Monday, April 12, 2004

Sick joke (Updated 4/12) 

If you're arriving here from one of the blogs or discussion boards that has linked to this post, there is much more where this came from. Please see my posts from 4/14, 4/15, 4/15 again, 4/20, 4/22, and 4/23.

(4/12 UPDATE: An interesting development in the story... The Corps is investigating. Or at least that's what the Marine Corps Times, a private, nonofficial publication says. It's apparently an old picture, based on the uniform--read below for an explanation--but if the sign turns out to be real, LCPL Boudreaux needs to become PVT Boudreaux, spend a couple of months cleaning latrines, and then get a Bad Conduct Discharge. There is nothing in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that addresses such an act as posing with foreign nationals and an insulting sign, but Article 134, the general article, is a nice catch-all.)

Body and Soul is up in arms over an obviously doctored photo, and says that the Pentagon needs to look into it immediately. The photo shows an American soldier with a couple of Iraqi boys, one holding a handwritten sign that says "Lcpl Boudreaux killed my dad then knocked up my sister!" What's more, Islam Online and CAIR are upset about it too.

There's only one small problem. Well, two.

First is the soldier's uniform. He's wearing the standard three-color desert camouflage utility (DCU) uniform worn by the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy forces in the Middle East. Which means he can't be a Lance Corporal--that's a Marine Corps rank only, and the Marines wear a different uniform with a digital camouflage pattern. Yet the handwritten sign identifies him as "Lcpl Boudreaux."

So, the guy in the picture can't be a "Lcpl" AND wear the three-color DCU.

Secondly, the Army sometimes writes rank abbreviations with only the first letter capitalized. A Marine would write his rank in all caps, as "LCPL Boudreaux," not "Lcpl Boudreaux."

Add it all up, and it convinces me that the picture is a fake. Whoever doctored the photo didn't know enough about the U.S. armed forces to make the doctoring job believeable to anyone with a clue.

UPDATE: I just keep thinking of more details. Marine Corps headgear has the eagle-globe-and-anchor emblem centered on the front. This man has no such markings on his hat.

MORE (4/7): Apparently the whole Lcpl Boudreaux thing is being talked about, because a whole lot of people arrived here today searching for it. They're also arriving from this discussion, where yours truly was quoted. One respondent says:

Jesus, have you ever seen the sun? It's obvious it's a fake, even to people who don't necessarily know all that horse shit trivia.
Well, it's not obviously a fake, even to people who don't know all that "trivia," judging by the amount of discussion the photo has generated--and the angry response from Islam Online and CAIR, among others. A whole lot of people apparently think it's real, and that alone concerns me--that there are people out there who would, for even one moment, believe the picture to be real, is dumbfounding. I'm just doing my part to set the record straight. One person calls it "trivia," I call it factual evidence to support a conclusion. And if you happen to be coming from that link above, tell ".." that as of September 03 when I worked alongside a number of Marines in the Middle East, they all had the digital camouflage. This was at a base in a friendly country, and I'm sure the Marines there weren't first in line to get the new combat clothing.
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