AP Photo/Stefano Paltera)
One the things I hate most on earth are people who claim military service when they have not served. It's weird, my younger uncles, cousins and fathers never saw combat, but they still have service-related issues, like jungle rot. You grow up listening to bad feet stories, forget the shit people told me later on, you can grow to despise frauds.
If people knew how combat vets and even support vets suffered, from everything from bad backs and feet to agent orange, lying about military service would be as shameful as stealing from a church.
But the other reason I'm posting this is that someone dared me to post up MacBeth's story and when people do that, I get suspicious.
One point, service records are public documents. Anyone can get them.
Iraq veterans expose Jesse MacBeth to be a fraud
by Sharon Jumper
Sat May 27, 2006 at 11:59:57 AM PDT
There have been several diaries on Daily Kos in recent weeks that have linked to comments made by and interviews with Jesse MacBeth, who claimed to be a former Army Ranger who committed war crimes and witnessed atrocities in Iraq. Several anti-war groups have used this individual as a poster boy and spokesman for the cause. He also was featured in a video discussing alleged war crimes in Iraq, and said video was disseminated widely on progressive, democratic, and independent websites.
Several veterans, including myself, raised questions about the credibility of this individual. Today, Iraq War Veterans Against the War has confirmed our suspicions - JESSE MACBETH IS A FRAUD. HE WAS KICKED OUT OF THE ARMY PRIOR TO COMPLETING BASIC TRAINING. HE WAS NEVER A RANGER AND NEVER SERVED ANYWHERE OTHER THAN FT. BENNING, GA, WHERE HE FLUNKED OUT OF ARMY BASIC TRAINING.
Iraq War Veterans Against the War posted the following on their website today:
MacBeth came to Iraq Veterans Against the War in January 2006 asking for help, and the organization and its members extended itself to help him in various ways. Assisting veterans is one of the founding principles of IVAW and it is a mission that we take seriously. After looking into his recent claims, we have learned that Jesse is not what he represented himself to be. Accordingly, IVAW does not in any way endorse Jesse MacBeth or any of his accounts involving military service. He -- and he alone -- is responsible for them. IVAW was not aware of the creation of the video program featuring MacBeth, and did not authorize use of our logo in the program.
The timing of the widespread circulation of the MacBeth video interestingly coincides with the ongoing military investigation of the recent Marine massacre of two dozen civilians (including women and children) in Haditha, - what is being termed as an atrocity by one member of Congress (R). MacBeth's false statements unfortunately have played into the hands of those who would deny that any atrocities whatsoever are occurring in Iraq. While such murders by military personnel are reprehensible, ultimate blame for these actions must be placed on the responsible commanding officers, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Bush administration who have created the context for chaos in through an illegal and unjust war and occupation which they admit has no end in sight.
IVAW is a young and growing organization of courageous veterans and active duty soldiers in the "War on Terror" whose mission is to end the war in Iraq through immediate withdrawal of troops. We believe that veterans should be given the benefits they deserve upon returning home, and that the United States owes reparations to the Iraqi people for the destruction of their country. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was ill conceived and dishonestly sold to the American people, and IVAW members have the special vantage point of first-hand experience of the war to know why it's wrong and why we need to bring the troops home now.
For those who haven't seen this scumbag on video, here's one of the few remaining links.
The following DD-214 (click on this link to see detail) has been posted by several veterans' websites as being an authentic copy of MacBeth's military discharge:
It shows (1) MacBeth's "last" duty station was a Basic Training unit at Ft. Benning, GA; (2) his rank at the time of discharge to be a Private (E-1); (3) that he began active duty on May 1, 2003, and ended active duty six weeks later on June 13, 2003; (4) that he earned NO medals or honors (despite his claims of having earned, inter alia, a bronze star and several purple hearts; and (5) that he did not complete basic training, did not qualify with weapon or grenade, did not attend AIT, did not complete the occupational training for ANY military specialty, and did not attend or complete airborne or ranger training...despite his claims of having been an Army Ranger in Iraq.
The bottom portion of MacBeth's DD-214 states that he was discharged persuant to AR 600-235, Chapter 11, for "Entry level performance and conduct."
In reviewing this copy of the DD-214, it looks authentic to me. In the typical "Army" way, all letters are capitalized. Dates, computations, and military regulations cited are consistent.
Compare the aforementioned document with the DD-214 that Jesse MacBeth has posted on MySpace:
Here's an interview with the poser that was recently diaried on Kos and riled many anti-war Kossacks, while simultaneously raising questions by the military veterans amongst us:
The War the Media is Not Reporting -- An Iraqi Veteran Speaks Out
Apr 26, 2006
Jesse Macbeth, formerly a Special Forces Ranger in Iraq, is now active with Iraq Veterans Against the War in Tacoma, Washington. The Rangers are elite units sent door-to-door in Iraq to combat the insurgency. They were also sent into Fallujah to crush all opposition to the occupation of that city. Justice recently interviewed Jesse.First, there is no such thing as a "Special Forces Ranger" Special Forces is
the army's counterinsurgency unit, which requires specialized training in
specific combat skills like demolition and communications. The Medics course is one of the best regarded in the world.
Rangers are elite infantry, commandos, who work in platoons and comapnies to execute missions
The two units are seperate and while one can be a former Ranger and Special Forces soldier, there is no such thing as a Special Forces Ranger
Second, the Marines were and are in charge of Fallujah, which is in Al Anbar province. Marines elite units are Force Recon
How did you end up in the military?Someone facing a felony jail sentence cannot be accepted in the military. Congress outlawed that nearly 30 years ago. Also, acceptance to Special Operation units requires a security clearance.Someone with a criminal background is unlikely pass the secret clearance needed for admission to
I grew up on the streets. I got into trouble for fighting. The same judge that I'd been dealing with my whole life told me that I wouldn't have to do adult time if I signed up for the military immediately. Sometimes I kinda wish I went to jail instead.
such a unit.
How did you become a Special Forces Ranger?
Basic training was easy for me. Growing up on the streets, I was used to running from cops. I was used to not eating for days. I got picked to go to Ranger School.
Someone doing that is unlikely to be healthy enough to serve as a Ranger. One applies for Ranger training. You can apply when enlisting or after serving in another unit. The physical stress of RIP would probably wreak havoc on someone malnurished
What did your division do?
I was in the Third Ranger Battalion. Our job was to strike fear in the hearts of the Iraqi people.
Well, he got that right. But the rangers job is to observe and attack guerrillas. Not just bust into people's homes
We would go into people's houses and plow down entire families. We would interrogate people. If we didn't like the answers that they gave, then we would kill the youngest child. If they gave more answers that we didn't like, then we'd move on to the rest of the family. They could've been innocent people.Rangers do direct action, which is going into places and shooting things up.
Kill a child? Highly unlikely from professional soldiers because that just gives people an incentive to kill them. It is the regular infantry which searches for guerrillas on a regular basis
We would leave the bodies in the streets and blame it on the Shi'ites or the Sunnis. [In Fallujah] we were ordered to go into mosques and slaughter people while they were praying. I won't go into full detail because I'm still haunted by the memories.
Uh, Rangers operate in US Army uniforms, if they are seen dragging bodies in the streets people would notice. Haditha has been an incident in Iraq for months. They may operate in small patrols, but not as a death squad.
What was the assault on Fallujah like?
Fallujah is where we slaughtered people in mosques. We provoked the people there. Some people escaped from the mosques and saw us. We would dig holes and leave mass graves of children, women, and old men. We were ordered to let people die on the street. We were told that the Geneva Convention means nothing to us in combat.
Why would he know what happened in Fallujah, the Army was only called in at the end, Rangers would dig mass graves and no one called them on it? An officer who said this could be courtmartialed
We were ordered to fire on peaceful protesters in Fallujah. Somebody threw a rock at us, and an officer said that he thought it was a grenade. Then we were ordered to fire. When it's daylight in Iraq, it's daylight! Nobody really thought it was a grenade.Uh, this happened with the 82nd ABN in 2003
What medals did you get in Iraq?How do you not remember what you did for a Bronze Star? Again, it's a public record with a public citation and you know why you got a Purple Heart
I got a lot. I got a purple heart. Half of them, I don't remember. I got five or six medals just for landing. I got a bronze star.
What injuries did you get?
I got stabbed many times. I got shrapnel in my knee. I got shot in the back.
Stabbed? That means someone got close to you and past your body armor. Many times?
What do you think is the role of the U.S. in Iraq?
The military is terrorists there. Soldiers thought we were going to fight terrorism, but we became the terrorists. We were told we were going to liberate the country and find weapons of mass destruction. The real aim is to have the U.S. own the country. The U.S. wants oil.
How has the government treated you since you got back?
Like shit. I hate them. I'm not gonna be a terrorist or anything, but I hate them. They killed my battle brothers. They used me. They messed me up. They didn't care about me. They turned me into a beast, a machine.
What Veteran's benefits have you gotten?
I ain't getting nothing. A card and that's it.
Uh, no. With an honorable discharge, he is entitled to benefits, as well as his enlistment bonus.
Where do you work?
I'm an Iraq vet, and I work at Wendy's.
How did you get involved in IVAW?
Veteran's Affairs told me they had no money for me. I always knew the war was fucked up, but that motivated me to say something about it. The government throws us away. They did the same thing after Vietnam.
Why do you think people should get involved in the antiwar movement?
Because it's gotta stop. Innocent people are getting killed. Bush says we have to stay the course and that it's hard work. Bush doesn't know what work is.
Anything else you want to say?
Yeah. The news here is controlled. The military lets information out that serves their purposes. We slaughtered a sovereign nation. Reporters got killed.
When I was growing up, everyone thought I'd be a criminal, but they were wrong. I'm gonna be one of the leaders of the revolution.
IVAW was not the only group who was scammed by this poser. Respected journalist Dahr Jamail, who many of us here respect, was conned as well. Dahr has also issued a statement regarding MacBeth and removed the aofrementioned video and comments by MacBeth from his website. After Downing Street has also been fooled by the scumbag MacBeth.
As an Army veteran as well as the mother of someone who served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have NEVER made excuses for soldiers who violate the terms and spirit of the Geneva and Hague Conventions. I find someone like Jesse MacBeth who falsely claims to be a war veteran and indicts his "fellow" soldiers for committing war crimes to be as reprehensible as those who actually do commit such acts.
Please spread the word about this cretin to others in the liberal, progressive, and anti-war communities before he commits additional acts of fraud and/or bears false witness for fame and profit.
As of now, most of the debunking that appears online has been on right-wing affiliated websites. Those of us on the left, particularly those who are veterans, need to sound off loudly against individuals who falsely claim to be fellow veterans in order to give credence to allegations made against individuals in the military. [NOTE: Fellow Kossack Chuckvw posted a diary earlier today in which he also exposed MacBeth as a fraud, after having previously written a diary based on MacBeth's story. Yet again - the difference between Kossacks and many others in the Blogosphere...when we make a mistake or are fooled, we make sure that the truth gets out.]
People tend to take people at face value, especially when they say what people want to hear.In this case, acting like a member of an Einsatzgruppen.Why? Because it conforms to their stereotypes, all soldiers are evil, they murder Iraqis at will. Even vets can fall for this. Al Santoli, who wrote two oral histories ofVietnam fell for someone telling similar tales about Navy SEAL'sBut even minor reasearch would show that his description of Ranger tactics is just wrong. Regular infantry do door to door searches, but the expensively trained rangers are trained to hunt guerrillas and discussion of their actions are fairly limited.What they are not doing is daily raids in town. Commanders have other use for their skills
There is always the suspicion of darkness when dealing with large institutions, that someone will reveal an ugly truth confirming our darkest suspicions. But his whole story sounds like bullshit because people don't admit to murders they could be charged for. Assuming he's still on IRR, he'd be likely recalled to active duty for an Article 32 hearing leading to a general courtmartial.As soon as someone got their hands on his DD-214, they exposed him as a shitbird who didn't even complete basic. If people took 10 minutes to contact one of the Ranger alumni associations, people who served with him would remember him, especially if he won a Bronze Star. The Special Operations community is tight and if he was a former Ranger, people would know him, his squad mates and when they served with him. If he enlisted in 2003, he would have another year to go on his enlistment
But what made me think this didn't smell right was that e-mail. When someone challenges you to run something, it is usually bullshit.When you want someone's attention, you usually ask nicely.
People need to stop acting like the military is some magical world where anything can happen. It is anything but. It is a bureaucracy, with voluminous paper trails in public records. If someone says they're a Ranger who won the Bronze Star, that can be proven with a simple records search.
If you read what he says, it doesn't sound like he's a soldier, because all he talks about is himself. If you watch any documentary about Iraq, people talk about their friends, the people who didn't come back. All he talks about is killing, not those who got killed. He never menions friends and you do not serve in a Ranger unit without friends. The final selection is always based on finding people who fit in. Loners do not make it to the unit. It isn't just running hard and shooting striaght, it's also about your personality.
People have to be skeptical about any claims of service from anyone, especially those telling tales of brutality. They should be able to prove when and where they served and name people they served with, as well as their duty stations.Now why did this guy make up shit? Maybe he feels the Army failed him, maybe he wanted attention, maybe he thought he would be a hero.
But people need to ask hard questions before signing on to any shit someone comes up with
posted by Steve @ 12:01:00 AM