A man standing outside of the Camp Pendleton main gate taking photos and video of the installation was approached by a military policeman. The MP asked for his identification and the man refused several times.
“You are on my property,” said the Marine Corps MP, who walked more than 100 feet to meet the man standing near the Camp Pendleton sign.
The man continued refusing to identify himself, only adding that he was an independent journalist and insisted that he was doing nothing wrong. The Marine Police officer called backup to the scene. They too agreed that the photographer was breaking federal law.
After several minutes of evading questions from the officers, he responds by asking the MP a question of his own: “Do you believe in the Constitution of the United States of America… did you take an oath to the Constitution to uphold and defend it?”
“I fought four-and-a-half years defending the Constitution,” answered the Marine. “I don’t need a lecture about the Constitution.”
Marines referred the photographer to the Federal U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 37 › § 795, which states the following:
Photographing and sketching defense installations:
(a) Whenever, in the interests of national defense, the President defines certain vital military and naval installations or equipment as requiring protection against the general dissemination of information relative thereto, it shall be unlawful to make any photograph, sketch, picture, drawing, map, or graphical representation of such vital military and naval installations or equipment without first obtaining permission of the commanding officer of the military or naval post, camp, or station, or naval vessels, military and naval aircraft, and any separate military or naval command concerned, or higher authority, and promptly submitting the product obtained to such commanding officer or higher authority for censorship or such other action as he may deem necessary.
Eventually, officers from the Oceanside Police Department appeared on the scene. Approximately 15 minutes spent going back and forth with various officers, the man walked away without being detained.
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