have to watch what they say publicly. Free speech does not mean you are free of consequences. If I say something dumb publicly I could be made fun of, it could hurt me professionally, yes, I could even get fired if I am publically attacking my company or its leaders. However, there is no risk of being arrested or otherwise attacked by the government.

sphbecker said,
<snip>
However, there is no risk of being arrested or otherwise attacked by the government.

Oh, OK, go outside washinton and should 'I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BOMB THE WHITEHOUSE' and let's all place bets for how long it takes for you to get arrested/jailed/beated the **** out of by military/tortured/etc.
My bet is about 20 minutes.

n_K said,

Oh, OK, go outside washinton and should 'I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BOMB THE WHITEHOUSE' and let's all place bets for how long it takes for you to get arrested/jailed/beated the **** out of by military/tortured/etc.
My bet is about 20 minutes.

No, you are wrong and your example is stupid, people say dumb stuff like that all the time in the US, just look at facebook!! Now if you say something to imply that you are actively planning or have knowledge of an attack, that is different, you can expect to be questioned. If it turns out you were just saying stupid stuff then you will have lost a day or two of your life and probably had your privacy totally invaded, but again, that has nothing to do with free speech. If I go to a police station and start bragging that I killed someone, should I be questioned? Heck yes!! Does that impede my free speech? No. Your example is about as equally dumb.

n_K said,

arrested/jailed/beated the **** out of by military/tortured/etc.

Wow??? Really??? Now it is 100% clear who is misguided and delirious. If you actually beleive that stuff goes on in the US then just wasted the few minutes it took to write my first reply, you are totally clueless!