After serving his country in Iraq, former Marine Sgt. Adam Kokesh grew disillusioned with US involvement there and became an anti-war activist. He participated in demonstrations around Washington, including Operation First Casualty, which was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War in March.
Kokesh’s anti-war activity and his correspondence with Marine investigators has rankled the military enough that it is working to revoke the veteran’s “honorable discharge” designation. Kokesh will appear before a military hearing in Kansas City, Mo., Monday to fight the military’s attempt to change his discharge status to “other than honorable.”
he March demonstration involved Kokesh and other vets performing mock patrols around the nation’s capital to offer Americans a peek at what life is like in Iraq. Kokesh wore his Marine fatigues with his name, rank and Marine Corps insignia patches removed. The military told Kokesh that wearing the uniform violated Defense Department regulations, despite the fact that he had been honorably discharged from the service the previous year. Kokesh is still part of the Inactive Ready Reserve, which allows for discharged troops to be called back to service in case of an emergency.
Kokesh was informed via e-mail that he may be violating regulations, and he did not take the admonishment lightly. He responded to the officer who had sent the e-mail, advising him not to waste time on “such petty issues, (while) our fellow Marines continue to die in futility….”
“So no, I am not replying to your e-mail in order to acknowledge my understanding of my obligations and responsibilities,” Kokesh wrote, ” but rather to ask you to please, kindly, go fuck yourself.”
The US tries to spy on and intimidate every citizen who tries to exercise his constitutional rights to free speech against war. I would suggest that the Marine Corps should start photographing people at pro-war events; the would find hundreds of active duty soldiers who are actually violating the law by appearing in uniform at pro-war events. This gentleman, however, is not breaking the law.