On Nov. 6, 2015:
Kyle Cheney of Politico wrote in an article titled “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship” (original archived article):
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.
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.”
On Nov. 6, 2015:
After the Politico article was published with a link from Drudge Report, a political firestorm ensued, with cries from conservatives that the article was a hit piece. (See DailyWire)
Carson’s spokesman, Doug Watts, told The Daily Caller News Foundation:
“The [Ben Carson] campaign never ‘admitted to anything’. The Politico story is an outright lie.“
On Nov. 7, 2015:
The next day, Politico revised Cheney’s original article.
The title is now “Exclusive: Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied”. Several portions of the text are changed, leaving out the original version’s declarations that Carson’s statements were false or fraudulent.
It would appear that Politico conceded that Cheney’s original article was erroneous, a “hit piece”.
On Oct. 9, 2015:
This is what Ben Carson said in an interview with Charlie Rose:
“I did hear a lot of what you can’t do. And, uh, like when I joined the ROTC, I joined late, so I wouldn’t have a full six semesters. I only have five. And, you know, I had the goal of achieving the office of city executive officer. No one had ever done that; it’s about time; they told me you can’t do it. But, long story short, it worked, I did it. I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. Got to meet General Westmoreland, go to Congressional Medal of Honor dinners, but decided really my pathway would be medicine.”
Yes, Politico is liberal. But I detest liars even more, and Ben Carson lied and is still lying about West Point.
Our commitment should be to evidence and the truth, not to blind partisanship. Who says conservatives, possessed of the same fallen human nature, are perfect and don’t lie?
The facts are West Point Military Academy:
- Does not offer scholarships, full or partial.
- One doesn’t just apply to West Point. A person must be nominated by a member of Congress or another prominent government or military official, after which, a rigorous vetting process begins.
- From West Point: “Those who are selected to attend . . . receive a college education that is unparalleled in the world with tuition, room and board, and expenses fully paid.“
- That means there is no tuition at West Point for anyone. Period. Which means there are no scholarships to offer to Ben Carson or anyone. Period.
Reid Epstein of the Wall Street Journal is now raising questions about the truthfulness of Carson’s account of an incident in a psychology class at Yale. The WSJ article is for subscribers only, but Democratic Underground published an excerpt:
… In his 1990 autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” Mr. Carson writes of a Yale psychology professor who told Mr. Carson, then a junior, and the other students in the class — identified by Mr. Carson as Perceptions 301 — that their final exam papers had “inadvertently burned,” requiring all 150 students to retake it. The new exam, Mr. Carson recalled in the book, was much tougher. All the students but Mr. Carson walked out.
“The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture,” Mr. Carson wrote. “ ‘A hoax,’ the teacher said. ‘We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.’ ” Mr. Carson wrote that the professor handed him a $10 bill.
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 …
- “The truth about Ben Carson: West Point, vaccines, meaning of Easter and more” on Carson’s story about stabbing a childhood friend.
- “Sunday Devotional: Christ sacrificed Himself for our sins” on Carson trivializing Christ’s death on the cross.
H/t FOTM’s Facebook reader Russ T. for the Charlie Rose video.