A US District Judge in Colorado has dismissed charges against a man who claimed he was a graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, a survivor of the September 11 attack on the Pentagon and wounded in in IED attack while serving a tour in Iraq- but had never served a day in the military.
Judge Robert Blackburn said that the Stolen Valor Act under which Richard Glen Strandlof was charged unconstitutional and violated Strandlof's free speech rights.
Strandlof- a psychiatric patient in Nevada at the time he claimed he was caught in an IED attack- had been active in groups such as the now-disbanded Colorado Veterans Alliance and Iraq Vets Against the War (IVAW) under the name of Rick Duncan (and the rank of Captain). Strandlof was active in fundraising for these groups as well as Democrat candidates for office running on an anti-war platform [Yes indeedy- huge shock that the Dems and IVAW would embrace a phony veteran!- NANESB!] .
At the time of Strandlof's arrest last year, Federal investigators were trying to determine the whereabouts of some $25,000 he had raised during a 2006 New year's Eve event in Reno, NV. Strandlof also appeared in a 2008 campaign ad for Democrat Congressional candidate Hal Bidlack, identifying himself as a combat veteran who served three tours of Iraq.
Strandlof and his group (which he claimed a membership of more than 32,000) were also active in organizing events for Congressional candidate Jared Polis (D-CO, 2nd District) and other Democrats in the lead up to the 2008 Democrat National Convention in Denver.
Since Judge Blackburn is so concerned about freedom of expression, I wonder how his honor feels about the 'hate crimes' legislation that was passed (surreptitiously as part of a Defense-funding bill, I might add) late last year.