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Old Lt. Gen. Chuck Pitman fake email devolves to include Obama

By
November 24, 2008

In 2005 a letter of “apology” proposed for the Arab world and attributed retired Marine Corps. Lieutenant General Chuck Pitman was circulated so widely by email that a search on Google turns up over 40,000 entries, mostly on Internet message boards. I just received a copy of this from someone I hadn’t heard from since high school. I checked and discovered that letter was revealed to be a fraud by the websites Snopes and Truth or Fiction. That didn’t stop right wingers from adding virulent attacks against Obama and Democrats to the original, some since his election, and continue it on its email journey.

This is the email with the version of the letter that came to me. It is from someone from my high school class. The words in his subject line were “SEMPER FI”.

He got my email address from another classmate who I recently emailed when I discovered lived nearby. Although he considers himself a libertarian, he turned out to be too far right in his opinions for me to want to correspond with, let alone get together with. He called Obama a f—ing socialist and sent me the email at the very bottom of the page. *

The email I just received had two paragraphs highlighted. I showed them in red.

I think we graduated from A.B. Davis in 1961.  Those were the days.  I got your name and email address from a fellow classmate.  He thought you might appreciate this.
Cheers, xxx

 
I believe this says it all and just wish there was some way to make it required reading for all Americans.

This ‘Letter of Apology’ was written by Lieutenant General Chuck Pitman, US Marine Corps, Retired:

For good and ill, the Iraqi prisoner abuse mess will remain an issue. On the one hand, right thinking Americans will abhor the stupidity of the actions while on the other hand, political glee will take control and fashion this minor event into some modern day massacre.

I humbly offer my opinion here:

I am sorry that the last seven times we Americans took up arms and sacrificed the blood of our youth; it was in the defense of Muslims ( Bosnia , Kosovo, Gulf War 1, Kuwait , etc.)
I am sorry that no such call for an apology upon the extremists came after 9/11.
I am sorry that all of the murderers on 9/11 were Islamic Arabs.
I am sorry that most Arabs and Muslims have to live in squalor under savage dictatorships.
I am sorry that their leaders squander their wealth.
I am sorry that their governments breed hate for the US in their religious schools, mosques, and government-controlled media.
I am sorry that Yasser Arafat was kicked out of every Arab country and high-jacked the Palestinian ’cause.’
I am sorry that no other Arab country will take in or offer more than a token amount of financial help to those same Palestinians.
I am sorry that the U. S. A. has to step in and be the biggest financial supporter of poverty stricken Arabs while the insanely wealthy Arabs blame the USA for all their problems.
I am sorry that our own left wing, our media, and our own brainwashed liberal masses do not understand any of this (from the misleading vocal elements of our society like radical liberal professors, CNN and the NY TIMES).
I am sorry the United Nations scammed the poor people of Iraq out of the ‘food for oil’ money so they could get rich while the common folk suffered.
I am sorry that some Arab governments pay the families of homicide bombers upon their death
I am sorry that those same bombers are brainwashed thinking they will receive 72 virgins in ‘paradise.’
I am sorry that the homicide bombers think pregnant women, babies, children, the elderly and other noncombatant civilians are legitimate targets.
I am sorry that our troops die to free more Arabs from the gang rape rooms and the filling of mass graves of dissidents of their own making.
I am sorry that Muslim extremists have killed more Arabs than any other group.
I am sorry that foreign trained terrorists are trying to seize control of Iraq and return it to a terrorist state.
I am sorry we don’t drop a few dozen Daisy cutters on Fallujah.
I am sorry every time terrorists hide they find a convenient ‘Holy Site.’
I am sorry they didn’t apologize for driving a jet into the World Trade Center that collapsed and severely damaged Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church – one of our Holy Sites.
I am sorry they didn’t apologize for flight 93 and 175, the USS Cole, the embassy bombings, the murders and beheadings of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, etc….etc!
I am sorry Michael Moore is American; he could feed a medium sized village in Africa
America will get past this latest absurdity! We will punish those responsible because that is what we do.

I am sorry the Barack Hussein Obama was elected president of the United States when he doesn’t have a clue on how to be a strong Commander-in-chief in a world filled with Muslim extremists who will do whatever it needs to do to destroy the lives of civilized people while killing innocent men, women and children in order to bring a change that is beneficial to all Islamic terrorists worldwide.  

I am sorry that voters on the liberal left don’t understand the frightening changes that are taking place in the Muslim world and what these changes will do to this world in which we live.

I am sorry that the Democratic Party has been high jacked by Socialists and Communists right under the very noses of those who take pride in calling themselves democrats.

We hang out our dirty laundry for the entire world to see. We move on. That’s one of the reasons we are hated so much. We don’t hide this stuff like all those Arab countries that are now demanding an apology.

Deep down inside, when most Americans saw this reported in the news, we were like – so what? We lost hundreds and made fun of a few prisoners. Sure, it was wrong, sure, it dramatically hurts our cause, but until captured we were trying to kill these same prisoners. Now we’re supposed to wring our hands because a few were humiliated?

Our compassion is tempered with the vivid memories of our own people killed, mutilated and burnt amongst a joyous crowd of celebrating Fallujahans.

I am sorry if you want an apology from this American, you’re going to have a long wait! You have a better chance of finding those seventy-two virgins.

Chuck Pitman

Lieutenant General, USMC

 

It took me a minute to determine that this letter was fraudulent just by doing a search of the name.

It’s a shame that these fraudulent letters and stories are usually quickly debunked, but still get circulated to an uncritical audience willing to believe them because they support their biases.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but with some well publicized notable exceptions, don’t the majority of these emailed false stories and rumors that go viral involve right wing lies?

Afterthought about the real General Pitman

Chuck Pitman is best known as the author of a letter he didn’t write. He isn’t even listed on Wikipedia. It is difficult to find any true information of him online about his early military career except what was published by Truth or Fiction. They probably found this information before he was buried deep in a web search that has tens of thousands of results.

That’s too bad because the real Chuck Pitman is an American combat hero. This is from Truth or Fiction:

Pitman is a retired Marine general. He served for 38-years and was deputy chief of staff for Marine corps aviation. He was a pilot in Vietnam where he was shot down seven times. He was a part of the attempted rescue of 52 American hostages from Iran in April, 1980, a mission that failed and in which eight American military men were killed. He was also the one who provided a Marine helicopter to New Orleans police on January 7, 1972 when mass murderer Mark Essex was surrounded in a hotel. Essex was killed during the operation.

Pitman not only “provided” the helicopter, he flew it. To get an idea about who Pitman is, read about how he flew the helicopter (right) used to take police to shoot a killer in New Orleans. The only information about Pitman aside from what is on Truth and Fiction is on websites about the killer Mark Essex (link).

Sadly, I can’t even determine if Pitman is still alive. I’m hoping this column will help counter the falsehood perpetrated against him by those all to willing to pass on a letter without checking to see if it is real.

Philip Berg: Another example of a debunked Internet Obama rumor still reinventing itself

You’ve heard the one about Barack Obama’s birth certificate being a forgery, about his really being born in Kenya and thus not an American citizen eligible to run for president. It seems that a lawyer named Philip Berg is still pursuing this with a law suit. I discovered this by checking to see who was being referred to this column from Google when they searched for Chuck Pitman.

It turned out that in the column’s first day about twenty readers came to this website from a Google search of Obama and Berg.

This puzzled me until I checked it out. It is because the orginal column included the name Nick Berg in the phony Pitman letter. That Mr. Berg was the American beheaded by Al Qaeda. Very few of the pages I checked on Google noted that Berg’s law suit was dismissed. I had to specifically search Snopes to find their debunking HERE where it was updated on November 15, 2008.


* This is what the first former classmate sent me. It isn’t fraudulent but it just annoyed me since he knew I was an Obama supporter. It is also on about 16,000 web pages.

Rest assured, Obama was born in Hawaii.

143 days

You couldn’t get a job at McDonalds and become district manager after 143 days of experience.

You couldn’t become chief of surgery after 143 days of experience of being a surgeon.

You couldn’t get a job as a teacher and be the superintendent after 143 days of experience.

You couldn’t join the military and become a colonel after a 143 days of experience.

You couldn’t get a job as a reporter and become the nightly news anchor after 143 days of experience.

BUT….
‘From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United State Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That’s how many days the Senate was actually in session and working. After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World….143 days.

We all have to start somewhere. The senate is a good start, but after 143 days, that’s all it is – a start.

AND, strangely, a large sector of the American public is okay with this and campaigning for him. We wouldn’t accept this in our own line of work, yet some are okay with this for the President of the United States of America? Come on folks, we are not voting for the next American Idol!

Please, please forward this before it’s too late!!!!

Hal Brown’s previous columns.

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40 Responses to Old Lt. Gen. Chuck Pitman fake email devolves to include Obama

  1. DejaVuAllOver

    November 28, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    I’m not sure who’s lower on a Montana Christian Republican’s list: Native Americans, Muslims (any and all) or Democrats. I think blacks and Jews are catching up quickly. I guess they’re just too stupid to know who to hate the most.

  2. Hal Brown

    November 25, 2008 at 11:11 am

    One of the reasons I enjoy the comments section so much is that you stimulate me to figure out exactly what some quotes mean which are offered up by those of you who are more literate than I am.

    In this instance the context shows that the famous quote O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two! is exactly right on. I’d expect none less from Flapsdaddle.

    Falstaff – Nay, that’s past praying for: I have peppered two of them; two I am sure I have paid, two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knowest my old ward; here I lay and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me—

    Prince Henry – What, four? thou saidst but two even now.

    Falstaff – Four, Hal; I told thee four.

    Poins – Ay, ay, he said four.

    Falstaff – These four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at me. I made me no more ado but took all their seven points in my target, thus.
    Prince Henry – Seven? why, there were but four even now.

    Falstaff – In buckram?

    Poins – Ay, four, in buckram suits.

    Falstaff – Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.
    Prince Henry – Prithee, let him alone; we shall have more anon.

    Falstaff – Dost thou hear me, Hal?

    Prince Henry – Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

    Falstaff – Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in buckram that I told thee of—

    Prince Henry – So, two more already.

    Falstaff – Their points being broken,—

    Poins – Down fell their hose.

    Falstaff – Began to give me ground: but I followed me close, came in foot and hand; and with a thought seven of the eleven I paid.

    Prince Henry – O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

    Falstaff – But, as the devil would have it, three misbegotten knaves in Kendal green came at my back and let drive at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand

    Prince Henry – These lies are like their father that begets them; gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson, obscene, grease tallow-catch,—

    Be great if we could say that last line of Prince Henry’s (please call him “Hal”) to all the Falstaffs of political lying and eggageration.

  3. pollchecker

    November 25, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Hal, I just got another one of these mass emails on a different subject. It was ANOTHER OLD hate filled email that has now been recirculated. What I really hate is how they take honest information and turn it into something hateful, disgusting and just plain dishonest.

    But the worst part is that they broadcast your email address to hundreds of complete strangers.

    Most people don’t realize that this is how spammers get email addresses.

    Then when you attempt to enlighten them and politely ask them to use the BCC when they send you this garbage (I don’t use garbage in my replies), they get all upset like you said something mean and hateful. And it doesn’t matter how politely you ask them to use the BCC instead of the TO. They still take it personally.

    Well, I get up to 1000 pieces of spam a day. I don’t need people broadcasting my email address on hateful hoax emails that go on and on and on.

    So people, PLEASE, HELP STOP SPAM by using the BCC line for your email addresses instead to the TO line when you send out multiple emails. It works just the same. It’s a good thing for everyone because the only people that like spam are the spammers who make a lot of money on junk emails.

  4. Hal Brown

    November 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Tech advice for everyone that gets too much spam. Seven things you can do to stop spam.

    How to use a disposable email address.

  5. shelley

    November 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Malcom, I don’t agree that these emails all come from Christian groups, but they do contain a ‘holier than thou’ attitude that is held by anyone who chooses to forward this garbage. I’m a follower of Jesus who will never identify with the religious right, as I feel they espouse ideas that are completely contrary to biblical teaching. I’ve received emails like this one, and worse, including racist jokes about Obama from some of my church friends. It makes me sick, and I have no problems letting them know that their emails are definitely not what Jesus would do!

    Giving money and power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

  6. Malibu

    November 25, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Shelly, let me say that my emails come from the religious groups that have played around on the Conservative forums and were all involved in the prohibitions of abortions and gay marriages. Their main complaint of Senator Obama was his liberal social agenda. They went out of their way to slander his eligibility to be an American citizen. They all claim to have proof that he is a Muslim. Have you read the junk that comes out of the religious sites? They despise his black skin and consider him an uppity slave.

    I have come to the conclusion that this group of religious right complainers want a verified Christian Nation and no others allowed to be citizens. Yes, they even want a litmus test to be part of the immigration laws. This is the new attitude of the Republican Party. There will be another civil war unless these people are not slapped down by their own ministers.

    Europe went through this and the Muslims and the Jews were thrown out. America is headed for this same attitude and it is wrong, immoral and illegal! This is what President Bush 43 brought with him and the religious zealots were told Reagan started this action and that is not true. These zealots don’t have a clue of what is true or slander and they will never stop until America is a certified American Nation.

    I am too old to move to a free nation, even if there was one and my ancestors fled Britian for their freedoms to be what they wanted….The family was split between Catholics and Prostestants and they settled in different parts of the new world. Within 230 years the zealots are trying again and I resent it because they do not play by the rules. This notion of a Christian government has turned our government into a host of liars, users, abusers and men and women so corrupt that it is embarrassing to travel abroad these days.

    Malcolm

  7. Hal Brown

    November 25, 2008 at 5:47 pm


    Shelley, I copied and posted this comment up the page as a reply to Malcolm’s comment, to which you refer. I also added my own post related to what you wrote.

    Everyone, it’s your choice whether to use reply when you comment to a specific post or not. If you click reply a new comment text box will open and your post will be indented under the comment you are responding to. When someone clicks “comments” on the front page their browser should take them directly to your post.

    You don’t have to bother with this if you are the first to comment under a post since your message will appear there and everyone will easily be able to read what you’re referring to. In this instance, not a big deal, but they’d have to look all the way up the page to find Malcolm’s comment.

    (I usually put purely adminstrative messages on in various colors to suit my mood.)

  8. Hal Brown

    November 25, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Malcolm, did you read the letter from Newt Gingrich’s lesbian sister? HERE

    I posted the following under your first column but we might as well continue the discussion here:

    It saddens me to keep hearing from friends who tell me the racist things that are being said to them about Obama. I related some of these anecdotes in my previous column about Massachusetts having a pink steak in it, but I just heard a new one just today apropos of what you wrote.

    A friend of mine who I can’t describe too much as he’s quite well known in our community, suffice to say he is identified with a Christian group, told me he was talking to two men he knew who brought up the election.

    One said that he couldn’t see Hillary Clinton as secretary of state because she was a woman and Arabs wouldn’t take her seriously, to which the other added “and Obama will probably have the Harlem Globe Trotters living at the White House.

    Does it strike the haters as wrong that anyone can drive through any state with an American flag or support our troops sticker on their car without a care in the world, but that people like our friends who just drove to California and back felt, with justification, that it would be safer to take their Obama stick off their car?

    As a therapist I assured them they weren’t being “paranoid” to worry about vandalism, on the road harrassment, and even the police targeting them for bogus infractions in some areas of the country.

  9. Malibu

    November 25, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Mr. Brown, it is true that a very dangerous element of America is showing up under the Religious Right. Yes, indeed, Newt Gingrich is trying to carry the cross for the religious zealots. I seriously doubt that most Americans are aware of the numbers of homosexuals found even in our families. The problem faces all of us about what to do about their civil rights. Gays and Lesbians have been hidden from sight for too many years. They deserve the right to be themselves and if the Republican Party refuses their rights, it is time the GOP pack up and get out of politics.

    I was astounded living so close to Arizona State University of the number of yard signs saying “Yes on 102″ which meant a prohibition of gay marriages. These were not necessarily homes of the students but of many older Phoenix people (Phoenicians, as we call them.) Our mutual friend Sandy, lives further west in Sun City which is the winter homes for those bible belt visitors. She is uncomfortable even leaving her home. She has many gay friends and family members as I do; we both would feel safer back in California.

    Will our culture ever grow into anything resembling equality in our lifetime? My wife is Jewish and has no feelings of being different from our neighbors but we started out in New York where the more liberal culture fit us better than Arizona. My grandson is in college here so we set up our home in the area. But, where can we go? Where in America is there true freedom for all kinds of Americans? Many of us here feel we are fish out of water and can sympathize with Newt’s sister.

    How dare these Johnny-come-lately members of the religious right take over the Republican Party and try to drive their prohibitions on the rest of us? Hell, I’m not gay but I am insulted by these people. I keep hearing they are in the majority and I had better get used to them.

    I may need your therapy if this doesn’t fix itself under new White House management. Thank you for your sensitive response.

    Malcolm

  10. Hal Brown

    November 25, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Malcolm,

    Even in a progressive states like Massachusetts with our black governor and our legal same sex marriage, we have our bigotry.

    I was taken to task on a local blog’s message board for publishing the anecdotes about racist comments with posters making the implication that I made them up for my own purposes. They expected me to name the sources.

    Last year I was excoriated for suggesting that a very few people were against our having a large indian casino in our town for racist reasons. (Read this if you’re curious about my notoriety in our local Middleboro casino controversy.)

    On the same blog where some posters blasted me for using unattributed anecdotes and on other local blogs, our congressman, Barney Frank, is ridiculed for being gay. Of course, these people would never consider themselves bigots.

    Still, Massachusetts has some cities, towns or villages which are among the most accepting in the United States. Boston is similar to San Francisco. In the Berkshires, Amherst and Northampton are two of the most progressive towns in the state. Likewise on Cape Cod, Provincetown and Woods Hole.

    One of my best friends lives in rural Georgia (why is an impossibly convoluted story). Without revealing much, let’s say he has two strikes against him as far as the prevailing prejudices of the area go. I persist in haranguing him about moving here before he’s lynched.

    Here’s a story about being Jewish and growing up in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City that had a very large Jewish population. Unbelievable as it may seem, I was never exposed to any anti-Semitism although my father told me stories about how he was in his work as an upholsterer for Christian clients.

    Then I went off to Michigan State University. In their “wisdom” I was given another Jew from Westchester as a roommate.

    Within the first few weeks another kid who lived in my dorm asked me just about the most extraordinary question I’ve ever been asked: “What are you?”

    It’s not that there weren’t other Jewish students, after all Detroit had many primarily Jewish communities. I certainly talked like a New Yorker (6% of the freshman class were recuited from NY high schools and many were Jewish), and perhaps some thought I looked like one. But my last name was Brown, not Schwartz or Goldstein.

    I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what he meant at first. Then I thought perhaps he was referring to my nationality, something I never even thought about. I knew my grandparents on both sides came from easter Europe so I just said I was Polish.

    Hal

  11. Malibu

    November 26, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Thank you Mr. Brown for you insight on being a minority. It is stunning that we still must discuss it. It can only improve.

    Malcolm

  12. DejaVuAllOver

    November 27, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    This may be a little off-topic, but I darn near got run off the road by a young guy driving a “monster” truck with flags and yellow ribbons all over it, recently. I’m quite sure it was due to my Obama ’08 sticker, and my quite humble car…. “Let’s see if we can kill the lib’rul” seems to be a national sport here in Montana. And these yahoos are the first tell y’all about Jesus, every chance they get. I’m a musician who spends a LOT of time in public, mostly locally, but even playing in the bars is getting to be life-threatening, these days.
    Even stranger, I was recently told by a Jewish friend that Montana is high on the list of “safer” states for Jews. I’ve had a couple Jewish friends visit me this past year and know of several who have moved here, and see a number of signs that a Jewish influx may be going on. This area is extremely heavy in the white-Christian demographic, the so-called Christian zionists. But it seems to me that the tide is turning in certain Christian circles, especially here, since so many in this state are soldiers and are getting quite disillusioned about fighting judeo-christian holy wars in Iraq and elsewhere. If I were Jewish, this is one of the LAST places I’d want to be. It could get VERY ugly, here, for all of us lib’ruls and other non-Christians. (I’m a Buddhist.)
    I know this is a lot of heresay and unscientific opinion stuff, but since religious conflicts are what is driving most of the violence in the world, these things are on EVERYONE’s mind these days. Anyway, nice column and comments as well.

  13. Hal Brown

    November 28, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Last year I talked to the director of a Montana human rights organization (see SEE LINK ) when I was writing an article about the anti-Indian sovereignty CERA (they deny they are racist). They were very aware of of CERA as it was active in Montana. I wanted more info as one of their board members got involved in trying to stop an indian casino in Middleboro. They are still saying the tribe that bought the land here, the Mashpee Wampanoag, didn’t have a right to put it into trust as a reservation because they really were not part of the Wampanoag tribe that greeted the Pilgrims and lived all over the area. Of course, the FACT that they later were forced to move to Mashpee on Cape Cod isn’t relevant to these people.

    Happy Thanksgiving –

    from the CERA website:
    Breaking Legal News
    CERA Sues the State of Montana for Voter Fraud
    Read Press Release
    Read Complaint
    Read Poll Worker Affidavit
    Read “Elephants, Donkeys and Hippos”

  14. gazelle1929

    November 24, 2008 at 9:38 am

    The worst part is that people who have been shown that something is a fake refuse to believe the truth. They WANT to believe the lies because those lies tie in with their world views.

  15. Hal Brown

    November 24, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Unfortunately few will bother with a simple Google of Chuck Pitman to find out that the letter is a fraud. I doubt many of those who recieve this or read it on right wing sites will suspect that it’s highly unlikey a general would even write a letter like this. This is especially telling since many of the posts of the letter are on sites like Military.com (link) with discussion forms for soldiers and veterans.

    The only plus is that after enough people read this column not only will they find the Snope and the Fruth of Fiction articles debunding it on the first search page of Google, but they will find this updated one as well.

    I doubt that the real Lt. Gen. Pitman appreciates that while he’s not even listed in Wikipedia (he should be if only because of this), he’s all over cyberspace with a letter he didn’t write being attributed to him. There’s nothing he can do except hope people are smart enough to seek the truth.

  16. Malibu

    November 24, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Pollchecker, simply giving this kind of thing a label does not stop it. I fear it is coming from Christian groups, if not from their ministers. I received many of the kind of slanderous comments from many Conservative writers who may have picked up this pile of lies from well-known radio shows and sites like World Net Daily and Newsmax.

    My answer to these frightened people was to ask them what caused them slander the “enemy” instead of selling their particular candidate? They mostly agreed that Senator McCain was not their best choice and so they had to turn the voters away from Senator Obama in every way possible.

    It was so consistent and even today the anger with the President-elect is so out-of-control that I actually mentioned that I would put the blame on them if anything happened to President Obama.

    This is the new political culture in America and I want it exposed and destroyed. I just can’t figure out why it still exists. Have the voters been unable to determine right from wrong? Are the internet and Conservative radio shows the cause of this form of local terrorism? They have the First Amendment on their side and the rest of us should take a stand against promoting slander.

    Malcolm

  17. pollchecker

    November 24, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    You can’t stop it. It comes from Hate, plain & simple!

    Newsweek had this interesting article about propaganda, here: One of Our Own

    Now the article is about the failure of Al Qaeda’s attack on President-Elect Obama. That might seem off topic, but actually it isn’t. Hateful rhetoric is unacceptable whether it comes from Americans or Al Qaeda.

    But there was a very interesting quote in the article.

    …spreading hate is the terrorists’ job. Hating you is not enough; they also need you to hate them, so the struggle goes on unchallenged.

    We heard a lot of garbage in the form of email and verbal attacks about Obama’s “domestic terrorist” supporters.

    Well, I conclude that these right wing haters are just as bad as Al Qaeda. In fact, they might be worse. At least with Al Qaeda, you KNOW what you are getting. With these right wing haters, they disguise themselves as patriots.

    Well, with patriots like this, who the hell needs enemies?

  18. Hal Brown

    November 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    new Submitted by shelley on November 25, 2008 – 5:06pm.
    copied and posted here by Hal

    Malcom, I don’t agree that these emails all come from Christian groups, but they do contain a ‘holier than thou’ attitude that is held by anyone who chooses to forward this garbage. I’m a follower of Jesus who will never identify with the religious right, as I feel they espouse ideas that are completely contrary to biblical teaching. I’ve received emails like this one, and worse, including racist jokes about Obama from some of my church friends. It makes me sick, and I have no problems letting them know that their emails are definitely not what Jesus would do!

    Giving money and power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

  19. raedawn

    November 29, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Dear Malcolm ~ sadly, I agree with everything you said. The audience for whom this fraudulent letter is intended do not care to check its veracity because they want to, already do, in fact, believe the lie(s). It is a shame that a decent man like General Pitman gets something so horrible attributed to him.

    Unfortunately, I grew up with people who were already perpetrating lies and hate against black people. It was so bad that there were times when I wanted to melt into the floor or through the seat on the bus. I love my (paternal) grandmother, but whenever we got on the bus to go to downtown DC, eventually she would begin talking about black people, saying the most horribly racist things ~ creepy, stinky things, and with black people right there beside or behind or in front of us,

    She was a perfect example, as were other members of my own family, who, for the most part were decent caring people, yet who perpetuated the stereotype of a total racist. Racism was so deep, so embedded in her world view that she didn’t have the ability or the desire to even seek and separate fact and fiction.

    My maternal aunt used to keep black “memorabilia” all over her house. This was a time when it was still only whites who purchased and displayed these items. I understand that some black people now collect this stuff, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why.

    When I was a little girl and would visit my maternal grandmother in the “country” (Tappohannock County in rural Virginia, someone would take me out the back door and point to the stand of trees beyond the field. This was the location of a “slave ditch,” where slaves trying to escape along the underground railroad would hide. I was also told that my maternal great great grandparents, possibly even my grandparents owned slaves. This still shames me. I won’t bother to talk about any of the other stuff I heard growing up.

    How I came to not be affected by this racism in my family, I will never know. Perhaps it could be considered a kind of aversion therapy, where I came to extremely dislike and be detached from, the racist comments and images with which my young mind was barraged. Watch the movie, “Betrayed,” with Debra Winger. It shows where the racism starts … by inculcating the children. How else could 2nd graders be shouting to assassinate Obama? My only hope is that are enough of the rest of us who now make up the majority that can peacefully stand up for truth.

    But these current statements and behaviors are, meant to be to scare us to go back in the “liberal” closet. That people like me are castigated as socialists and communists is beyond my comprehension. There is a zero tolerance policy on the part or racists, and unfortunately, they do have to be taken seriously. We have our own, homegrown, potential terrorists. They have acted out before, and I pray they will not act out now. And I’m very glad that Obama is surrounded by very good Secret Service people.

    We must not stop our own attention now, just because Obama has won. The fact that so many have responded to this letter by searching out facts and debunking it, gives me hope.

    And I was very thankful on Thursday
    ~ Linda in Lowell (MA)

  20. pollchecker

    November 24, 2008 at 8:48 am

    yes, it’s called propaganda. The right wing haters are the equivilant of Russia’s Cold War propaganda machine that the same right wingers were so virulently against. Ironic isn’t it? Can you say oxymoron?

  21. lindand

    November 24, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Someone care to comment on the things that were stated in the letter? I think you will find that almost every one of the statements are true.
    Just because the letter was false does not make the contents of the letter false.

  22. Hal Brown

    November 24, 2008 at 10:44 am

    This is not the point of the column and such comments will be deleted. Read the rules and guidelines for commenting on this column.

    I am not trying to stifle comments, just trying to keep them topic focused.

    If and when I write about what you want to discuss, posters are very welcome to comment.

  23. Hal Brown

    November 24, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I’ve been searching for information about General Pitman. The only way I found anything is to add the name Mark Essex, a mass murderer, to the search. I added to the column in the hopes that others doing this will find out about the real person because he deserves recognition, not the fraudulent one so well known as the author of a letter he didn’t write.

  24. Hal Brown

    November 24, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    The only way to stop a fraudulent letter like this from being believed is for the mainstream media to publicize it. It isn’t enough for Snopes and Truth or Fiction and media watchdog sites like FactCheck.org to investigate such things and post their results.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the general died prior to 2005, as it seems to me if he learned about this he would have taken steps to make it known that he didn’t write it, even if he agreed with portions of it.

    Just Google “Chuck Pitmam” to see all the various kinds of websites that have published various versions of his letter as fact.

  25. pollchecker

    November 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    While educating some, might decrease it slightly, people, especially haters, are going to believe what they choose to believe.

    Example, look at Obama. He’s been called a Muslim even though he and the MSM have addressed this over and over again. Yet there are still haters out there who believe he is a Muslim.

    Publicity and education have not stopped it and I doubt it will EVER be stopped until we stop hating each other.

    What I find most ironic is that the perpetrators of this hate call themselves Christians. Well, I’ve got a verse or two for them (har, har).

  26. CheckerboardStrangler

    November 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    It’s also a distillation of everything that clogs the Craigslist Rant and Rave section every single day here in TX.

  27. Hal Brown

    November 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I have no objection to the 145 days email and those like it (although I don’t appreciate recieving them). These are just opinion. I know tracts like that fill thousands of in boxes and circulate all over Intenret message boards from Craigslist to websites about bowling. Frequently there’s no author designated.

    Democrats certainly sent and posted their share of similar attack tracts focused on George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin in particular because they were such easy targets.

    The email supposedly from a Marine general is another matter because it is a fraud. The attributed source is what gave it enough credibility to end up on tens of thousands of message boards and I can hardly imagine in how many emails.

  28. woody188

    November 24, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    When I get messages like this one that are obvious frauds I just reply telling them the truth with the Snopes link, and then go on about how Microsoft is developing an email tracking program and they can get paid if they forward my email to at least 10 other people. ;)

  29. pollchecker

    November 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    yes, I usually reply to all with the snopes link as well, but didn’t think about adding the Microsoft hoax. That’s downright ingenious (grin)!

  30. woody188

    November 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    LOL, that’s the first time anyone has accused me of having any type of genius. I have my moments, few and far between.

    With 42% of American adults being either illiterate or functionally illiterate, we have to wonder if email and the internet really have any discernible impact at all. We should be making YouTube videos with these facts instead of sending text.

  31. Hal Brown

    November 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I think Wikipedia could help with this, I don’t know how many people research for Snopes and for Truth or Fiction. Both sites do a great service. But the people that need to search them often don’t. Having Wikipedia debunk rumors with their network of volunteer contributers would be a help. It would also help if Google and other major search engines adjust their ratings so message boards wouldn’t flood the results pages.

    This column is now on page four of a Google search for Chuck Pitman. Not bad for being online for eight hours. However, I am going to add his name to the title to see if I can help move the ranking to the first page. Check it out later and see if I succeed.

    Caution I wouldn’t advise any of you to try to get even with people who send you these kinds of emails because if they have your email address and are so inclined they can put you on all kinds of spam lists and you’ll regret it. Just think if they posted your email on an unmoderated message board read by people just like them.

  32. Hal Brown

    November 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Oddly enough, the only readers that have come to this column so far via Google are those searching Obama and Berg.

    Phillip Berg is the name of the lawyer suing to see Obama’s birh certificate. The Snopes article debunking this isn’t on the first page of Google but this column is, so for those who get here who are interested in the truth, this is the Snope link.

    The amazing Google found this column because of one reference to Nick Berg (an American beheaded by Al Qaeda) in the phony Pitman letter.

  33. Hal Brown

    November 24, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    For those following this, I decided to add a section to the column about the lie that’s still alive and kicking that Obama isn’t an American citizen.

    This uses the search engines to try to help get another lie debunked since now when people search terms like Obama and citizenship they should find a link to this column.

  34. CheckerboardStrangler

    November 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Tell them it’s a new partnership between Microsoft AND Snopes in order to combat fraudulent emails, and that they stand a chance at being picked to receive a cash prize.

  35. Flapsaddle

    November 25, 2008 at 10:09 am

    O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two! – Henry IV, Part 1, ii,4

    Just as the pompous Falstaff embroiders the tale with each repetition, so do the fabulous rumors about politicians and events evolve with the retelling.

    The fantastic claims about the Kennedy assassination, the lunar landings and 9/11…now it is Mr. Obama’s turn to enter the “Twilight Zone” of malignant invention.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  36. CheckerboardStrangler

    November 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I said it before and I’ll say it again…know the source by their footprints.
    Any time you see reports of cocaine, expensive hookers and watermelon being lobbed at the Oval Office you can bet it comes from the Swiftboat guys.

    Interesting to see Kennedy lumped in with lunar landings and 9/11. Is this a one-size-fits-all answer to all conspiracy theories?

  37. Flapsaddle

    November 25, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I didn’t mean it that way: Interesting to see Kennedy lumped in with lunar landings and 9/11. Is this a one-size-fits-all answer to all conspiracy theories?

    Momentous events seem to inspire monumental speculation, and that’s all I had intended to suggest. I remember my father talking of the controversies surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor, that some thought it was an FDR-inspired conspiracy to get us into WW2. Also, post-JFK getting capped, there was a series of speculation on a conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln. We even have speculation about the role of former president Clinton in helping the CIA run drugs via thew Mena, Arkansas, airport.

    The spin-cycle of theorizing and speculation around the Kennedy assassination I’ve addressed previously as part of what I call the Baldar syndrome. However, I do have a favorite who-shot-John theory and why there would be a conspiracy to conceal it.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  38. Hal Brown

    November 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Shelley,

    It saddens me to keep hearing from friends who tell me the racist things that are being said to them about Obama. I related some of these anecdotes in my previous column about Massachusetts having a pink steak in it, but I just heard a new one just today apropos of what you wrote.

    A friend of mine who I can’t describe too much as he’s quite well known, suffice to say he is identified with a Christian group, told me he was talking to two men he knew who brought up the election.

    One said that he couldn’t see Hillary Clinton as secretary of state because she was a woman and Arabs wouldn’t take her seriously, to which the other added “and Obama will probably have the Harlem Globe Trotters living at the White House”.

  39. Hal Brown

    November 29, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Linda (up north from me in Lowell, MA, we visited Lowell five years ago, toured the textile factories, rode on the rail trolley: see some of my pictures” the clock tower and me in one of the factories.

    By all means share your memories of growing up in western Virginia whenever if fits the subject of a column (or start your own blog on CHB). You’ve whetted my appetite to read more.

    This column will continue to help get the truth out. It depends on the search words, but it is now on Google putting the truth out there. It’s a testament to the CHB readership that on some searches it is on the first page. Snopes, thank goodness, is generally number one no matter what words are used, but this column is number three if you search chuck pitman letter LINK.

    Unfortunately 98% of the Google links perpetrate the lie.

  40. raedawn

    November 29, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Dear Malcolm ~ nice to hear from you and thanks for your comments. I enjoyed reading your note to me equally to enjoying your responses to the article. I have felt on several occasions that we were seeing somewhat eye to eye. So, if I am up north from you, then you are on the east coast somewhere below Lowell, MA. I actually grew up in Maryland, after being born and living for five years in DC.

    My visits to either of my grandmothers always tended to be mixed blessings, yet I love them both. And I still am confounded by the fact that I turned out so differently. My sister, after having a rebellious phase, settled down in being a mostly “good” and opinionated conservative. I think my brother is a Democrat, but he doesn’t talk about politics much. One interesting factoid is that, despite the racism in my family, everybody on my mother’s side was Democratic. She said her father told her to always vote Democratic, and I think she did, despite the fact that she didn’t agree with some of the view points.

    My maternal grandmother was in Tidewater, Virginia, where King George had given my forebears a land grant. I found out a lot about this after my aunt did the genealogical research necessary to become a DAR member. Apparently, we did have relatives on the Mayflower. Does that mean I hail from a crew of thieves and misfits! My paternal grandmother was born in the hills of West Virginny, but lived in DC from the point where she got married. She told me about the WW I Victory Gardens (or was it WW II?). I don’t remember much.

    It still saddens me that one act, or in this case, “letter,” can spread very far very fast. But that is the way of the internet. Even with regular news, the article would get front page coverage and the retraction would be hidden away, so people were left (and probably still are) with the truth of the misinformation. Fortunately, Obama used the power of the net in his favor, creating a vast grassroots majority that felt very “plugged in.” One thing that scares me about the hate mongers (and also about the threats to the Obamas) is that I believe, very sadly, that what we saw happen in India recently, could in fact happen here (has happened on a smaller scale … after all there is always a “lone gunman”).

    As I said before, anyone who has trouble believing this could happen in America, see the movie, “Betrayed.” It’s a bit old, but I find its depiction of events we have all known of to be historically correct and frightening beyond belief. The movie was loosely based on the killing of a liberal talk show host that occurred several decades ago. I wish I could recall his name, but this event is pictured in the movie.

    I have enjoyed reading all your comments, Malcolm, though I don’t always get around to all the topics that interest me. And, by the way, how does one set up a blog on CHB? I am still in the stone age when it comes to computers. Point, counterpoint … thanks for your comments ~ Linda in Lowell (MA)