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Friday, February 12, 2010

True Lies

The pretty hate machine continues running at full speed. From the opinion page of the Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice:

Ex-president George W. Bush consoled Fort Hood soldiers

Editor:

As you may know, after the Fort Hood attack, former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura showed up unannounced to visit the injured soldiers at the hospital.

However, as you can read below, there's allegedly more to the story.

What is even better is the fact George W. Bush heard about Fort Hood , got in his car without any escort, apparently they did not have time to react, and drove to Fort Hood. He was stopped at the gate and the guard could not believe who he had just stopped. Bush only asked for directions to the hospital, then drove on. The gate guard called that "The president is on Fort Hood and driving to the hospital." The base went bananas looking for Obama. When they found it was Bush they immediately offered escort and Bush simply told them to be quiet and let him visit the wounded and the dependents of the dead. He stayed at Fort Hood for over six hours and was finally asked to leave by a message from the White House. Obama flew in a few days later and held a "photo " session in a gym and did not even go to the hospital. All this I picked up from two soldiers here who happened to be at Fort Hood when it happened.

(name redacted)

Plymouth
I was moved by this story. Moved to see if, by Googling a chunk of text, I could find out if this was an original letter or just one of those things being passed around and then presented by volunteers as their own composition. I chose the last sentence - allegedly a personal statement by the writer attesting to its provenance.

There are currently 493 instances of this exact statement being located by Google. Two of them in particular caught my eye - appearances on snopes.com and factcheck.org.

snopes.com: Fort Hood Visit
Bush at Ft. Hood FactCheck.org

This isn't an original letter.

Snopes finds the story to be a mixture of true (Bush did visit Fort Hood), false (Obama did a hell of a lot more than hold "a 'photo' session in a gym"), and undetermined items. FactCheck is even more emphatic in refuting the claims in the letter - and cites David Sherzer of the George W. Bush Presidential Center as a source for much of its information.

Everything beyond the title and first sentence of this letter is false. So this letter is a lie - as is the impression that this was an original composition by someone from Plymouth, PA, based on statements related to her by soldiers who were on base at the time. But that hasn't stopped the usual suspects from responding as they usually do:
2 posted comments:

What can I say. We have an idiot in the White House!! Well, all you people who wanted "change"; YOU HAVE "CHANGE". Now, let's get his term over with, soon!! - American, 02/12/10 7:35

Voting has consequences - ed, 02/12/10 10:35
Like some guy whose birthday is coming up soon today once said, you can fool some of the people all of the time.

I wish these folks could take to heart a request made by that great American statesman Sarah Palin: "So how about in honor of the American solider you quit making things up?"

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