Controversial mail pieces sent by the campaign of Rep. Duncan Hunter recently were criticized as Islamophobic. Now the materials have drawn attention from the U.S. Marine Corps. for a different reason.
The U.S. Marine Corps Trademarking Licensing Office wrote Hunter a letter Tuesday, asking him to immediately stop using the official USMC Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem and the phrase “No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy” — which are trademarked — on all campaign materials.
“The phrase ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ is a registered Marine Corps Trademark and your use of the Phrase and the Emblem is likely to convey the impression that the Marine Corps favors your candidacy over another, or ‘endorses’ your views on a particular issue, and is a use of which we cannot grant permission,” the letter states. “We thereby request your campaign immediately remove the Emblem and the Phrase from its mailers, and, without limitation, from all other campaign materials….”
The letter says Hunter is welcome to state he is a Marine Corps veteran and to use an alternative “Marine Veteran” logo, which USMC provides and Marines use to indicate pride in their service.
Hunter spokesman Michael Harrison said in an email that Hunter’s campaign is complying with the Marine Corps request, adding thatthe campaign’s design team created an image using the globe and anchor to reflect Hunter’s pride at having served two tours with the Marines.
“It is personally disappointing to Congressman Hunter that he is now being told that he cannot use this motto or image that is as much a part of him as it is for the thousands of Marines like Congressman Hunter who went to war under this banner and have used this logo for tattoos, coins, and multiple other items of personal sentiment,” Harrison wrote in an email.
Harrison added that historically Hunter’s campaign materials have included a required military disclaimer that states, “the use of his military rank, job titles and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement from the Department of Defense or the Marines.”
A Marine Corps spokesman was not able to say how the recent campaign materials came to USMC’s attention or how often Marines send cease and desist letters to members of Congress.
“The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor is a trademark of the Marine Corps protected by Federal law. In accordance with 10 U.S. Code § 7881, the seal and emblem should not be used in conjunction with any political activities,” said USMC Capt. Joseph Butterfield.
The same campaign materials recently drew another kind of media attention.
The materials, which are mailers soliciting donations, show a photo of one of one the terrorists who attacked the 1972 Munich Olympic games on one side and photos of Hunter’s Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar and two congresswomen on the other, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Above the photos of the three was a message from Hunter: “These three radical Democrats want you to forget their anti-semitism or family terrorist ties! But as a Marine I’ll never forget the 1983 Beirut bombings and the 1972 Olympic murders.”
Omar and Tlaib are the first two Muslim women to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and are often the focus of conservative media criticism. Hunter has long alleged Campa-Najjar’s deceased grandfather was involved in and masterminded the 1972 terrorist attack in Munich.
The role of Campa-Najjar’s grandfather, who died 16 years prior to the candidate’s birth, is the subject of historical dispute, with some Israeli and Palestinian historians questioning whether he was involved in the Munich attack. There is little to no evidence to suggest that Campa-Najjar’s grandfather masterminded the attack.
Mohammed Oudeh — who died of kidney failure in 2010 — is widely accepted to be the mastermind of the operation.
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