Editor's Blog

Sam Diener, editor of Peacework Magazine, muses on global thought and local action. He will also highlight the online musings of the authors of Peacework Magazine. Please read the guidelines of Peacework's blogs and forums to participate in the discussion.

This post repeats the content of the list at http://www.peaceworkmagazine.org/blog/military-recruiting-abuses-... but with the youtube videos embedded in this page.

Military recruiters have a quota, or what they call a "mission," specifying how many people they're expected to enlist each month. When they don't reach their quotas, they're often pressured intensely, ordered to work overtime, and threatened with career-ending consequences. Not all recruiters lie, but lies by military recruiters aren't the exception, they're common. ABC in New York, for example, sent hidden cameras into recruiting stations in 2006 and found 5 of 10 recruiters they taped lied on camera (see item 10). After all, how many recruiters could provide full disclosure about the horrors of war, the psychologically devastating costs of killing, or the nature of military life (How would you like to get ordered around 24-7?), and still meet their quota? I hope this helps explain some of the the motives of the military recruiters caught on tape lying below.

These abuses also aren't new. There was a Beard Commission report which documented widespread military recruiter abuses back in the late 1970s. Every time the corporate media, the GAO, or Congress does another perfunctory investigation, for decades the Pentagon has repeated the same lies: you found a few rotten apples, we're investigating abuses, we're implementing new policies designed to root out abuses. But the system of pressuring military recruiters to make "mission" continues.

Even when military recruiters don't overtly lie, I still oppose both the specific wars they're recruiting for and object to organizing people to kill other people on principle. One fact only a very rare recruiter mentions before they have the recruits' signature on the enlistment papers: once a person takes the oath at the Military Entrance Processing Station on the day they ship off to boot-camp, the military's a job that is illegal to quit - and it can be very difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to obtain a discharge.

When people in the military who are now in crisis call me [I volunteer with the GI Rights Hotline (www.girightshotline.org, 877-447-4487)] and tell me about the lies their recruiter told them in order to induce them to sign up, or to illegally coerce them to go to basic training even though they had second thoughts while in the Delayed Entry Program (see items #2 and #15, for example), I'm reminded of the costs, in sheer human misery, of both military recruiting abuses specifically and preparing for and fighting wars in general.

List compiled by Sam Diener, Peacework Magazine (www.peaceworkmagazine.org) Co-Editor, 2009-06.

Please help us add to this list by pointing to additional links in the comments.

1. David Martin, “Army Recruiter Used Scare Tactics - CBS News National,” CBS Evening News, July 28, 2008, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/28/eveningnews/main4301305....

2. “Army Recruiter: "Join the Army, or go to Jail!" - video,” Channel 11 news, January 29, 2009, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXx9nJzOCaU

Army Recruiter: "Join the Army, or go to Jail!"


3. “Army Recruiters Tell Applicant to Lie and Cheat - video,” December 5, 2006,

Army Recruiters Tell Applicant to Lie and Cheat

4. “Army Recruiting Investigation by WTVF - Video,” August 20, 2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuoMkuY3yAM.

Army Recruiting Investigation by WTVF

5. Mark Greenblatt, “Caught on tape: Army recruiters threaten high school students video,” KHOU Houston, Texas, July 29, 2008, http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou080728_tnt_armyrecruit....

6. “Hidden camera catches Army recruiter - Video,” February 16, 2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BFNKzmqHjs&feature=PlayList&p=458....

7. “Hidden Cameras Catch Army Recruiters In Bad Position - Video,” January 9, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbFPaknBOgQ&feature=related.

8. “Racist, Homophobic Military Recruiter Still Army Strong,” Channel 2 news, Jersey City, NJ, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyMf7wj8Hyk&feature=related.

9. “How Far Will Army Recruiters Go? - Video,” Denver CBS affiliate KCNC, May 2, 2005, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/05/02/eveningnews/main692497..... See also transcripts at “Army Recruiters Face Investigation, Caught On Tape: Recruiters Seemingly Helping 'Prospect' Lie - transcript,” CBS Early Show, May 2, 2005, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/05/02/earlyshow/main692361.sh..., and “How Far Will Army Recruiters Go?” Denver CBS affiliate KCNC, May 2, 2005, http://www.quakerhouse.org/Recruiter-Abuses-07.htm.

10. “Military Recruitment Abuses Uncovered NY WABC Undercover Investigation of 10 Recruiters - at least 5 Lied video,” November 3, 2006, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZntDHh_lTk&feature=related. (Text article about this video is at: “Army Recruiters Accused of Misleading Students to Get Them to Enlist - report on Military Recruitment Abuses Uncovered NY WABC Undercover Investigation of 10 Recruiters - at least 5 Lied,” November 3, 2006, http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=2626032.

11. “Recruiter Abuses transcript,” Atlanta Fox TV WAGA, November 8, 1999, http://quakerhouse.org/Recruiter-Abuses-06.htm.

12. “Recruiter Caught Lying - video,” Channel 5 Brownsville, TX, September 14, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQj4MMXmrXg&feature=related.

13. Michael Moore, “Recruiters Lie to Kids at Malls to Fill Quotas - Video,” www.michaelmoore.com, February 20, 2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQDAxoXjOGw&feature=PlayList&p=99C....

14. Jackie McLean, “Recruiters Lie: Video Fox 9 Minneapolis,” Fox 9 Twin Cities, May 13, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcSf_Ygp-BU.

15a. “Army Recruiter threatens student with Jail-1/5 video,” Democracy Now, August 7, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RgQYDQIT3o&feature=related.

15b. “Army Recruiter threatens student with Jail-2/5 - video,” Democracy Now, August 7, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwUQyfzzbMA&feature=related.

15c. “Army Recruiter threatens student with Jail-3/5 - video,” Democracy Now, August 7, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xExuW67n3WQ&feature=related.

15d. “Army Recruiter threatens student with Jail-4/5 - video,” Democracy Now, August 7, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W24WxrDMxvE&feature=related.

15e. “Army Recruiter threatens student with Jail-5/5 - video,” Democracy Now, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBiOnvkt4PE&NR=1.

16. "Recruiter Sex (sic) Scandal" (A report on military recruiters raping potential enlistees). CNN, September 30, 2006, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q1RNPk06cI&feature=PlayList&p=1F0...

17. “Recruiter-Abuses - A collection of links to articles,” Quaker House NC, http://quakerhouse.org/Recruiter-Abuses-Intro.htm.

Please help us add to this list by pointing to additional links in the comments.