Truth: A Core Democratic Value

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Doug

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Robert McDonald, the secretary of veterans affairs, wrongly claimed in a videotaped comment earlier this year that he served in the Army’s elite special forces, when his military service of five years was in fact spent almost entirely with the 82nd Airborne Division during the late 1970s.

U.S. special operations forces (SOF) are composed of exhaustively trained and highly capable troops from each military service, including the Army Rangers, Delta Force, Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces (also known as the Green Berets) — but not the 82nd Airborne. They are certified to undertake the most dangerous and delicate missions, including, famously, the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011. Special operators are a close-knit community deeply hostile to outsiders who try to claim the coveted mantle of special operations.

In late January Robert McDonald went to LA during a nationwide count for homeless veterans he was accompanied by CBS-TV news crew which recorded the exchange between the homeless man and the homeless man who told McDonald he served on the special forces. “Special forces? What years? I was in special forces!” McDonald told the homeless man. However McDonald never served in the special forces. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975, completed Army Ranger training and took courses in jungle, arctic and desert warfare. He qualified as a senior parachutist and airborne jumpmaster, and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division until he resigned his commission in 1980.

Robert McDonald apologized again Tuesday for falsely stating that he served in Special Forces, saying that he made the error when trying to make a connection with a homeless veteran. “In an attempt to connect with that veteran to make him feel comfortable, I incorrectly stated that I too had been in Special Forces,” he said at a press conference outside the Department of Veterans Affairs. “That was wrong and I have no excuse.”

“In an attempt to connect with that veteran to make him feel comfortable, I incorrectly stated that I too had been in Special Forces,” he said at a press conference outside the Department of Veterans Affairs. “That was wrong and I have no excuse.”

In my opinion he shouldn’t have lied in the first place. People that are in the special forces go through tough training.  It is true that he was trained for this service but he was never called to duty.  He can still be respected without lying  and lying about having served in combat in the Special Forces is a big insult to any true veteran.  However the White House stated “We take him at his word and expect that this will not impact the important work he’s doing to promote the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans.” The values of truth were violated as he lied to make a connection on camera that was due for broadcasting.  The truth is that there is no solution to this; he might redeem himself but the stain is still in there.

Truth is a value we both uphold and easily corrupt in American politics!

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/23/robert-mcdonald-special-forces_n_6739184.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/va-chief-bob-mcdonald-i-have-no-excuse-false-special-n311981