Until I caught up with the on-going chapters of the infamous Scott Beauchamp, faux journalist, I hadn’t realized there was so much deception in the U.S. surrounding military service.It seems to be a growth industry, for a variety of reasons.
One factor is getting those nice Veterans’ Administration benefits. Another is all the glory you get from the anti-war groupies. More than fifteen minutes worth of fame, and all those sweet young liberal girls so proud of you for admitting your shame… why it’s the shades of John Kerry, post-Vietnam.
The fakers became so numerous that the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 was signed into law by President Bush after its trip through the House and Senate. Before the law was enacted, there was nothing on the books that criminalized this behavior unless the person was caught in the act of, say, wearing medals or trying to sign up for benefits.
One of our commenters, IRA Darth Aggie, left me a link to the latest story of one of these fake soldiers that appeared in a Seattle paper. For those of you who aren’t aware of Seattle, it’s the latte/liberal capital of Washington state, in our northwest. There would certainly be a fair number of the fake valor guys hanging out in the vicinity, waiting for the next anti-war demonstration and their chance to tell tall tales of the horrible things they did in Iraq to civilians.
This particular story is drearily like the others, though at least this guy got caught. The anti-war folks will need to find another stooge because this one will be in jail:
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Jesse MacBeth never was an Army Ranger, much less a corporal, never received a Purple Heart for wounds inflicted by a foreign foe, and neither saw nor participated in war crimes with fellow U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, claims for which he became a poster boy for the anti-war movement.
So, there was likely no way the 23-year-old Tacoma man suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from the horrors of war and other injuries.
MacBeth was sentenced to five months in jail and three years’ probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and an Army discharge record.
At a sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik on Friday, MacBeth’s federal public defender, Jay Stansell, said that if MacBeth didn’t have PTSD from a war, he had mental health problems and grew up in a harsh environment, homeless on the streets, surviving by seizing whatever angle or positive feedback he could get.
This psychobabble from the public defender means MacBeth ia not supposed to be held responsible for his actions. His momma made him do it. It’s not his fault at all, though he sure does feel bad for being caught:
Under a plea agreement in May, MacBeth admitted guilt to falsifying a claim for veterans compensation benefits and altering his military discharge record, which was issued after he washed out of Army boot camp after 44 days in 2003.
That six weeks of boot camp allowed him to talk the talk — he had the military lingo down well enough to fool the anti-war Bush haters.
So now he’s contrite:
MacBeth said he felt bad for what he did.
“I’m sorry not only for lying about everything and discrediting anti-war groups, but also for defaming the real heroes, the soldiers out there sacrificing for their country,” MacBeth said. “I was trying to pull a fast one, to make money to get off the streets.”
MacBeth fooled peace groups and alternative media to become something of an anti-war star over the past four years.
He claimed he witnessed and participated in war crimes in Iraq with other Rangers, slaughtering hundreds of unarmed men, women and children.
In a widely distributed Internet video translated into Arabic, Macbeth said. “We would burn their bodies … hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.”
[Judge] Lasnik noted that the case operated in two arenas, one in the courtroom where he was sentenced specifically for the crime of falsifying records, and another “in the blogosphere and elsewhere where he became a symbol.”
“Too many people with a political agenda grabbed ahold of Mr. MacBeth’s story and ran with it because they wanted to believe it. Any sober look should have lead people to believe it was all a made-up rant,” Lasnik said.
“They tried to make him a poster boy for their point of view, and I think that is outrageous,” Lasnik said.
Operation Stolen Valor… has resulted in a dozen cases under investigation in the Pacific Northwest, with fraud totals of more than $1.4 million. Eight cases have been filed and are in various stages of prosecution.
The act allows authorities to pursue phonies they previously could not touch. In the past, authorities rarely could act unless they caught someone wearing an award.
“As a Vietnam veteran and the father of a decorated Army officer currently serving, I feel very keenly the damage done by Jesse Macbeth and these other fakes,” U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan said.
Hmm… I wonder if this law — if it had been in effect at the time — could have covered any of the embroidered stories John Kerry told about his valiant Vietnam experiences. How much different his life would have been if Operation Stolen Valor had been in effect for Vietnam…
You won’t find these scum solely amongst the anti-war crowd. Several blogs I’ve gone on have regular commenters who will claim extensive military service. Almost always they’ll be portrayed as G.I. Joe superhero types. However when you start questioning them the BS flies fast and furious while their claims melt like snow in a furnace.
I’ve also seen this at rallies held for the troops. There will be individuals selling their wares and showing nicely typed up citations for their supposed valorous service. When you scratch the surface of it though, the facts never support their fairy tales.
Damned shame. I joined in ’70 and got used to be a pariah, got out in ’93 after that had all subsided. Now the pendulum has completely swung the other way and every Tom, Dick & Harry tries to claim to be an incarnation of Rambo. IMHO it’s a more disgusting insult.
And yes, I CAN definetly prove my own time in service!
Slight typo, the second sentence in the third paragraph should have read, “…and got used to being a pariah.” I’m sure that was understood though.
Actually, “Stolen Valor” is the name of a book by a Vietnam vet. He noticed some years ago the number of homeless “vets” in Texas, allegedly with major awards for combat bravery, and wondered why these guys were homeless and jobless when-literally- everyone he knew from the War was successful. So he started filing FOIA requests on some, and found out they were all fakers.
Among others, he “outed” Brian Dennehy for claiming to be a Vietnam vet.
As for Kerry, I think he might have addressed that matter outside the book, but I don’t recall for certain. At any rate, he has done much for the reputation of the Vietnam vet, demonstrating that the men who were really there, and out in the bush, came back and did solid things with their lives- graduated from universities, became professionals and businessmen, etc.
I believe the gentleman’s name is Burkett, or something along those lines.
We all owe him a debt.
As for me, perhaps I’ll dig up my Good Conduct Medal and claim it’s a Distinguished Service Cross earned in Gulf War I. That ought to impress the babes, right?
OT for thread, but not for GoV..
After the 9/11 fiasco of Herr Thielmanns, are VB and SIAD planning anymore anti-Sharia rallies?
The English VB website does not say anything.
Why would anyone wish to do such a thing?
I volunteered twice to go overseas, but was told they needed me at my desk where I was stateside- so there I sat. I might have been safer in Iraq because of the lung problems I got from the moldy basement I had been working in pushing papers, but at least I can say I signed the blank check of service.
No glamorous battlefield heroics on my part- I just stood up to a corrupt official and got downsized after only a few years… I’d like to think that had I been able to stay on active duty longer I would have been able to do some of those great things most only hear stories about… but I’d take what happened to me over a fake record of battlefield service any day, knowing I played a part in supporting the warfighters.
Besides, the way things are shaping up around the world it’s unfortunately quite possible we will all see action.
Those who would attempt to steal credit for the sacrifices of others, those who would seek to tarnish the honor of those who were willing to give so much so that others might taste freedom, they do a great disservice to this country and those who really have served it. They are criminals of the worst sort- especially the ones falsely accusing heroes of crimes. Those doing so are treasonous, in that their accusations endanger the safety and security of this nation while we are at war. No politically correct admonishment against them could ever do their crimes justice, but thankfully they must live in shame the rest of their lives branded as cowards and traitors to those who gave their lives for them.
I’m sure they all served in the Army’s Disinformation Corp.
(A detachment who operate out of the Pentagon basement, right next to the remains of the CIA missile that Rumsfeld ordered fired into the building on 9/11 so he could look like a hero by surviving it.)
I never met any when I was in, but we all heard about them and discussed their activities in the chow line.
(Super-secret stuff like that always gets out. Along with how avoid adding a tiny, incrimintaing superscript “th” to forged documents after unit numbers, like the 187th.)
“Too many people with a political agenda grabbed ahold of Mr. MacBeth’s story and ran with it because they wanted to believe it.”
These people should also be exposed and, if possible, prosecuted for publicising untruths and damaging the reputation of the armed forces, not to mention the U.S.A.
Treason is a word that comes to mind.
Trackbacked by The Thunder Run – Web Reconnaissance for 09/28/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.
Jennifer Griffin on Fox News said that about 80% of the military supports 20% combat troops.
“Jennifer Griffin on Fox News said that about 80% of the military supports 20% combat troops.”
I think the numbers are actually closer to 90% / 10%, although recent changes involving civilians for support and logistics will have changed the ratio. Each service has a different combat ratio also; the USMC has the highest ratio and the USAF has the lowest.