26 July 2008

Bagram Source of False Obama Rumor

A while back, I noted how Snopes.com's rumors collected on the internet about the Democratic Presidential candidates far exceeded those about this year's Republican candidate, and how the statements about Democrats were false far more often than true, and false far more often than the equivalent statements about the Republican.

The pattern continues. As of today, there are three rumors about John McCain listed on the Snopes website, none of them false. There are twenty-seven rumors about Barack Obama, seventeen of them false and only two of them clearly accurate.

The latest lie was drafted by an army captain in Afghanistan named Jeffrey S. Porter and spread around the internet this week. The New York Daily News identified Porter as a “Utah Army National Guard intelligence officer in a linguist unit at Bagram Airfield,” which is a major major detention and interrogation site. FactCheck.org preserves how the paper added:

Now the Bagram captain is dialing back, having signed the viral e-mail with his name, rank and unit - a possible violation of military regulations barring political statements. . . .

An Army officer familiar with the incident told The Mouth today that the writer is “devastated that the letter was made public. It was never his intention that it go beyond members of his family.”
It seems curious for Porter to have signed the email with his rank, unit, assignment, and the phrases "American Soldier" and "(married and father of 6 children)" if he were writing only to his family. You'd think they'd know all that stuff already.

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