By Jeremy Herb - 04/06/12 02:48 PM EDT
A Marine who wrote disparaging comments about President Obama on Facebook faces dismissal from the Marine Corps after a review board recommended that he be discharged.
The board recommended that Sgt. Gary Stein, who said he would not follow unlawful orders and called Obama the “domestic enemy,” be given an other than honorable discharge, which would cost him his benefits, according to news reports from Camp Pendleton.
Stein, who ran the Facebook page “Armed Forces Tea Party,” appeared at his administrative separation hearing Thursday, one day after a federal judge would not allow the proceedings to be delayed.
The prosecutor said Stein’s conduct violated the military’s policy that restricts political speech while in uniform.
Stein has argued that his First Amendment rights have been violated, and his lawyers say they aren’t ruling out going forward with his lawsuit in federal court if he is discharged.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has taken up Stein’s case, writing a letter to the Marines this week urging them drop the dismissal proceedings.
The board’s recommendation now goes to a commanding general where Stein was stationed, who will decide his fate.