ARMITAGE: OF MYTH AND MEN
-- Media reports continue to proclaim Deputy Secretary of State Richard
Armitage to be a former U.S. Navy SEAL, nevermind that he wasn't.
Errant Armitage Legend Persists at State
© 2002 Q4
Restless Warrior | Double Tap | Dispatches
DP: 010500Z OCT 2002
most recent installment of such journalistic excellence was served up
by Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times describing,
in the May 3, 2002 Inside the Ring column, the ongoing rift between the
Pentagon and the State Department over the prospect of invading Iraq.
It was enough to grab the passing glances of several knowledgeable
insiders who, for far too long, have been all too aware of the
long-standing myth surrounding the current Deputy Secretary of State.
a barrage of email, Gertz issued a courageous "we weren't the only
ones" retraction, but failed to respond to repeated requests from
VeriSEAL to clarify the source of the errant Armitage factoid.
more preposterous still, Washington's blabbering media "elite" --
generally opposed politically to any pre-emptive attack on Iraq -- have
taken to citing Armitage's "SEALness" to bolster their own anti
pre-emption stance when launching spitballs at Deputy Defense Secretary
Paul Wolfowitz and the pro pre-emption camp, who are accused of amateur
war mongering by way of having never worn a military uniform.
Ironically, neither have 99% of the pundits sniping at Wolfowitz for
his failure to defer to Armitage's fictitious Navy SEAL expertise.
appears Armitage has not exactly gone out of his way to disabuse
reporters of the notion that he is a former Navy SEAL. Nor has the
State Department issued even a single media advisory to correct the
common misconception. Lately, possibly feeling a slight increase in
temperature regarding his faux military persona, Armitage has taken to
claiming that he "worked with" the
SEALs or "trained" them when questioned in a public forum about his
alleged SEAL background.
one Q&A session on Shadow Day at the State Department, Armitage was
quizzed by a tag-along student about his Navy SEAL background.
Armitage's response: "No. I was their instructor"
could be further from the truth, according to one former SEAL of nearly
30 years in Naval Special Warfare. Another, one of the few U.S.
personnel left stationed in Saigon in 1973, states in a sworn affidavit
that Armitage approached him at that time and identified himself as a
remains to be determined is not whether Armitage was or was not a Navy
SEAL -- he wasn't -- but where so many in the Press continue to acquire
the idea that he was. Reporters such as Bill Gertz do not appear inclined to address that question.
And that seems to sit just fine with the Deputy Secretary of State.
Following the above October 2002 posting of VeriSEAL's article
"Armitage: Of Myth And Men", featured prominently in "The Fake File" at
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has publicly
acknowledged that he was not a Navy SEAL, as he has so often been
mislabeled in the media.
In a March 18, 2004 interview with the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation, Armitage corrected interviewer Kerry O'Brien
after O'Brien misidentified him as a "former Navy SEAL".
Up to that point, Armitage was not known to have corrected media
reports that wrongly affixed the SEAL acronym to him. Instead, he
opted to let the label stand,
in essence allowing the fiction to become "fact".
In the interview, Armitage states: "I was not a Navy SEAL", but then continues, "I was a counter-insurgency officer but it's not far from a Navy Seal."
For Sale: Prime ocean-front property "not far" from Albuquerque.