Last week Gary Stein, the Marine sergeant who runs the Facebook page Armed Forces Tea Party, was found to have violated military rules of conduct when he made hostile remarks directed at his commanders, including his commander-in-chief, President Obama. The board hearing his case ruled unanimously to recommend an “other than honorable” discharge for Stein and he is now awaiting a final decision from the base’s general.
As if he weren’t already in enough trouble, Stein appeared on CNN this morning for an interview with Soledad O’Brien where he was given the opportunity to defend his behavior. In response to a question from O’Brien, Stein somehow thought it would advance his position to blatantly lie.
Stein: First of all let’s talk about those comments. Those comments were made on a closed forum. They were up for five minutes, which we found out from testimony in the hearing. And only three people saw them. In fact the only reason anybody has a picture of those posts or knows what those posts are is because a Marine master sergeant decided that he was gonna take a screen capture and send it out to God knows who.
This is shockingly stupid on Stein’s part because the truth is so easy to verify. Stein’s assertion that the comments were made on a closed forum is rebutted by the fact that the forum is still available and is wide open for anyone on Facebook to access. His claim that the comments were up for only five minutes is rebutted by the fact that some of them, including one specifically cited by O’Brien (pictured above), are still there weeks later. And he must surely know that his comments were seen by more than three people because they have “Likes” and responses attached to them (note the 114 “Likes” and 32 responses on the image above). Finally, that image was not sent to me by a Marine master sergeant. I captured it myself on Stein’s Facebook page, and so can you.
So Stein’s remarks on CNN were entirely, and certifiably, false. That dishonesty is surely going to be apparent to anyone reviewing his case. It is startling that his attorney, sitting next to him for the whole interview, permitted him to be so brazenly deceitful on national television.
That brings us to the identity of his attorney, Gary Kreep, of the United States Justice Foundation. Kreep’s biography reveals that he was the general counsel to the racist, anti-immigration group, The Minutemen. He has been affiliated with the radical and violent anti-choice group, Operation Rescue. He was a California delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1976 and 1980. He was also the creator of the “DefendGlenn” web site launched to counter the opposition to Glenn Beck that eventually led to his ouster from Fox News.
Most notably Kreep has been a leader of the “birther” movement that seeks to nullify Obama’s election on the grounds that he is not a U.S. citizen. Kreep has been one of the most vocal proponents of the birther myths going back to at least November 2008, when he tried to prevent California delegates to the Electoral College from casting their votes. He originally worked with birther queen, Orly Taitz, representing several clients, including Alan Keyes. He later replaced Taitz as counsel to birther litigant “Rev.” Wiley Drake. Drake is notable for publicly praying for the death of President Obama.
When a man like Drake selects you to represent him, over Orly Taitz, that is quite an endorsement. It is likewise revealing that Stein should retain Kreep out of all the lawyers available to represent him. He received help during his discharge hearing from the ACLU, and Tea Party organizers FreedomWorks are rallying support for his dubious cause. Yet the best he can do for legal representation is this Kreep (and how ’bout that tie?).
[Update] On April 25, 2012, the Marines formally discharged Stein as the commanding general of the base accepted the administrative board’s recommendation for discharge.