Iraq Vets Against the War launches “scambefriend a recruiter” campaign

posted at 1:41 pm on September 17, 2007 by Allahpundit

Think of this as anti-war special ops. Simple concept: the more one monopolizes a military recruiter’s time with insincere interest in enlisting, the less time the recruiter has to spend on people whose interest is sincere. Here’s the flier, although the money quotes are all on the site’s “action” page. Since IVAW is a veterans’ group I was expecting rhetoric along the lines of, “We support our military and our brothers in arms but the moral imperative to stop the war requires unorthodox tactics to end it.” Not so much, though:

Is your enemy the state?
Befriend a recruiter and keep your friends close and your enemies closer!…

This campaign is not about (badgering?) recruiters. It is solely about making friends and finding out more about the military that you don’t trust…

Actions to take:…
Prank-call a recruiter to schedule appointments on the other side of town.
Ask a recruiter to pick you up and then tell them you’re hungry.
Ask a recruiter to take you out to eat.

The relevant criminal statute is 18 U.S.C. 2388: “Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or the United States, or attempts to do so – Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.” How you’d go about proving that someone’s interest in enlisting was insincere absent some sort of statement they gave to a third party is beyond me, though. According to the National Lawyers Guild, there hasn’t been a successful prosecution under the statute since World War II, when pre-Warren Court First Amendment jurisprudence was quite a bit less forgiving than it is now. MM, meanwhile, calls the tactics seditious, although for all intents and purposes there is no sedition law extant in the United States.

Long story short, there’s nothing legally you can do to stop this sort of thing, although you certainly can make recruiters aware that it’s happening and limit their time accordingly with any would-be recruits who look suspiciously, shall we say, “shaggy.” Exit question: How does this tactic jibe with the left’s oft-professed belief in “choice”?


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Comments

This is a very, very old trick that recruiters already are aware of.

bnelson44 on September 17, 2007 at 1:43 PM

Thanks for exposing this tactic, AP.

Mcguyver on September 17, 2007 at 1:44 PM

Befriend a recruiter and keep your friends close and your enemies closer

That pretty much says it all.

SouthernDem on September 17, 2007 at 1:46 PM

Actions to take:…
Prank-call a recruiter to schedule appointments on the other side of town.
Ask a recruiter to pick you up and then tell them you’re hungry.
Ask a recruiter to take you out to eat.

It always comes down to gov’t handouts…

Bad Candy on September 17, 2007 at 1:50 PM

willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States

I wonder whether this conduct would qualify as “obstruction,” Warren Court or no. Obstruct seems to suggest direct interference, rather than gnat-like annoying behavior.

The good news here is that the more prevalent this becomes, the more the military recruiters are able to be aware of these tactics. Personally, I doubt there are more than a handful of people ready, willing, and able to engage in this behavior.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on September 17, 2007 at 1:51 PM

There’s also this:

http://www.dailykos.com/user/uid:4774

A military recruiter’s nightmare
by acquittal
Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:25:11 PM PDT
Here is a thought about a potentially effective counter-recruitment tactic…

What if military-aged persons contacted their local recruiter and feigned interest in exploring a military career?

The person would talk to the recruiter, politely listen to the recruiter’s presentation, make appointments and not show up, reschedule and show up, ask questions, take tests, remain polite but noncommittal, ultimately decide not to enlist.

The whole point would be to waste the recruiter’s time and energy. An hour spent recruiting somebody who is not interested is an hour NOT spent recruiting some impressionable teenager who may be receptive to the recruiter’s deceptive claims and imagery.

If enough persons do this, it would clog the recruitment system, demoralize the recruiters, and obstruct the war machine at its most vulnerable point.

Ecrasez l’infame!

Connie on September 17, 2007 at 1:51 PM

Sorry. That whole thing should be in quotes.

Connie on September 17, 2007 at 1:52 PM

According to the National Lawyers Guild, there hasn’t been a successful prosecution under the statute since World War II

Well I guess they oughta know, since the NLG’s sole purpose is sedition.

Hannibal Smith on September 17, 2007 at 1:52 PM

Actions to take:…
Prank-call a recruiter to schedule appointments on the other side of town.
Ask a recruiter to pick you up and then tell them you’re hungry.
Ask a recruiter to take you out to eat.

If that’s what they want to do with their friends, they must not have many, which might explain how they have so much time to do this crap.

BKennedy on September 17, 2007 at 1:53 PM

But they support the troops……. Yeah right.

My guess from dealing with recruiters in the past is that they can discern legitmate from illegitimate prospects. They aren’t so desperate for enlistees that they are going to waste time driving all over the place in the hopes of nabbing somebody for the military.

In my experience, recruiters will drive all over the place dropping off material but the first step in actually recruiting somebody will be when the individual shows up at the recruiting office. The recruiter may drive out to talk to the parents and/or individual but that is only after the initial meeting and determination if the prospect is serious about enlisting. Hard to believe the fifth columnists would go through all that trouble.

highhopes on September 17, 2007 at 1:54 PM

It’ll never work. The patchouli and the “like, you know, man” attempts to communicate will give it away every time. But I will laugh hysterically at the first report of this backfiring on them and someone actually enlisting. Morons.

Laura on September 17, 2007 at 1:55 PM

It’ll never work. The patchouli and the “like, you know, man” attempts to communicate will give it away every time. But I will laugh hysterically at the first report of this backfiring on them and someone actually enlisting. Morons.

It has been known to happen

bnelson44 on September 17, 2007 at 1:58 PM

How you’d go about proving that someone’s interest in enlisting was insincere absent some sort of statement they gave to a third party is beyond me, though. According to the National Lawyers Guild, there hasn’t been a successful prosecution under the statute since World War II, when pre-Warren Court First Amendment jurisprudence was quite a bit less forgiving than it is now.

With the age of the internet, couldn’t you prove that someone supports the practice?

amerpundit on September 17, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Just a thought to all out there. There’s an old saying “what goes around comes around.” A suggestion for all as our “friends” at “IVAW” do turn it around on them, there are numbers , names of individuals at each of their chapters, email addresses, etc. listed on their web pages. Be courteous ask for info on joining their organization, promise them incremental sums of money in support of their cause. Be creative in speaking to them, let them know you are interested. I would say fair is fair in dealing with those who would put this country and its citizens in danger. If this isn’t to your taste then contact the local recruiters and give them your support. Additionally voice your displeasure at their methods to your delegates,(locally, state and Federal,) local newspapers,etc. Shine a light on their methods so all will see their seditious ways to undermine this country and its people.

nwsseeker on September 17, 2007 at 2:01 PM

This whole thing assumes that recruiters are not able to differentiate between people who are actually interested in joining and people that are faking an interest.

I don’t believe for a second that very many of the people that hate the military enough to do something like this would be able to pass themselves off as truly interested in joining the military. It takes maturity to be polite to people that you don’t like and maturity is at the bottom of the list of descriptors I’d use for rabid leftists these days.

Furthermore, they’d be acting like their version of an interested recruit. We’re all well aware of how highly the left thinks of young people that decide to join the military. My guess is that they’ll go in there acting like they have an insane fascination with guns, pretending they are stupid (well, that might be genuine for these guys) and making comments like “I’ll get to kill people, right?”.

Experienced recruiters will easily weed these guys out.

The very few people that can pull it off and waste a decent amount of a recruiters time will be such a small group that it won’t make a significant difference. Furthermore, each one will only be effective for a short time as a recruiter will not continue to recruit the same person (no matter how perfect they seem) for months and months if they keep putting off making a decision.

JadeNYU on September 17, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Anybody who has ever been a recruiter knows these ploys. There are enough times when people schedule appointments just in hope that they will get a free meal. As for the chasing appointments around town, most recruiters who have been at it longer then a month develope a pretty good BS detector and can tell if an applicant will be a No Show.
What is shocking is that vets are advocating this sort of action. Just because the military wasn’t your cup of tea don’t impede the efforts.

LakeRuins on September 17, 2007 at 2:05 PM

Maybe we should be rooting for this to work.
The sponsors of this campaign are stupid enough to think that if enlistment falls off to un-acceptable levels, the military will just “go away”.
If voluntary enlistment doesn’t provide the necessary recruits, they would probably reinstitute a draft to get the required force size and all of these 18-20 year old pukes responsible for this won’t have a choice any more.

AZ_Mike on September 17, 2007 at 2:07 PM

Old news. Musta dug up some old meeting notes from a landfill. The anti-war crowd did the same thing in the late 60s and early 70s.

Limerick on September 17, 2007 at 2:07 PM

Furthermore, they’d be acting like their version of an interested recruit. We’re all well aware of how highly the left thinks of young people that decide to join the military. My guess is that they’ll go in there acting like they have an insane fascination with guns, pretending they are stupid (well, that might be genuine for these guys) and making comments like “I’ll get to kill people, right?”.

Experienced recruiters will easily weed these guys out.

Good point. They’re so entrenched in their belief that the military is composed of psychotic murderers they wouldn’t recognize the truth if it bit them on the butt.

Laura on September 17, 2007 at 2:08 PM

Exit question: How does this tactic jibe with the left’s oft-professed belief in “choice”?

They believe in choice only if your choice is valid; i.e. only if you choose what you’re supposed to choose. You didn’t really think people should be left to choose whatever they want, did you? That would be madness, anarchy, dogs and cats living together.

You can choose whatever you wish as long as it’s approved by Our Multicultural Overlords. They know better than plebs like us.

Thomas the Wraith on September 17, 2007 at 2:09 PM

they would probably reinstitute a draft to get the required force size and all of these 18-20 year old pukes responsible for this won’t have a choice any more.

AZ_Mike on September 17, 2007 at 2:07 PM

That’s what they are most afraid of. Fewer around for them to indoctrinate.

Connie on September 17, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Hmmm… don’t go after them under this statute…

But under Conspiricy to commit charges.

This is a conspriracy as they are inciting others to break the law…

and on a side note, can we call them Traitors yet?

Romeo13 on September 17, 2007 at 2:12 PM

You’ll be glad to know what the kind folks at Kos think of our military:

By John Law 72:

The military recruiting efforts have exceeded their quotas for 10 months straight. Apparently, some people think this country is worth fighting for.

The author of the post responds:

there are a whole lot of gullible 17 year-olds with no prospects.

By the way, Markos Moulitsas joined at 18 out of high school.

amerpundit on September 17, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Maybe we should be rooting for this to work.

You know, I’d be all for this if they were being… gasp… sincere. Go ahead, actually befriend a recruiter. Get to know this person. Find out why he joined up. What he sacrificed to serve his country. What he believes.

Eventually you might be close enough that you could feel his scalp and marvel at the lack of horns and/or a mind-control implant built by Halliburton.

saint kansas on September 17, 2007 at 2:24 PM

and on a side note, can we call them Traitors yet?

Romeo13 on September 17, 2007 at 2:12 PM

Yes, why yes we can…

doriangrey on September 17, 2007 at 2:24 PM

You know the ‘tards with the free time and inclination to actually go through with this are too stupid to scrape the “Bush is Hitler” bumper sticker off their car or change out of their Che t-shirts.

trubble on September 17, 2007 at 2:28 PM

I think turnabout would be fair play in this case. How about we spam bomb the email address that they provide for photos of the idiots with the recruiters? Sign them up for pro-military websites, email them photos of our troops in Iraq and let them know that we support the troops.

ViperPilot on September 17, 2007 at 2:33 PM

Just on a side note, have you noticed how so many of the left leaning sites have dot org extension instead of the more common dot com? I guess they think it lends some sort of credibilty to their cause.

LakeRuins on September 17, 2007 at 2:44 PM

Progressives and Liberals finding yet another creative way to lie and, per Jane Hamsher, doing it so their Democratic politicians won’t have to.

Dusty on September 17, 2007 at 2:47 PM

How does this tactic jibe with the left’s oft-professed belief in “choice”?

Stating the obvious – they are only interested in their “choice”. These people are really clueless about whom it is that keeps them free to even think of this, or other stupidities.

Entelechy on September 17, 2007 at 2:52 PM

I don’t see what this scheme will accomplish.

The recruiters for all services are meeting their monthly quotas, even the National Guard. And, as someone said, it won’t take long for the word to get around.

One of my local PBS stations runs the hour-long Pritzker Military Museum lecture series every Sunday night at around midnight. Last night they had a panel, one of whom was the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard and he stated that even though the Guard’s role has shifted from being a strategic reserve to an operational one, they easily make their quotas and have implemented the “buddy” recruitment program.

If a Guardsman recruits a friend, he’ll get a thousand dollar bonus. When the recruit returns from basic, the Guardsman will get another thousand. He says the best sellers of the Guard are the young men and women going back to the ‘hood and telling their friends about it.

Is the behavior of the Vets seditious? Yes.

Will anybody care? Probably not enough to prosecute. Which is unfortunate because this should be prosecuted.

georgej on September 17, 2007 at 2:58 PM

What is shocking is that vets are advocating this sort of action. Just because the military wasn’t your cup of tea don’t impede the efforts.

LakeRuins on September 17, 2007 at 2:05 PM

Absolutely. It’s disgraceful, and they ought to be ashamed, after taking the same oath that we all took. But I thought they were supposedly just against the Iraq War, not the military in general, so why try to interfere with recruiting? If they were actually the principled patriot veterans that they claim to be, no way would they pull a stunt like screwing with recruiters–or any other soldiers who are just doing their duty, for that matter. They’d work to influence the political process, knowing full well that military personnel don’t get to pick and choose which missions they will and won’t support. It’s not like IVAW can claim that recruiters have been given illegal orders to recruit.

ReubenJCogburn on September 17, 2007 at 3:05 PM

Just a thought to all out there. There’s an old saying “what goes around comes around.” A suggestion for all as our “friends” at “IVAW” do turn it around on them, there are numbers , names of individuals at each of their chapters, email addresses, etc. listed on their web pages. Be courteous ask for info on joining their organization, promise them incremental sums of money in support of their cause…
nwsseeker on September 17, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Unfortunately, that plan has a little hole in it: the average conservative’s time is worth several times what the average moonbat’s time is worth.

That’s pretty much what their whole scheme is based on. It’s not like some recruiter will drive across town to wine and dine some space cadet who can’t even manage to make it to the recruiting office?

Really, though I don’t see this as a bad thing at all. Moonbats are worthless, sure, but they do have one saving grace: they have absolutely no minds of their own. Once a neo-hippy gets stuck in a room listening to the truth for once in his life, there’s about a fifty-fifty chance he’ll try to sign up. OK, there’s a 99% chance the military won’t accept him (forget all the anti-American affiliations; drug use alone is enough to keep you out these days.) But even if he goes back to his coven, it’ll take a team of moonbats weeks to re-program him.

logis on September 17, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Just on a side note, have you noticed how so many of the left leaning sites have dot org extension instead of the more common dot com? I guess they think it lends some sort of credibilty to their cause.

Nah! It just means that they have to rely on people like George Soros to fund their propoganda.

highhopes on September 17, 2007 at 3:35 PM

It’ll never work. The patchouli and the “like, you know, man” attempts to communicate will give it away every time. But I will laugh hysterically at the first report of this backfiring on them and someone actually enlisting. Morons.

Laura on September 17, 2007 at 1:55 PM

I’d love to see some of them actually enlist, and then get thrown in jail for desertion should they “change their minds”.

If they could survive boot camp, the experience might actually do them some good.

jimbo2 on September 17, 2007 at 4:09 PM

I guess they think it lends some sort of credibilty to their cause

Maybe that’s their motive. At least they are actually in line with ICANN [informal] naming conventions (.net is appropriate too) rather than the cluttering of irrelevant .coms we have to wade through…once upon a time you could reasonably infer something from a TLD

Ochlan on September 17, 2007 at 4:17 PM

How you’d go about proving that someone’s interest in enlisting was insincere absent some sort of statement they gave to a third party is beyond me, though.

Probably wouldn’t be worth the time and money, but if one were suspected of this activity… could investigators not track their web activity? If they’re home page is IVAW’s site, it might be a tip off?

RightWinged on September 17, 2007 at 5:52 PM

But even if he goes back to his coven, it’ll take a team of moonbats weeks to re-program him.

logis on September 17, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Coven, I like that.

right2bright on September 17, 2007 at 5:52 PM

“How you’d go about proving that someone’s interest in enlisting was insincere absent some sort of statement they gave to a third party is beyond me, though.”

Probably wouldn’t be worth the time and money, but if one were suspected of this activity… could investigators not track their web activity? If they’re home page is IVAW’s site, it might be a tip off?
RightWinged on September 17, 2007 at 5:52 PM

It’s not like recruiters are sealed off from one another. Any moonbat who tried to pull this shtick more than once in the same city, would be REALLY easy to catch.

And I doubt they would move across country everytime they wasted a half hour of a recruters’ time. Even if you value the moonbats’ time at two cents an hour, and assume they rode bycicles, they would still come out behind on the deal.

logis on September 17, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Damn, and to think I have been trying to get in for a bit over 5 years now. Stupid body…I keep patching it up and they keep finding broken parts. Last time it was my ulnar nerve.

Tim Burton on September 17, 2007 at 8:33 PM

But even if he goes back to his coven, it’ll take a team of moonbats weeks to re-program him.

logis on September 17, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Coven, I like that.

right2bright on September 17, 2007 at 5:52 PM

I prefer “stinking filth hole.”

BKennedy on September 17, 2007 at 9:02 PM

Off topic, but don’t the owners of a site have to have a (501c)on file to have a .org site?

opusrex on September 18, 2007 at 11:42 AM