Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Obama Weaves Yet Another Tale

Sen. Barack Obama has been caught in yet another lie about his family. Using the occasion of a Memorial Day observance in New Mexico, Obama falsely claimed he had an uncle who served in a brigade during World War II which helped to liberate Auschwitz. A pro-Obama blog report from a CBS reporter wrote of Obama's moving Memorial Day tribute:

Despite not having served in the military himself, Barack Obama used his Memorial Day remarks to speak about his family’s service. “My grandfather marched in Patton’s army, but I cannot know what it is to walk into battle like so many of you,” he told a small group of veterans here. “My grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line, but I cannot know what it is for a family to sacrifice like so many of yours have.”

Obama also spoke about his uncle, who was part of the American brigade that helped to liberate Auschwitz. He said the family legend is that, upon returning from war, his uncle spent six months in an attic. “Now obviously, something had really affected him deeply, but at that time there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain,” Obama said. “That’s why this idea of making sure that every single veteran, when they are discharged, are screened for post-traumatic stress disorder and given the mental health services that they need – that’s why it’s so important.”

Let's do the fact check. American troops did not liberate Auschwitz. The Russian Army liberated Auschwitz. The Washington Post and most other major news organizations reported Obama's account of his uncle's service as fact. Obama has no uncles. His American mother was an only child. Caught up in an obvious lie, Obama's campaign rushed to correct what he meant to say. The pro-Obama CBS report included this update:

Obama's campaign clarified the comments about the candidate's great-uncle liberating Auschwitz, saying Obama was "mistaken," and was referring to Buchenwald, not Auschwitz. “Senator Obama’s family is proud of the service of his grandfather and uncles in World War II – especially the fact that his great uncle was a part of liberating one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald," said spokesman Bill Burton.

The New York Times noted this correction:

In response to a question at a Memorial Day appearance in New Mexico, Mr. Obama said an uncle helped liberate the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz during World War II. The problem? That story didn’t track with history, considering Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet forces.

So on Tuesday, the campaign acknowledged the senator made a mistake and mentioned the wrong camp. It actually was Buchenwald, according to spokesman Bill Burton.

The correct story is that Mr. Obama’s great uncle, Charlie Payne – his grandmother’s brother – actually helped liberate Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald. Mr. Payne was a member of the 89th Infantry Division.

Note that the reporter accepts that Obama meant a "great-uncle" when he actually referred to him simply as an "uncle." He simply confused Buchenwald, we're told, with Auschwitz. That's good enough for the media, which has pretty much ignored this latest Obama gaffe. Similarly, the media let Obama skate on a false claim that the Kennedy family helped bring his father to America to get a college education. They forgave his false claim that his parents got together because of the civil rights march on Selma in 1965; his parents gave birth to Obama four years before Selma. The media hardly noticed Obama thinks there are 57 states, not 50. There's plenty of other Obama gaffes which the media has completely ignored at the same time it pounces all over Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain for every minor misstep they make in their campaigns. Remember how much the media played up Clinton's claim she was under fire during a visit to Kosovo? Or how the media this past week twisted a comment she made about the assassination of Robert Kennedy to imply she intended to suggest Obama might be assassinated?

UPDATE: It's now beginning to look like the entire uncle story was made up. Larry Johnson has a post today raising doubts that his "great uncle" ever made it to Buchenwald during the war, let alone Auschwitz.

10 comments:

iPOPA said...

I'm not sure I can buy that the media is ignoring the gaffes when, ya know, they're all reported on CNN, Headline News, the L.A. Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Fox News, CBS, the Chicago Tribune (his hometown paper), and also appearing nationally through the Associated Press wire service.
I don't think you'll be happy until this man is drummed out of public life.

tarrandwoolley said...

The problem, Obama already corrected this making your post somewhat irrelevant.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/05/28/obama_corrects_gaffe_on_kins_participation_in_freeing_auschwitz/

spooknp said...

I call my great uncles and aunts "uncle" or "aunt." I could easily make the same mistake.

varangianguard said...

Well, I always called my great aunt just aunt. For some reason adding the great ticked her off something fierce.

The Auschwitz vs. Buchenwald thing is a horse of a different color. Senator Obama is just showing that he doesn't believe history to be an important component in the present day. Too bad, cause that kind of ignorance gets us into trouble every time.

artfuggins said...

As this has been pointed out by virtually every talk show, this is simply a matter of using the wrong name. His great uncle wass involved, is still alive and has been interviewed about it. This is just another shameful attempt by the GOP to discredit an honorably discharged veteran of WW2.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Sure, artfuggins...but when George Bush "lied" to get us into this terrible war, your ilk declares he should be drummed out of office, drawn & quartered, and horsewhipped.

Sure, artfuggins...pointing out another bold lie by a candidate is "another shameful attempt by the GOP to discredit an honorably discharged veteran of WW2."

I guess you forget who it is that honors veterans and who it is that doesn't even know what Memorial Day is for.

Advance Indiana said...

Obama's correction came about because the RNC quickly pointed out the error in his claim and distributed it to the media. The media rushed to print with the claim without even noticing the obvious error in the Auschwitz claim. There is a pattern of Obama making things up about his family. In his book, Dreams From My Father, he inflates the role of a man who walked out on his life when he was 2 years old while downplaying the influence of his mother, who had everything to do with making sure he received the best education. That book has been proven to be full of falsehoods. Although it is biographical, he changed the names of many of the people mentioned in the book. The Sun-Times Lynn Sweet said it was difficult to discern where the nonfiction part of it ended and the fiction part of it started. People who constantly tell fibs about their lives are pathological. It is relevant to consider whether someone who has trouble telling the truth about such small matters is someone you want in the White House.

Lance Rasmussen said...

"The media rushed to print with the claim without even noticing the obvious error in the Auschwitz claim"

Ding ding ding! Obama saying something stupid and inaccurate isn't the issue nearly as much as our hallowed media not checking their facts. I mean, if it came out of Obama's mouth, it MUST be true.

Change!

True Conservative said...

artfuggins said...
As this has been pointed out by virtually every talk show, this is simply a matter of using the wrong name. His great uncle wass involved, is still alive and has been interviewed about it. This is just another shameful attempt by the GOP to discredit an honorably discharged veteran of WW2.


While I think this shows Obama doesn't care about being accurate, how does it discredit what his great uncle did?

artfuggins said...

McCain "cares" so much about veterans that he failed to show to vote for the improved VA hospital funding which actually is good since he has announced he is opposed to improving their services. What a caring candidate!!!