Friday, November 06, 2015

Something No One's Mentioning About Ben Carson And West Point

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas October 18, 2015.  (REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Today's media attack du jour on a Republican presidential candidate  comes from the very left leaning Politico.

Politico's Kyle Cheney claims that unnamed 'representatives of the campaign' admitted to them that Ben Carson's story about his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point” was fabricated.

“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.”

In response, the Carson campaign responded with this statement (hat tip Daily Caller):

“Dr Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit. 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. 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. There are “Service Connected” nominations for stellar High School ROTC appointments. Again he was the top ROTC student in Detroit. I would argue strongly that an Appointment is indeed an amazing full scholarship. Having ran several Congressional Offices I am very familiar with the Nomination process.

Again though his Senior Commander was in touch with West Point and told Dr. Carson he could get in, Dr Carson did not seek admission.

The Politico story is an outright Lie. Dr. Carson as the leading ROTC student in Detroit was told by his Commanders that he could get an Appointment to the Academy. He never said he was admitted or even applied.

The campaign never “admitted to anything.”

This is what we have come to expect from Politico.”

Before we go on, full disclosure. Dr. Carson is definitely not my choice for the GOP nomination or for president.

According to the Daily Caller, Politico's Kyle Cheney isn't responding to inquiries. That's pretty much standard operating procedure on the Left when the story in question is simply a political hit piece. The story goes out there, it becomes a news story, the True Believers and the Soros media outlets publicize it. Then it temporarily dies, as the news cycle moves be revived later as the subject of a telephone push poll, or a campaign attack ad, or snarky references on left wing blogs later on. Because, you see,it has been implanted in people's skulls so they will recall it when it's brought up perhaps months later.

This isn't even remotely journalism. It's a political contribution in kind, rather than money on the table. It's not journalism, but political activism.

It's also racist to the core. It's no accident that Dr. Carson is receiving so much negative attention from the usual suspects lately. The Democrats lost the majority of the white vote years ago, and Mrs. Clinton's election is going to be highly dependent on a large black turnout in key urban areas. They have to be kept on the Democrat plantation, so the only black republican candidate with a chance of being on the ticket must be attacked and demonized...both on the grounds of racial politics and as an example to any black voters or potential candidates thinking of following Dr. Carson's example.

And yes, that's despicable.

But in fairness, I have to say that Dr. Carson may have expanded his original story.

I'm fairly familiar how West Point operates. In order to get in, you need to not only meet their stellar requirements when it comes to grades, test scores and other activities that indicate leadership, you have to be nominated by a sitting senator or member of the House. Here's how it usually works, from West Point's own site:

"The majority of the Members of Congress use a competitive nomination process, whereby 10 candidates are named to compete for a single vacancy. A minority of the members of Congress names a single candidate as their primary nomination, and some choose to number, or rank order the alternates. If you have an excellent academic and extracurricular activity record, however, you have a good chance of gaining admission with an alternate nomination. Each year several hundred of the best qualified alternate Congressional and military service nominees are offered admission from the West Point waiting list. "

So what likely happened is that a young Ben Carson met General Westmoreland at an affair of some sort, the General suggested he apply for West Point and maybe he had a conversation with some admissions people about the process. But him getting in was predicated on him being formally nominated by a member of congress either as an appointee or as an alternate on the waiting list. So the admissions people he spoke to had no power to get him in, no matter what he says. He probably thought about it for a few minutes and decided to take his talents elsewhere, hardly unique for a high school senior.

Another point - all appointees to any of the U.S. military academy get a full scholarship in exchange for agreeing to serve as officers for a given number of years. That's the trade off. Dr. Carson mildly embellishes that fact to make a 'full scholarship' seem like something special, when simply being appointed and admitted would have been the real accomplishment.

Whether the mild inflation even bears mentioning compared to the serial lies and contempt for the law evidenced by another presidential candidate, I leave it to you to decide.

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