Ben Carson vs. Politico on West Point: You decide who's the liar

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”.
But wait.

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:

  1. Does not offer scholarships, full or partial.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

See also:

H/t FOTM’s Facebook reader Russ T. for the Charlie Rose video.

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As soon as I read an article about him stating ” no one should be able to decline a vaccination ” , it told me everything I needed to know about him .
Just another tiger with a different set of stripes .


Ben Carson fits into America’s political mainstream perfectly – liar, liars, liars and fraudsters.


I wouldn’t take Politico’s word for a flood if I were standing on the roof of my house up to my neck in water. As for the WSJ, they are getting just as bad as the editorial page still contains a modicum of conservatism, but the guts of that once decent newspaper might as well be written by the goobers at the NYT. And I am not about to trash a man that is probably only guilty of a fuzzy memory. I find it not a little interesting that the very same media people who turn a blind eye to… Read more »


Top ROTC cadets often get offered admission to West Point. And they often decide to stay where they are, too. Big deal. Shows how much liberals know about the military: zero.


“In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.” – Proverbs 18:17

I like Dr. Carson, but something inside of me has put a block against supporting him. Let the vetting begin.


Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this update post and for your previous well-documented posts regarding Ben Carson and his lack of credibility. Carson lied about the entire West Point application process so that people would think more highly about him, which leads me to question his other larger than life claims about his youth. At this point, I find his actions narcissistic and I do not trust him.


Very biased article and completely absent objectivity or balance. Carson in his own book states he only had the funds to apply to one school, Yale. Anyone in high school having an informal conversation with a general about how happy they would be to assist their entry into W.P. would naturally interpret it as a scholarship. Numerous sources have now post the word “scholarship” found in current W.P. marketing materials. Carson is certainly intelligent enough to avoid contradicting what is in his own bio. This article does nothing but illucidate the cognitive bias of the author, no matter the truth,… Read more »


West Point’s own material for recruiting African American high school kids states that each year “young men and women take advantage of the opportunity to attend West Point on a full government scholarship, which includes tuition, room and board, and medical care”. A Yale student newspaper, in a section titled, ‘Strictly Off The Record”, the incident of Psychology 10 students being led to believe that the exams they had just taken were destroyed and they needed to retake the exam was recounted. At yale,edu, there is found a syllabus for the course Psychology 323b, “Perception” in the Yale Perception &… Read more »