Friday, June 29, 2007

Marines drop case against anti-war Iraq veteran -

Marines drop case against anti-war Iraq veteran - "KANSAS CITY, MO. --The Marines won't kick out an Iraq war veteran who made anti-war statements in a speech and wore part of his uniform at a protest, the service said Friday, despite a recommendation to discharge him early."

An investigating officer had recommended in May that Liam Madden, 22, of Boston, receive an other-than-honorable discharge, the worst discharge possible under non-court martial conditions and one that could have meant a reduction in some of his health benefits.

Madden is part of the Individual Ready Reserve, which consists mainly of those who have left active duty but still have time remaining on their eight-year military obligations. He is scheduled to be discharged in 2010.

Madden was accused of making "disloyal statements" during a speech in February in New York in which he accused President Bush of betraying service members and called the fighting in Iraq a "war crime." The speech was posted on the Internet.

Madden also was accused of a uniform violation for wearing a camouflage, button-down shirt and jeans at a demonstration in Washington in January.

The Marines said in a news release that they were dropping the case because they had "received sufficient indication" from Madden that he would no longer wear his uniform when engaged in political activities. They also determined that his statements did not warrant further action.

[bth: I'm glad to see that someone in the Marines had the good sense to drop this case.]

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