Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No Comment Department

SoCal official's false medal claim defended as free speech: "An elected official charged with falsely claiming he earned the military's highest honor has filed a motion to dismiss the federal case against him on free speech grounds.

The motion argues that the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, under which water board member Xavier Alvarez was charged, is incompatible with the First Amendment because it restricts free speech by criminalizing false claims of military honors.

Alvarez, an elected representative to the Three Valleys Municipal Water District, said last year at a water district meeting that he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his deeds as a Marine."


Brent McKee said...

I hope this guy gets the punishment he deserves, not only for claiming an honour he doesn't deserve but for pure stupidity. I mean doesn't this guy realize that there are records of these things and the Medal of Honor winners in particular are extremely well recorded.

And it isn't an honest mistake in this case. I ran across one of those a few years ago - an obituary claimed that a man had won the Victoria Cross in Korea (the British and Canadian equivalent to the Medal of Honor), the only problem being that no Canadian has won the VC since World War II. As far as I can tell he never made this claim publicly and it was most likely an error by his family. What Alvarez is effectively doing is the equivalent of defrauding the public. And the freedom of speech does not extend to statements intended to defraud.

Cap'n Bob said...

As Brent correct writes, it's the Medal of Honor. The word Congressional is no part of the citation or the name of the medal. What this creep did in claiming to have won the MoH is an insult to all the brave men who have--many posthumously--and he should be fired from his job immediately. If lying like that is free speech, every job-seeker can list on his application a PhD from Harvard and a Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe even achieving Eagle Scout.
What really frosts my onions is that he'll probably be exonerated.

Cap'n Bob said...

As I was saying, "As Brent correctly writes..."

Unknown said...

The guy has some nerve. I love the "free speech" argument.