Ben Carson Made False Claims About Being Offered West Point Scholarship

Ben Carson's campaign now admits that he fabricated a key portion of his biography.

West Point And Cadets

In the wake of a week in which Ben Carson’s odd relationship with the truth has been a major theme on the campaign trail even while he continues rising in the polls of the race for the Republican nomination, Politico is out with a report that seems likely to cause the Carson claim even more problems:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Friday conceded that he never applied nor was granted admission to West Point and attempted to recast his previous claims of a full scholarship to the military academy — despite numerous public and written statements to the contrary over the last few decades.

West Point has occupied a central place in Carson’s personal story for years. According to a tale told in his book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by the offer of a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.

“In 1969, those who would have completed the entire process would have received their acceptance letters from the Army Adjutant General,” said Theresa Brinkerhoff, a spokeswoman for the academy. She said West Point has no records that indicate Carson even began the application process. “If he chose to pursue (the application process) then we would have records indicating such,” she said.

When presented with this evidence, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false.

“Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit,” campaign manager Barry Bennett wrote in an email to POLITICO. “In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer.”

“He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors,” Bennett went on. “They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.”



In his popular book “Gifted Hands,” Carson says he excelled in his ROTC program at Detroit’s Southwestern High School, earning the respect of his superiors – just a couple years after anger problems led him to try to murder a friend. He attained the rank of second lieutenant by his senior year of high school and became the student leader of the city’s ROTC programs.

In May of his senior year, he was chosen to march in the city’s Memorial Day parade.

“I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, we had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present,” he wrote. “More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt” – his high school ROTC director – “introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point.”

But, according to records of Westmoreland’s schedule that were provided by the U.S. Army, the general did not visit Detroit around Memorial Day in 1969 or have dinner with Carson. In fact, the general’s records suggest he was in Washington that day and played tennis at 6:45 p.m.



Carson’s later retelling of the events in this period of his life downplays his meeting with Westmoreland and that event’s link to a West Point acceptance. In his January 2015 book “You Have a Brain” – a book geared toward teenagers – Carson again recalls his rapid rise through his high school’s ROTC program to become the top student officer in the city.

“That position allowed me the chance to meet four-star general William Westmoreland, who had commanded all American forces in Vietnam before being promoted to Army Chief of Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,” he wrote. “I also represented the Junior ROTC at a dinner for Congressional Medal of Honor winners, marched at the front of Detroit’s Memorial Day parade as head of an ROTC contingent, and was offered a full scholarship to West Point.”

Carson has said he turned down the supposed offer of admission because he knew he wanted to be a doctor and attending West Point would have required four years of military service after graduation.

(Note: See Update #2 below regarding a change that was made to the original Politico story)

Based on the recitation of events in Carson’s book as set forth in the Politico articles, it seems likely that what really happened is that Carson met with some officials from the Army as a representative of his( school’s ROTC program. Perhaps the timing set forth in the book is inaccurate and he did indeed meet Westmoreland, perhaps it was actually someone else. In any case, it’s not too much of a stretch to believe that someone from the Army would have encouraged Carson to apply to West Point based on his ROTC record. Obviously, though, this encouragement would not have included either a guarantee of admission or a scholarship offer; Carson would have been required to go through the same application process as all other prospective Cadets at the time, a process that isn’t all that dissimilar from the one followed today. There’s no record at all that Carson did this. Instead, Carson chose to go to Yale, where he received his undergraduate degree, from which he went on to medical school at the University of Michigan and a residency at Johns Hopkins University, where he eventually become the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and famous enough in his field that he was the subject of a movie in which he was played by Cuba Gooding Jr.

Notwithstanding whatever else one might think about Dr. Carson, that’s a fairly impressive resume, even more so considering his start as an African-American in inner city Detroit. Standing by itself, it makes for an impressive and even inspirational story. Despite that, along with the claims about a violent past that are now being thrown into doubt, Carson felt it necessary to embellish his past by making a claim that one would think he would have known would be easily verifiable (after all, if the U.S. military is good at one thing, it is keeping meticulous records). Given the fact that the first book in which he made this claim was published well before Carson became a political figure or seemed at all interested in running for office, it seems difficult to believe that he made the story up to advance his political fortunes although that certainly remains a possibility. In the context of his Presidential run, of course, a claim like this certainly is a biographical item that conservatives who tend to think very positively of the military would be impressed with to some degree. The fact that it’s now being exposed as a fabrication at a time when he is riding high in the polls.

The major question, of course, is what impact this admission by the Carson campaign will have on his campaign going forward, if it has any impact at all. As with those people who strongly support Donald Trump, the core group of people who have rallied around Ben Carson during the course of this campaign have been seemingly immune to any criticism about their candidate, including revelations regarding his history of bizarre statements and his obvious fabrications. As I noted this morning, the reaction one notes from many of these people seems to be that these criticism of Carson constitute attacks by a biased media and attacks on Carson because of his faith. This piece of news, though, has the potential to have a different impact. Among conservatives generally, and certainly those hardcore conservatives most likely to support Carson, there has long been a strong sense of appreciation, one may even call it reverence, for the military and those who have served in uniform. Among other things, this has meant that those who have made false claims about their service such as claiming false military honors have been roundly condemned rather than defended, This could happen in Carson’s case, especially given the fact that this news is being dropped just days before the next Presidential debate at which Carson is likely to face questions about his other representations from reporters and from his fellow candidates. Donald Trump, for example, spent the better part of this morning attacking Carson regarding inconsistencies regarding misrepresentations by Carson about other aspects of his youth so it’s likely the Trump camp will pick up this ball and run with it. Additionally, candidates like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who likely see Carson as the more vulnerable of the top two Republican candidates, may well take up the attack as well.

In some sense, what’s happening to Carson here is reminiscent of last year’s revelations that John Walsh, who had been appointed to fill out the term of Montana Senator Max Baucus and was running for re-election that November, had plagiarized portions of a paper submitted as part of a class at the Army War College. Walsh ended up having his degree from the Army War College revoked and dropping out of the race for Baucus’s seat, which ultimately led to Republican Senator Steve Daines easily winning the General Election that November. Whether this single revelation will have that kind of impact on Carson remains to be seen, but when taken in conjunction with other claims and representations Dr. Carson has made it certainly does raise questions about his character that I suspect at least some conservatives are going to be troubled by. Whether the consequences he suffers end up being similar to what happened to Daines, and what happened to Herman Cain four years ago when allegations of sexual misconduct led him to drop out of a race he had been leading for a time, is something we’ll just have to wait to see.

Update: Alex Griswold at Mediaite pushes back somewhat on the idea that Carson’s campaign admitted fabrications:

What it seems to me is that the Carson campaign is readily admitting that the account Carson published in his autobiography (in which he claims to have been “offered a full scholarship”) was inaccurate. That alone is troubling, and Politico was right to pursue the story.

But at no point does the campaign admit that Carson “fabricated” anything. There’s a huge, huge difference between admitting you got something wrong and admitting that you made something up entirely. Carson’s appeared to have admitted to one, but not the other. That’s why when Mediaite covered the story, we went with a more neutral headline: Ben Carson Admits He Never Actually Received Scholarship From West Point.

But Politico overreached and chose a headline and lede that said that Carson admitted to lying. You’re entirely at liberty to think that it was possible, probable, or even almost certainly true that Carson lied about the West Point scholarship. You’re entirely at liberty to believe that he was simply confused or mistaken. But to say in a straight news story that Carson admitted to “fabricating” the story is editorializing and inserting opinions into what ought to be a straight recitation of the facts.

More to the point, if Politico’s headline is accurate and the Carson campaign really admitted that he fabricated anything, why are they going around angrily denouncing Politico’s claim that they admitted he fabricated anything? Usually when someone does some soul-searching and admits to fabricating something, they stick by it and do an Oprah tour or something.

When you look at what Carson said in his first book, as well as subsequent statements, including a Facebook post from August of this year, it’s clear that at the very least Carson was misrepresenting the West Point story:

Carson has been consistent in claiming (erroneously) that West Point offered him a scholarship and claiming (correctly) that he never applied. So to state as fact in the lede that Carson “fabricated… his admission” to West Point is unambiguously false. Right from the first sentence, Politico’s piece was inaccurate.

But he was definitely wrong about being offered a scholarship, and his campaign admits as much. Some would argue that if you admit being wrong about something as eventful as that, it stands to reason that it was a knowing falsehood. Maybe Politico can’t be blamed for taking a journalistic shortcut.

Now I happen to think that, taken in combination with the CNN story, Carson probably did intentionally exaggerate parts of his biography.

Fabrication, exaggeration. Call it whatever you wish, I suppose, and already I’m seeing many conservatives, including people who have been critical of Carson, spending more time attacking Politico than Carson over this story. However, as I stated above, taken together with everything else that Carson has said, as well as all the negatives about him, it is eminently clear that he does not deserve to be taken seriously as a candidate for President of the United States.

In any case, I have changed the headline to the post to reflect the above observations.

Update #2: Politico has updated the Carson story to reflect the fact that previous claims that Carson had claimed he had been accepted to the Academy were not an accurate representation of what he said in his books. The main changes to the portion I excerpted are in the first two paragraphs of the story, and I have included the updated text in the original post. Here is the original text as it first appeared in Politico for comparison:

Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The academy has occupied a central place in Carson’s tale for years. According to a story told in Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

The article still makes clear that Carson misrepresented what happened by 1969, and has spent years implying that he had turned down an offer to attend West Point that was, in fact, never made.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Military Affairs, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Argon says:

    Senile dementia?

  2. grumpy realist says:

    I saw the story and scampered over here to link it. First reaction: “Uh oh….”

    I suspect that if Carson isn’t yet toast, he’s well upon the way.

  3. How has his wife, Morgan Fairchild, reacted to the revelation?

  4. Mu says:

    Maybe he needs to rename the book “Gifted Lips”

  5. stonetools says:

    Unvetted political candidate is vetted. Most likely this is end of the Carson surge and beginning of his decline into political insignificance, a la Cain.
    Another possibility? A public show of repentance (“I have sinned, against Almighty God…”), followed by quick forgiveness by his fans and continued political success, a la David Vitter. If David Vitter can survive diapers and prostitutes, surely Dr. Carson can survive a few embellishments to what is an impressive résumé?
    In any case, like Cain, I expect him to continue to have a long and lucrative career on the conservative talk circuit.

  6. stonetools says:

    @grumpy realist:

    President George W. Bush, AWOL from the National Guard, might disagree with your prediction. We’ll see.

  7. C. Clavin says:

    Again…let’s keep in mind…the only difference between Dr. Carson and everyone else in the Republican race is that Dr. Carson finally admitted he lied.
    Good for him.
    Now…all you other Republican Presidential candidates…follow his example.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    AWOL coke-addict.
    Just sayin’

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @stonetools: Well, the thing is that Ben Carson has been running on a platform of how because he’s so honorable and truthful and God-fearing we don’t have to worry about the fact that he has had zip in political (or even business) experience.

    Then this comes out.


    It’s like pretending on your resume to a degree you don’t have.

  10. Barfour says:

    I think too much coverage have been given to Carson and Trump. Neither of them will win the nomination. One of the establistment candidates will win eventually. At this point, Rubio looks good but I’ll not rule out Jeb Bush.

  11. CB says:

    Why won’t the liberal media just leave him alone?

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Has Hillary admitted that she never tried to enlist in the Marines?

    That she never came under sniper fire in Bosnia?

    That she got a sweetheart deal on cattle futures when she parlayed $1,000 into $100.000?

    That she knew almost immediately that Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and had nothing to do with that stupid YouTube video?

    That Sidney Blumenthal was getting paid to lobby her on Libya while he was on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation?

    Did John Kerry ever explain why he threw “his” medals over the White House fence, but later proudly displayed them in his office?

    Oh, that’s right. It’s only a scandal when Republicans have moral failings, because Democrats never pretend to have any moral standards. We all know that they lie, cheat, steal, commit fraud, etc., so it’s never news.

  13. Rafer Janders says:

    “He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.”

    Similarly, I considered but in the end did not seek to date Sofia Vergara, which is consistent with my claim that Sofia Vergara begged me to marry her.

  14. anjin-san says:

    I am getting the sense that Carson suffers from significant mental health issues and has been able to function at a high level all these years due to his brilliant medical skills.

    That this man is taken seriously as a presidential candidate by the GOP is sobering indeed.

  15. Franklin says:

    I actually don’t think this is a big of a deal as it first sounds. Considering the time that the book was written, Doug is right when he calls this an embellishment. It is certainly embarrassing to some extent, but yet it manages to expose his (real) achievements in the ROTC ranks. I predict his defenders will continue defending.

  16. stonetools says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I still think is a nonfatal wound, given the gullibility of the wing nut audience he is appealing to.
    With an eye to the general election, this hurts the potential Republican strategy of attacking the “sleazy” Hillary Clinton while contrasting her with their more honest candidate. Carson would have been the best possibility there, but he is definitely tainted now.

  17. humanoid.panda says:

    Am I the only one who feels a dollop of sympathy for Carson? He wrote this back in the 1990s, as part of an aspiration biography- a genre that tolerates a bit more inaccuracies than most. Back then, he probably would have never imagined he would be so insane as to run for President, in the role of a talking internet comment, and would be exposed to the withering light of a political campaign. Yeah sure, the brought it on himself, but old age, and vanity, and people giving him bad advice in order to grift from his campaign all combined to ruin a truly exceptional legacy here.

  18. Davebo says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You win. I thought I had something clever but that can’t be topped.

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    For an alternate (read: somewhat more accurate) take, I’d recommend Ace Of Spades.

    My problem with this Politico piece is that they’re trying to claim he’s lying, even though they can’t prove he’s lying, per the terms of the, let’s say clarification, to the story he’s making now. He’s saying he wasn’t officially offered a scholarship; he’s saying that Westmoreland told him that based upon grades and performance, he’s get a full scholarship, so he took that to mean “offered a full scholarship.”

    Politico tries further in the article to say he’s lying but they have nothing to back that up — they have someone saying “Westmoreland couldn’t guarantee acceptance, and would have to explain the whole application process.”

    And it turns out that Politico essentially fabricated the whole mess. Ace has details. Details you won’t get here, because it doesn’t make a Republican look bad. Mustn’t harsh the narrative.

  20. Davebo says:

    Interesting the the top ROTC student in Detroit (how do they rate them anyway?) who graduated while the Vietnam war was still going on never actually served in the military.

    OK, I’m joking, he’s a Republican so that’s not curious at all!

  21. Davebo says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Who is this Ace of Spades you speak of? Or are you asking us to rely on a playing card?

  22. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Was “Ace” involved in building the Pyramids I mean the Giza grain storage edifices?

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Davebo: It’s called a “hyperlink.” Feel free to click on it. And then go see the Politico story, and see how Ace is absolutely correct in his analysis.

    Short version: Politico took a portion of Carson’s book out of context, interpreted it in the worst possible manner, and denounced their interpretation as a lie — never mind that Carson didn’t actually say what they say he said.

    But it’s something bad about a Repubican, so that’s all the fact-checking Doug needs, apparently…

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Go get your guns, annie.

  25. stonetools says:


    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar put it best:

    Had he decided to dedicate his post-retirement life to promoting STEM education across the country, he would have been a model for the American ideal that anything is possible… Instead, he decided to run for President.

    He seems to be the bumbling, clueless, arrogant kind of guy who doesn’t realize that in running for President he is moving into a forum where his every past statement would be challenged and his background scrutinized. Well, welcome to modern day Presidential politics. Dr. Carson.
    IMO, the best thing for him to do now would be to withdraw gracefully, while his reputation is still good. Most likely, he’ll continue down the path to further disgrace.

  26. caiooir9 says:

    Ben Carson is quickly becoming the Milli Vanilli of the Republican Party.

    It is quickly getting to the point where you have to ask yourself if this man tells the truth about anything.

    Carson is done. Stick a fork in him. Need something new to talk about? How about…

    Dow over 17,000, record corporate profits, 5% growth, best year for jobs since 1999, consumer confidence up, deficit down 60% in 2014, gas prices low, health insurance cheaper than ever ($85/month), car insurance cheaper than ever ($25/month from Insurance Panda), the 1% starting to be taxed more… all while republicans bleated about Benghazi took pointless votes to repeal the ACA, and did nothing for anybody except the top one percent.

    Did I mention the great jobs report today?

    It turns out that Obama is indeed “the adult in the room,” and yes, the Chess Master. HRC will keep it going, any republican will screw it up. Simple as that. … And apparently Obama lacks integrity. Oops. Nothing like being caught lying about entry into West Point, a fictional dinner with Gen. Westmoreland and a bizzaro stabbing clarification.

  27. Ron Beasley says:

    Carson is both a pathological liar and delusional.The real problem is the 20+ percent of the Republican base that support him like what they hear.

  28. stonetools says:


    Ace of Spades is a right wing nut job pundit who whose ravings makes Jenos’ pronouncements here look like a model of lucidity and logic in comparision. Read his website at your own risk.
    If Ace of Spades is Jenos’ source, then you can take it as read that Politicos’ account is correct. Heck, Carson has admitted that his account of what happened with West Point is incorrect.

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @stonetools: Which shows Carson’s at least got a better grip on reality than Ms. “no, no! PP has an aborted baby video” Fiorina.

  30. stonetools says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Yeah, the fact is that ALL the leading Republican candidates are lying their a$$es off about one thing or another-and often they’re getting rewarded for it. Another reason why I don’t think Carson is done.

  31. michael reynolds says:


    The fact that Carson admits the story is made up will have no effect on Jenos’ insistence that it is true.

  32. charon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I think Ms. Fiorina grasps reality just fine, she just has learned that brazening it out when caught in her frequent lies has worked out well for her.

  33. Hal_10000 says:

    Carson, BTW, is disputing Politico’s reporting. I hate to say it, but he has a good point. He claims he met with ROTC people who told him he could get an appointment, but ultimately didn’t apply.

  34. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I am pleased to see that you are supporting and defending Ben Carson. Given your usual judgment this can only mean that we’ll soon be seeing Dr. Carson arrested in Florida for lighting tramps on fire.

  35. Mikey says:

    This hits Carson in the honesty and trustworthiness department, for sure. But even so–and I’m certainly about as far as one can get from supporting Carson–I still think it might not be all that bad. He could have mis-recalled something that had occurred over 20 years before the book was written, or his collaborating writer could have inferred inaccurately from what Carson related to him.

    This doesn’t let Carson off the hook, of course. He’s ultimately responsible for what is in his own biography, and if it wasn’t entirely accurate it should have been corrected long ago. But this might not be an open-and-shut case of straight-up lying.

  36. stonetools says:

    To a certain extent, it’s admirable that Carson has admitted fault. Both Trump and Fiorina have been caught in bare faced lies on national TV and haven’t apologized. Compared to them Carson has been a model of probity!

  37. grumpy realist says:

    It looks like this has now hit the New York Times.

    The reason this is such a Big Thing IMHO is that Ben Carson has been running on an image of a brilliant–although dotty sounding–“Honest Abe” type. And now he’s been caught weasel-wording just the way any other politician does.

  38. Hal_10000 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I wouldn’t say Politico fabricated the whole mess. Carson did claim to meet Westmoreland and did claim to have been offered a scholarship. If the story is as Carson is saying NOW, then it’s more of an exaggeration than an outright lie (e.g, they told me I would get a scholarship but I decided not to apply). But the basics of Politico’s reporting — Carson said he was offered a scholarship; that’s not quite true — is correct.

  39. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Go get your guns, annie.

    Poor Jenos. If you were clever, or knew a damn thing about music, you could have hit me with:

    What’s that she’s playing?
    Annie get your gun
    What’s that she’s taking
    The song has to be sung
    She’s gone electric
    Annie wipe them out
    That’s unexpected
    Strum that thing and shout
    Don’t pull that trigger
    Annie get your gun
    Don’t shoot that singer
    You’re shooting number one..

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:

    This won’t kill him, it will however put a lid on his support. We are at peak Carson, and past peak Trump.

    The essential question is whether Trump can inflict fatal damage on Rubio. Sadly, I doubt it. Rubio’s the last seemingly viable Republican I worry about at all. Kasich is stalled, Bush is hanging on by his fingernails. So we either see the rise of Rubio or Cruz next.

    If the nuts rally to Cruz and the greed-heads rally to Rubio, we could have a really excellent mud-slinging time of it. The Psychopath vs. The Annoying Little Brother.

  41. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Go get your guns, annie.

    Already got ’em…

    Annie, get your gun

  42. MikeSJ says:

    I suspect Carson’s lies and bizarre statements has less to do with him being delusional and more with him making a very good living shaking down the Christian rubes.

    I’d love to see what he earns from book sales, speeches and the wing nut welfare circuit.

    I get the feeling The Grift pays quite well.

  43. stonetools says:

    @grumpy realist:

    TBH, what Carson did was to pad his résumé. He did in fact excel at ROTC and could have gotten in had he applied. He made up some facts surrounding his decision not to go (or at best, recalled some stuff incorrectly). Lots of people do similar stuff. I think on basis of that, he probably skates, especially if he makes it known that he prayed and “asked forgiveness”.
    IMO, he gets points for admitting wrongdoing, which is more than Trump or Fiorina have done.

  44. mantis says:

    Westmoreland wasn’t even in Detroit when Carson claims to have dined with him. His campaign is now pushing back against the Politico piece, but conveniently omitting Westmoreland from the now revised story, in which they claim his ROTC commanders told him he could get an appointment. They still are claiming, surprisingly, that being told “you could get an appointment” is the same as a “full scholarship.”

    Also, West Point doesn’t grant scholarships.

  45. Liberal Capitalist says:


    Not only is a YOOOOUUUUGE embarrassment for the GOP, but it may be illegal and prosecutable as well:

    Does it just relate to medals, or could it apply to lying about service as well?

    Oh wait…

    “WASHINGTON – Those who lie about military service or make false claims about receiving military medals with the intent of benefiting from those claims would be committing a crime under legislation passed by the House Wednesday.

    The House’s 410-3 vote on what is known as the Stolen Valor Act came less than three months after the Supreme Court struck down the original act on the grounds that it violated First Amendment free speech rights.

    The new bill attempts to get around the court ruling by making clear that it applies only in cases where people lie about a military record with the aim of obtaining payment or other benefits.”

    So, trying to be president… that would be a benefit, right?

    So, it’s prosecutable.

    Maybe he can be arrested during the next GOP debate. At least they could say that they knew where he would be.


  46. Mikey says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: You’re making a pretty big leap. Carson at worst claimed an offer that wasn’t extended. That’s not even remotely close to what constitutes “stolen valor.”

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Mikey: Oh, but it’s so fun embarrassing candidates for POTUS….

    Considering the screaming that the Republicans have done about Democratic candidates, jumping on every little thing as if it were the End of the World, I have no feeling of guilt at all if this turns out to blow up Carson’s campaign. I’m perfectly certain that Donald Trump isn’t going to let his own lies keep him from jumping on Carson with all fours.

  48. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Saying you applied and were accepted at West Point, but did not go, is NO WAY similar to saying you actually served in the military when you didn’t.

  49. Please see the update I’ve appended to this post, which addresses some of the issues that have been discussed in the comments.

    Also, I have changed the post title to better reflect what appears to have happened here.

    As far as I’m concerned, it really doesn’t make a difference how you characterize it.

  50. Erik Gradinscak says:

    Politico took a stab at Carson, but only hit his belt buckle.

  51. Jen says:

    “he’s saying that Westmoreland told him that based upon grades and performance, he’s get a full scholarship, so he took that to mean “offered a full scholarship.”

    What the heck IS a “full scholarship” at West Point anyway? If you receive an appointment and decide to attend, all costs are paid.

  52. Guarneri says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You poor dear, you. You must have been expecting intellectual honesty from the OTB commenters. Waiting for Godot.

  53. Pete S says:

    I suppose “its not a lie if you really believe it” and “its not a lie, its just an exaggeration” are the only things keeping most of the candidates in this miserable race.

  54. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    However, as I stated above, taken together with everything else that Carson has said, as well as all the negatives about him, it is eminently clear that he does not deserve to be taken seriously as a candidate for President of the United States.

    To me, this is just the icing on the cake. The cake is his ridiculous political and economic program and his reality-denying belief system. In that, he is not too dissimilar to much of the rest of the Republican field.

  55. wr says:

    @anjin-san: Two thumbs down for Squeeze? Our llttle right wing buddies apparently know as much about music as they do anything else.

  56. wr says:

    @stonetools: “He did in fact excel at ROTC and could have gotten in had he applied. He made up some facts surrounding his decision not to go (or at best, recalled some stuff incorrectly). Lots of people do similar stuff.”

    I did quite well in the TV business and worked with a lot of famous. Nonetheless, if I said I’d won three Emmys, created Hill Street Blues and married Olivia Wilde I’d be a liar.

    There’s a big difference between some West Point guys saying “hey, if you were interested we could probably find a place for you” and General Westmoreland essentially getting down on his knees and begging Carson to enroll.

  57. Tyrell says:

    The legendary and hallowed halls and grounds of West Point must be respected and honored. This is the place where our leaders, future presidents, and heroes are made.

  58. stonetools says:


    Oh, I’m not excusing the fabrications. I just don’t think it’s the political equivalent of a bullet to the head that it was characterized as earlier. It ain’t Watergate. Heck, it ain’t even “I did not have sex with that woman”. He can survive this.
    OTOH, it certainly does blunt Republican claims that they have the honest candidates, not like that sleazy Hillary.

  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: I’ll take that a compliment from a highly-paid, professional fabricator. High praise, indeed. What’s your professional take on all of Hillary’s lies?

    But as others have noted, Carson’s statement is that he was told he would be admitted to West Point if he applied, but he didn’t apply. He did not say he applied, he did not say he was accepted, and he did not say he turned them down. That’s entirely Politico’s spin.

    It’s sad how around here simply defending truth means you’re defending the person. It means that the vast majority here think it’s just fine to lie about people, as long as you don’t like them.

  60. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    I am quite ready to extend him the benefit of doubt and say it was more of an exaggeration. And even that is pushing it given the original claims:

    Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going. … Of course the offer of a full scholarship flattered me.

    So firstly he claims to have been offered a full scholarship, not just having been told he could get one. That could be a honest mistake for a 17-year old.

    But secondly, he claims he “didn’t refuse outright” which strongly implies a real offer and then says that he “let them know” the their offer was not where he wanted to go. That clearly crosses the line since it not only implies a legitimate “you only have to accept” offer but also claims that he actively refused (instead of just not taking an imagined “offer”).

    That clearly didn’t happen or they would have notified him that he had not actually been extended such an offer.

  61. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    He’s saying he wasn’t officially offered a scholarship; he’s saying that Westmoreland told him that based upon grades and performance, he’s get a full scholarship, so he took that to mean “offered a full scholarship.”

    An acquaintance of mine who’s an award winning producer once told me I could have had a career in Hollywood. I take that to mean that he offered me the lead role in one of his movies.

  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    …and Politico is quietly walking back the “story” now — they’ve removed the “admits fabrication” allegation without, you know, mentioning that they’ve changed the story.

    Will Doug amend his story now? Will he ever?

    Nah. It’s something bad about someone he doesn’t like, so it stays. It’s one of the uglier things he shares with many of the commentariat here.

  63. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Ace of f’ing Spades…it doesn’t get more extreme right wing…or nuttier…or more false.
    This whole time I thought you were a pathological liar.
    Turns out you are copying and pasting your opinions from a pathological liar.
    I apologize.

  64. C. Clavin says:
  65. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: One thing that makes the “honest misunderstanding” more credible is that every student (well, Cadet, technically) gets a “full scholarship.” No one pays to attend West Point. It’s the kind of misunderstanding a very promising 17-year-old would make.

  66. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    They are not walking back the fact that Carson misrepresented the idea that he was extended any kind of offer regarding West Point. Because he did make that representation, and it was false.

  67. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    he’s saying that Westmoreland told him that based upon grades and performance, he’s get a full scholarship, so he took that to mean “offered a full scholarship.”

    This is something that I have personal family knowledge of — West Point doesn’t offer scholarships. The whole education is free, on the proviso that once you graduate you’re commissioned in the US Army and commit to serve at least five years.

    So now it seems his story is that Westmoreland, who wasn’t in Detroit and didn’t have any authority to offer full scholarships which didn’t exist, told him in Detroit that he was being offered a full scholarship…..

  68. C. Clavin says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    I once heard Kate Upton saying she loves all her fans.
    I took that to mean she was proposing to me.

  69. C. Clavin says:

    I don’t even care if this passenger in the clown car lied.
    The crap about the pyramids is dis-qualifying.
    Go ahead Jenos, defend this joke. He’s no worse than your man-crush, and serial woman abuser, Zimmerman.

  70. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Carson’s statement is that he was told he would be admitted to West Point if he applied, but he didn’t apply.

    That’s Carson’s statement now that people are asking questions. He wrote in his books that he was offered a full scholarship. He also wrote that he met with Westmoreland in Detroit at a time when Westmoreland wasn’t in Detroit.

  71. Gustopher says:

    Compared to “Tax cuts increase revenues”, this is nothing.

  72. KM says:

    @Jenos :
    What makes this damning is what makes the whole pyramid bit damning – more evidence that Carson constructs reality to suit his needs, be they social, religious, political or ego. He selectively edits facts whole cloth to fit his narrative. Now, we all do this to a certain extent – little white lies and such to build up our self-esteem and image in the eyes of others. There comes a point, however, when the selective editing crosses the line to consistent self-deception. Pathological liars build a fantasy world that’s plausible, just makes them look better or their reality a little be shinier. The person who tells you awesome stories of how their wacky weekend went (as opposed to sitting at home in front of the TV) probably doesn’t mean any harm. Doesn’t change the fact that they are fundamentally dishonest and makes anything they say questionable. Personal belief doesn’t make the sky orange. What is does do is make you look at them with pity and askance because you know their careful crafted web will come crashing down eventually. They are not bad people or evil, nor are they nasty manipulators out to cheat you. Rather, the pathological liar cannot deal with the cards they are dealt and survive by bluffing they have an ace in the hole all the time.

    I’d buy the older doctor trying to make his 17yr self’s honest mistake look better if he didn’t consistently do this. Politicians make an art of lying for specific gains. People like Carson make a worldview out of lies rather then deal with the world they are living in.

  73. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Oh, that’s right. It’s only a scandal when Republicans have moral failings, because Democrats never pretend to have any moral standards. We all know that they lie, cheat, steal, commit fraud, etc., so it’s never news.

    Oh please, all of this stuff gets reported on every day by all media – you know, the so-called mainstream media and the biased mainstream-conservative media too.

    As you know well, Republicans have the added factor of being very high-minded and overtly moralistic, so when they’re caught in a lie, they’ve earned their news headlines.

  74. Jen says:

    @Rafer Janders: Agree. I too have personal family knowledge on this, and one of the other things I find astounding is the assumption that he could have automatically gotten an appointment.

    I am willing to go this far: General Westmoreland, if that is indeed who he met with, might have stated that all tuition, room and board would be paid for–which is of course correct. It’s entirely possible a 17 year old with no prior interest in the service academies could have translated “no cost to you” to “full scholarship.” One would have thought that an editor, or proofreader, or fact-checker…someone involved in the publication of the book in which he made this claim would have pointed that out.

    Appointments, however, are like anything else that has to run through a member of Congress–they can be somewhat political. While he absolutely would have had his room & board “paid for,” there is no guarantee he would have received an appointment–or received it quickly.

    Is this the final blow for Carson? I doubt it. But given the week he’s had, it certainly has not helped his effort. If he can’t handle the magnifying glass that running for president entails, perhaps retirement is a better option for him.

  75. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s the kind of misunderstanding a very promising 17-year-old would make.

    Except that it’s a story he tells as a very accomplished and prominent adult. As a middle-aged man, I’ve figured out most of the things i misunderstood as a 17 year old. Is Carson not able to do this? He is after all, attributing the “scholarship offer” to a four star general who, I believe, was the Army Chief of Staff at the time.

  76. Tony W says:

    R’s should choose their heroes more carefully

  77. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Argon: Gee, I hope not, I’m only a year younger than he is.

  78. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Except that when he retold this story, and specifically stated that an offer had been made, he wasn’t that 17-year old. He was an adult man who thought nothing of making the story sound just a bit better than it actually was in reality.

    Add that and the stories he’s told about his childhood and we see someone who is either a total fabulist, or someone who is so bloody careless the truth of the matter isn’t relevant to him.

  79. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t think Dr. Carson’s big problem is that he makes up stories from his past. That’s not helpful, certainly, but I think the bigger problem may be that he’s insane.

  80. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I don’t believe he’s insane – like I said earlier, he’s a pathological liar who needs to embellish his world to make it tolerable. He seems incapable of not adding some little flourish to things, to “plus them” like Walt Disney would say. His faith doesn’t specify the pyramid storage bit but it adds that little bit of realism for him as tangible physical evidence. He doesn’t just say I was a great ROTC student with good prospects, he had dinner with a Pentagon power-player and Medal of Honor winners before being assured he’d be admitted. He can’t just say he came to Jesus, he has to be a hard luck hoodlum saved by the light after a near tragedy ended in a miracle.

    Pathological liars generally have poor self-image and tell these lies compulsively to make themselves look and feel better. It’s very sad since Carson has a lot going for him but can’t seem to see it.

  81. Grumpy Realist says:

    @KM: I think the pyramid storage bit is actually from his religion. As I mentioned, it’s a bog-standard medieval theory. Pity Carson never bothered to get out of the 14th century….

  82. Modulo Myself says:

    I can’t believe that conservatives are actually defending Carson. Honestly, this is their chance to get rid of a horrible candidate who is involved with pyramid scams and thinks some scientists believe aliens built the pyramids and is leading or 2nd in the polls.

    Instead conservatives see red and start making a martyr out of this guy. How will dream-boy Rubio with his fiery blandness call out Carson’s craziness without being a called a member of the liberal media cabal?

  83. jukeboxgrad says:


    He did not say he applied, he did not say he was accepted

    Carson said this:

    I was offered a full scholarship to West Point.

    The college scholarship process normally works as follows:

    A) I apply.
    B) I’m admitted.
    C) I’m offered a scholarship.

    Those steps are in chronological order. C does not normally happen in the absence of B, and B does not normally happen in the absence of A. He stated C, which means he was implying B and A.

    If I tell you “I got a divorce,” I don’t have to tell you I was married. That fact is implied, because no one gets a divorce without first being married. Likewise, if I tell you “I was offered a full scholarship,” I don’t have tell you I applied and was admitted. Those facts are implied, because in the normal course of events no one gets offered a scholarship without first applying and getting admitted.

    Consider these two statements:

    A) I was offered a full scholarship.
    B) I was told that if I applied, I should expect to be admitted and offered a scholarship.

    A and B are not the same. A is the story he used to tell. B is the story he’s telling now. A kid could be excused for not understanding the difference between A and B, but he kept peddling story A long after he wasn’t a kid anymore.

    This is yet another example of something that’s so simple it really should not need to be explained. It only needs to be explained because conservatives are deeply obtuse.

  84. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I am pleased to see that you are supporting and defending Ben Carson. Given your usual judgment this can only mean that we’ll soon be seeing Dr. Carson arrested in Florida for lighting tramps on fire.

    That’s a rather incendiary statement.

    ( … ok, I’ll see myself out.)

  85. stonetools says:


    In think pathological liar goes too far as you are indicating he’s mentally ill. Look, the man embellished. What he did was not much different from Saint Ronaldus when he told this famous story about World War II valor:

    z”America needs heroes,” he said, “and I know about heroes because during the war it was my job to pick out the men and women who deserved medals, men like the pilot of a bomber running to England after a raid on Germany.”

    “They were hit by flak and barely staggered to the English coast. ‘Bail out everyone,’ yells the captain and the crew headed for the exit door. All but one. The waist gunner yelled he was stuck in his turret and couldn’t move. The co-pilot tried to pull him loose but no luck so he headed for the hatch.

    “Just as he was about to jump, he saw the pilot approach the kid and squeeze in beside him. The pilot put his arm around the boy and said: ‘Hang on, kid, we’ll ride her down together.’

    “The co-pilot jumped and the plane spiraled to its doom. That pilot is what heroes are made of,” said Reagan.

    Turns out that story never happened and was based on a movie script. Does make Reagan a “pathological liar”? I would say no. I would say that he liked a good story, and was happy to take this story as true( He told another World War II story about carrier pilots as well that was also false).
    This doesn’t mean Reagan was somehow mentally ill or incapable of truth telling., just that he liked to embellish. Does mean you have to fact check everything Reagan said or Carson says.

  86. steve says:

    This is the quote from the book.

    “Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going. ”

    Note that both ACE and Jenos carefully avoid citing the quote. They do use the campaign manager’s spin on the quote. Much different. Carson clearly claimed to have been offered a scholarship. Alas, just like Cheney, at a time when his country needed him, this uber patriot had more important things to do.


  87. stonetools says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I think Carson’s fans were really invested in their image of him as the honest man of God.Guess their idol is turning out to have feet of clay.

  88. Modulo Myself says:


    But conservatives in the media aren’t really his fans. And it’s not like this is a one-off thing. It could be an exaggeration of what might have happened–meeting Westmoreland and being told he was going to get into West Point. But it seems that his entire life operates along these lines. Notwithstanding the crazy right-wing conspiracy theories, he’s also been caught lying about his involvement with a BS health company. Plus, there’s the fact that he sounds frighteningly detached/insane, which even the conservative media must pick up on. Basically, he knows nothing at all that is real, which you can’t even say about Trump.

    And yet for some reason this story is on the verge of being spun in his favor, at least for now. Bizarre.

  89. Andre Kenji says:

    Just the fact that Ben Carson has Armstrong Williams as his main adviser should be enough for smart Conservatives to stop supporting him. This guy was paid by the Bush Administration to defend No Child Left Behind in his columns and media appearances.

  90. stonetools says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    He has strong support from evangelicals. That’s why he’s leading in polls. And they are coming out for him.
    Look, I know that to you he’s a terrible candidate, and you can’t see the attraction. Neither can I. Just proves that we can’t understand the conservative mind.

  91. DA says:

    It’s crystal clear that Carson lied repeatedly — he says he was offered something to attend West Point, and he was never offered any such thing. I would have thought that lying about West Point would be anathema to conservatives.

    It’s really telling how desperate the Republican media/establishment are to keep Carson in the race. My guess is they think that getting Carson to split Trump’s support is the only way to keep Trump from getting the nomination.

  92. Grewgills says:

    The original Politico piece appeared to me an exaggeration. Carson didn’t so much admit to lying as admit to saying something untrue (a fine point). I tended to think that Carson’s account was a rather standard aspiration biography exaggeration. A minor lie that at most would be one more small piece of kindling on the pyre of lies, exaggerations, and bizarre theories he’s been building. Then I read the Daily Caller piece on Carson’s push back.

    “The campaign never ‘admitted to anything,’” a spokesman for Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told The Daily Caller News Foundation in response to a hit by Politico claiming his campaign admitted to “fabricating” a key point about his West Point story.

    “The Politico story is an outright Lie,” Doug Watts told TheDCNF.

    The the standard Carson’s campaign is holding Politico to, Carson’s own story is an outright lie.

  93. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “He seems to be the bumbling, clueless, arrogant kind of guy who doesn’t realize that in running for President he is moving into a forum where his every past statement would be challenged and his background scrutinized. Well, welcome to modern day Presidential politics. Dr. Carson.”

    He’s a pathological liar; he’s already been flat-out caught making paid videos for a quack cancer cure, and denying that he had a relationship with that company.

    I’m looking forward to people going through the rest of his record, and seeing just how many more dozens or hundreds of times he’s lied.

  94. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Carson evidently learned nothing about the futility of deflection from Herman Cain.

  95. An Interested Party says:

    Democrats can only dream that Carson can become the eventual GOP nominee…he would be ripped to shreds in the general election…

  96. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tyrell: Who in this thread has disrespected West Point? That some commentators have heaped some scorn on someone who seems to have played fast and loose with the facts of his self-directed hagiography does not cause the institution discussed to become a topic of scorn or disrespect.

  97. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Looks like that liberal rag “Wall Street Journal” run by that well known leftist Rupert Murdock just printed an article questioning even MORE of the stories that built the Carson mystique.

    Why do they question all these things? Just because they can’t find anyone to corroborate doesn’t mean that it never happened in his mind.

    When will the media stop this persecution??!!!! !111 1 !

  98. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Leave Ben Carson ALONE !!!11!111 !

    Why can’t they just believe him??? Why do people keep keep printing things like this:

    West Point

    Then: A guy named Bill asked Carson if “it’s true that I was offered a slot at West Point after high school.” Carson replied, “Bill, that is true. I was the highest student ROTC member in Detroit and was thrilled to get an offer from West Point.”

    Now: He never got an offer from West Point. Apparently some people told him he could probably get in with his ROTC record, but he never even applied.


    Then: “Three years ago I had an endowed chair bestowed upon me….I’m proud to say that part of that $2.5 million came from Mannatech.”

    Now: He now denies that any of the money for the endowed chair actually came from Mannatech. “He simply got things mixed up,” a campaign spokesman said. That seems a little unlikely since Carson made this claim in a prepared speech given at a Mannatech sales conference.


    Then: “Several sections of potential Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s 2012 book America the Beautiful were plagiarized from various sources, BuzzFeed News has found….In one instance, Carson cites wholesale from an old website that has been online since at least 2002,”

    Now: “I attempted to appropriately cite and acknowledge all sources in America the Beautiful, but inadvertently missed some.” This is such a common excuse among plagiarists that it’s practically become a joke.

    Violent Past

    Then: “There was a time when I was, you know, very volatile….As a teenager. I would go after people with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers. And, of course, many people know the story when I was 14 and I tried to stab someone.”

    Now: CNN interviewed nine of Carson’s childhood friends. None of them could recall any violent incidents. Carson’s response: “This is a bunch of lies, that is what it is.”

    Drones on the Border

    Then: “I’m suggesting we do what we need to do to secure the border whatever that is….You look at some of these caves and things out there one drone strike, boom, and they’d gone.”

    Now: “It was quite clear what I was talking about. That drones are excellent for surveillance.”

    The Psychology Test at Yale

    Then: “The day before I’d been informed that the final examination papers in a psychology class, Perceptions 301, ‘were inadvertently burned’….So I, with about 150 other students, went to the designated auditorium for the repeat exam….[The questions] were incredibly difficult….Soon half the class was gone, and the exodus continued. Not one person turned in the examination before leaving.

    “….Suddenly the door of the classroom opened….The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture. ‘What’s going on?’ I asked. ‘A hoax,’ the teacher said. ‘We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.’ She smiled again. ‘And that’s you.’ ”

    Now: The Wall Street Journal reports that “no photo identifying Mr. Carson as a student ever ran, according to the Yale Daily News archives, and no stories from that era mention a class called Perceptions 301. Yale Librarian Claryn Spies said Friday there was no psychology course by that name or class number during any of Mr. Carson’s years at Yale.”

  99. Tyrell says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I was not talking about peoples’ comments here. I was talking about Carson.

  100. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Here, let me make it easier for the anti-Carson racists here: Just pretend that the statements were made by Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Harry Reid, or any of the other pathological liars that head up the Democratic Party.

    Doug, thanks for acknowledging that Politico is walking back the hit job.

    Boy, between this, The View going after Carly Fiorina, and the CNBC debate farce, that whole “biased liberal media” thing is really being disproven left and right, isn’t it?

  101. jukeboxgrad says:

    Since you’re still here, that reminds me:

    had nothing to do with that stupid YouTube video


    there is in fact hard evidence that the local Islamist scene in Benghazi was in uproar about the “anti-Islam video” in the run-up to the attack, and that this outrage figured prominently among the motivations of the assailants

    Daniel Pipes and John Rosenthal are both conservatives.

  102. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Shorter Jenos “I haven’t gotten any smarter since yesterday”…

  103. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I notice that you haven’t said a word about the discrepancies in Ben Carson’s history that the WSJ has pointed out.

    Maybe because you can’t?

  104. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Speaking of YouTube videos

    That was about three weeks ago

  105. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Liberal media. Oy, don’t be a moron. Liberals love Carson. We love Trump. We love any time your party looks absurd.

    This story was likely fed to the media, and the culprits behind that would be one of the Republican candidate camps’ oppo research people. I would guess Ted Cruz.

  106. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    His standard tactic since day one when confronted with evidence that disputes his rants has been to pivot and assert that it’s immaterial since both sides do it.

  107. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Here, let me make it easier for the anti-Carson racists here: Just pretend …

    … that if you try to call us racists, it will make all of Dr. Carson’s comments go away?

    Wait. You mean the outspoken liberals that supported the Kenyan Muslim half-breed socialist communist dictator the last 8 years? (I got that line from WND. They’re a great bunch of folks, eh?)

    No, I don’t think so Jenny.

    Carson’s “misstatements” will make people question the value of both his and Trump’s candidacy.

    There is something to be said for having SOME experience in Government before taking office.

    Oh… wait.. that was one of Carson’s misstatements as well… he said the founding fathers had no experience in Government either. Ben’s very wrong there, as well.

    Jenny – don’t hold on to an anchor as it’s going down. Know when to let go.

  108. george says:

    Wouldn’t vote for him in a million years because of some of his insane views.

    However, in the spectrum of political lies (his and others), padding his resume like this is no big deal.

  109. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    The Psychology Test at Yale

    I’m having difficulty understanding how that particular experiment would show who “the most honest student in the class” was. Can someone explain (or channel the professor’s spirit and ask)?

    @Tyrell: I’m not sure how Carson disrespected the academy, but fair enough. Thank you for the explanation.

  110. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    For Jenos: When the poster upthread called you “Jenny”–I suppose in a misguided attempt to give you “a taste of your own medicine”–I realized that we may be misguided in assuming how your name is pronounced. So what it is: JEEnos, JEHnos, JAYnos, YEEnos, YEHnos, YAYnos, HEEnos, HEHnos, HAYnos, or something different altogether?

  111. Mikey says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: It’s spelled “Raymond Luxury Yacht,” but it’s pronounced “Throat Wobbler Mangrove.”

  112. Jenos Idanian says:

    I put up three answers that all got hung up in moderation.

  113. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Sure. Sure you did.

  114. Grewgills says:

    It seems the paranoid delusions.are getting to the good doctor.

    “I’d prefer not to talk about security issues, but I have recognized — and people have been telling me for many, many months — that I’m in great danger because I challenge the secular progressive movement to the very core,” Carson said on WABC radio’s “Rita Cosby Show” on Thursday, BuzzFeed reported. “You know, they see me as an existential threat, but I also believe in the good Lord and we take reasonable precautions.”

    I can hardly wait for the next bizarre conspiracy theory.

  115. Grewgills says:

    This was supposed to be the honest one

    Carson said the threats against him are serious, which is why the Secret Service is considering protecting him. He denied Monday that his campaign had requested protection, and that the FBI and Secret Service had approached him about possible protection.
    Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson talks to reporters after speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Oct. 9, 2015. Reuters
    But according to ABC News, the Department of Homeland Security received official requests for Secret Service protection from Carson and his rival candidate — and current GOP front-runner — Donald Trump earlier this week. Candidates who are front-runners in a presidential race typically request protection at this point in the campaign process, ABC reported.

    He can’t not lie.

  116. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: The site owners are no big fans of mine, and could readily verify or disprove that. I would not be so foolish as to hand them that kind of opportunity.

    But it gave me a little time to consider and refine what I was saying. More importantly, it let me find other takes on the story that are a bit closer to reality. For example, this piece by Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist.

    And it also gave me time to answer a question of my own. I’d said that I hadn’t seen any of Obama’s works given anywhere near this level of critical scrutiny and fact-checking. It turns out that there has been such pieces — but not from the mainstream media, who bent over backwards to cover for him and get him elected. This seems a pretty good fact-checking of Obama’s literary efforts.

    Team Hillary must be really scared of Carson if the long knives are coming out this quickly…

  117. rachel says:

    This guy ↑. It’s like he’s from Bizarro World.

  118. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “Team Hillary must be really scared of Carson if the long knives are coming out this quickly…”

    Yes, because it’s entirely in Hillary’s interest to short-circuit the inter-Republican blood bath right now, while none of Carson’s opponents for the nomination would ever do anything like sending around research showing him to be a liar and a fool.

    You really don’t know anything, do you?

  119. michael reynolds says:


    He’s utterly clueless about politics. It’s actually kind of funny. He thinks he’s doing expert play-by-play but he’s a sportscaster calling the balls and strikes. . . in a football game.

  120. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    This seems a pretty good fact-checking of Obama’s literary efforts.

    Well sure – by Brent Bozelle, the guy who said Obama looks like a “skinny ghetto crackhead”


  121. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The site owners are no big fans of mine, and could readily verify or disprove that. I would not be so foolish as to hand them that kind of opportunity.

    Dude, you get publicly humiliated on OTB about 250 times a year. Do you actually think James is waiting patiently for you to slip up so he can swoop in and strike, strike like an eagle?

    No wonder Carson resonates with you. A serial liar with paranoia issues

  122. Steve V says:

    Someone once posted about the difference between a liar and a bullsh!tter … I forget now what that difference is but maybe it’s applicable here. Most of these stories strike me as pretty harmless exaggerations, while the psych test one just seems kind of weird. Anyway.

  123. ernieyeball says:

    @michael reynolds:..He thinks he’s doing expert play-by-play but he’s a sportscaster calling the balls and strikes. . . in a football game.

    What a joker!
    You kinda’ look like Larry David.
    Has anyone ever seen the two of you together?

  124. An Interested Party says:

    …I challenge the secular progressive movement to the very core…


    Yes, I’m sure the commissars of the secular progressive movement are terrified of this guy…you comrades around here, aren’t you scared…

  125. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Maybe we can put a cap on this discussion, as Carson himself has come out and admitted that his autobiography is not “100% accurate”.

    The thing is that he appears to have stretch the truth to the point of Taffy.

    If the loyal 28% want him, have at it. The flame out in the General will be a sight to behold.

  126. Lib Cap says:

    @Steve V:

    Most of these stories strike me as pretty harmless exaggerations, while the psych test one just seems kind of weird.

    That’s because it’s a memory of a newspaper article, not of a class he was in.

    You can see the source article here, including a clip of the original story:

  127. Steve V says:

    Looks like he enjoyed taking incidents from his life and recasting them as parables, which required tweaking the facts a bit. Not my cup of tea, and I’m not sure what consequences this should have for his reputation overall. I think it’s weird, but I’m not his target audience.

  128. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: So, that’s your standard? You don’t like the source, so you won’t even consider the material? The excerpts seem pretty accurate, and the conclusions hard to refute. Obama’s “biography” is, by and large, a myth.

    And it’s a pity you don’t appreciate the irony: I’m a non-gun-owner who defends others’ rights to own guns if they so choose. You’re a gun owner who refuses to defend others’ rights to do as you do.

    Pity you’re such a hypocrite…

  129. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Against my better judgement I followed you link. The ridiculous Newsbusters piece correctly notes that in the preface of Obama’s memoir he writes

    “Although much of this book is based on contemporaneous journals or the oral histories of my family, the dialogue is necessarily an approximation of what was actually said or relayed to me.”


    “For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people, I’ve known, and some events appear out of precise chronology.”

    then it goes on to point out that the dialogues was approximations and that some of the characters were composites. SHOCKING INDEED!!1!!! For instance they tried to make hay of an incident with Obama and a woman in NY having an argument after a play by saying that it didn’t happen with the woman they thought the composite primarily was. This is utter rubbish from a site where all rational people expect utter rubbish.

  130. jukeboxgrad says:


    The excerpts seem pretty accurate

    You’re still flogging that idiotic article. Before you said this:

    I’d said that I hadn’t seen any of Obama’s works given anywhere near this level of critical scrutiny and fact-checking. It turns out that there has been such pieces — but not from the mainstream media

    Did you even bother reading your article? It’s based entirely on the work of Janny Scott, a NYT reporter, and David Maraniss, a Washington Post reporter. I’m pretty sure they are part of “the mainstream media.”

    it’s a pity you don’t appreciate the irony

    Yes, it’s a pity you don’t appreciate the irony of claiming “the mainstream media” has refrained from criticizing Obama while citing an article that bases its criticism of Obama entirely on work done by “the mainstream media.”

    You’re hilarious.

  131. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    that’s your standard?

    Yes, that’s my standard. If a “journalist” says the President “looks like a skinny ghetto crackhead”, I am done with him. The fact that you are not says a lot about you.

  132. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Yeah, it says that I don’t use shallow excuses to avoid acknowledging things I don’t like hearing.

    So what’s your excuse for dismissing this article?

    Obama lying about his mother’s insurance problems is particularly troubling for you, isn’t it? Obama declared that his mother was denied insurance coverage because her cancer was a pre-existing condition. But Cigna never denied her coverage, not once. It looks like Obama slandered the company because he needed a bad guy to sell ObamaCare.

    I’m also curious how you rationalize condemning Carson over this, but you turn a willfully blind eye to the pathological liars who make up the national Democratic leadership — Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Elizabeth Warren, just to name a few.

  133. jukeboxgrad says:

    what’s your excuse

    The word for someone who asks questions while refusing to answer them is chutzpah.

  134. Jenos Idanian says:

    Three more comments hung up in the spam filter. Not worth my time.

  135. jukeboxgrad says:

    My crystal ball says you’re using the Reply feature to reply to me. Have you noticed what happens when you reply to me without using that feature?

  136. Ken in NJ says:

    @Jenos Idanian: This seems a pretty good fact-checking of Obama’s literary efforts.

    Tell me – what is it that makes Brent Bozell a good critic of Obama’s writing, in your opinion? Is it his own extensive writing experience?

    Or is it the scrupulously objective viewpoint of the guy who once called Obama a “A Skinny, Ghetto Crackhead”?

  137. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “Shallow excuses” would be a significant upgrade from your typical comment.

  138. jukeboxgrad says:

    Bozell is a proven liar, as I demonstrated here years ago.