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NBC’S DRAFT-MONGERING DISHONESTY

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 30, 2004 02:21 PM

CBS News isn’t the only one failing to disclose the political activism of purportedly ordinary Americans fearful of the return of a draft. NBC News has its own Beverly Cocco. His name is Jeremy Tor.

Here’s the full transcript of the draft-mongering segment that ran on NBC Nightly News last night:

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

One issue that may come up tomorrow, tonight, the military draft. Senator Kerry has already suggested President Bush may be forced to reinstitute the draft after the election to deal with the pressures on military manpower. The Bush campaign has persistently and vigorously denied that, but as NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports in our series, IRAQ: THE REAL STORY, the Internet is aflame with stories that the draft is coming back.

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI reporting:

Twenty-year-old Jeremy Tor, a junior at the University of Arizona, got the scare of his life recently: an e-mail that said if George Bush is re-elected, he will reinstate the military draft.

Mr. JEREMY TOR: Well, I thought this is incredible. You know, to suggest that a draft is going to be instituted, you know, harkening back to the days of Vietnam, which is a scary, scary thought.

MIKLASZEWSKI: Today, Vice President Dick Cheney strongly denied it.

Vice President DICK CHENEY: And the notion that somebody’s peddling out there that there is a secret plan to reinstitute the draft, hogwash, not true.

MIKLASZEWSKI: But college-age students and their parents across the country are being bombarded with the draft warning. Internet postings claim the Selective Service System has been given $28 million to prepare for a draft and is secretly hiring 10,000 people for draft boards nationwide. Pentagon officials call it “bunk.” The e-mails also highlight two bills to reinstate the draft pending in the House and Senate. But both have almost no political support and both are sponsored by Democrats. Congressman Charlie Rangel admits he introduced his bill in part as a protest to the war in Iraq.

Representative CHARLIE RANGEL: I want to make it clear, this war is stupid. It is unnecessary.

MIKLASZEWSKI: It may sound strange, but most Pentagon and military leaders actually oppose the draft, because, they say, the all-volunteer army is working.

Generally, today’s soldiers are in the Army because they want to be. Drafted soldiers would be forced to serve, and then only for two years, barely enough time to train them for today’s high-tech force.

Mr. LOREN THOMPSON (Military Expert): There are so many specific skills you need that you can’t just bring somebody in, train them for six months and send them to Iraq. They won’t know what to do.

MIKLASZEWSKI: If more soldiers are needed, the military says they’ll increase incentives to volunteers, like enlistment bonuses up to $20,000. After looking into it, Jeremy Tor decided the draft scare is a political hoax, but if anything, it still convinced him to vote in November. Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News, the Pentagon.

What NBC News doesn’t tell you is that young Mr. Tor had his mind made up about President Bush and the election a long time ago. A December 2003 article in the Daily Wildcat, Tor’s campus newspaper, reveals that Tor is a Democrat who supported John Edwards in the primary. His club, Students for Edwards, sprang up on campus at the same time as the Students for Dean group, led by student Jonna Lopez. The article notes that “both Tor and Lopez agree that removing Bush from the White House is the biggest priority.”

NBC News can be reached at nightly@nbc.com.
Jim Miklaszewski’s e-mail address is jim.miklaszewski@nbc.com.

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