Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Uncle Sam Wants You...To Quit Bogarting The Doritos

So it now seems most people believe Bush lied to us about the need to invade Iraq. A politician lying to get something he wants? And you're just figuring that out? Folks, have you been paying attention at all?

Well, don't feel too bad. If the Pentagon can get scammed by a high school kid, you could fall victim to president bamboozle.

David McSwane, a senior on the newspaper at Arvada West High School in Colorado posed as a high school dropout with a marijuana habit and went down to his local Army recruitment station to enlist.

"I acted like I was stoned," McSwane said. "I said I'd heard drugs were free in the Army. I figured they'd throw me out."

Instead the recruiting officer pulled a bag of Doritos out of his desk, offered some to the student and told him that he could score just about anything he wanted.

When asked about the recruiter's response, Michael D. Rochelle, Commander of Army Recruiting said that "munchies on hand were standard operating procedure. Most people who want to join are either drunk or high."

McSwane was sent to a local head shop to score a detoxifying kit the recruiter claimed had helped two previous recruits pass drug tests. The honor student told his recruiter he didn't know what the detox formula looked like, so the man agreed to go to the store with him.

"Again, SOP," said Commander Rochelle. "You'd be surprised how many recruits we pick up by hanging around head shops, bars, country and western concerts and professional wrestling matches."

Aside from his drug problem, McSwane said he had no high school diploma. No problem, the recruiters told him. There are web sites where anyone can order a diploma from a school they make up. "It can be like Faith Hill Baptist School or whatever you choose," one recruiter said. "Or you could just tell them you were home schooled."

"Look. If a person wants to join the Army, why should they be held back by technicalities," Rochelle said. "Besides, it's not like we're trying to recruit rocket scientists or anything. If you can walk and bend your index finger we want you."

"It's been kind of cool to see a reaction from the Pentagon on a story done in a high school paper," the teen reporter said. Within a few days the story had made national headlines, and the U.S. Army froze recruiting operations nationwide for a day. His two would-be recruiters were assigned to Alabama "where the kids aren't smarter than the recruiters," said Rochelle.

Rick Kaufman, a spokesman for Jefferson County Public Schools, said that after the initial report ran, "the principal was very clear with David that the articles could not go any further because that was the only way to get the tank off of school grounds."

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