Busting Another Straw Soldier

A man named Jesse MacBeth is claiming to be a member of the US Army Rangers, and accusing his “fellow soldiers” of committing horrendous war crimes in Iraq, including the deliberate shooting of unarmed Iraqi civilians.

Of course, real former soldiers can easily tell that MacBeth is deliberately misrepresenting himself. MacBeth’s story is a lie, a lie which real former servicemembers were able to quickly rip to shreds with just casual observations.

Not only is “MacBeth” a liar and a scoundrel, but he is also quite likely to be breaking federal law by impersonating a member of the US mlitary. 18 U.S.C. § 912 makes it a crime to impersonate a US military officer or servicemember for the purpose of obtaining money, documents, or anything else of value. While it’s arguable whether “MacBeth” could be prosecuted under the term of that statute, there is very little room for doubt that he is in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 704 which makes it a crime to falsely wear any sort of military decoration:

Whoever knowingly wears, manufactures, or sells any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

I’d hope that “MacBeth” (assuming that’s his real name) has a very good lawyer. He may need one.

Furthermore, this is a further indication of how far some people will go to justify their irrational anti-Americanism. False stories of military atrocities appeal to those who already assume the worst of the US military and are fed on a steady diet of conspiracy theories. Winter Soldiers like MacBeth are beneath contempt – and calling their patriotism is not only fair game, but simple common sense.

Sadly, liars like MacBeth will always find currency with those willing to listen to a convenient lie – and fortunately there are those who will expose these frauds for who they are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.