The media has a new anti-war hero - Adam Kokesh the Iraq war veteran who is facing a June 4th hearing for violations of the UCMJ regarding wearing the uniform while protesting and disrespect to an officer. The headlines scream out for sympathy for Kokesh and outrage for the Marine Corps. "Iraq Vet Faces Penalty for War Protest" was the headline on CBS News online. The Daily Breeze says "Discharged Veteran May be Punished for Protesting". The Socialist Worker calls it "Marines Eating Their Own". All are couching this hearing in terms of free speech and punishing an anti-war vet when it is nothing of the sort.
What makes this charade of outrage even more ridiculous is Kokesh's claims. From the CBS News article:
Kokesh argues that he was not representing the military at the protest in Washington, and he made that clear by removing his name tag and other military insignia from his uniform.
Oh really? Kokesh admitted back on March 20, 2007 that he violated the sanctity of the Marine Corps utility uniform. From Kokesh's own blog and in his own words - "Why I Cry for Jonathan Shulze"...
"I feared that violating the sanctity of the Marine Corps utility uniform would be sacrilege. I think if I was still on active duty right now, and was watching fellow former Marine Sergeant and IVAW member Liam Madden marching though the capitol in his utilities, I probably would have called him a "s*^$ bag". But to not participate when perfectly able would have been to betray myself. In light of the stakes, making a parody of military operations is the pettiest of transgressions."
Kokesh not only pointed out his own UCMJ violations but he fingered Liam Madden (who is also being investigated). Even more damning is his admission that Operation First Casualty was a parody of military operations. But - But - I thought the street theater was an exercise to show people the real situation in Iraq. You mean it was meant as a mockery to the honor of the Marines and the rest of our military fighting in a war? I'm shocked... shocked I tell you.
Now - how can one complain that this hearing is a political witch hunt to silence vets when Kokesh admits to every single violation? Seems that the Marines would be remiss in their duties to not investigate this fella. Next time Kokesh wants to get some media coverage and make a political statement, he should read back over his blog posts first. The media should do a little background research next time they crown an anti-war icon.
UPDATE: Kokesh claims he removed all traces of identifiable military marks from his uniform. That is not possible. The Marine Corps Utility Uniform (MARPAT) has an embroidered logo on the left breast pocket. Also the Marine "logo" is made into the pattern of material. You can see a sample of the material here. Notice that the media never bothered to check on this despite Getty Images having a picture of Kokesh at Operation First Casualty with the embroidered logo quite visable.