The uniformed solider who endorsed Ron Paul during a rally in Iowa in January has been officially reprimanded by the US Army.
After being cut short during a CNN interview on January 3, Reserve Corporal Jesse Thorsen, who has served two tours in Afghanistan and was due to head back for a third, was invited on to the stage by Paul himself to address Paul’s cheering supporters.
“If there’s any man out there that’s had a vision out there, it’s definitely [Ron Paul],” Thorsen said. “His foreign policy is by far, hands down better than any other candidate’s out there, and I’m sure you all know that. We don’t need to be picking fights overseas and I think everybody else knows that, too.”
Someone within the military infrastructure did not take kindly to Thorsen’s remarks, and a move was immediately set in motion to punish the 10-year veteran for his words.
Detractors began pointing to Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 which states that active duty troops wearing a uniform are expected to avoid activities that “imply official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement” of political figures.
As military news site Stars and Stripes reports, Army reserve officials said Thursday that Thorsen’s actions clearly violated Defense Department rules, and that a letter of reprimand has been placed in his personnel file.
Following the announcement, Thorsen appeared on the Veterans for Ron Paul online radio show to defend his actions.
“The Army works for Congress,” Thorsen said during the show. “If a Congressman invites you up on stage, doesn’t he have the right to do that?
“Why can’t a combat veteran go up on stage and support a presidential candidate in his best suit, which is his American uniform?” Thorsen added, also noting that he had fully cooperated with the Army’s investigation.
Thorsen added that he believed the reprimand was “absolutely worth it” because “it gave me the platform to spread the message of liberty and constitutional freedom to more people.”
Thorsen also claimed that higher ups in the Army had been looking to throw the book at him for his actions, and that he was relieved to receive only a reprimand.
“Let’s be frank – It basically says, ‘You’ve been a real bad soldier, don’t do that again.’… OK, I won’t.” Thorsen said.
The Army is clearing aiming to make an example out of Thorsen. One has to question whether the same punishment would have been handed out if he had been seen endorsing anyone other than Ron Paul.
Furthermore, over a thousand veterans, reservists and active duty soldiers, some in uniform, participated in a march on the White House for Ron Paul just one month later in February, where Thorsen also gave a speech.
An email leaked prior to the event by multiple active duty personnel revealed that the military issued a warning to troops encouraging them not to take part in the march.
Will the army reprimand thousands more soldiers? Unlikely, perhaps given that the event was roundly ignored by the mainstream media.
The following video from Veterans for Ron Paul co-founder Adam Kokesh highlights Thorsen’s case and features the Corporal’s own comments and thoughts:
Article written by Steve Watson
March 30, 2012