In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Old Lt. Gen. Chuck Pitman fake email devolves to include Obama

In 2005 a letter of "apology" proposed for the Arab world and attributed retired Marine Corps. Lieutenant General Chuck Pitman was circulated so widely by email that a search on Google turns up over 40,000 entries, mostly on Internet message boards. I just received a copy of this from someone I hadn't heard from since high school. I checked and discovered that letter was revealed to be a fraud by the websites Snopes and Truth or Fiction. That didn't stop right wingers from adding virulent attacks against Obama and Democrats to the original, some since his election, and continue it on its email journey.

In 2005 a letter of “apology” proposed for the Arab world and attributed retired Marine Corps. Lieutenant General Chuck Pitman was circulated so widely by email that a search on Google turns up over 40,000 entries, mostly on Internet message boards. I just received a copy of this from someone I hadn’t heard from since high school. I checked and discovered that letter was revealed to be a fraud by the websites Snopes and Truth or Fiction. That didn’t stop right wingers from adding virulent attacks against Obama and Democrats to the original, some since his election, and continue it on its email journey.

This is the email with the version of the letter that came to me. It is from someone from my high school class. The words in his subject line were “SEMPER FI”.

He got my email address from another classmate who I recently emailed when I discovered lived nearby. Although he considers himself a libertarian, he turned out to be too far right in his opinions for me to want to correspond with, let alone get together with. He called Obama a f—ing socialist and sent me the email at the very bottom of the page. *

The email I just received had two paragraphs highlighted. I showed them in red.

I think we graduated from A.B. Davis in 1961.  Those were the days.  I got your name and email address from a fellow classmate.  He thought you might appreciate this.
Cheers, xxx

I believe this says it all and just wish there was some way to make it required reading for all Americans.

This ‘Letter of Apology’ was written by Lieutenant General Chuck Pitman, US Marine Corps, Retired:

For good and ill, the Iraqi prisoner abuse mess will remain an issue. On the one hand, right thinking Americans will abhor the stupidity of the actions while on the other hand, political glee will take control and fashion this minor event into some modern day massacre.

I humbly offer my opinion here:

I am sorry that the last seven times we Americans took up arms and sacrificed the blood of our youth; it was in the defense of Muslims ( Bosnia , Kosovo, Gulf War 1, Kuwait , etc.)
I am sorry that no such call for an apology upon the extremists came after 9/11.
I am sorry that all of the murderers on 9/11 were Islamic Arabs.
I am sorry that most Arabs and Muslims have to live in squalor under savage dictatorships.
I am sorry that their leaders squander their wealth.
I am sorry that their governments breed hate for the US in their religious schools, mosques, and government-controlled media.
I am sorry that Yasser Arafat was kicked out of every Arab country and high-jacked the Palestinian ’cause.’
I am sorry that no other Arab country will take in or offer more than a token amount of financial help to those same Palestinians.
I am sorry that the U. S. A. has to step in and be the biggest financial supporter of poverty stricken Arabs while the insanely wealthy Arabs blame the USA for all their problems.
I am sorry that our own left wing, our media, and our own brainwashed liberal masses do not understand any of this (from the misleading vocal elements of our society like radical liberal professors, CNN and the NY TIMES).
I am sorry the United Nations scammed the poor people of Iraq out of the ‘food for oil’ money so they could get rich while the common folk suffered.
I am sorry that some Arab governments pay the families of homicide bombers upon their death
I am sorry that those same bombers are brainwashed thinking they will receive 72 virgins in ‘paradise.’
I am sorry that the homicide bombers think pregnant women, babies, children, the elderly and other noncombatant civilians are legitimate targets.
I am sorry that our troops die to free more Arabs from the gang rape rooms and the filling of mass graves of dissidents of their own making.
I am sorry that Muslim extremists have killed more Arabs than any other group.
I am sorry that foreign trained terrorists are trying to seize control of Iraq and return it to a terrorist state.
I am sorry we don’t drop a few dozen Daisy cutters on Fallujah.
I am sorry every time terrorists hide they find a convenient ‘Holy Site.’
I am sorry they didn’t apologize for driving a jet into the World Trade Center that collapsed and severely damaged Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church – one of our Holy Sites.
I am sorry they didn’t apologize for flight 93 and 175, the USS Cole, the embassy bombings, the murders and beheadings of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, etc….etc!
I am sorry Michael Moore is American; he could feed a medium sized village in Africa
America will get past this latest absurdity! We will punish those responsible because that is what we do.

I am sorry the Barack Hussein Obama was elected president of the United States when he doesn’t have a clue on how to be a strong Commander-in-chief in a world filled with Muslim extremists who will do whatever it needs to do to destroy the lives of civilized people while killing innocent men, women and children in order to bring a change that is beneficial to all Islamic terrorists worldwide.  

I am sorry that voters on the liberal left don’t understand the frightening changes that are taking place in the Muslim world and what these changes will do to this world in which we live.

I am sorry that the Democratic Party has been high jacked by Socialists and Communists right under the very noses of those who take pride in calling themselves democrats.

We hang out our dirty laundry for the entire world to see. We move on. That’s one of the reasons we are hated so much. We don’t hide this stuff like all those Arab countries that are now demanding an apology.

Deep down inside, when most Americans saw this reported in the news, we were like – so what? We lost hundreds and made fun of a few prisoners. Sure, it was wrong, sure, it dramatically hurts our cause, but until captured we were trying to kill these same prisoners. Now we’re supposed to wring our hands because a few were humiliated?

Our compassion is tempered with the vivid memories of our own people killed, mutilated and burnt amongst a joyous crowd of celebrating Fallujahans.

I am sorry if you want an apology from this American, you’re going to have a long wait! You have a better chance of finding those seventy-two virgins.

Chuck Pitman

Lieutenant General, USMC


It took me a minute to determine that this letter was fraudulent just by doing a search of the name.

It’s a shame that these fraudulent letters and stories are usually quickly debunked, but still get circulated to an uncritical audience willing to believe them because they support their biases.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but with some well publicized notable exceptions, don’t the majority of these emailed false stories and rumors that go viral involve right wing lies?

Afterthought about the real General Pitman

Chuck Pitman is best known as the author of a letter he didn’t write. He isn’t even listed on Wikipedia. It is difficult to find any true information of him online about his early military career except what was published by Truth or Fiction. They probably found this information before he was buried deep in a web search that has tens of thousands of results.

That’s too bad because the real Chuck Pitman is an American combat hero. This is from Truth or Fiction:

Pitman is a retired Marine general. He served for 38-years and was deputy chief of staff for Marine corps aviation. He was a pilot in Vietnam where he was shot down seven times. He was a part of the attempted rescue of 52 American hostages from Iran in April, 1980, a mission that failed and in which eight American military men were killed. He was also the one who provided a Marine helicopter to New Orleans police on January 7, 1972 when mass murderer Mark Essex was surrounded in a hotel. Essex was killed during the operation.

Pitman not only “provided” the helicopter, he flew it. To get an idea about who Pitman is, read about how he flew the helicopter (right) used to take police to shoot a killer in New Orleans. The only information about Pitman aside from what is on Truth and Fiction is on websites about the killer Mark Essex (link).

Sadly, I can’t even determine if Pitman is still alive. I’m hoping this column will help counter the falsehood perpetrated against him by those all to willing to pass on a letter without checking to see if it is real.

Philip Berg: Another example of a debunked Internet Obama rumor still reinventing itself

You’ve heard the one about Barack Obama’s birth certificate being a forgery, about his really being born in Kenya and thus not an American citizen eligible to run for president. It seems that a lawyer named Philip Berg is still pursuing this with a law suit. I discovered this by checking to see who was being referred to this column from Google when they searched for Chuck Pitman.

It turned out that in the column’s first day about twenty readers came to this website from a Google search of Obama and Berg.

This puzzled me until I checked it out. It is because the orginal column included the name Nick Berg in the phony Pitman letter. That Mr. Berg was the American beheaded by Al Qaeda. Very few of the pages I checked on Google noted that Berg’s law suit was dismissed. I had to specifically search Snopes to find their debunking HERE where it was updated on November 15, 2008.

* This is what the first former classmate sent me. It isn’t fraudulent but it just annoyed me since he knew I was an Obama supporter. It is also on about 16,000 web pages.

Rest assured, Obama was born in Hawaii.

143 days

You couldn’t get a job at McDonalds and become district manager after 143 days of experience.

You couldn’t become chief of surgery after 143 days of experience of being a surgeon.

You couldn’t get a job as a teacher and be the superintendent after 143 days of experience.

You couldn’t join the military and become a colonel after a 143 days of experience.

You couldn’t get a job as a reporter and become the nightly news anchor after 143 days of experience.

‘From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United State Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That’s how many days the Senate was actually in session and working. After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World….143 days.

We all have to start somewhere. The senate is a good start, but after 143 days, that’s all it is – a start.

AND, strangely, a large sector of the American public is okay with this and campaigning for him. We wouldn’t accept this in our own line of work, yet some are okay with this for the President of the United States of America? Come on folks, we are not voting for the next American Idol!

Please, please forward this before it’s too late!!!!

Hal Brown’s previous columns.

Read “Miss Martin’s rules for classroom manners” for rules and guidelines for commenting on this column. New commenters are always welcome. Join the cadre of unsung political analysts who have made the comment sections of Capital Hill Blue among the most thought provoking on the Internet.

40 thoughts on “Old Lt. Gen. Chuck Pitman fake email devolves to include Obama”

  1. Last year I talked to the director of a Montana human rights organization (see SEE LINK ) when I was writing an article about the anti-Indian sovereignty CERA (they deny they are racist). They were very aware of of CERA as it was active in Montana. I wanted more info as one of their board members got involved in trying to stop an indian casino in Middleboro. They are still saying the tribe that bought the land here, the Mashpee Wampanoag, didn’t have a right to put it into trust as a reservation because they really were not part of the Wampanoag tribe that greeted the Pilgrims and lived all over the area. Of course, the FACT that they later were forced to move to Mashpee on Cape Cod isn’t relevant to these people.

    Happy Thanksgiving –

    from the CERA website:
    Breaking Legal News
    CERA Sues the State of Montana for Voter Fraud
    Read Press Release
    Read Complaint
    Read Poll Worker Affidavit
    Read “Elephants, Donkeys and Hippos”

  2. This may be a little off-topic, but I darn near got run off the road by a young guy driving a “monster” truck with flags and yellow ribbons all over it, recently. I’m quite sure it was due to my Obama ’08 sticker, and my quite humble car…. “Let’s see if we can kill the lib’rul” seems to be a national sport here in Montana. And these yahoos are the first tell y’all about Jesus, every chance they get. I’m a musician who spends a LOT of time in public, mostly locally, but even playing in the bars is getting to be life-threatening, these days.
    Even stranger, I was recently told by a Jewish friend that Montana is high on the list of “safer” states for Jews. I’ve had a couple Jewish friends visit me this past year and know of several who have moved here, and see a number of signs that a Jewish influx may be going on. This area is extremely heavy in the white-Christian demographic, the so-called Christian zionists. But it seems to me that the tide is turning in certain Christian circles, especially here, since so many in this state are soldiers and are getting quite disillusioned about fighting judeo-christian holy wars in Iraq and elsewhere. If I were Jewish, this is one of the LAST places I’d want to be. It could get VERY ugly, here, for all of us lib’ruls and other non-Christians. (I’m a Buddhist.)
    I know this is a lot of heresay and unscientific opinion stuff, but since religious conflicts are what is driving most of the violence in the world, these things are on EVERYONE’s mind these days. Anyway, nice column and comments as well.

  3. Thank you Mr. Brown for you insight on being a minority. It is stunning that we still must discuss it. It can only improve.


  4. Malcolm,

    Even in a progressive states like Massachusetts with our black governor and our legal same sex marriage, we have our bigotry.

    I was taken to task on a local blog’s message board for publishing the anecdotes about racist comments with posters making the implication that I made them up for my own purposes. They expected me to name the sources.

    Last year I was excoriated for suggesting that a very few people were against our having a large indian casino in our town for racist reasons. (Read this if you’re curious about my notoriety in our local Middleboro casino controversy.)

    On the same blog where some posters blasted me for using unattributed anecdotes and on other local blogs, our congressman, Barney Frank, is ridiculed for being gay. Of course, these people would never consider themselves bigots.

    Still, Massachusetts has some cities, towns or villages which are among the most accepting in the United States. Boston is similar to San Francisco. In the Berkshires, Amherst and Northampton are two of the most progressive towns in the state. Likewise on Cape Cod, Provincetown and Woods Hole.

    One of my best friends lives in rural Georgia (why is an impossibly convoluted story). Without revealing much, let’s say he has two strikes against him as far as the prevailing prejudices of the area go. I persist in haranguing him about moving here before he’s lynched.

    Here’s a story about being Jewish and growing up in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City that had a very large Jewish population. Unbelievable as it may seem, I was never exposed to any anti-Semitism although my father told me stories about how he was in his work as an upholsterer for Christian clients.

    Then I went off to Michigan State University. In their “wisdom” I was given another Jew from Westchester as a roommate.

    Within the first few weeks another kid who lived in my dorm asked me just about the most extraordinary question I’ve ever been asked: “What are you?”

    It’s not that there weren’t other Jewish students, after all Detroit had many primarily Jewish communities. I certainly talked like a New Yorker (6% of the freshman class were recuited from NY high schools and many were Jewish), and perhaps some thought I looked like one. But my last name was Brown, not Schwartz or Goldstein.

    I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what he meant at first. Then I thought perhaps he was referring to my nationality, something I never even thought about. I knew my grandparents on both sides came from easter Europe so I just said I was Polish.


  5. Mr. Brown, it is true that a very dangerous element of America is showing up under the Religious Right. Yes, indeed, Newt Gingrich is trying to carry the cross for the religious zealots. I seriously doubt that most Americans are aware of the numbers of homosexuals found even in our families. The problem faces all of us about what to do about their civil rights. Gays and Lesbians have been hidden from sight for too many years. They deserve the right to be themselves and if the Republican Party refuses their rights, it is time the GOP pack up and get out of politics.

    I was astounded living so close to Arizona State University of the number of yard signs saying “Yes on 102” which meant a prohibition of gay marriages. These were not necessarily homes of the students but of many older Phoenix people (Phoenicians, as we call them.) Our mutual friend Sandy, lives further west in Sun City which is the winter homes for those bible belt visitors. She is uncomfortable even leaving her home. She has many gay friends and family members as I do; we both would feel safer back in California.

    Will our culture ever grow into anything resembling equality in our lifetime? My wife is Jewish and has no feelings of being different from our neighbors but we started out in New York where the more liberal culture fit us better than Arizona. My grandson is in college here so we set up our home in the area. But, where can we go? Where in America is there true freedom for all kinds of Americans? Many of us here feel we are fish out of water and can sympathize with Newt’s sister.

    How dare these Johnny-come-lately members of the religious right take over the Republican Party and try to drive their prohibitions on the rest of us? Hell, I’m not gay but I am insulted by these people. I keep hearing they are in the majority and I had better get used to them.

    I may need your therapy if this doesn’t fix itself under new White House management. Thank you for your sensitive response.


  6. Malcolm, did you read the letter from Newt Gingrich’s lesbian sister? HERE

    I posted the following under your first column but we might as well continue the discussion here:

    It saddens me to keep hearing from friends who tell me the racist things that are being said to them about Obama. I related some of these anecdotes in my previous column about Massachusetts having a pink steak in it, but I just heard a new one just today apropos of what you wrote.

    A friend of mine who I can’t describe too much as he’s quite well known in our community, suffice to say he is identified with a Christian group, told me he was talking to two men he knew who brought up the election.

    One said that he couldn’t see Hillary Clinton as secretary of state because she was a woman and Arabs wouldn’t take her seriously, to which the other added “and Obama will probably have the Harlem Globe Trotters living at the White House.

    Does it strike the haters as wrong that anyone can drive through any state with an American flag or support our troops sticker on their car without a care in the world, but that people like our friends who just drove to California and back felt, with justification, that it would be safer to take their Obama stick off their car?

    As a therapist I assured them they weren’t being “paranoid” to worry about vandalism, on the road harrassment, and even the police targeting them for bogus infractions in some areas of the country.

  7. Shelley, I copied and posted this comment up the page as a reply to Malcolm’s comment, to which you refer. I also added my own post related to what you wrote.

    Everyone, it’s your choice whether to use reply when you comment to a specific post or not. If you click reply a new comment text box will open and your post will be indented under the comment you are responding to. When someone clicks “comments” on the front page their browser should take them directly to your post.

    You don’t have to bother with this if you are the first to comment under a post since your message will appear there and everyone will easily be able to read what you’re referring to. In this instance, not a big deal, but they’d have to look all the way up the page to find Malcolm’s comment.

    (I usually put purely adminstrative messages on in various colors to suit my mood.)

  8. Shelly, let me say that my emails come from the religious groups that have played around on the Conservative forums and were all involved in the prohibitions of abortions and gay marriages. Their main complaint of Senator Obama was his liberal social agenda. They went out of their way to slander his eligibility to be an American citizen. They all claim to have proof that he is a Muslim. Have you read the junk that comes out of the religious sites? They despise his black skin and consider him an uppity slave.

    I have come to the conclusion that this group of religious right complainers want a verified Christian Nation and no others allowed to be citizens. Yes, they even want a litmus test to be part of the immigration laws. This is the new attitude of the Republican Party. There will be another civil war unless these people are not slapped down by their own ministers.

    Europe went through this and the Muslims and the Jews were thrown out. America is headed for this same attitude and it is wrong, immoral and illegal! This is what President Bush 43 brought with him and the religious zealots were told Reagan started this action and that is not true. These zealots don’t have a clue of what is true or slander and they will never stop until America is a certified American Nation.

    I am too old to move to a free nation, even if there was one and my ancestors fled Britian for their freedoms to be what they wanted….The family was split between Catholics and Prostestants and they settled in different parts of the new world. Within 230 years the zealots are trying again and I resent it because they do not play by the rules. This notion of a Christian government has turned our government into a host of liars, users, abusers and men and women so corrupt that it is embarrassing to travel abroad these days.


  9. Malcom, I don’t agree that these emails all come from Christian groups, but they do contain a ‘holier than thou’ attitude that is held by anyone who chooses to forward this garbage. I’m a follower of Jesus who will never identify with the religious right, as I feel they espouse ideas that are completely contrary to biblical teaching. I’ve received emails like this one, and worse, including racist jokes about Obama from some of my church friends. It makes me sick, and I have no problems letting them know that their emails are definitely not what Jesus would do!

    Giving money and power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

  10. Hal, I just got another one of these mass emails on a different subject. It was ANOTHER OLD hate filled email that has now been recirculated. What I really hate is how they take honest information and turn it into something hateful, disgusting and just plain dishonest.

    But the worst part is that they broadcast your email address to hundreds of complete strangers.

    Most people don’t realize that this is how spammers get email addresses.

    Then when you attempt to enlighten them and politely ask them to use the BCC when they send you this garbage (I don’t use garbage in my replies), they get all upset like you said something mean and hateful. And it doesn’t matter how politely you ask them to use the BCC instead of the TO. They still take it personally.

    Well, I get up to 1000 pieces of spam a day. I don’t need people broadcasting my email address on hateful hoax emails that go on and on and on.

    So people, PLEASE, HELP STOP SPAM by using the BCC line for your email addresses instead to the TO line when you send out multiple emails. It works just the same. It’s a good thing for everyone because the only people that like spam are the spammers who make a lot of money on junk emails.

  11. One of the reasons I enjoy the comments section so much is that you stimulate me to figure out exactly what some quotes mean which are offered up by those of you who are more literate than I am.

    In this instance the context shows that the famous quote O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two! is exactly right on. I’d expect none less from Flapsdaddle.

    Falstaff – Nay, that’s past praying for: I have peppered two of them; two I am sure I have paid, two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knowest my old ward; here I lay and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me—

    Prince Henry – What, four? thou saidst but two even now.

    Falstaff – Four, Hal; I told thee four.

    Poins – Ay, ay, he said four.

    Falstaff – These four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at me. I made me no more ado but took all their seven points in my target, thus.
    Prince Henry – Seven? why, there were but four even now.

    Falstaff – In buckram?

    Poins – Ay, four, in buckram suits.

    Falstaff – Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.
    Prince Henry – Prithee, let him alone; we shall have more anon.

    Falstaff – Dost thou hear me, Hal?

    Prince Henry – Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

    Falstaff – Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in buckram that I told thee of—

    Prince Henry – So, two more already.

    Falstaff – Their points being broken,—

    Poins – Down fell their hose.

    Falstaff – Began to give me ground: but I followed me close, came in foot and hand; and with a thought seven of the eleven I paid.

    Prince Henry – O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

    Falstaff – But, as the devil would have it, three misbegotten knaves in Kendal green came at my back and let drive at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand

    Prince Henry – These lies are like their father that begets them; gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson, obscene, grease tallow-catch,—

    Be great if we could say that last line of Prince Henry’s (please call him “Hal”) to all the Falstaffs of political lying and eggageration.

  12. I’m not sure who’s lower on a Montana Christian Republican’s list: Native Americans, Muslims (any and all) or Democrats. I think blacks and Jews are catching up quickly. I guess they’re just too stupid to know who to hate the most.

Comments are closed.