Conservatives like to say that there is no real stifling of dissent in this country, and anyone who says otherwise is just being a Chicken Little.
Sgt. Robert Ferriol would probably disagree:
I honorably served my country for eight years in the United States Marine Corps; providing honest intelligence analysis and collecting countless awards and promotions throughout my career. I was also a leader and mentor to scores of young men and women. In those eight years, I sacrificed more of myself for this country than most men and women ever will in their lifetime. But, thanks to the zeal and quick judgment of this individual, I am no longer serving our beloved country. His forecast was correct. Following his letter to DoD, I was brought up on charges of “Disloyal Statements” under Article 134 of the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). Not because anything I wrote was disloyal, but because of my political views and how they differ from Mr. Simpson and others like him. The unfortunate aspect of this is not my demise, but their inability to understand or accept the opinions of others as different from their own. Nonetheless, I was forced to retain an attorney and undergo weeks of scrutiny before being cleared of the charges. I was, however, never allowed to work in Intelligence again; forced to separate the Marine Corps over threats that I would not be allowed to reenlist. Never mind the fact that there is not one single negative mark on my entire eight years of service (the letter incident was considered “hush-hush” so not even that made it on my record), or the fact that every one of my superiors stood up for me during this time, praising my abilities and loyalty to this country. None of that mattered; only my “liberal beliefs.”
As they say, read the whole thing.