s skippy the bush kangaroo

skippy the bush kangaroo

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

update: fill in the blank

yesterday we reported that up to 11 papers across the country had published positive yet identical letters from different soldiers serving in iraq.

abcnews reports today that it was the battalion commander of those soldiers who wrote the original:

in an e-mail to abcnews today, the commander of the battalion, lt. col. dominic caraccilo, said the "letter-writing initiative" was all his idea.

caraccilo said he circulated the form letter to his soldiers to give them "an opportunity to let their respective hometowns know what they are accomplishing here in kirkuk. as you might expect, they are working at an extremely fast pace and getting the good news back home is not always easy. we thought it would be a good idea to encapsulate what we as a battalion have accomplished since arriving iraq and share that pride with people back home."

caraccilo wrote that his staff drafted the letter, he edited it and reviewed it and then offered it to the soldiers. "every soldier who signed that letter did so after a careful read," he said. "some, who could find the time, decided to send their own versions, while others chose not to take part in the initiative."

caraccilo was unapologetic, saying that the letter "perfectly reflects what each of these brave soldiers has and continues to accomplish on the ground."

except, as the washington olympian (the paper that broke the story) reports, one [soldier] said he didn't even sign it.

usatoady reports there were 500 letters sent:

army officials revealed tuesday that 500 identical form letters were sent to newspapers across the country with different signatures. they said the mass mailing was the wrong way of getting the message out, but they didn't know whether the commander would be disciplined.

our friend and frequent reader, person of choler, who resides across the political aisle from us, suggested in our comments section that we read instapundit's take on it. after being sarcastic ("yeah, right after we read de beste on how to help kids in poverty") we did go see what prof. reynolds had to say:

but then, there are rather a lot of people who speak in public words that they didn't write.

yeah, glenn, they're called actors. but they don't sign their name to those words, thus implying those words were their own. or if they did, they would be cheaters, wouldn't they?

insty intutively counters our argument (before even we made it...amazing!) with a quote from one of his readers, james rudolf:

anyone who has been involved with the environmental impact process can attest to the hundreds or thousands of form letters with only a signature, cut and pasted letters, hand written letters using canned paragraphs, etc. that are received.

quite true. but when we ourselves partake in letters like that, we avail ourselves of the option of re-writing at least the first few paragraphs, before we put our name on them. we assume that the paragraphs full of pertinent facts and info would be pretty similar in any letters. we have never, however, put our name on someone else's words. and even if hippy-progressive-save-the-snail-darter-impeach-bush-kind-of lefty's do it, it's wrong, it's unethical, it's downright cheating.

but at least instapundit links to us, which is more than we can say about tapped.

update: a reader at hesiod's blog counterspin offers up this point: any relation between the astro-turf from soldiers in iraq and the georgewbush.com get active action alert page?
posted by skippy at 7:39 PM |


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