People Lying About Military Service Face New Peril

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By Kate Irby | McClatchy Washington Bureau

 

WASHINGTON — Pretend military heroes could face up to a year in prison under the latest version of the Stolen Valor Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law Monday. It’s a bill nearly identical to one the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional just last year.
Congress passed the original version in 2005, making it illegal to falsely claim certain military awards or honors, such as the Congressional Medal of Honor, in any setting. The U.S. Supreme Court struck it down on First Amendment grounds, saying lies were a protected form of free speech.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013, however, has one key difference that sets it apart from the 2005 version: It likens the lie to fraud and makes it illegal to falsely claim military honors for the purpose of obtaining “money, property or other tangible benefit.”
“I’m pleased that the valor and integrity of our military awards, along with the men and women who have earned them, are once again protected by law,” said Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev………

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