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thedrifter
05-03-04, 06:32 AM
The Reliable Source

By Richard Leiby
Sunday, May 2, 2004; Page D03


Rangers Lead The Way in Exposing Author As a Fraud

In the Style section last summer we profiled a Los Angeles writer named Micah Ian Wright, who'd just published a shrill antiwar poster book called "You Back the Attack! We'll Bomb Who We Want!" In his book, he described himself as a veteran of combat, a former Army Ranger whose experiences during the 1989 invasion of Panama turned him into a peacenik. In interviews with The Post and other media, he played up that background.

Wright, it turns out, is a liar. He never served in the military -- and confessed that last week to his publisher, Seven Stories Press, after we insisted on evidence of his service. Pursuing a tip from real Rangers who'd never heard of Wright, we filed three Freedom of Information Act requests with separate Army commands -- and last month finally confirmed that Wright never served.

"I feel awful about it. It was a lie that just grew and grew and grew," Wright, 34, told us Friday. He said mounting combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, including that of Ranger Pat Tillman, compound his sense of remorse: "I plan to make a public apology on my Web site [www.micahwright.com]."

Seven Stories has canceled publication of Wright's next book, "If You're Not a Terrorist, Then Stop Asking Questions," due out in two months. It also will remove from future printings of the first book his detailed and wholly fictional account of parachuting into Panama under fire during Operation Just Cause. Wright's book of satirically "remixed" World War II propaganda posters was a minor success, selling more than 20,000 copies. It carried endorsements from two WWII vets, novelist Kurt Vonnegut and historian Howard Zinn.

"The romance of his military background rang a bell with me and made me like him a lot," Vonnegut told us Friday. "You almost want to say, 'So what else is new?' Human beings are terrible liars. I still like what he did. He's a liar, but I still like his pictures."

Rich and Paul, Building Those Bridges

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz appeared side by side Thursday at a House appropriations hearing on budget needs for security in Iraq. In the ritual cordiality of congressional hearings, they called each other Rich and Paul, and betrayed no public hint of the enmity that swirled behind the scenes in the run-up to the war with Iraq, when Armitage and his boss, Colin Powell, opposed policies pushed by neocons such as Wolfowitz.

Asked about coordination of a budget matter between State and Defense, Armitage told the panel: "Paul and I speak just about every day. When it gets to our level, that's not where the problems are. We generally" -- he paused and chuckled -- "don't fight. So I don't think you'll have a big difference of opinion."

The panel heard no pungent opinions such as this one reported in Bob Woodward's new bestseller, "Plan of Attack":

"A newly appointed assistant secretary of state who worked for one of the conservative think tanks in Washington had come to see Armitage his first day on the job. 'I think with my contacts I'll really be able to fix the relationship and act as a bridge between Defense and State,' the new man said.

" 'You're on our team,' Armitage told him. '. . . You don't bridge [expletive]. I've known all those [expletives] for 30 years. You ain't bridging [expletive].' "

For the unredacted version, see Page 433.

SQUIBS

Gay partners won equal treatment at Washington's venerable Cosmos Club after a vote Saturday granted full "household privileges" to persons unrelated to a member but living in the same household. That means unmarried partners of members can visit the private club on their own, sign their own names and use reciprocal clubs -- privileges previously enjoyed only by heterosexual spouses.

Club member Don Beyer, the former lieutenant governor of Virginia, told us after the 146-to-17 vote: "We'll look back on it in a few years and wonder what the fuss was about." Now in its 126th year, the club is often described as a society for intellectuals; it voted to admit blacks in 1962 and women in 1988. "This is the last vestige of discrimination that's been overcome," said another member, who asked not to be identified.

"No comment," Joe Trippi said Saturday when asked whether he'd watch a TV talk show featuring Howard Dean, who ousted him as campaign manager and reportedly is pitching a show to Hollywood executives. Then he thought better of it and added with a devilish grin, "Of course I'll watch it." We caught up with Trippi as the schmooze-a-palooza known as the White House Correspondents' Association dinner got underway at a noon brunch at the home of Tammy Haddad, executive producer of MSNBC's "Hardball With Chris Matthews."

Partiers included Matt Drudge, who now makes his residence in glamorous South Beach, and ever-glam actress Morgan Fairchild, who also graced a book bash Friday evening for " John F. Kerry," the new Boston Globe bio. (Kerry and Fairchild were "linked" by gossip columnists after his 1988 divorce, the book says; he later confirmed they dated.)

An occasional feature revealing the secret lives of oft-quoted experts

Mo Rocca

Occupation: Cultural and political commentator (he calls himself a "fundit") on VH1, NBC's "Today" show and National Public Radio.

Born: Jan. 28, 1969, in Washington. Grew up in Bethesda on Jordan Road.

Marital status: Unmarried; "no U.S.-born children."

Childhood pet: None. That's why I've just finished writing a book, "All the Presidents' Pets," to compensate for my childhood lack of pets. It helps to fill the hole inside. Six years ago I had a cat named Kooky, now deceased.

Everyone calls me: "Garcon!"

Celebrity I most resemble: a combination of Anthony Perkins and Ralph Reed (of Christian Coalition fame, now the Bush campaign's southeastern chairman).

Most notable characteristic: Hyperextension. I bend in all directions. I'm going back into gymnastics training because I'd really like to be able to do a back flip.

People don't know I: Like visiting presidential grave sites. I'm really into the presidents that nobody else cares about, like Iowa's Herbert Hoover. Last week I finally got a picture of Franklin Pierce's headstone. It's a self-portrait.

In my bedroom you'll find: A gigantic bust of President Grover Cleveland. I live in a studio apartment so it can get kind of awkward in there.

Favorite quote: "Baghdad, this irresistible town!" From sultry Dolores Gray in the 1955 film version of the musical "Kismet." Sebastian Cabot overdoes it as the Wazir, but Howard Keel saves it as the Poet. If Paul Bremer had a voice like Keel's, the Iraqi people might not be so irritable.

Adult entertainment name (pet's name plus childhood street):Kooky Jordan. That's great! Sounds like a drag-porn performer!

With Anne Schroeder

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60119-2004May1.html


Ellie

MillRatUSMC
05-03-04, 07:21 AM
What a sorry form of a man, taking the honor and valor of others better than him.
He comes clean when the pressure got too heavy and he was exposed for the liar that he is.
Sorry for the grammar...

Semper Fidelis/Semper Fi
Ricardo