I’ve been somewhat inaccurate in my view of the IVAW and Jesse MacBeth situation. I’ve written that MacBeth was a member of IVAW for six months, during which period he participated in and spoke at IVAW events. When MacBeth’s video was released on the Web, he and his tales were spotted as “phony” by milbloggers like Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette in less time that it took me to type “When MacBeth’s video was released on the Web…”. I faulted IVAW for not spotting Macbeth as a fraud, but I was wrong. By IVAW standards, Jesse MacBeth was not and is not a fraud in the light of IVAW membership criteria.
The stories MacBeth told were frauds and phonies, and IVAW does not support or endorse those. But even now, after his lying was exposed and it was found that he was never in Iraq and even with his conviction for trying to defraud the government out of veteran’s benefits he was not qualified to receive, MacBeth is still entitled to be a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. IVAW’s site has this about membership:
Membership Eligibility: 1. Members have served in the United States Military since September 11, 2001. All recent veterans and active duty servicemen and women from all branches of military service, National Guard members, and reservists are welcome to join our ranks. Please provide verification of service...
That’s it. There is no number 2. MacBeth did indeed serve in the military since September 11, 2001, or as it was concisely presented at the ABCNews blog:
"He was in the Army for 40 days before he was kicked out of boot camp for being unfit," said U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan. "He was never in Iraq."
He wasn’t and isn’t a member by fraud, as he has attained to their membership criteria! I found it somewhat surprising that a group that calls itself Iraq Veterans Against the War does not require its member to actually be Iraq Veterans, but probably shouldn’t have. MacBeth did indeed tamper with his DD214 discharge, falsifying it to obtain benefits, but the point is he actually had one! It showed service after September 11, 2001. That’s it. He was and can still be a legit member of IVAW. The group does take that vetting seriously. The IVAW Membership Form states:
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a group of veterans and active duty servicemen and women who have served since September 11th, 2001.
Nothing about actually serving in Iraq. The form continues to question 13:
13. Please attach proof of your military service with at least one of the following:
A copy of DD form 214 (if not available please explain)
A copy of military Photo identification
A copy of your Unit Move Order indicating service dates and locations
A copy of medal, award, or certificate of recognition
A copy of paperwork from Veterans Administration
That is followed by question 14:
14. T-Shirt Size (circle one) Small / Medium / Large / Extra Large / 2XL