The Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Robert McDonald’s false statement regarding his service in Special Forces has led to a prompt apology.
Robert McDonald, the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, has been guilty of a faux pas. He told a homeless man that he had lent his services to Special Forces. But the fact of the matter is that such is simply not the case. He was consigned with the 82nd Airborne Division in the 70s. Nowhere is it on his record that he served in Special Operations. The Special Forces comprise: the Green Berets, Army Rangers, Delta Force and Navy SEALS.
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However, nowhere is the 82nd Airborne Division mentioned among the special services. Yet this man lied so blatantly that his lie almost got passed onwards as the truth. There is a world of difference between the former and the latter. The special services are delegated the world’s most extreme and precautionary operations. They have to be extra careful while handling the duties that are in their lot. It is not an easy job being a Navy SEAL or a Green Beret. It takes guts to even begin to get an idea of the mental and physical toughness required to fulfill the criteria of these heroes.
It was the special services that accomplished the surprise killing of Osama bin Laden in a raid at his hiding place in Pakistan. Such counter-terrorist moves have to be honed to a razor blade. You cannot achieve what is virtually next to impossible through some basic skills. You need extensive training and have to go through the hell of experience before the stamp of approval can be given. Special operations are almost like a state within a state. That is the level of secrecy and exclusivity they enjoy within the context of the armed forces.
McDonald made the offhand remark when he was on tour after becoming the VA last month. A homeless individual told McDonald that he had served in Special Forces. McDonald responded by asking him which year that was since he had served in the same agency. This was of course a lie. And the whole conversation got recorded on camera so it was there for all to see in its crystal clarity.
“Special forces? What years? I was in special forces!” McDonald told the individual. CBS News broadcasted this conversation on January 30th. The fact of the matter was that McDonald had served at West Point and done an Army Ranger course. He was a parachute expert too. But one thing he was not was a Special Forces member.
Once the cat was out of the bag there was pandemonium. The level of anger and resentment over this white lie or rather big lie was simply too much. This prompted McDonald to issue forth an apology of sorts. He said that it was a mistake and that there was no way he could be forgiven for the lapse in judgment. He was not what he had claimed for himself.
“I have no excuse,” McDonald told The Huffington Post. “I was not in special forces.”
The case bears an uncanny resemblance to the recent Brian Williams’ spiel that he was in a helicopter in Iraq during the war which of course was complete bosh and tosh. Why is it that so many people choose to become pathological liars? It almost matches the level of kleptomania and pathological gambling found in society.
Just in order to boast about their manly ways, these pathetic losers try to pass of a falsehood as the truth. It is sickening. McDonald has gone on record to acknowledge that what he said was patent nonsense. When several retired army personnel saw the segment on television where McDonald spoke of his being in the Special Services, they at once noticed the contradiction. Many of them knew him and thus saw through the subterfuge.
According to McDonald he responded in a kneejerk manner and didn’t think thoroughly before saying what was on his mind. The result was that he literally put his foot in his mouth. And the end was an embarrassingly fake statement that had no substance to it. The spontaneity of the situation led to a vicious lie being perpetrated in the final analysis.
Many other sources criticized McDonald for what was a stupid saying that didn’t suit a person of his caliber. If this is the level of responsibility shown by our leaders, whether they were in the military or media, then what can we say about the government which was already full of crooks. But now it is too late and the deed has been done.
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Those words that are meaningless in themselves are out of McDonald’s mouth and the consequences will have to be faced. Yet the people at the top are willing to let bygones be bygones. The White House issued a statement to the effect that since McDonald had apologized to the nation for his slip of the tongue, it was time to accept his mistake and move on. That is some relief for the man who made such a big blunder.