Correction: (May 23) The focal point of this article was a video interview of one Jessie MacBeth, who claims to be have been a US Army Ranger that recently finished a tour of duty in occupied Iraq. In the video interview, co-produced by Peacefilms in Vancouver and Pepperspray Productions in Seattle and posted on the Peacefilms website, Mr. MacBeth, who is presented as a spokesperson for Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), makes specific claims about atrocities committed against Iraqis by US forces. Earlier today, IVAW issued the following statement:
Iraq Veterans Against the War recently learned of a video interview with Jesse MacBeth that directs viewers to IVAW’s website and phone number. IVAW was not made aware of the creation of this video program and our input on it was never sought by its producers. Jesse MacBeth is not a spokesperson for IVAW and any claims made by MacBeth about his service have not been verified. We are currently investigating these claims and will have a full statement pending its resolution.
Many readers and commentators have raised numerous questions about the veracity of Mr. MacBeth's claims of service in the US Army, questions that, in my judgment, have thus far not received satisfying answers. In the absence of more credible evidence to substantiate Mr. MacBeth's claims of having served in Iraq and/or having been enlisted in the US Army, we have decided to remove this article. We also request that other websites/publications that posted the original article do the responsible thing and post this correction.
We sincerely regret any errors of fact that may have been made in giving credence to Mr. MacBeth's testimony. We will exercise greater diligence and scrutiny in the future if and when similar circumstances arise.
We also wish to emphasize that abundant evidence of atrocities against innocent Iraqis carried out by US forces in the course of America's illegal invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq -- the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, the use of chemical weapons in Fallujah, the killing of journalists, and many other incidents documented by both alternative and mainstream media -- already exists, regardless of Mr. MacBeth's claims, and cannot be swept under the rug if it indeed turns out Mr. MacBeth has provided a false account. American imperialism and the criminal conduct of US leaders -- both Democrat and Republican -- is exacting a terrible toll on the Iraqi people, the possibilities for peace tomorrow, and the economy here at home. Outside of a parasitic minority of the rich and privileged, we are all losers in this dreadful war.
-- Sunil K. Sharma
Dissident Voice Editor and Publisher
Santa Rosa, CA