Dr. Carson’s campaign is now saying Politico lied. They say they never talked to Politico and that that Carson got a verbal offer from West Point recruiters, but he decided not to apply. To be honest..I am not sure who is telling the truth.
Carson didn’t say “I was told that If I applied I would get in easily” he said he was offered a scholarship. Forgetting for a moment that all US citizens get a full scholarship…getting into West Point is a two step process, you need to be accepted by the school and you need to get appointed by a political hack, from that standpoint it would be difficult for a recruiter to guarantee admittance.
I also find it hard to believe that a recruiter, a military officer would ignore the chain of command and go rogue by guaranteeing a full scholarship outside the normal process. Another thing to consider is that entrance to West Point is never offered as a scholarship—because the student is required to serve in the military after graduation, it is offered as a “service contract.”
In the end to be honest, I am not sure who to believe–both sides seam like they are full of it right now….since I already posted this hours ago, I will leave it up…and let you decide, and will update with a new post when either side can be proven.
So read the below understanding that Dr. Carson may have lied, Politico may have lied or both sides may be embellishing the truth. When it all sorts out, I will post the truth.
In an interview with The New York Times on Friday, Mr. Carson said: “I don’t remember all the specific details. Because I had done so extraordinarily well you know I was told that someone like me – they could get a scholarship to West Point. But I made it clear I was going to pursue a career in medicine.”
“It was, you know, an informal ‘with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.’”
In other words he was never offered a scholarship. This is his exact words
- Gifted Hands,’ 1990 book: ‘At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, We had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point.
‘I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going. As overjoyed as I felt to be offered such a scholarship, I wasn’t really tempted. The scholarship would have obligated me to spend four years in military service after I finished college, precluding my chances to go on to medical school. … Of course the offer of a full scholarship flattered me.’
- You Have a Brain,’ January 2015 book ‘[I] represented the Junior ROTC at a dinner for Congressional Medal of Honor winners, marched at the front of Detroit’s Memorial Day parade as head of an ROTC contingent, and was offered a full scholarship to West Point.‘
- Facebook Post-August 13, 2015 ‘The next question is from Bill. He wanted to know if it was true that I was offered a slot at West Point after high school. ‘Bill, that is true. I was the highest student ROTC member in Detroit and was thrilled to get an offer from West Point. But I knew medicine is what I wanted to do. So I applied to only one school. (it was all the money I had). I applied to Yale and thank God they accepted me. I often wonder what might have happened had they said no.’
- The Charlie Rose Show, October 9, 2015 ‘I was offered a full scholarship to West Point, got to meet General Westmoreland and go to Congressional Medal of Honor dinners. But decided really my pathway would be medicine.’
Whether or not he lied I will leave it up to you the reader…but IMHO at the very least it was an embellishment.
Ben Carson’s campaign admitted to Politico today that part of his storied biography, his application and acceptance to West Point was a fraud. According to Carson’s biography “Gifted Hands,” as a 17-year-old he met and dined with Gen. William Westmoreland who had just returned to the country from the Vietnam War as a who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam soon after that meal Carson had claimed he was offered a “full scholarship” to the military academy (note all acceptances to West Point for American citizens are full scholarships).
However West Point has no record of Dr. Carson even applying to the military academy.
“In 1969, those who would have completed the entire process would have received their acceptance letters from the Army Adjutant General,” said Theresa Brinkerhoff, a spokeswoman for the academy. She said West Point has no records that indicate Carson even began the application process. “If he chose to pursue (the application process) then we would have records indicating such,” she said.
When presented with this evidence, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false. “Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit,” campaign manager Barry Bennett wrote in an email to Poltico. “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.”
This calls into question some of his other biographical story which CNN has been investigating, such as hitting his mother with a hammer and stabbing someone –all before he reformed himself. CNN has been trying an unable to verify those incidents.
At the core of his narrative of spiritual redemption are his acts of violence as an angry young man — stabbing, rock throwing, brick hurling and baseball bat beating — that preceded Carson’s sudden transformation into the composed figure who stands before voters today.
In his 1990 autobiography, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” Carson describes those acts as flowing from an uncontrollable “pathological temper.” The violent episodes he has detailed in his book, in public statements and in interviews, include punching a classmate in the face with his hand wrapped around a lock, leaving a bloody three-inch gash in the boy’s forehead; attempting to attack his own mother with a hammer following an argument over clothes; hurling a large rock at a boy, which broke the youth’s glasses and smashed his nose; and, finally, thrusting a knife at the belly of his friend with such force that the blade snapped when it luckily struck a belt buckle covered by the boy’s clothes.
“I was trying to kill somebody,” Carson said, describing the incident — which he has said occurred at age 14 in ninth grade — during a September forum at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
But nine friends, classmates and neighbors who grew up with Carson told CNN they have no memory of the anger or violence the candidate has described.
Dr. Ben Carson has a very impressive resume, born into poverty in Detroit he was able to graduate Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School, as a surgeon he separated conjoined twins and developed a technique for controlling brain seizures. Carson is the author of numerous books on his medical career and political stances, and was the subject of a television drama series about his life story in 2009–there is absolutely no reason why he had to lie at least about West Point, and perhaps some of his other biographical information.
It would almost be understandable if Carson wasn’t a medical superstar and invented a resume—the fact that he lied about something so insignificant may expose some flaw in his personality, and makes one wonder what else he is lying about.
Carson’s biography is beginning to read like a Shakespearian tragedy. And the saddest part of the entire thing is he is such a medical superstar, and he seems like such a good person. This is going to hurt him, and even worse it may unleash an avalanche.