In the wide and desperate world of posers, wannabes, embellishers and valor thieves there is one constant that usually allows the worst perpetrators of service fraud to carry on their charade in the open for long periods.
They invariably claim to have served in the elite of our armed forces - Army Rangers or Green Berets, Navy SEALS or their predecessors the Underwater Demolition Teams, Marine Recons, Snipers or Counter-terrorism specialists, Delta Force Commandos, Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers, Air Force S.E.R.E Specialists and Pararescue forces.
These elite forces require highly specialized training that most members of the armed forces never encounter, and many are employed on secret missions that put their highly valued skills to work. Due to the hazardous nature of such operations many of the real elite forces engage in combat under the least favorable of circumstances and often are awarded a disproportionate number of medals for valor under fire.
Posers use the truth of elite service to hide their falsehoods. Invariably, these frauds claim their service was secret, "behind the lines," and always "classified," so there are rarely any public records of their deeds. Records are scarce they claim, because the world still can't know what they did. Even their awards were kept secret, they say, although in truth the military records everything it can and keeps it all in triplicate.
Thus when a person shows up in a veteran community with a chest full of medals, a story of deep undercover operations and membership in one of the elite organizations, it is initially difficult to determine whether the medals are real or undeserved, whether the person served, or is posing. It is human nature to take people at face value, unless or until evidence surfaces indicating that the stories may not be true.
If questions arise, however, the instant communications offered by the Internet and the existence of military records data bases, as well as organizations that list everyone who serves or served in the elite forces, and recipients of medals for valor, make unmasking these frauds a fairly straightforward process.
Into this mix we now have presidential candidate, former First Lady, and New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who is under fire for claiming that she was under fire during a visit to Bosnia with her daughter Chelsea when Bill Clinton was president.
First she made the claim that Bill, the cowardly president, often sent her to unsettled areas as an envoy when things were too dangerous for him to go. Meaning, apparently, that he sat safely back in DC and sent his wife and daughter to combat zones in his place when he determined it was in the nation's interest. I believe that makes him the only US president to use that tactic, which brings up questions about his true intent, which we won't go into here.
In recent campaign speeches Mrs. Clinton claimed that on one of these initial assault troop insertions in which she participated, her aircraft had to spiral down to the landing zone - a hot LZ in Vietnam veteran lexicon - to avoid ground fire, and then she and Chelsea had to run for cover to avoid snipers.
Uh-huh. Problem was, the press was along, as it always is, and the press had videos galore that showed Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea in a peaceful, nearly pastoral setting, with cute little greeting kids offering hand shakes and smiles and photos and peace and love - and no bullets.
After a couple of weeks, as she became mired in the quagmire of the War With Obama, WWO from here on out, Mrs. Clinton was forced to admit that she "misspoke" when she repeatedly related this story of heroism under fire that would do the most brazen embellisher proud. I'm not sure which word was "misspoken" but it appears there were quite a few of them and they were all strung together.
Here is where, in the world of embellishers, Mrs. Clinton made her big error. First, let's not fool ourselves into thinking that she just came up with this story recently, and that it was only in the last couple of months that it came to the attention of the Main Stream Media, aka American Terrorist Media, aka National Democratic Party Public Relations representatives.
You can bet this story was out there for a long time, and was ignored as long as Mrs. Clinton was calling the shots in the Democratic Party. But now we have Sen. Barack Obama making life miserable for her, many Democratic loyalists deserting the Clintons to side with Obama, and suddenly the press has developed a conscience.
Taking that into account, Mrs. Clinton should have known that sooner or later someone was going to call her on this story, and she should have been ready for it. This is where it helps to have a president who actually has served in the armed forces because at least he or she would have spent some time in the service clubs after work and developed an understanding of the concept of "War Stories" - otherwise known as bulls**t.
If she really had the experience she wants America to believe she has, Mrs. Clinton would have claimed membership in one of the elite services, and created the illusion that the encounter with friendly locals that was filmed by the media was a diversion.
"We did that to keep attention focused on one place while we were really conducting special operations in another area where things were really dicey. We didn't allow the press in because we didn't want to upset the delicate nature of our undercover operations, and besides we didn't want any of our dear friends in the media to get hurt."
"Actually, that wasn't really me in the videos," she could have claimed. "That was my stunt double that I sent in to do the "Meet and Greet" ceremonies while I was taking on the really dangerous jobs. Remarkable likeness isn't it? We even had the press fooled."
Mrs. Clinton could have gone so far as to falsely claim to have been wounded under fire, as some of her Senate colleagues have done, and demurred in her most First Lady-like manner when asked to show her scars.
"I'm sorry, but I am a former First Lady and presidential candidate and I don't think it is appropriate to display that part of my anatomy to the world media. The American public demands and deserves far more decorum from its elite public servants."
Hey, bigger lies have been told in Congress and the media has gone along with it like a batch of mindless lemmings in the past. So why not now?
I bet she even could have produced some medical records showing the nature of the wound and when she got it. If you are a former First Lady with a last name of Clinton, you also can use your husband's powers to create a fake persona.
Even the organizations that keep track of membership in elite units and valor awards would have a difficult time unmasking your story as they do so readily with run-of-the-mill posers.
Yes she really blew it this time. Mrs. Clinton had all the means at her disposal to totally deflect this story.
Instead WWO drags on, sound bite by sound bite, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, news cycle after news cycle with no end in sight. Casualties are mounting on both sides, innocent Democrats are caught in the crossfire, the party is spread far too thin to sustain this type of urban political combat, and the party leaders simply continue to mutter "Stay The Course."
Where, oh where, will it all end?
Meanwhile there is one last, lingering question regarding Mrs. Clinton's Fantasy Trip to the Combat Zone. Her daughter was with her.
Granted, the Former First Kid was a teenager back then, but she is a full-grown adult now and out on the campaign trail just like her mom, spreading the Gospel According to Clinton.
If she was on that trip she knew full well that she and Mummy didn't have to duck any snipers. So what did she do or say to put a stopper on her mom's fake war stories, and when did she do or say it?
Or am I supposed to sit here and make believe I too am bound by the self-imposed rules of the American Terrorist Media that only prints the news it feels like printing whenever it gets the urge, and not question the actions and veracity of the Former First Kid?
I'll have to think about that for a bit.
But ... fingers ... are ... twitching; ... brain cells ... firing ... full automatic! ... Please ... help! ... Stop me ... before ... I ... type ... again!
Thursday, March 27, 2008