Former Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey was the liberal media's dream come true: An anti-war Iraq veteran who came forward to publicly lambaste the Bush administration and accuse American troops of murdering innocent civilians.
Jimmy Massey was Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan and John Kerry all wrapped up into one tidy, soundbite-friendly package -- a poster boy for peace topped off by a military uniform and tattoos to boot. But like a lot of the agitators who pose as well-meaning, good-faith peace activists, Jimmy Massey was something else:
A complete fraud.
Massey, who was discharged from the Marines after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, told harrowing, graphic tales of American troops committing "genocide" against Iraqis. In an interview published in the Sacramento Bee last year, Massey claimed he and his fellow Marines used "M-16s [and] 50-cal. machine guns" to shoot at children and peaceful demonstrators. The Washington Post reported (in the loosest sense of the word) on Massey's December 2004 sworn testimony at a Canadian asylum hearing for U.S. Army deserter Jeremy Hinzman:
During one 48-hour period, Massey said under oath, his platoon set up roadblocks and killed "30-plus" civilians . . .
"I don't know if the Iraqi people thought we were celebrating their newfound freedom. But I do know we killed innocent civilians," Massey said. In one case, the driver of a car leaped out with his hands up. "But we kept firing. We killed him," Massey said. In another case, he and other Marines shot and killed four protesters near a checkpoint after a single incoming gunshot from an unknown source, he said. None of the protesters was found with arms.
Just last month, the Associated Press published an article on Massey's new book, "Kill, Kill, Kill," published in France, which recycled these anti-American smears. The sympathetic AP piece included a perfunctory denial of Massey's charges by the Pentagon and no independent corroboration:
"Marines who heard a gunshot fired upon 10 Iraqi demonstrators shouting anti-U.S. slogans and wielding banners saying 'Go Home' near the sprawling Al-Rashid military complex southeast of the city center. All but one of the demonstrators were killed, said Massey, who estimated he himself fired about 12 shots . . . "