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Marine Recruiters Kidnap High School Recruit

That's what Susan Paynter's Seattle Post-Intelligencer column, When Marine recruiters go way beyond the call, would have you believe. Judging by the reaction of the blogosphere, that's what's being believed.

Stephen Spruiell at NRO's "Media Blog" looks into Paynter's Post-Intelligencer column with a critical eye. As Spruiell notes, perhaps the story as told is 100% accurate, but failing to obtain the Marines side of the story is just piss poor journalism, even for a columnist. Paynter did manage to do a followup column discussing reader reaction to the first column, yet she is still mysteriously unable to contact the Marines.

Spruiell managed to easily get a hold of public affairs officer for the region who said this about contacts regarding the story:

"With regards to that, I received a call from you and MSNBC yesterday, I have worked with reporters from that publication [the Seattle Post-Intelligencer] in the past, and I have provided them with information about the Marine Corps. Did I receive a call from that reporter? No. Did my marines receive a call from that reporter? No. I can't speculate on what she did, but I can say no query was received at this office."
Honestly, can you recall a point during the last few years when the military has been "unavailable for comment?" I seriously doubt it. Reporters around the world don't have trouble getting access to the US military for interviews, yet somehow columnist Susan Paynter is allowed to present the Marine's side of the story as, "calls to the Burlington office went unanswered."

Everyone knows there are two sides to every story, and in most cases the truth is somewhere in between. Even if you believe her first column is the god's honest truth, you should be dismayed at journalistic dishonesty Paynter is perpetuating by failing to put even a minimal amount of effort into reporting the Marine recruiters side of the story. If you think the Post-Intelligencer owes its readers both sides of the story, Glenn Drosendahl is the Reader Representative & Assistant to the Publisher for the Post-Intelligencer.

Jeff Harrell notes that Spruiell will be talking to more Marines on Monday. Keep an eye on NRO's Media Blog, they'll have the rest of the story one way or another, unlike the Post-Intelligencer.

Note: This Gallup headline - Public Confidence in Newspapers, TV News Falls to All-Time Low - seems appropriate.

Update: Stephen Spruiell has the Marines side of the story and, predictably, it differs significantly from Paynter's retelling of the mom's tale. Now you've got something to write to the P-I Reader Representative about.


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Comments (56)

Classic attack the messenge... (Below threshold)

Classic attack the messenger. Why, when Spruiell got the PR flack on the phone, didn't he ask for a comment on the veracity of the account? He didn't even report the standard, "We're looking into it" boilerplate of the PR world. What, this guy hadn't heard of the story? He had no response? Just, the reporter never contacted me? Not very pro-active for a PR flack.

But here's the best part. Spruiell posts a PS:

"P.S. I called Paynter this morning and left a message asking to speak with her about her column. As of this posting that call has gone unanswered, as they say. In all fairness, it’s still pretty early on the West coast. I’ll be perfectly willing to admit I’ve jumped the gun if information she can provide helps me verify that she made some kind of good-faith attempt to contact the Marines."

In all fairness? Only after accusing the columnist of not getting both sides of the story, he decided to contact the reporter only AFTER he ran his own one-sided story. Gimme a break. At least the columnist tried to contact the military BEFORE running with her story. But I guess it's okay because he's willing to admit he "jumped the gun." Good grief.

But even if Spruiell did "jump the gun" the message is already out there thanks to quick on the keyboard "media watchdogs" such as Kevin who has already helped spread the meme that the left wing press is out to attack recruiters by any means necessary. As if there haven't already been verified, confirmed cases of recruiters stepping over the line. But why are these recruiters so aggressive? Hmmmm could it be because the army has missed its recruiting quotas for the last four months running?

I guess it would be truly unpatriotic of me to suggest at this point that those Wizbang readers in good health between the ages of 18 and 35 could really help these recruiters out by enlisting. You know, help take the pressure. Any takers?

Hey Kevin -- I'd a... (Below threshold)

Hey Kevin --

I'd argue that the reason why confidence in the press has fallen is because the press has failed to hold this administration accountable for any and all of its most hienous mistakes and lunacies. THe public are demanding accountability and all the press can muster are wet kisses for Commander Codpiece. Hence the public has lost respect for the press.

The following paragragh from the same Gallup piece you quote:

"However, some other institutions fared far worse this year, suggesting a broad level of distrust, cynicism or malaise.

Confidence in the presidency plunged from 52% to 44%, with Congress and the criminal-justice system also suffering 8% drops. Confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court fell from 46% to 41%. The 22% confidence rating for Congress is its lowest in eight years, and self-identified Republicans have only a slightly more positive view of the institution than do Democrats."

The country is falling apart but you wouldn't know it from the kid gloves of our cowed and intimidated press corps.

Frameone, It's only ... (Below threshold)

It's only the moonbat left that thinks the country is falling apart. It's an OPINION based on what your goals and values are, not a fact.

Much of the negative press the US has recieved is due specifically to the hysterical screams from the left due to the fact they lost the election and are no longer in the drivers seat.

And poll results are not very valuable or reliable because they are so dependent on when the poll is done, the distribution of dem, rep and ind voters polled, all adults vs. likely voters, age distribution as well as many other factors,

Unless I can see the internals of polls I dismiss them as irrelevent.

"I guess it would be truly ... (Below threshold)
Mark Flacy:

"I guess it would be truly unpatriotic of me to suggest at this point that those Wizbang readers in good health between the ages of 18 and 35 could really help these recruiters out by enlisting. You know, help take the pressure. Any takers?"

How about *you*, frameone?

<a href="http://media.natio... (Below threshold)

Here's a permalink to the NRO post in question.

I did a little blurb on thi... (Below threshold)

I did a little blurb on this a few days ago. At that time it struck me as smelly. So did her follow-up. But honestly I have mainly just learned to filter this as noise. My bet is the kid wanted to join, Mom said no so he started to join anyway and when he got caught by his mom, he made this up. Not that recruiters can't be high pressure, but the Marines are making their recruiting numbers it is the Army having problems.

But why are these recrui... (Below threshold)

But why are these recruiters so aggressive? Hmmmm could it be because the army has missed its recruiting quotas for the last four months running?

It is not just one branch of recruiters. We are all trained to go after everyone with a "sense of urgency" I should know, I am one). The reason this is getting attention is because it is the "New Fallujah". When things start going well in one place and it is verifiable, you have to go to another thing to change the issue, without directly attacking the "Old Fallujah". Recruiting is a tough job. We work long hours with alot of pressure. I can tell you, from the front lines, that the war is only a small issue. Most of the issues that come up are duty based. These kids now-a-days do not define duty like we did even 8-10 years ago. The "entitlement without responsibility" age is upon us and you are seeing it here first.

I guess it would be truly unpatriotic of me to suggest at this point that those Wizbang readers in good health between the ages of 18 and 35 could really help these recruiters out by enlisting. You know, help take the pressure. Any takers?

Unpatriotic, no. If you are not in the military- hypocritical, yes.

Directly on the story, the kid was a more than likely a LEAD that came across the recruiter's desk. We are trained to go after those that want to join first and then the cold calling. This kid wanted to join. Mom said no in high school. The kid went to college, he sought out the Marines again, and started the enlistment process, without Mom's knowledge. It turned out that his cousin ratted him out to his mom, and Mom stopped the process, because the kid did not have the fortitude to join. Simple as that. He will always want to be a marine, but he will never be one until he can make decisions for himself.

"He will always want to be ... (Below threshold)

"He will always want to be a marine, but he will never be one until he can make decisions for himself."

Or he'll just start a blog that blathers on and on about how the war in Iraq is vital for our national defense without every once suggesting that his readers take it seriously enough to join themselves.

"How about *you*, frameone?"

It's a volunteer army and I don't support the war in Iraq. Indeed, I believe it is a vicious sinkhole that has made us less safe, less secure. If a strained military force can get Bush to finally, finally admit he has badly bungled the siutation and seriously rethink our strategy then I am acting in accord with my conscience by not enlisting.

And yet, it's a volunteer army and most everyone who reads this blog does support the war in Iraq. Indeed, think believe it is vital to the safety and security of the nation. And yet when someone asks them why, if they truly believe this, they themselves haven't enlisted to save America they get all huffy and defensive, throw around words like "moonbat" and "hypocrite" and then write a post about how they have every right to support war and yet never fight. But I'm the hypocrite.

Everyone here will argue that the volunteer army produces the best army in the world. But first it has to have people signing up. The American people - children and their parents -- are voting on this war as reflected in the Army's enlistment problems. Because of this everyone here also knows that any talk of a draft, let alone an actual draft, will kill this war, and every other invasion plan Bush has percolating, dead in its tracks. You all now this is true and yet what do most of you do to help the country in the war you oh so dearly support? Nothing. Nothing but attack the media and pretend you're doing your bit.

Not to get to off topic, ca... (Below threshold)

Not to get to off topic, can anyone here tel why Spruiell's hypocrisy is okay? Why are we attacking a columnist who actually attempted to contact the other side before she ran the story? Hell, why didn't Kevin call her before he wrote his post instead of relying himself on a one-sided story, the author of which didn't even attempt to contact the relevant parties before he published?
Yes, indeed, I'm the hypocrite here.

Hmmm."How about *y... (Below threshold)


"How about *you*, frameone?"

Yeah frameone? How about it? Aren't you in favor of intervention in Darfur? Weren't you in favor of intervenion in Bosnia?

By your own standard, doesn't that require you to sign up?

"calls to the Burlington o... (Below threshold)

"calls to the Burlington office went unanswered."

This claim is easy to make and could be true, provided the "journalist" who made the call, called after hours and left no message or phone number. When you don't want a rebuttal, don't give the military and honest opportunity to do so.

As to the youngster who suggested that readers of this blog "volunteer", I did, more than 40 years ago.

Hmmmm."Not to get ... (Below threshold)


"Not to get to off topic, can anyone here tel why Spruiell's hypocrisy is okay? Why are we attacking a columnist who actually attempted to contact the other side before she ran the story? Hell, why didn't Kevin call her before he wrote his post instead of relying himself on a one-sided story, the author of which didn't even attempt to contact the relevant parties before he published?
Yes, indeed, I'm the hypocrite here."

Really? Did she? She wrote that nobody answered. Well when did she call? 1 am? 2 am? It's a common technique to make calls when nobody is around to answer, in order to avoid having to give the other side.

Defend it all you like, it's bullshit and you know it.

"I'm the hypocrite here"

You are. Here we are in agreement.

"Really? Did she? She wrote... (Below threshold)

"Really? Did she? She wrote that nobody answered. Well when did she call? 1 am? 2 am? It's a common technique to make calls when nobody is around to answer, in order to avoid having to give the other side."

Dude, your are speculating, but Spruiell admitted that only called the columnist after he published his story and that when he called the time difference might have played a factor in why she didn't answer or call back right away. he did exactly what you onyl specualte the columnist did. It's in the PS to his original post. Why did he give such full disclosure? Because he knew he was being a hypocritical ass. He even qualifies the point of his whole original post suggesting that he may have "jumped the gun." So what in the hell are you bitching about? The guy you support uses the same tactics only worse, he publish before he called. His whole post is entirely one sided. Why didn't Spruiell take the time to get a response about the story he was supposedly calling about? Even if he did ask, he doesn't publish the PR flacks response. Why? Is it because all he wanted to to do was discredit a journalist not her actual story? Sound fishy to me and once again you guys are out there fixing the facts to match your policy.

"By your own standard, does... (Below threshold)

"By your own standard, doesn't that require you to sign up?"

Once again defensive petulant denial, denial, denial. Come on guys, the army really needs you so now is the time to get creative in your excuses. I had one guy here arguing that the reason he didn't enlist was because some people had to stay home to pay taxes to pay for the war. Now that's some creative cowardice.

This is one of those column... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

This is one of those columns that could have waited until the columnist got a response from the recruiters-it wasn't really a matter of breaking news.

I also agree with Chad-I actually suspect this is a case of the boy wanting to join up, and his mom stepping in to stop him, and while recruiters have been known to play loosly with promises, I just don't buy the kidnapped story-I don't see recruiters risking a courtmartial for a single recruit.

Darfur? Bosnia? Dude, were ... (Below threshold)

Darfur? Bosnia? Dude, were talking the war in Iraq, were talking the last line of defense between Western Civilization and "Islamic Overlords" putting a prayer tower on top of the Captital Dome. Ask Darleen, she'll tell you all about how the war on terror and the war in Iraq is really World War III, a fight for the surrvival of America and Western Civlization as we know it. You want to compare that to regional, easily contained conflicts that our all-volunteer military handled or could handle with ease? Were talking a full-fledged clash of civilizations. This is the big one baby and you're at home typing in your support.

Take a lesson from TheEnligma and put your ass where your rhetoric is.

"Unless I can see the inter... (Below threshold)

"Unless I can see the internals of polls I dismiss them as irrelevent."

Um, message to Sue, you can't dimiss the poll's methodology but also argee with it's findings on support for the media. It's an all or nothing thing in this case. Either both the media and the presidency have suffered in public support during the Bush presidency or it's all a pack of lies. Then again, I guess you were just fixing the facts around your policy.

You know here's one thing g... (Below threshold)

You know here's one thing guys like Ed never get, or maybe, they do and it drives them nuts.
I'm healthy and between the ages of 18 and 35. Let's assume for a moment that Ed falls into the same category. At least, as far as I know Ed has no plans to enlist. If he has or has already served let's make him a hypothetical Ed, like so many readers here.

I don't support the war in Iraq. I think we can safely assume hypothetical Ed does. Neither one of us is going to elnlist. So what's the difference between us?

You see, quite frankly I'm glad Ed has no plans to enlist. I don't want him or anyone else to fight and die for a lie. When I sugget he should enlist I'm just trying to provoke him to rethink his committment to allow other people to go fight and die for a lie. If he took my criticism to heart and decided to enlist I would do everything I could to talk him out of it. What's interesting though is that I know he won;t enlist. Ever. Because he and I both have infinite reasons for why neither one of us should have to go ourselves. In that were the same. So what difference does it really make why we both refuse to enlist? Our actions are the same and so produce the same result. No matter what Ed says in support of the war, he's serving my interests by not enlisting. He, and all the other Eds out there, are hastening the end of the cause they support by not offering themselves up to it physically. So in the end, I'm glad you refuse to volunteer. We're on the same side.

Frameone. You are gettin... (Below threshold)

Frameone. You are getting tiresome. Can't you ever talk about anything else than saying that people who support the war should enlist. It's a totally illogical demand. If it's logical for you then you should leave the country since you don't support President Bush and the majority who voted for him. Stop it. You're starting to sound harrasing.

Are you having trouble getting attention? Is that the problem? After all of 18 posts 9 are yours. Cool it.

You mean harrassing like an... (Below threshold)

You mean harrassing like an army recruiter?

You see Sue, you've once ag... (Below threshold)

You see Sue, you've once again offered an argument for why someone should NOT enlist. Rarely do I hear anyone at this site argue for why someone SHOULD enlist. Why is that do you think?

Frameone: By your logic, i... (Below threshold)

Frameone: By your logic, if someone hasn't served or isn't serving, no matter their status or ability, they cannot be supportive. This is, of course, ridiculous. So yes, your constant badgering really IS getting tiresome. Everytime I see your name in the comments section I am reminded that you are the most self-righteous, unbending, smug individual I've come across in a long time.

You're running in circles. This is evident in your remarks about "Ed". If one does enlist, you think they're wrong. If one doesnt' enlist, you think they're wrong. So you see, your argument is pointless and does not support your idea that the war is "a lie". It's merely a symptom of your opinions. Yet, you're asking that we supply a good argument "and" enlistment papers. Of course, neither will satisfy you.

THAT'S what's hypocritical.

OK, all those who are re... (Below threshold)

OK, all those who are reading this should enlist. If I weren't too old, I would. I don't have any relatives within the age range either. My only friends child who is of age is a liberal, I'll be sure to tell him that you agree that he should enlist.

Now, I'm waiting for you and others like you to be true to your sense of logic and morals and leave the country since you don't support President Bush.

Until you do, I'll know you're a hypocrite and see no reason to respond to you.

The above was for frameone,... (Below threshold)

The above was for frameone, of course

Tell you what, frameone: as... (Below threshold)

Tell you what, frameone: as soon my new electric wheelchair comes in, I'll race to the nearest Army recruiting station and sign up. Though they may not be any more interested in me now than they were in 1970, when I flunked the physical (and NOT for weight related reasons).

As for Ed, I distinctly remember him telling you in a comment in a different thread, same subject, that he had been in the Marines.

And where did Sue accept the results of a poll while rejecting its methodology? She talked about the negative press the U.S. is getting. She also said that the opinion held by the left that the country is going to hell in a handbasket (my phrase) is just that, an opinion held by the left. But nowhere did she say that she accepted the results of the poll.

Seems to me frameone is jus... (Below threshold)

Seems to me frameone is just plain anti-military. His incessant ramblings about how people who support a war but don't enlist for it are hypocritical seem to reveal a dislike of the military in general. To test this, let me ask you frameone, did you support the deployment of the U.S. military in Somalia? Afghanistan? How about when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990? Bosnia and Kosovo? If yes to any of these, did you then enlist as a result?
If I'm of the opinion that abortion should be legal, must I then go work in a clinic? If I think people should be allowed to own guns must I buy one? People can have political and social opinions, which they don't necessarily back up with direct action apart from voting, without being hypocrites. Voting is enough. If you believed all of the military interventions listed above were wrong, then I suspect you believe all military action to be wrong, and thus have very foolish beliefs. The life you have lived as an American, which has been very comfortable compared to much of the world, and I suspect in your case, as in mine, pretty comfortable by American standards, owes as much to the U.S. Armed Forces as it does to the Constitution. As a liberal who has been against this Iraq war from the start, but who recognizes the worth and necessity of our military, I find your repetitive and monotonous mantra of "put up or shut up" to be embarrassingly simple-minded and undemocratic.

Frameone, if you don't want... (Below threshold)

Frameone, if you don't want to sign up because your conscience won't 'let' you, perhaps you ought to consider a career as a human shield and go help out that way.

One thing you did get right... (Below threshold)

One thing you did get right, frameone: Stephen Spruiell should have asked Sgt. Chau for comment on the veracity of the story. And if he did and Sgt. Chau declined to comment, Spruiell should have said so.

On the other hand, Spruiell claimed that he did try to contact Paynter BEFORE he posted his blog. In the very paragraph that you cut and pasted into your first comment. And he didn't admit that he jumped the gun with his blog; he said he'd be "willing to admit" that he jumped the gun if she provided information to verify her claim that she had made a good faith effort to contact the Marine recruiters before she submitted her article. As for Paynter, while I might be willing to accept that she couldn't find anyone from the recruiting or public affairs offices to comment on her first article before press time, I flat out don't believe she couldn't get anyone to comment in time for the follow-up.

As for the Dearlove memo, w... (Below threshold)

As for the Dearlove memo, which you made a backhanded reference to, you--and others like you--have yet to quote a source to support your contention that the phrase "fixed around" means unfairly or illegally arranged. If you have such a source it would certainly put this subject to bed. Then we could spend all our time trying to figure out why, if the Bush administration was so determined to go to war, did they do exactly as the British asked them to and take their case to the U.N. first?

My last post ^^ was directe... (Below threshold)

My last post ^^ was directed to frameone. Sorry I forgot to say that.

you--and others like you... (Below threshold)

you--and others like you--have yet to quote a source to support your contention that the phrase "fixed around" means unfairly or illegally arranged.

Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’

So mantis you are using the... (Below threshold)

So mantis you are using the memo in question to answer questions regarding phrasing in the mmemo in question. I don't think that flies quite right.

And finally, frameone, the ... (Below threshold)

And finally, frameone, the one other thing you got right (though I suspect that wasn't your intent):

This IS World War III. With the nightclub and embassy bombings in Bali, the hostage taking and slaughtering of schoolchildren in Russia, the bombing of a Spanish train station that literally toppled a government and the 9-11 attacks on the U.S., all in the last three-and-half years, anybody who doesn't think this is a world war is in denial. And one of the ways you win wars is by cutting your enemy's supply lines. Iraq was one those sources of supplies. Example: It has been reported that Saddam Hussien was paying $25,000 a head to families of suicide bombers in Isreal. Example: when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was wounded in battle in Afghanistan, he went to Iraq for treatment. Saddam provided him with a safe haven, even refusing a request by King Abdullah of Jordan to turn him over. Example: There was a terrorist training camp about forty miles south of Baghdad at a place called Salmon Pak. It even had its own jet airliner fuselage so the "students" could practice hijackings. Obviously, none of this could have happened without Saddam's knowledge and approval. Taking him out is more a battle in the War on Terror than the War itself.

So mantis you are using ... (Below threshold)

So mantis you are using the memo in question to answer questions regarding phrasing in the mmemo in question. I don't think that flies quite right.

Chad, you should actually read the links before you dispute them. That article refers to a briefing paper issued a week before the meeting which the "Downing Street Memo" contains the minutes of. You can look at the briefing here.

The original should be link... (Below threshold)

The original should be linked as 08, you linked to 10 twice.

Why are we assuming the journalist is lying and the recruiting office isn't? It's in their interest to cover their ass, isn't it?

Given how many sensational ... (Below threshold)

Given how many sensational "MSM" stories about the military -- like this one -- have already turned out to be nothing but the insubstantial figment of a reporter's imagination, I think it's perfectly legitimate to assume, in the absence of any other input, that a "news" story that smells fishy is only suitable for wrapping fish.

Man you guys are touchy whe... (Below threshold)

Man you guys are touchy when someone questions your patriotism. You really should look into that. Especially since Kevin and Spruiell's whole point is to attack the patriotism of a journalist reporting on the aggressive tactics of army recruiters. The idea, as I see it, is to suggest that in her anti-military zeal she put her ethics and professionalism aside to attack the military. The problem with that is she clearly states that she tried to contact the right people to talk to for the other side (same thing Spruiell himself does) and there have already been multiple, verified cases in which army recruiters have stepped way over the bounds to meet their quotas. The Army has acknowledged these incidents and disciplined the recruiters involved. Indeed, they stopped recruting entirely for a full day recently for retraining. Not only is Kevin trying to obfuscate this reality by suggesting that the media is simply out to attack the US military, he is failing to face the very real problem that the US Army is not meeting its recruitment goals. Why is that? Because the American people, parents and children, are increasingly turning against the war in Iraq. It's that simple. For Kevin to face this reality he would have to admit that the war in Iraq is hurting our efforts in the war on terror. Why? Because it is not the war on terror or the war in Afghanistan that the American people are turning against. It is the mishandled war in Iraq. It is yet another reason why Bush's decision to fix intelligence to invade Iraq has made us less safe, less able to meet future threats. But no one here wants to face this. You all just want to read Kevin's post and get hopping mad that some journalist hates the military. And thus the denial goes on and on and on.

"...the media is simply out... (Below threshold)
Mark Flacy:

"...the media is simply out to attack the US military,"

They always have been since VietNam, frameone.

I served 1980-1992, myself. A classmate of mine's Brigade was the first one into Baghdad.

It's pretty fucking important to have the backing of the country when you are soldier fighting overseas. You're entitled to your opinion, but I don't think that you know your ass from a hole in the ground. You certainly have no idea what the word "lie" means.

Hmmm.1. "Take a le... (Below threshold)


1. "Take a lesson from TheEnligma and put your ass where your rhetoric is."

I already did. I spent my youth as a USMC infantryman, how about you? And as I'm 42 and ill health, there's nobody who would take me. Otherwise I'd be in already.

2. Your point, expressed repeatedly, is that if you advocate the use of military force then you should back that up by signing up. You've advocating using the miltiary in Darfur and Bosnia, so back it up.

Otherwise show why you can't enlist.

Hmmm."Man you guys... (Below threshold)


"Man you guys are touchy when someone questions your patriotism."

How about you? What have you done in your life that is patriotic? Anything? Since you're now into the whole "questsion the patriotism" thing, by your own admission. Then shouldn't we apply the same standard to you?

So what have you done for your country? Or have you been a leech all your life?

I've been a leech all my li... (Below threshold)

I've been a leech all my life but I'm thinking of starting a blog. That seems to be what all the real cool patriots are doing these days.

Kevin and Spruiell's who... (Below threshold)

Kevin and Spruiell's whole point is to attack the patriotism of a journalist reporting on the aggressive tactics of army recruiters.

Was there another post here by me that I missed? I wasn't attacking anyone's patriotism, so I'd be interested to see how I was supposedly doing so.

I was attacking Paynter's journalism. I specifically acknowledged that her story may be 100% accurate, of course since she didn't appear to put much effort into getting the other side of the story we won't know that until someone does.

I read the first link you p... (Below threshold)

I read the first link you provide and it is all directed at the "Downing Street Memo". The second link does seem to address a briefing on possible military options in Iraq. I would note though that it specifically states that those options were in the planning stages, and no political decisions on use of force had been made. As a former member of the military who had a position on the special staff (other former military guys will know what that means )of a Marine Regt. I can say with certainty that there were plans for invading Iraq back in 96 when I got out. Planning for action doesnt mean a decision has been made to take action. Truth be known there are probably plans for the invasion of Mexico and Canada too, but we haven't. Why beacuse a political decision hasnt been made just like in the briefing you linked too.

frameone:It may be... (Below threshold)


It may be true that Army recruiters are having trouble meeting their quotas, but since this story is about Marine recruiters--who, unless I'm mistaken--aren't having that problem, I fail to see the connection. And would you please point out to me where in their respective blogs Kevin and Spruiell called Paynter unpatriotic? Charges of sloppy and piss-poor journalism were leveled, but not lack of patriotism.


I re-read the Dearlove memo as well as the two memos you linked to and I fail to see your point. If your point was that the Bush and Blair administrations were looking for reasons (or excuses, if you will) to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from power, my answer is, so? If Bush and Blair truly believed that Saddam still had WMD, then of course they're going to look for evidence to back up that claim. I would've done the same and so would you. That may suggest that they had blinders on (which is hardly comforting), but it doesn't prove that they were lying.

And if your point is that the earlier memos proved that the intelligence was deliberately falsified, they don't. Not to me, anyway. In fact, all three memos--with their concerns about WMD being used against coalition troops--and recommendations that the U.S. try going through the U.N. first--which Bush did--support the claim that Bush and Blair thought Saddam still had WMD. So does Bill Clinton, who has publicly stated that he believed that Saddam had WMD and whose policy towards Iraq was to foment regime change. Of course Clinton was getting his information from George Tenant, as was Bush. Maybe that's the problem.

Fatman and Kevin -- <... (Below threshold)

Fatman and Kevin --

You guys play so naive it's almost sweet. The whole post/controversy reeks of the "media hates the military" narrative that right wingers roll around in when they can't face the realities of Bush's failures. All Newsweek was resonsible for was "sloppy piss poor journalism" (if even that) but whoa did you guys go to town about Newsweek hates Bush and the military. So please.

As for the Marines meeting their quotas, well, it looks they're heading the way of the Army as well:

"The Marine Corps shipped its quota of new recruits last month, but for the fifth straight month missed its monthly contracting goal. Marines who sign a contract are sent to basic training some time in the future, and the military uses the contracting figures as an early indicator of trouble."

More stories of branches in trouble:

And BTW. I never suggested that there aren't Wizbang readers who have served or are serving. (Ed I'm not sure why you missed the "hypothetical" qualification in my comment but whatever). All I want to know is, for the rest of you, if you believe that we currently fighting World War III and that America's very surrvival as a nation depends on winning the war in Iraq, why haven't some of your more fervent readers enlisted? I mean if not now, then when? After our "Muslim Overlords" force us to pray five times a day? These are very simple questions. I mean you can't all be old, fat and/or ill, right?

You Armchair Warhawks are a... (Below threshold)

You Armchair Warhawks are amazing! You can parse your War Party and its apologists out of ANY tight spot, can't you? Everybody else is lying, but not your side. Everybody else has an angle, but not you guys. You, the forces of sideline cheerleading, so intensely in favor of "fighting them over there" while you sit on your fat, Cheeto-eating asses in front of your computer typing celebratory jerk-off paeans to war criminals and statist swine. Not everyone who is antiwar, antimilitarism, and anti-Bush is on the left, you oversimplistic morons...

Well, welcome Matthew alway... (Below threshold)

Well, welcome Matthew always nice to meet a fellow memeber of the vast right wing conspiracy. Just a clarification though Cheeto is actually spelled Cheetoh's, and I don't know anyone who eats them we all prefer to swill beer and eat pork rinds.


Good idea, frameone. Go st... (Below threshold)

Good idea, frameone. Go start a blog. Do something.

"Cheeto eating asses"......... (Below threshold)

"Cheeto eating asses"........LMAO
Supporting a [email protected]#ked up war while sitting on your cheeto eating ass...priceless.

Hey frameone! I answered y... (Below threshold)

Hey frameone! I answered your question and told everyone they should enlist, but you haven't answered mine. When are you and your lefty friends going to leave the country since you don't support President Bush? If you don't you're a hypocrite.

"When are you and your left... (Below threshold)

"When are you and your lefty friends going to leave the country since you don't support President Bush?"

I'm sorry how are the two equivalent? I didn't vote for him but he's still my president, right? I just don't happen to support his illegal unjustified war in Iraq. Indeed, it is my duty to stay here and fight for the America I believe in.

Hey frameone,I jus... (Below threshold)

Hey frameone,

I just finished serving in the military for 30 years, defending your right to be a selfish little ferk.

You should move out of this country, as you see nothing worth defending here. Maybe Canada would take you. . . . you know socialist medicine, no credible military and a big, bad bully down south to protect them.

Better yet, Yemen, you can negoiate with jihadists, bringing all the nuance and love you can to the discussion, right before they saw off your head for you being western and an infidel.

"I just finished serving in... (Below threshold)

"I just finished serving in the military for 30 years, defending your right to be a selfish little ferk."

And I thank you for it. But au contraire, I see plenty worth defending here. I love this country in part because I have the right to question the motives and capabilities of a president who would lie to lead our country into war. You were defending that right too, you know, or were you only defending certain of my rights?

Seriously, it would be a wa... (Below threshold)

Seriously, it would be a waste for you to defend my rights to be a jerk, ferk or otherwise, if I didn't then excercise those rights, no? I mean a right not excercised is no right at all. Am I right?

Alternatively: "I ... (Below threshold)


"I defended your right to free speech. Now shut up."

FYI. Sprueill has on updat... (Below threshold)

FYI. Sprueill has on update where he talks with the Marines involved on the NRO mainpage.






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