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Sunday, July 30, 2006

HOOK, LANE AND SINKER

The Age’s Terry Lane falls (spectacularly) for the Jesse Macbeth hoax:

Why doesn’t the Government hold an inquiry into the video evidence of US Army Ranger Jessie Macbeth? Macbeth served in Iraq for 16 months and regrets that he was ever part of the invasion and occupation. You can see and hear Macbeth on Google Video - just search for Iraq war.

Even better: search for Jesse Macbeth (or “Jessie”; either will do). Served in Iraq for 16 months, did he? Try 43 days of basic training in Georgia.

Macbeth is young and troubled. He speaks with a slight stutter. There is pain in his eyes as he describes the things he was ordered to do.

He was lying.

Macbeth is a little like Obersturmfuhrer Kurt Gerstein, the German who joined the SS to see for himself if the rumours of mass murder were true.

He’d be exactly like Obersturmfuhrer Kurt Gerstein if Obersturmfuhrer Kurt Gerstein was a super dooper überfaker.

This is what Macbeth says of his orders in Iraq: “Our job over there is to strike fear into the hearts of the Iraqis. You can do whatever it takes in the field to make them fear you. You can be brutal - the Geneva Convention doesn’t mean crap.”

Neither does Lane’s column. Might be a career-ender for the old chap.

Operation Iraqi Freedom is more like Operation Iraqi Slaughter. Macbeth describes going into a basement bomb shelter looking for insurgents.

Which he never did.

“We had to go in there and make sure everything was dead. So whether there were women and children, if they weren’t dead, we had to finish them off and drag their bodies out.”

Bogus.

Macbeth says of the people in makeshift bomb shelters: “Most of them were just families hiding down there but we were told that there were insurgents hiding down there, Saddam’s forces hiding down there. I remember going in there and smelling burnt flesh and hearing people crying and begging us to help them because they thought we were there for them. There were some that weren’t wounded very bad and we had to kill them.”

All lies. Lies, lies, lies.

(Via readers Dale and Tony T.)

UPDATE. Lane in 2003:

Do you ever have the feeling that perhaps you have arrived on an alien planet where you don’t fully comprehend everything that is going on? Or that you are out of touch with the times?

Other previous Lane items here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Posted by Tim B. on 07/30/2006 at 12:41 AM
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