Skip to comments.New Churchill Fraud Uncovered (Evidence suggests he appropriated another veteran's war experience)
Posted on 03/12/2005 12:09:09 PM PST by ajolympian2004
New Churchill Fraud Uncovered
Recently Found Evidence Suggests Ward Churchill Appropriated Another Veteran's Vietnam Experience
PirateBallerina is in possession of evidence that shows Ward Churchill appropriated the military experience of someone else and claimed it as his own. During a 1993 interview, Churchill gave supposed recollections of his actions and thoughts from his time in Vietnam that our evidence shows were in fact stolen from a quote by an anonymous soldier in an essay published a year earlier by a different author.
Here is the relevant portion of the original interview with Ward Churchill conducted by Jodi Rave in 1993 (a text version of the same interview can be found here). The underlined text in the interview below is Rave's questions; the plain text is Churchill's answers:
What is then, one of the most difficult moments or situation?
Waking up in the morning in what was called Indian Country in 1968 and finding out I was a member of the 7th Calvary (sic). Not literally, there was a 7th Calvary (sic).
In the morning in what they called Indian Country, this is what hostile territory is called in Viet Nam, yaa know, I figured I was a member of the Calvary (sic) and not the Indians.
That experience kind of changed my life.
In which way?
I decided to get on the right side, which isn't with the Calvary (sic), it wasn't with the United States. And just about everything I've done since then was drawn from that experience and all kinds of things have added on. But everything has been very, I can make sense of it, [i]t's been very consistent in that way.
Then, I'm always engaged, I never stop, I'm never unplugged.
This tale seems highly unlikely, since military records indicate Churchill was trained as a truck driver and projectionist in the Army in 1966-68, and there is no evidence that during his 11-month stay in Vietnam he saw battle at all.
But if Churchill did not have these experiences himself, where did he get the story he recounts? PirateBallerina has learned that Churchill lifted the tale of bravery and awakening in Vietnam from an anonymous account by a Native American veteran that was published a year earlier, in 1992. The following quote appears in Annette Jaimes' 1992 book The State of Native America, in a chapter contributed by University of Arizona Professor Tom Holm. During the 1980s, Holm collected Vietnam recollections from Native American veterans, and published various papers and books chapters based on these recollections. Here is the exact passage from Holm's chapter:
As the Creek-Cherokee veteran quoted earlier put it: "I went into the army and to Vietnam because Id seen the same John Wayne movies as everybody else and thought I was doing an honorable thing, that war was the Indian Way. And, of course, the government was saying at the time that we had this treaty-the SEATO treaty-to uphold. So I went... But when I got to Vietnam, I found that my job was to run missions into what everybody called "Indian country." Thats what they called enemy territory... I woke up one morning fairly early in my tour and realized that instead of being a warrior like Crazy Horse, I was a scout used by the army to track him down. I was on the wrong side of everything I wanted to believe I was about... And then I found out the SEATO treaty never even required the United States to do what it was doing in Southeast Asia. It was all a total lie. Besides, by then Id figured out that even if it did, it didnt matter. Why was I fighting to uphold a U.S. treaty commitment half-way around the world when the United States was violating its treaty commitments to my own people and about 3001. other Indian nations?... I was fighting the wrong people, pure and simple, and Ive never gotten over it." [emphasis ours]
We know for sure that Ward Churchill saw this quote, for three reasons:
One, Ward Churchill was himself a contributor to the same book, and he surely obtained a copy at the time of its publication;
Two, The book's editor, Annette Jaimes, is a former wife of Churchill, and they worked on numerous projects together before, during and after their marriage; and
Three, Tom Holm has confirmed in private correspondence with PB that Churchill was in fact instrumental in getting Holm's chapter into the book, and had read it even before publication.
So there is little doubt that, at least a year before the Rave interview (and given publishing lead-times, probably closer to two years), Churchill had seen and was familiar with the quote given by the anonymous veteran.
A point-by-point comparison between the original quote and Churchill's later interview with Rave shows that he is almost certainly simply trying to repeat the same quote but got it a bit jumbled as he tried to remember it. But many specific details are the same:
Rave Interview: "[...]Waking up in the morning in what was called Indian Country[...]"
Holm Excerpt: "[...]run missions into what everybody called "Indian country." Thats what they called enemy territory... I woke up one morning[...]"
Rave Interview: "[...]I figured I was a member of the Calvary (sic) and not the Indians.[...]"
Holm Excerpt: "[...]and realized that instead of being a warrior like Crazy Horse, I was a scout used by the army to track him down.[...]"
Rave Interview: "[...]I decided to get on the right side, which isn't with the Calvary (sic), it wasn't with the United States.[...]"
Holm Excerpt: "[...]I was fighting the wrong people, pure and simple, and Ive never gotten over it."[...]"
Adding to this strange "coincidence" is the fact that three years after the Rave interview, in 1996, Tom Holm expanded that chapter into a book, which he published as Strong Hearts, Wounded Souls, Native American Veterans of the Vietnam War, and that Ward Churchill reviewed the book the following year (1997) in Z Magazine. In Churchill's review, he makes the bizarre blunder of citing and quoting from the exact same anonymous veteran's quote - perhaps temporarily forgetting that he had himself appropriated that veteran's identity as his own in an earlier interview.
There's only one possible way that Churchill could attempt to explain away the identity theft and fraud represented by this evidence, and that is for him to claim that he himself was in fact the anonymous veteran who had given the original quote to Tom Holm.
But if Churchill were the "anonymous" writer in Holm's chapter of The State of Native America (and later, Strong Hearts), then he was lying about "running missions into 'Indian country' since his military records indicate he was trained as a truck driver and projectionist (hardly primary skills for someone "running missions into 'Indian country'"). One can only assume that since he's lied about his heritage, his art, his employment, and his military service, he'd have no qualms about lying in an anonymous correspondence with Holm. (Incidentally, the fact that Churchill later quoted the same veteran in his 1997 book review and failed to note that he was in fact that veteran and was quoting himself strongly suggests that Churchill was not that anonymous soldier; it seems unlikely that, given Churchill's oft-demonstrated love for the theatrical, he would have been able to resist the dramatic revelation: "I know what this young man felt, for I was that young man, and I wrote those words.")
On the other hand, if he is not the quoted veteran, then Churchill has clearly stolen the experience and memories of the anonymous soldier to enhance his own back-story.
So, is Churchill padding his military history with a reminiscence he lifted from someone else? Or is he engaging in a bit of self-referential whimsy that is itself based on a lie he told a fellow author under cover of anonymity?
In either case, Churchill has shown his utter inability to tell the unvarnished truth. Like a black pearl, once his accreted layers of lies and fraud is chipped away, what is left?
One more piece of business: We challenge Ward Churchill to come forward and either confirm that he was the "anonymous soldier" or admit that he appropriated the soldier's story.
[this article was prepared by jwpaine and zombie]
1. In a 1995 interview with WBAI radio, Churchill reprised his story: "Well in 1969, after I came out of the army, I was a draftee and sent to Vietnam. I came back from that a little bit irritated of the posture of my government. I'm also an American Indian and I was sent to Southeast Asia to uphold a treaty which did not require that I be there. I considered it a fact before I even left there that while I was over there doing that, the United States was in the process of standing in complete violation of 371 odd treaties that were on record with my people or related peoples right here in North America. If we're going to be busy enforcing treaties, it ought to be home, not over there." Note Churchill's reference to "371 odd treaties" which corresponds to the anonymous soldier's "[...]violating its treaty commitments to my own people and about 300 other Indian nations[...]"
If the school paysoff Churchill, I hope somebody sues THEM. They have more than enough right to outright fire the guy.
I am just not surprised for some reason....
Ward Churchill, the gift that just keeps giving...
It is amazing how much this has divided the American Indian community. I've seen long time friends get into fist fights over this character recently, and his unmasking has created a resergence of folks who openly claim to be conservatives in Indian Country, something that would have been an act of political suicide ten years ago.
Thank you, Ward, for being an idiot..
BTW, good article thanks.
Is there anything about this man that isn't fraudulent?
Unfortunately, we now live in a country where the American people did not respond by demanding that either Maher or HBO are going out of business.
"If the school paysoff Churchill, I hope somebody sues THEM. They have more than enough right to outright fire the guy"
I'm sure the alumns aren't happy that 500k of their donations might go to this Fraud. I hope Colorado folds because of it. Serves them right.
I sure feel sorry for poor Winston.
"Is there anything about this man that isn't fraudulent?"
On the LGF thread I said something like "Geez, at this point, I'm not even sure his name is really 'Churchill'"
Apparently his real name is "Ward Debo" or "Bedo" or something.
Anyway, someone living in that area please make sure the local papers get this latest (sigh) bit of disgrace-- if they pay this jerk off they deserve to be fired too.
only 10% of the military in vietnam saw combat. the rest were administrative, intelligence, support, etc.
among the combat veterans there's an acute awareness of who was and who was not there.
I heard on one of the local radio stations that if Churchill is fired, he will sue - and he has some lawyers willing to defend his First Amendment rights (what a misnomer!) who have reputations as very dirty and very successful lawyers.
Just when ya' think it can't get any worse....
from the esteemed and tenured educator .....
I tend to agree that paying him off is absolutely wrong, but by getting rid of they deprive him of what he craves the most. A forum to spew his anti-American nonsense. It's almost worth it from their standpoint. They're taking away his platform inside the classroom.
However, I'd still like them to go after him legally and proof what a fraud he is in a VERY PUBLIC way. THAT would serve as a warning to all of the other liberal college professors in the country who are using public funds to pervert and subvert our nation's young people under the guise of "education".
Keep an eye out for whether they pick up on this story and go with it. I asked them to credit FreeRepublic, since I only was able to send this to them because you posted it up for all of us.
I sent this to the local Rocky Mountain News as well, but the credit goes to Pirate Ballerina at:
She has just about the best site on the internet re: Ward Churchill
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