There's just one problem: According to Department of the Army spokesman Paul Boyce, there is no record of "Jessie MacBeth," a.k.a. Jesse Adam MacBeth, having served in either the Rangers or the Special Forces -- or in any part of the Army at all. Boyce told me Tuesday that a check on MacBeth's credentials came up empty. "At a minimum, this appears to have been concocted" and "some sort of hoax," Boyce said. Special Operations Command and the State Department have been alerted.
MacBeth's story started to crumble after my colleagues at the Hot Air blog (www.hotair.com) called attention to the Peace Films video interview and asked military bloggers about MacBeth's appearance and claims. Harnessing the specialized knowledge of the blogosphere, military bloggers debunked a photo purportedly showing MacBeth in his official uniform (with his beret backward, incorrect flashes and tabs, and missing wings).
The Army's Boyce told me the uniform issues were a major "red flag" -- as were MacBeth's incredible claims to have entered the Army at 16, served as both a Ranger and in Special Ops, sustained various stabbing and shooting wounds, and exited at age 20. Not to mention all those unsubstantiated, slanderous smears against the Army Rangers (who suffered similar attacks by another lying anti-war veteran poseur, Micah Wright, in 2004).
Anti-war zealots initially defended the bogus soldier's tale, but are now moving quickly to cover up the MacBeth stain. The video was yanked Tuesday afternoon. But not to worry.
I hear former CBS producer Mary Mapes, champion of "fake but accurate" journalism, is interested in publicizing Jessie MacBeth's tall tales.