Senate Minority Leader Fooled by Report in Military Version of The Onion
Meet The Duffel Blog (Also on Facebook - G), if you haven’t already. A must-read for national-security nerds — and anyone who enjoys humor, really — it provides pitch-perfect military parody online, such as this piece about Syria hosting Iraq War reenactors (bylined by “G-Had”) or this one about a Google Street View Prius getting blown up in Kandahar. The Duffel Blog, as dutiful readers know, is America’s oldest online source for fake military news, founded in 1797 in a moment of farsightedness. It often gives more real talk than most legit journalistic institutions, but there is no way you can confuse it with the real news.I betcha Senator Judd won't be fooled that easy. Heh.
Unless you are a senior member of the United States Senate.
On November 14, 2012, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote to Elizabeth King, the Pentagon’s congressional liaison, with a an unusually credulous query. “I am writing on behalf of a constituent who has contacted me regarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits,” McConnell wrote in a letter acquired by Danger Room. “I would appreciate your review and response to my constituent’s concerns.”
Um, Guantanamo detainees getting GI Bill benefits? Yes, that’s from the Duffel Blog, as McConnell’s constituent clearly states, complete with the reference URL. Said constituent even notes that he or she can’t find any information about the alleged government payouts to suspected insurgents and terrorists.
The Defense Department does a lot of inexplicable things at Guantanamo Bay — there’s a resume-building workshop for detainees, for real — but paying detainees GI Bill benefits is not one of them. “The very idea that the U.S. government would extend GI Bill benefits to enemy detainees is a patent absurdity,” says Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, the Pentagon’s spokesman on all matters Guantanamo.
The Duffel Blog piece about the fake GI Bill benefits is not subtle. “By allowing the detainees to use the Department of Veterans Affairs, we hope to completely crush their souls with bureaucracy,” it quotes a fake Pentagon spokesman saying. There’s also a false quote from Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki: “Because most ‘guests’ at Guantanamo Bay have been there nearly a decade and there is no end in site for their ‘visit,’ the Department of Veterans Affairs is ready to have their claims processed in 12-15 years as per standard operating procedure.”
At the risk of explaining the joke, the Duffel Blog’s real objective is to send up the inadequate, mollasses-slow benefits the government provides to the nation’s veterans. In other news, Garfield ate all the lasagna and now Jon is really mad.