***Update: New post on Macbeth is here.***
I can’t get this to load, but I’m putting the link out there anyway because someone sent me a long message this morning questioning its veracity. Not just the claims that are made, either; I’m talking about mistakes in his uniform, etc.
I know we have readers who are in the military and I’d like some feedback. What do you guys think? I’ll forward the e-mail I received to Lt. Smash, Mudville Gazette, and BlackFive and see if I can get their opinions. Stay tuned.
Update: Suddenly the site is down. Hmmm.
Update: Good thing someone put it on YouTube, eh?
Update: Just received e-mails from Blackfive and Uncle Jimbo. B5: “The photo on the wall of this ‘ranger’ is completely laughable.” Uncle J: “The pic on his wall fronts him all the way out. Wrong t-shirt, wrong sleeve roll, wrong flash on beret.”
Uncle J is vlogging, by the way. Check out his latest at YouTube.
Update: Here’s Uncle Jimbo’s post at Blackfive. Hot Air’s own Bryan Preston is an Air Force vet and he thinks Macbeth is a faker, too. See his comment in this thread.
Here’s a story from Arizona State’s student newspaper dated April 12, 2004 in which MacBeth (his first name is spelled “Jesse” here, not “Jessie”) is described as an Army vet recently returned from Iraq. I still haven’t watched the video all the way through yet, but the person who e-mailed me this morning says the narrator describes Macbeth as having been in Iraq for 16 months. How, if he was already back in the U.S. thirteen months after the war began?
Update: Greyhawk e-mails to say that MilBlogs is now covering the story. They’ve got a list of discrepancies in the uniform; go check it out. Meanwhile, a reader points me to this interview with Macbeth (from a socialist outfit, of course) and poses a few questions:
1. Macbeth says he was “picked” to go to Ranger school. Is this possible, or is Ranger school all-volunteer?
2. Macbeth claims to have received so many medals that he can’t remember them all, including “five or six … just for landing.” Is this possible?
3. He got stabbed “many times”?
Update: Jeff Goldstein is following it too.
Update: Greyhawk has his own post up now: “[T]he key point is that Ranger or not, MacBeth is a liar.”
Update: Lt. Smash minces no words: “JESSIE MACBETH is a fraud. An imposter. A poseur, and not even a very convincing one.”
Update: Go read the comments to Uncle Jimbo’s post.
Update: A thread’s been started at a Rangers bulletin board. Keep your eye on it.
UPDATE (Bryan): There’s also some doubt on this guy’s Ranger unit. He claims to have been in the 3rd Ranger Battalion in that interview with SocialistAlternative. Jason Whong doubts Macbeth managed to land himself in the right unit:
Now here’s the nugget – the 3rd Ranger battalion eventually became the 3d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment – in 1986… but it doesn’t appear they went to Iraq at all. (I could be very wrong on this one – but everything I read about the unit talks about the invasion of Panama… nothing much about OIF. But I have not had the time to investigate this further.
There is a real 3rd Ranger Battalion extant. It’s a video game community playing America’s Army–the very well done Army recruiting game. This “3rd Ranger Battalion’s” site has some NSFW graphics, hence no link–Google it if you want to find it. Perhaps that was Mr. Macbeth’s real unit. I’m sure the game has an Iraq-related level or two, or at least a mod.
Update: Some Googling reveals that the 3rd Ranger Battalion has indeed been to Iraq. So they got that detail right, at least.
Update: After you read Smash’s post, read this one. Geez.
Update: MilBlogs is all over this. Just keep scrolling (upward) when you click that last link. Better yet, start with Greyhawk‘s original post and scroll upward from there.
Update (Bryan): We hear from a current soldier who was in a unit that relieved the 3/75 Rgr BN in Iraq:
First, I commanded a rifle company in the 101st, one of the ones who relieved the 3/75 Rgr Bn at the dam in Hadithah. They do NOT spend 16 continuous months in theater. They were in Iraq for a three month stretch, then went back to Benning to re-fit and re-train, then back into theater for another four months.
Next, I also completed Ranger School(class 4-96) and you don’t get “picked” to do it. You must volunteer and then pass through a screening process(usually a pre-Ranger course of some kind – almost every division has such a course). After that, you go through the course and can wear the tab.
If you are part of the 75th Rgr Rgt, you are almost always promoted to E5 once you complete Ranger School, which he has not been.
The uniform discrepancies have been well documented: beret folded left(we fold them right), wrong flash for the 75th, sleeves folded wrong(inside showing – that’s the Marines), wrong color t-shirt(although I guess it could have just been the lighting), etc.
As a current soldier, I can state unequivocally this guy is an absolute fraud. The Geneva Convention was SO strictly enforced we felt it hampered us at times. IVAW should at least research this garbage before coming out with it.
No one’s made the connection yet, so I will: Jessie or Jesse MacBeth or Macbeth is doing exactly what John Kerry did during Vietnam. He is smearing the troops currently in action against the enemy as war criminals. As I predicted would happen, more than two years ago.
Update: The same officer who sent that last message sends an update:
Another note – I just showed this to two SF NCOs who work in the next room. The flash he is wearing, according to them, is a 1st SF Group flash. Additionally, he appears to have an SF combat patch on the sleeve of the BDU top he is wearing at home(you can see it as he picks up his child).
Update: In “honor” of Jesse Macbeth, Greyhawk has decided to start collecting all the urban legends about Iraq at MilBlogs. He’s hit the ground running.
Update: McQ at QandO demonstrates what Macbeth’s beret flash should look like.
Update (Bryan): It turns out MacBeth has a profile on Military.com. Three things worth knowing about Military.com. 1) It’s not officially connected with the DoD; 2) you don’t have to be current or prior military to join; and 3) there are no safeguards ensuring that what a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine claims as his awards and citations are true. Just to test that out I set up a profile and played around with the badges section. It let me claim to be a Master Veterinarian, a Command Pilot Astronaut and a Master Space Controller and posted them all on my profile. I am none of those things, and Military.com has no way of knowing if I am. It doesn’t cross reference anything I input with my DD-214, an official doc that summarizes my military career. Naturally, I turned those badges back off in my profile.
We have screen caps coming of MacBeth’s profile. He claims three basic combat jumps, presumably into Iraq though he does claim to have been in Afghanistan too, he claims a couple of awards for marksmanship and combat, and he posts a Ranger tab and a Special Forces tab. He also claims a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He has no friends among the patrons of Military.com, which I found completely unsurprising. He claims as his “interests,” “killing haajis,” yet also boasts of his membership in IVAW. How does the one square with the other?
Allah’s formating the screen caps and will post them here shortly.
Update: Here are the screencaps; click for larger images. His “friends” sidebar is, alas, barren.
Here are Military.com’s ribbon pages for reference. According to Macbeth’s profile, he has a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, an Army Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, and an Overseas Service Ribbon.
Update: Blather Review e-mailed to call my attention to his update here, but I think his point about Macbeth’s jacket is even better.
Update: It seems pretty well established at this point that Macbeth wasn’t a Ranger. The next question is, was he in the Army in any capacity? Detailed Recruiter has his doubts.
Update: MilBlogs has flood-the-zone coverage of this story. Click and scroll for hours. The latest development: according to John of Argghhh, Macbeth has removed the awards from his Military.com profile.
Update: Bryan took a screencap of Macbeth’s new Military.com profile, sans decorations. Click to enlarge.
Update: The Macbeth interview has been removed from YouTube … but it’s back up at the original site.