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Did NBC News Anchor Brian Williams lie about Iraq incident?

Did NBC News Anchor Brian Williams lie about Iraq incident?

Facts are stubborn things

It certainly looks that way.

NBC News Anchor Brian Williams has long claimed he was on a helicopter forced down by RPG fire while reporting from Iraq in 2003.

An exclusive report in Stars and Stripes, a military publication, tells the story of Williams’ indiscretion. Williams was forced to recant when a soldier protested Williams’ rendition of the story.

As recently as Monday, Williams claimed, on national news, that he was under fire on a Chinook. Take a look:

It was during this commemoration that those involved in the incident stepped up to correct the record:

WASHINGTON — NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admitted Wednesday he was not aboard a helicopter hit and forced down by RPG fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a false claim that has been repeated by the network for years.

Williams himself repeated the claim Friday during NBC’s coverage of a public tribute at a New York Rangers hockey game for a retired soldier that had provided ground security for the grounded helicopters. In an interview with Stars and Stripes, he said he had misremembered the events and was sorry.

Misremembering; a luxury afforded only to high profile leftists and Roger Clemens.

“I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams said. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”

Williams made the claim while presenting NBC coverage of the tribute to the soldier who provided ground security for the parked Chinooks. It included footage of Williams accompanying a retired Army command sergeant major at the Rangers game and the stadium giving the soldier a standing ovation.

“The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG,” Williams said on the broadcast. “Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry.”

Williams and his NBC camera crew were actually aboard a Chinook in a formation that was about an hour behind the three helicopters that came under fire, according to crew member interviews.

Williams and his NBC camera crew were actually aboard a Chinook that took no fire but landed, according to Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, who was the flight engineer on the aircraft that carried the journalists.

“No, we never came under direct enemy fire to the aircraft,” Miller said Wednesday.

A seemingly busted contrite Brian Williams took to Facebook to make the following apology:

Comments Brian Williams

Except for one problem…

According to reports, Williams was an hour behind those under fire.

And Williams’ apology? It was in response to Lance Reynolds; one of the servicemen aboard the Chinook that was actually under fire.

Brian Williams Facebook Comment Thread

Williams has entered the elite company of Dan Rather, who ran with fabricated reports of President Bush’s military service, and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who “misspoke” about being under sniper fire in Bosnia.

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Yes, he lied. The science is settled.

Plus John Kerry and Richard Blumenthal.

I’ll bet Brian is taking a lot of flak for this.

But, surely it’s an honest mistake.

To be fair, I can’t remember if my last Korean Airlines flight to Tokyo was hit by a Russian missile or not.

In related news:

Vietnam war correspondent Al Gore has verified that Chris Hayes managed to land safely and is currently en route to this generation’s Edward R. Murrow Base.

On the heels of the huge success of “American Sniper,” Hollywood is said to be set to cast Brian Williams in next big-budget war movie.

Tentative title: Apocryphal Now.

Was Hillary on that flight?

In stunning development, Brian Williams now claiming he inadvertently confused himself with Vic Morrow.

Subotai Bahadur | February 4, 2015 at 8:58 pm

“Did NBC News Anchor Brian Williams lie about Iraq incident?”

Of course he did. He works for NBC news. The only thing more probative of his lying would be if he worked for MSNBC.

Henry Hawkins | February 4, 2015 at 9:11 pm

The gross hypocrisy is that he’s been knowingly telling this lie for 12 years in support of our combat troops. No, really. Stealing veterans’ honor as his own is how it’s done at NBC.

He’s to go sit next to Dan Rather on the retired liar bench.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 5, 2015 at 4:14 am

    It’s disgusting and evil, but not as bad as obola taking a photo op with troops he actually despises, especially when the troops are returning home in their caskets.

Brian Williams has always been a lying POS,

You right wing nutters.

Who among us hasn’t had his Edward R. Murrow and Vic Morrow memory synapses get all tangled up?

Let him be the one to fire the first RPG.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

I don’t believe any lefty about anything. Their standard operating procedure is too lie. Every once in a while one gets caught. But, they all lie every day. About everything.

“Did NBC News Anchor Brian Williams lie about Iraq incident?” Of course he did but he does it every night on his Nightly News show. He lies or omits the truth so often that one cannot tell when he is being truthful.It’s wonderful that he has been outed and has to grovel. We don’t get to see Demorats do that very often.

A kind of madness has infested the minds of millions of Americans. It’ll make a great topic for historians, but bodes poorly for the rest of us, who will have to struggle to survive the conflagration that is coming. By the time he leaves office, Obama will have left the nation and much of the world in pieces. And John Boehner and Hillary Clinton will probably both be dead of cirrhosis of the liver.

Meantime, let’s cut to the chase: Obama is a secret Iranian sympathizer – and Boehner and Clinton are drunks.

JackRussellTerrierist | February 5, 2015 at 4:17 am

Williams kind of makes Dan Rather look like a piker by comparison.

His non-pology was pathetic and insulting.

Using his own platform, in front of millions of viewers, to falsely claim that he had lied about this to “honor” the soldiers is just incredibly offensive.

He lied about this for years for the sole purpose of glorifying himself.

Remember this guy shortly into Obama’s first term describing how he and others at NBC were given memos by the (Bush) White House on what to say and were coerced to misreport the news? This guy isn’t just a liar but lives in a fantasy land.

I found this piece Williams wrote for Guideposts in google cache. Can’t find a date on it.
“History in the Making
Brian Williams shares his inspiring story of working hard and never giving up on his dream to work in broadcasting.”
My dad is a taciturn Calvin Coolidge-type, a frugal New Englander. A captain in World War II, he’d worked with the Army to help rehabilitate returning soldiers. Back in civilian life, he was in marketing and retailing. Even if he didn’t say much, he still gave us kids the feeling that we could do anything we put our minds to. I grew up knowing that the biggest risk you face in life is not risking anything at all.

Wonder what Mr. Williams would think of his little boy now?

    Ragspierre in reply to Kitty. | February 5, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Hell, I wonder if his dad was the mouthy buck private who dug latrines in Louisiana and went on to sell buggy whips door-to-door in Hollywood.

    How can you believe anything he says?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | February 5, 2015 at 10:21 am

When I first heard about this I thought it was possible, even rational, for Williams to believe his chopper got hit. I could imagine a scenario in which his chopper is forced down because another chopper got hit, and in the confusion he got the facts wrong and believed it was his chopper that got hit.

But after reading Lance Reynolds response to Williams in which Reynolds says he told him at the time in no uncertain terms that Williams chopper did not get hit, and now Williams agrees with Reynolds account, then there can be no benefit of the doubt.

This borders on sociopath-like behavior. He needs to see a shrink.

Williams: “I love the smell of flaming Arugula in the morning”.

Stephen Green @VodkaPundit

“Our helicopter made a hard landing in the Iraqi desert where I met my wife, Morgan Fairchild.” #BrianWilliamsMisremembe

It’s really too easy…

What Williams describes in his ‘apology’ is not a memory problem. A memory lapse is when you forget all or parts of an experience. However, Williams is ‘remembering’ events that never occurred. This is called confabulation, wherein imaginary experiences are recalled and verbalized as factual accounts and the person is unaware they are not true. Almost always, true cases of confabulation are caused by brain disorders, traumas, or dementia. There will be profound evidence of the underlying brain problem.

Unless Williams can establish a medical record of brain disorder, trauma, or dementia, we can safely call him a liar, for both the original made-up event and in the bullshit he offers in his ‘apology’. Just the first lie is enough to put him out of journalism and off the air.

The same media absolutely excoriates anyone else who steals the honor of people who have actually experienced combat, but I see another river of hypocrisy about to wash over American TV news.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 5, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Meant to add…. Sadly, we have become inured to the fact that political and media ‘leaders’ lie to us on a regular basis, so this story feels mundane even as you hear it. After a week or so of being unable to spin it, the network will fire Williams and by Easter we will have forgotten him and his lie – perhaps eclipsed by the next leader lie.

    No, what makes Brian Williams a total asshole is that he was lying to his own family as well. Wife, daughter, three siblings, nieces, nephews, parents…. all lied to, all worried needlessly about his safety while he bravely pursued his work. Despicable.

Of course Brian Williams lied. It’s a symptom of the MSM culture. Remember those “exploding” Chevy truck gas tanks back in ’92? All those journolists must be drinking the same water GE keeps dumping industrial chemicals into.

Midwest Rhino | February 5, 2015 at 1:48 pm

And Williams claims he saw a body floating by his hotel during Katrina … but there was no flooding in downtown New Orleans by his hotel.

He also claimed he was rescued from gangs in a stairway then, and is still friends with the cop that rescued him. Also very doubtful … looting happened in abandoned areas mostly, why would they go to a hotel with security? And most of those Superdome atrocity stories were debunked. (at about the 1:00 mark, you prosecutors, does he look like he’s lying? he does to me, knowing he’s lying)

and here is the map of actual flooding. Not sure which hotel BW was at, but downtown did not flood. The floating bodies were way out in New Orleans east … the surge came over the levees way to the east. Levees broke and water slowly came in the north parts of NOLA, not close to downtown, and I don’t think anyone drowned from that.

When Williams is forced to admit he did not see any body or even water flowing by his hotel window, he will surely have to resign?

From the same reliable news operation that also trusts the integrity of Al Sharpton.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to billdyszel. | February 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    One thing you can count on – if Al Sharpton holds anything of value, he got it by shaking somebody down. His own TV show on MSNBC is the price Comcast pays to prevent ‘race problems’ for the corporation. It’s identical to old Mafia protection rackets.

Death of a JournoList.