10 U.S. Code § 888 – Art. 88. Contempt toward officials states: Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
In 2012, 9-year Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Sergeant Gary Stein was forced from the Marines, receiving an ‘Other than Honorable Discharge,’ losing all benefits for negative Facebook postings that were directed at the President. Thus, the precedent has already been set; that a member of the U.S. military has been forcibly discharged under this section.
The case called into question the Pentagon’s policies about social media and its limits on the speech of active duty military personnel.
In his final address to America’s armed forces, President Barack Obama reminded troops that once Donald J. Trump becomes president, soldiers have a duty to question his authority and criticize him. Obama also said the Second Amendment and global warming can be blamed for terrorism, Breitbart reports.
Characterizing the military’s mission as a fight against “violent extremism,” Obama insisted that soldiers need to rise up against Trump if they feel he is pushing policies that are ill considered.
Obama told the troops, “each of us has…the universal right to speak your minds and to protest against authority; to live in a society that’s open and free; that can criticize our president without retribution.”
Obama went on to insist that a proper U.S. policy against “violent extremism” is a “long term” policy.
“So rather than offer false promises that we can eliminate terrorism by dropping more bombs or deploying more and more troops or fencing ourselves off from the rest of the world,” Obama said, “we have to take a long view of the terrorist threat. And we have to pursue a smart strategy that can be sustained. In the time remaining, let me just suggest what I think should guide this approach.”
The lame duck president also went on to blame terrorism on the Second Amendment and global warming.
In addressing the war-torn Middle East, Obama insisted that global warming forms a large part of that conflict. “A changing climate is increasing competition for food and water,” which, he claimed, drives the conflict in Syria and other nearby nations.
Obama also blamed the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for “violent extremism” in the United States.
“Somebody who is trying to kill and willing to be killed is dangerous, particularly when we live in a country where it’s very easy for that person to buy a very powerful weapon,” Obama insisted.
The presidential short-timer also placed blame on the Constitution’s First Amendment, hinting that he thinks free speech is too freely indulged to prevent “impressionable minds” from being warped by “extremism” on the Internet.
Obama touted his efforts to limit the reach of terror recruiters online saying, “We’ve worked with our tech sector to support efforts to push back on terrorist messages on social media that motivate people to kill.”
The president also defended Islam against the charge of extremism:
We are fighting terrorists who claim to fight on behalf of Islam. But they do not speak for over a billion Muslims around the world, and they do not speak for American Muslims including many who wear the uniform of the United States of America’s military. If we stigmatize good patriotic Muslims, that just feeds the terrorists’ narrative. It fuels the same false grievances they they use to motivate people to kill. If we act like this is a war between the United States and Islam, we’re not gonna lose more Americans to terrorist attacks, but we’ll also lose the sight of the very principles we claim to defend.
As to the rise of ISIS, Obama insisted it was not given aide by his actions of pulling out of Iraq in 2011 but was instead given succor by the policies of George W. Bush.
“By 2011, Iraqis wanted our military presence to end, and they were unwilling to sign a new status of forces agreement to protect our troops from prosecution if they were trying to defend themselves in Iraq,” Obama proclaimed. “In addition, maintaining American troops in Iraq at the time could not have reversed the forces that contributed to ISIL’s rise.”
Obama added, “Some of the mistakes of the 2003 invasion have helped to give rise to the organization that became ISIL in the first place.”