Got a tip from Tacoma, Wash. that our old friend Jesse MacBeth, the fake Army Ranger who was briefly a poster boy for the anti-war movement, has been arrested. My source says he was released from the Pierce County Jail–for assaulting a woman–and then taken into custody by federal law enforcement officials. He is facing federal charges of fraud.
More to come…
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports tonight that MacBeth has been charged with falsifying his military record. Finally:
A man who tried to position himself as a leader of the anti-war movement by claiming to have participated in war crimes while serving in Iraq is facing federal charges of falsifying his record.
Jesse Adam Macbeth, formerly of Phoenix, garnered much attention on blogs and in some alternative media after he began claiming in 2005 to have been awarded a Purple Heart for his service, which he said included slaughtering innocents in a Fallujah mosque. His story was contradicted by his true discharge form, showing that he was kicked out of the Army after six weeks at Fort Benning, Ga., in 2003 because of his “entry level performance and conduct.”
A complaint unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle charged him with one count of using or possessing a forged or altered military discharge certificate, and one count of making false statements in seeking benefits from the Veterans Administration…
…Macbeth claimed to have been shot in Iraq and to have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, LaMont E. Stokes, an agent with the VA’s Office of the Inspector General, wrote in the charging papers. He collected more than $10,400 in benefits to which he was not entitled, Stokes wrote.
Stokes said he interviewed Macbeth in the Pierce County Jail in Tacoma, where he has been serving a sentence for fourth-degree assault, and that Macbeth admitted falsifying the documents because he was homeless and wanted to “sucker” anything he could out of the government.
Iraq Veterans Against the War and other organizations removed his allegations from their Web sites after learning they were false. In one videotaped interview, a skinny, stuttering Macbeth, dressed in a camouflaged jacket, described slaughtering hundreds of people in a mosque: “We would burn their bodies … hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque,” he said.
His past criminal history includes “false emergency reporting, criminal trespass, domestic violence and fraud, and he is wanted by the Safford County sheriff’s office in Arizona for illegal credit card use.”
Update: Steve Oatney, former State Veterans Service Director for AMVETS in Tacoma, is the whistleblower who notified the VA about MacBeth’s fraudulent claim for service connected disabilities that he filed with the VA in 2005.
I asked him for his reaction to the news. He said: “Mr. Jesse MacBeth, fake veteran, coward, fraud and woman batterer was taken into custody by federal officials. This is in response to a fraudulent claim for service connected disabilities that he filed with the VA in 2005. On behalf of all veterans I am happy to have done my part bringing this fraud to Justice. He deserves to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
He also issued the following statement:
Jesse Macbeth has caused harm in many ways. He has slandered and defamed a whole generation of veterans who are fighting to protect our nation from the horde of religious fanatics whose stated goal it is to “convert or kill us all.”
He has taken valuable time and space at VA treatment facilities that rightfully belonged to legitimate veterans with legitimate service connected disabilities. He has stolen from the taxpayers the value of said treatment through fraudulent means.
He has damaged our nation in the eyes of many foreign countries with his bogus anti war video and false claims of mass killings.
He has stolen valor from every veteran who legitimately was awarded the purple heart.
He wasted the time of the AMVETS service officer that originally accepted his claim on fraudulent grounds and in doing so caused harm to the reputation of the AMVETS service office in Tacoma.
He wasted my time and that of fellow service officers and VA officials responding to his false claims of neglect by a system that he was not entitled to in the first place.
In my opinion Mr. Macbeth deserves the harshest punishment the government can muster.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle is handling the case.
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