WASHINGTON, June 3, 2007–Much is being made of our news release [VFW to Corps: Don’t Stifle Freedom of Speech] news release last Friday on protecting the free speech rights of demonstrators against the war in Iraq as partnering with Mr. Adam Kokesh in his argument against the Marine Corps leadership and as the VFW now supporting the anti-war movement. Neither premise is correct.
Our release and my statements were simply espousing what we felt was a stretching of the regulations by the Marine Corps concerning Mr. Kokesh’s partial wearing of military camouflage clothing as a retaliatory measure. By doing so, it is our belief that it is a form of first amendment rights suppression. We see little difference between what Mr. Kokesh was doing than that of individuals though while in coats and ties, are leaders of a pack of retired generals (including Marines) appearing regularly on Sunday talk shows strongly condemning the war in Iraq. Retired military certainly have at least an equal status under the Uniform Code of Military Justice as does individuals in the Individual Ready Reserve, as Mr. Kokesh is presently classified.