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AN ANTI-WAR SMEAR ARTIST EXPOSED

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 6, 2005 11:33 AM

***scroll for updates***

If you read nothing else today, make sure it’s this devastating article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by reporter Ron Harris on an anti-war fraud named Jimmy Massey. Excerpt:

For more than a year, former Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey has been telling anybody who will listen about the atrocities that he and other Marines committed in Iraq.

In scores of newspaper, magazine and broadcast stories, at a Canadian immigration hearing and in numerous speeches across the country, Massey has told how he and other Marines recklessly, sometimes intentionally, killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians.

Among his claims:

Marines fired on and killed peaceful Iraqi protesters.

Americans shot a 4-year-old Iraqi girl in the head.

A tractor-trailer was filled with the bodies of civilian men, women and children killed by American artillery.

Massey’s claims have gained him celebrity. Last month, Massey’s book, “Kill, Kill, Kill,” was released in France. His allegations have been reported in nationwide publications such as Vanity Fair and USA Today, as well as numerous broadcast reports. Earlier this year, he joined the anti-war bus tour of Cindy Sheehan, and he’s spoken at Cornell and Syracuse universities, among others.

News organizations worldwide published or broadcast Massey’s claims without any corroboration and in most cases without investigation. Outside of the Marines, almost no one has seriously questioned whether Massey, a 12-year veteran who was honorably discharged, was telling the truth.

He wasn’t.

Each of his claims is either demonstrably false or exaggerated – according to his fellow Marines, Massey’s own admissions, and the five journalists who were embedded with Massey’s unit, including a reporter and photographer from the Post-Dispatch and reporters from The Associated Press and The Wall Street
Journal.

Some of the lies:

Massey was discharged in December 2003, shortly after returning from Iraq due to depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

He began turning up in the press and on broadcasts last spring with stories about military atrocities. Massey’s primary thrust has been that Marines from his battalion – some of whom, he told a Minneapolis audience, were “psychopathic killers” – recklessly shot and killed Iraqi civilians, sometimes, he said, upon orders from their commanders. During a hearing in Canada, Massey said, “We deliberately gunned down people who were civilians.”

The Marine Corps investigated Massey’s claims and said they were “unsubstantiated.”

From the beginning, Massey misled reporters.

In early interviews, he told how he had lost his job at a furniture store
because of his anti-war activities. But when asked about the incident in an interview Oct. 19 with the Post-Dispatch, Massey said he had quit his job but
never had felt pressure to leave.

“I left on good terms,” he said.

He also backtracked from allegations he made in a May 2004 radio interview and elsewhere that he had seen a tractor-trailer filled with the bodies of Iraqi civilians when Marines entered an Iraqi military prison outside Baghdad. He said the Iraqis had been killed by American artillery.

He told listeners that the scene was so bad “that the plasma from the body and skin was decomposing and literally oozing out of the crevices of the tractor-trailer bed.”

He repeated the story in the Post-Dispatch interview. But when told that the newspaper’s photographs and eyewitness reports had identified the trailer contents as all men, mostly in uniform, Massey admitted that he had never seen the bodies.

Instead, he said, he received his information from “intelligence reports.” When asked if those reports were official documents, he answered, “No, that’s what the other Marines told me.”

The details of Massey’s stories changed repeatedly…

Kudos to Harris for pursuing this story. Will all of the other MSM outlets who peddled his lies follow up? Will they give us much ink to the debunking of Jimmy Massey’s legend as they did to the perpetuation of Cindy Sheehan’s?

Be sure to read Harris’s sidebar article as well:

Why did the press swallow Massey’s stories?

Send a note of thanks to Harris at rharris@post-dispatch.com and letters to the editor at letters@post-dispatch.com.

And stay tuned. This story has legs.

Update, 1:40 pm EST: Gateway Pundit links to video that shows Massey and Cindy Sheehan “warning parents about the evils of military recruiters.”

11/7 update, 7:50am EST:

GOP and the City – Former Marine Lies, Media’s Responsibility Dies

Bruce Kesler
on Massey, John Kerry, and new media: What a difference 34 years makes
Jason Smith: Sounds familiar

Justin Katz was debunking Jimmy Massey more than a year ago.

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