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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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Rest assured, Obama was born in Hawaii.
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.
‘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!!!!
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