Letters to the Editor

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MEDALS: Don’t politicians profit from lying?

Letter by Arthur L. Snider, Tacoma on Aug. 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm with 7 Comments »
August 9, 2012 10:27 am

Re: “Military can catalog WWI bombs but not medals?” (editorial, 8-6).

Although I do not advocate lying under any circumstances, I have to agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that lying about receiving military awards is protected free speech. I believe there was a similar ruling a short time ago, with the court affirming the right of politicians to lie during political campaigns.

The editorial says there is an effort under way to make it illegal to profit from lying about military decorations. And who exactly will define what “profit” is? The politicians who habitually lie and profit by winning elections?

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. Theefrinker says:

    I think a good compromise in any circumstance would be to simply exempt anyone found lying from protection under slander and libel laws. This way, anyone can lie if they so choose, but if caught, others can publicly lie about them as well. Sounds fun, albeit too idealistic.

  2. Frankenchrist says:

    Politicians like Mitt Romney who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War will always lie about that and everything else.

  3. Puyallup mayor Rick Hansen. Self proclaimed Vietnam war veteran according to his voter pamphlet bio.

    Fraud !

  4. SwordofPerseus says:

    Funny it’s illegal to yell fire in a crowded theater. It is illegal to lye in court or while giving testimony to a court or grand jury. It is illegal to file a false police report. Perjury, liable and slander are all illegal. Yet politicians can lie about anything and put it on their campaign ads in print, tv and radio. Time for some real changes in our politicians.

  5. IQ88 – do you have proof of the fraud?

  6. There are numerous consequence, legal consequences of falsely claiming veteran status. I believe Congress wants to codify those penalties.

    If you falsely claim medical benefits or compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs, you may be prosecuted.

    If you falsely claim a military preference in federal hiring you can be terminated since you filled out your application under penalty of perjury.

    Fraud is the intentional deception for personal gain. The problem arises on a national level because there are numerous legal jurisdictions and laws defining fraud.

    As to politicians who are free to tell falsehoods to secure voters, maybe, the Washington State legislature needs to authorize recall elections solely based on that falsehood. The politician may be able to tell falsehoods under the First Amendment, but, the citizens should be able to recall the politician solely for that falsehood. Then, if the recall fails, the voters have given their approval and want to be represented by a liar.

  7. Folks who lie about military medals are loathsome, but this problem is so utterly unimportant and insignificant. Our congress has wasted a few years doing absolutely zero, excluding ‘symbolic’ votes that produce nothing but talking points for their next election.

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