Borrowed Honor?

When a former Marine, Scott Olsen, was injured during a police response at Occupy Oakland, a number of people were upset, including other veterans.  The problem with this is that in so doing, we are assigning this guy supposed credibility and virtue on the basis of his prior service to our nation.  Being a veteran myself, I know that there are all sorts of people in the service, and not all of them are so deserving of our presumptions about their personal virtues.   I think it’s becoming clear that Olsen may not have been the oh-so-virtuous veteran who the media and their darlings in OWS have been trying to portray him to have been. Rather than being a case of his being dishonored, it seems clear to me that he dishonored the US Marine Corps.

Instead of being an heroic Marine, it turns out that he’s the founder of the website IHateTheMarineCorps.com, where he posted the following:

Screen Capture of cached site Owned by Scott Olsen

The website isn’t up any longer, but you can view the web-cache of it here. You can verify ownership of the domain name here.  He included the following keywords with his domain name registration:

Keywords: screw the maqrine corps, i hate the marine corps, how to get out of the marines early, veerp anyone, fart mesuring unit, actual honesty mediafire marines, what is the njp punishment for insubordination

It seems unlikely that he was much of a Marine with this attitude. It’s being reported by WeaselZippers.com that he is a hero among the Moveon.org crowd. Why am I not surprised?  I don’t think talking this way reflects well on his service.  It can’t be that somebody who hates the Marine Corps as much as this guy professes could possibly be a good Marine.  I think veterans should be concerned when a veteran is given the presumption of credibility and honor when in truth, the veteran in question isn’t up to the standards others have met, and worst of all, defames the institution in which s/he served.  It’s easier to understand, given this attitude, how this guy could have come to be injured.  Apparently, he didn’t like following lawful orders. That’s not the kind of Marine I knew when I was in uniform. They would have been embarrassed to have been associated with a guy like this.

Update: From MercuryNews.com

In 2010, the Marines issued Olsen an “administrative discharge.” Maj. Shawn Haney, a Marines spokesman based in Quantico, Va., declined to discuss Olsen’s discharge, but said his departure could have been for anything from a medical condition to a punitive measure.

Editor’s note: We millions of veterans know well the meaning of a less-than-honorable discharge, and veterans who complete their service with honor are generally proud to have done so. I am.

Update #2: From a Commenter  The claim is that Olsen may not have registered the domain Ihatethemarinecorps.com  I remain skeptical because the domain was registered in 2009, and to have somebody registering such a domain fraudulently in 2009 in order to “smear Olsen” in 2011 after an event nobody could have predicted seems implausible on its face. I will await further facts before drawing conclusions on this aspect of the story.

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