Monday, November 06, 2006

"Just Tell Them The Truth"

"Ninety percent [are] going to be putting their lives on the line for our country," she said. "Tell them the truth. That's all. Just tell them the truth."

Sue Niederer, mother of Seth Niederer; Seth was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Sue is commenting on the lies of Army recruiters. ABC/WABC found evidence of widespread lying on the part of recruiters in the east.


Anonymous said...

The reporters claimed that a little over half of the *ten* they spoke with lied or at least stretched the truth.

According to some old stats from 1999 (, the Army had 6,331 recruiters, the Navy had 4,725, and the Air Force had 2,650. The numbers are even higher now.

ABC's sample size is too small to be of much significance (except perhaps in the area in which their sample was taken). I'm not denying that some recruiters hustle kids into joining the service. But it's hard to tell how severe or widespread the problem is.

Also, the ABC plant who was told that going to Iraq was unlikely was female. Chances are a female recruit *is* less likely to be sent to Iraq. ABC didn't reveal much of anything about its plants. But knowing something about the plants (e.g., sex, education level, technical or linguistic expertise, physical condition or challenges, etc.) might undercut the apparent unseemliness of some of what they were being told.

I'm all for military applicants being told the truth--whatever that may be. But I'm not convinced by that ABC segment that there's a fundamental or widespread problem in that regard.


matt said...

Your obsession with piss-ant mitigation has become nearly pathetic. I’ll defend not only that recruiting lies are statistically significant (I’m willing to bet the incidents themselves number in the hundreds if not thousands), but that ANY such lies are not merely minor irritants as you paint them, but potential wrongful deaths waiting to happen.

"Nobody is going over to Iraq anymore?" one student asks a recruiter.
"No, we're bringing people back," he replies.
"We're not at war. War ended a long time ago," another recruiter says.

If you don’t find this egregious, I’m not quite sure what you find egregious. As one activist put it, “Lies about training, assignments and benefits are routine.”