Sunday, May 01, 2005
Wanted: cannon fodder for overseas adventure. Dopers and dropouts welcome:
Last month the U.S. Army failed to meet its goal of 6,800 new troops.The Denver Army Recruiting Battalion has reportedly suspended the two recruiters who were caught in McSwane's video sting from duty. But despite the likely drop in Denver's numbers, the Pentagon is always looking for new ways to boost enlistment:
Aware of this trend, David McSwane, a local high school student, decided he wanted to find out to what extent some recruiters would go to sign up soldiers who were not up to grade.
McSwane, 17, is actually just the kind of teenager the military would like. He's a high school journalist and honor student at Arvada West High School. But McSwane decided he wanted to see "how far the Army would go during a war to get one more solider."
McSwane contacted his local army recruiting office in Golden with a scenario he created. He told a recruiter that he was a dropout and didn't have a high school diploma.
"No problem," the recruiter explained. He suggested that McSwane create a fake diploma from a non-existent school.
McSwane recorded the recruiter saying that on the phone.
"It can be like Faith Hill Baptist School or something -- whatever you choose," the recruiter said.
As instructed, McSwane went on the computer to a Web site and for $200 arranged to have a phony diploma created that certified him as a graduate of Faith Hill Baptist High School, the very name the recruiter suggested. It came complete with a fake grade transcript . . . .
"I have a problem with drugs," McSwane said, referring to the conversation he had with the recruiter. "I can't kick the habit ... just marijuana."
"[The recruiter] said 'Not a problem,' just take this detox ... he said he would pay half of it ... told me where to go."
A friend of McSwane shot videotape as [Sgt. Tim] Pickel drove McSwane to a store where he purchased the so-called detox kit.
After more than 40 years without an execution, the U.S. military could soon resume capital punishment as two death row inmates at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., are exhausting their final appeals and their cases move toward the Oval Office for a death warrant signed by the commander in chief.