Posted by Curt on 6 November, 2015 at 9:57 am. 5 comments already!




Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission….

“Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit,” campaign manager Barry Bennett wrote in an email to POLITICO. “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,” Bennett went on. “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.”

My problem with this Politico piece is that they’re trying to claim he’s lying, even though they can’t prove he’s lying, per the terms of the, let’s say clarification, to the story he’s making now. He’s saying he wasn’t officially offered a scholarship; he’s saying that Westmoreland told him that based upon grades and performance, he’s get a full scholarship, so he took that to mean “offered a full scholarship.”

Politico tries further in the article to say he’s lying but they have nothing to back that up — they have someone saying “Westmoreland couldn’t guarantee acceptance, and would have to explain the whole application process.”

Okay — so? Politico is trying to say “And of course it’s very unlikely he did that,” but why is that unlikely?

Anyway, Carson’s “offered a scholarship” claim appears to be misreporting of what happened, but, assuming that he’s telling the truth about the rest of it (which is only an assumption), I don’t see a big deal here. If Westmoreland told me “with your grades and ROTC performance, you’d get a full ride at West Point,” I would in fact tell that story as “I was offered a full ride at West Point.”

Well, maybe I wouldn’t, actually. I think I’d actually say I was told I could get a full ride at West Point by General Westmoreland.

Still, I can see telling it the other way, in shorthand. (For example, if this was two sentences in a book — I can see the events being collapsed and streamlined into the bullet point.)

I mean, I didn’t know he had good grades (I didn’t think about it much). I also had no idea that he was ROTC.

So… I’m kind of learning new positive information here. He was ROTC, he was therefore in a leadership position, and kinda-sorta in the military. (Kinda-sorta.)

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