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Illustration for article titled Big Fat Fabulist Ben Carsons West Point Story Is Bogus

Republican presidential candidate and hip-hop impresario Ben Carson is full of beans. Possibly he is as much as 82-percent beans! His tales of youthful violence keep changing, his Mannatech disavowal was bogus on its face, and now his story of receiving a full scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point has been revealed as a fabrication.

The campaign acknowledged this to Politico, after being confronted with reporting that contradicted the story as Carson told it in his 1992 autobiography, Gifted Hands—a story he failed to correct as it burnished his reputation for more than 20 years.


Here’s what he wrote in the 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.

Impressive! Alas, turns out, the reason Ben Carson didn’t accept West Point’s scholarship offer is because no such offer ever existed. That’s according to West Point, which, unlike Ben Carson, has not in the past few weeks been busted for, uh, rearranging the truth at least a couple times to suit its purposes.

But did he at least meet Gen. Westmoreland at the Memorial Day parade? Not unless William Westmoreland was a fucking wizard! Take it away, Politico:

But, according to records of Westmoreland’s schedule that were provided by the U.S. Army, the general did not visit Detroit around Memorial Day in 1969 or have dinner with Carson. In fact, the general’s records suggest he was in Washington that day and played tennis at 6:45 p.m.



Politico reports that, while Westmoreland almost certainly was not at the Memorial Day parade described in Carson’s book, he was in Detroit for a banquet in February of 1969, to honor a Medal of Honor winner. Maybe Ben Carson was at that? Maybe he met the general at that? It’s possible!


Look, we know that Ben Carson, William Westmoreland, Detroit, and West Point all co-existed for many years. And all of those years had Memorial Days. Beyond that, it’s just details, man. I mean, when you step back and look at the bigger picture, hasn’t William Westmoreland met all of us in Detroit on Memorial Day to tell us that we could get into West Point, no problemo? No? Well, now who’s being a “big fat liar,” huh? Oh. Still Ben Carson.

Here’s the campaign’s response, according to Politico, and annotated to reflect the proper attitude toward pretty much any information Ben Carson causes to be sent out into the world about himself at this point:

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


Oh for sure man. I bet he made it with all the hot babes, too!

“In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet.”


He also believes the fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and that the Egyptian pyramids are abandoned grain silos. People believe all types of crazy shit.

“He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer.”


Gen. Westmoreland: “How many of the hot babes have you made it with today, son?”

Ben Carson: “Sir, all of them, sir.”

Gen. Westmoreland: [Salutes.]

“He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors,” Bennett went on.


Supervisor: “Hey, Ben, I’d like you to meet my cousin, Ted. He’s in town from New York.”

Ben Carson: “Oh, whereabouts in New York, Ted?”

Ted: “Goshen.”

Ben Carson: “Isn’t that in the same county as the military academy?”

Ted: “Yep.”

Ben Carson: “Y’know, I made it with a hot babe from New York one time. She lives in Niagara Falls.”

“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.”


Yeah, I don’t believe that part at all.

I look forward to Ben Carson’s campaign manager eventually being forced to clarify that actually, Ben Carson is a large burlap sack of beans that just resembles a man from where we’re standing.



Top photo via AP

Contact the author at or on Twitter @albertburneko.

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