Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winter Soldier 2008: Jesse MacBeth

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


ArmySergeant said...

While the thought of Jesse MacBeth moves me to frothing rage, I have to take issue with your impllication that that all service which does not take place involving physical presence in Iraq is somehow 'lesser'.

Are you in active service yourself, currently? As someone in active service, I can say that physical presence in Iraq is not necessary to take part in the conflict. How would you define service relating to the Iraq War? Would you deny that such fine soldiers as the Walter Reed medical staff are involved in Iraq War work simply because their hospital is not located physically in Iraq? What about Qatar? Diego Garcia? What about someone who sits in a ship off the coast? How would you define it?

IVAW is not named GWOTVAW, Global War on Terrorism Veterans Against the War, in likelihood because a) that's an awfully long name, and b) Most people hate that name. The 'Global War On Terrorism', briefly termed the 'Global Struggle Against Extremism' is hard to quantify. Not everyone approves with a GWOT ribbon: but that decision was made by the President of the United States. If you disagree with his characterization of that as a war, why not take it up with him instead of with IVAW?

Please feel free to email me at sgtivaw@gmail.com if you have more specific questions.

"The opinion expressed through this comment is that of the author and does not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government."

Denis Keohane said...

Hi armysergeant,

You said:

"...I have to take issue with your impllication that that all service which does not take place involving physical presence in Iraq is somehow 'lesser'."

Nice try, sarge, but I didn't make that implication. Point one: if you want to debate points I made, do it about points I made. The group calls itself Iraq Veterans Against the War. The average person is going to think, from that name, that it is made up of Iraq War veterans. IVAW's site claims 700 members. I have no idea if that is accurate or hasn't been updated, but it would be nice to know exactly how many of IVAW's members have served in Iraq. In that way, some idea of how much the group is representative of the larger number can be deduced.

I am not in the service now, but am a vet. My son is serving now, though. Shortly after 9/11 he went from MI to special forces. He's in his eighth year. Sarge, trust me, he does some traveling, and I know full well that one can be in the conflict in more than Iraq or Afghanistan. Those global terror guys are, well, global.

When IVAW goes very public next March, with their WSI, they will be asked about membership. And their answers will be checked. It isn't the seventies any more.

IVAW was not involved with Jesse MacBeth's video, but MacBeth was (and possibly still is) a member of IVAW for six months. No one apparently flagged him as a fake, but it is hard to believe he wasn't telling his stories or some versions of them around other IVAW members. But according to the IVAW's site, MacBeth is still entitled to be a member of IVAW, since his forty days of service before being removed were after 9/11, and therefore comes up to IVAW's membership criteria.

As you ask me about someone who serves at Walter Reed and such, I have no objection to recognizing contribution and service for which gratitude and respect is due - but I wouldn't call that person an Iraq War veteran. Over to you - do you think it proper that Jesse MacBeth can be called an Iraq War veteran?

Anonymous said...

Jesse MacBeth was a member of IVAW. Ms Braxton was the IVAW staffer who provided MacBeth's DD-214 to the investigative journalists.

IVAW was modelled after and mentored by the VVAW of the 60's/70's and are the source of the baby killer smear against that generation of military via VVAW's Winter Soldier Investigation. The VVAW people that mentored IVAW are Bill Davis, David Cline and Bill Perry.

Read Stolen Valor by Burkett to see what a sham WSI was.

With regard to Walter Reed, Veterans for Peace, which is the rock under which VVAW's leadeership now hides, holds a protest every Friday night in front of Walter Reed Army Hospital.

A leader of the local VFP chapter was caught on film holding a "Maimed for a lie sign".

I've over heard two different Sergeants, at two different times discuss seeing the VFP/MFSO/Code Pink protesters are they rode the stretcher bus through the main gate after being picked up at Andrews AFB. Both used the exact same discription, "I saw them and I said to myself, 'I don't need this shit'"

A Major who I know, described his same experience (arriving on a stretcher) with the same words.

WHILE these protesters carry "Support The Troops" signs, they will not talk to the wounded who want to talk to them. In fact I have a photo of one giving the finger to a patient.

The formation of IVAW was announced at VFP's Boston Convention. The VVAW pukes that helped form IVAW were VFP members. In fact, VFP calls IVAW a "Project of VFW". When you see that phrase "Project of..." with regrd to anti-war groups, it means one is using it's tax free status to fund the other. It's called a "directed contribution". It's a bitch that treason is tax free, ain't it.

Anonymous said...

Should armysergeant cross paths with Tina Richards down in DC or Tim Kahlor of MFSO, who'll probably be passing through at some point, ask them about the impllication that that all service which does not take place involving physical presence in Iraq is somehow 'lesser'.

To both of them, if your kid didn't walk point naked without a weapon, while your own side ferried in insurgents, you aren't allowed to speak.

Both have pulled that crap, with Kaylor even calling his kid in theater.

BTW, Kaylor bought into the Dragon Skin BS that was circulated and bought one for his kid. Seems there's enough questions about Dragon Skin in my mind that it has it's own vulnerabilities, yet the anti-war crowd used hysteria for political purposes.

Yeah, they'll scream and holler about unarmored HumVees, yet try and move Strykers which are better protected in and out of Ft Lewis and the little peace bastards sit down in the street at the port, or pour concrete on the railroad tracks.

The anti-war isn't about peace, it's all about another reason to hate the USA. They hate our present governmental and economic systems. They want to see American "power" defeated and humbled.

jesse macbeth said...

you are right i lied about being in iraq i lied about alot of things concerning the my military service. i should have told the truth. you wanna know why i said what i said. well as most of the world knows now i am muslim and have been most of my life. i got beat and tied to a pole in the training bay by my drill sgt and other iet soldiers i had pages of my qu'ran shoved down my throat and told muslim down belong in the army. i was left there for three days beaten and bloody naked and cold. with only pages of my holy book shoved down my throat for nurishment. when i told the chaplain and the my co at ft benning they dident believe me so i filed a report with jag u all can look it up if u know any one in the service who has access. the fact is no one cared and i was pissed about how i was treated i was labeled unfit to serve in the u.s army because i was a black american muslim. who wasent gna keep silent about being beat and tortured by fellow americans it was wrong that i lied but no one wanted to hear the truth so i made up the whole story to get back at the army the only way i could. and for awhile it worked. i got paid to do talks and to do tv shows and do marches. different orgs wanted me to represent them and i got to bash the army to put all my anger for what they did to me in my words. i am writting a book about my life and about why i did what i did. honestly i still hate the u.s army because they got away with tortureing and beating, discriminating against another american. judge me how u will but if u think i just thought out of the blue one day that i was gna go on tv and lie out of the blue for no reason u were wrong. for all of u that are so good and researching stuff try and find the report i filed with jag while i was hospitalized at martin army community hospital for bing beat neary to death and tortured by my drill sgt and other iet soldiers.
thats all i have to say. look for my book and my new yout ube video that comming out soon telling everything i said here and more

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