Cindy Williams Military Pay Article Gets New Life

Feb 15 2011

Published by at 12:07 pm under Current Events,Viral Email Fact Check


A new version of one of the most widely circulated military related emails in history has been given new life. As detailed in full here, the story about a service member’s response to an article written by Cindy Williams (not the actress) in which she decries 4.8% pay raise in 2000 has become part of the internet lore. But the newest version has one additional line that is sure to enrage a whole new group of people. And it is completely untrue.

The New Email Language

The original email can be found at the link above. The new iteration contains the following introduction:

If you get this more than once, feel honored that you know more than one person who supports our military and appreciates what they do. If you don’t forward it, you don’t deserve their sacrifice.
CINDY WILLIAMS was appointed by Obama as an Assistant Director for NATIONAL SECURITY in the Congressional Budget Office…..


The section in bold in the quotation is simply not true. There is no truth to President Obama appointing her, but she did serve with the CBO as an AD in the National Security Division. She served in that position from 1994 to 1997. Additionally, the Executive branch has no oversight for the staffing of the CBO. That responsibility lies with Congress.

Cindy Williams is currently continuing her role as the Principal Research Scientist of the Security Studies Program at MIT. Her bio can be found here (updated).

This isn’t the only email chain to be given new life recently with a simple alteration of the text. The almost-as-legendary ‘Jane Fonda Honored as Woman of the Century’ email, which dealt with Time magazine’s possibility of listing the scourge of Vietnam era veterans as one of the most influential women of the 20th century, is making the rounds again with a ‘Now Obama is going to honor her’ snippet added in, with references to Time taken out.

Fear of benefit and pay cuts for the military and their families is strong right now, which naturally lends itself to these types of resurgences. But changing the target of the hostility makes them no truer than when they were first issued. The Cindy Williams case shows how long a particularly emotion invoking article can stay in circulation. It also shows that the further down the road you get, the more distortions are likely to pop up.


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23 responses so far

23 Responses to “Cindy Williams Military Pay Article Gets New Life”

  1. Hakimon 15 Feb 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Retirement cuts and changes, tricare premium raises, all proposals at thus stage have me more worried than who said what or what position they hold or do not hold. Regardless whichever administration makes those cuts will be held responsible and under scrutiny by voters.

  2. Steveon 25 Dec 2011 at 2:14 am

    When I came home From Iraq I was diagnosed with PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (a medical term that simply means that as long as I live I WILL NEVER FORGET!) I was told that I am sick that I am not Right. Then I turned on the TV and I see Dick Durbin saying American soldiers are committing acts of torture at places like Abu Grab and Quantico because they had a Al Qaeda terrorist who saws civilians heads off with their hands tied behind their backs, Al Qaeda terrorist who place bombs on three year old children, Al Qaeda terrorist who came in our country when we were at peace and murdered over two thousand American civilians, and they had these terrorist standing on a bar stool with a dunce cap on their head and that’s Torture! Why in the hell didn’t he say a damned thing about Matt Maupin, Shoshana Johnson, Edgar Hernandez, James Riley, Patrick Miller, Joseph Hudson, Jacob N. Fritz, Jonathan B. Chism, Shawn P. Falter, Jonathon M. Millican, or any of the other American soldiers who have been captured during this war! Private Kristian Menchaca of Houston and Private Thomas Tucker of Oregon were captured by terrorists in Iraq , hacked to death, their eyes gouged, their bodies defiled. In fact it was the American soldiers who have died including all those who have been captured in this war (and I haven’t seen any enemy POW camps but I’ve seen a shit load of bodies that have been tortured to death by these scum that Dick Durbin is defending!) that give Dick Durbin the FREEDOM to call them nazis for putting some Al-Qaida dirt bag on a bar stool with pajamas and a dunce cap! I might have PTSD but I’m not the one who is sick it’s DICK DURBIN! Are you Really an AMERICAN DICK?!?! Or just another Communist who hates AMERICA ? Yah call me a nazi I take that as a compliment coming from a pro-faggot pinko communist like you! The nazis only murdered 6 million people compared to you communist who murdered over 200 million!
    On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed by Presedent John Fitzgerald Kennedy, with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank(WHICH IS PRIVATLY OWNED!) of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest.
    Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that only the Congress can print and coin money!
    The Federal Reserve Act was slipped thru congress with the majority of it’s members away on Christmas break.
    President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 and the United
    States Notes he had issued were immediately taken out of circulation!!!!!!
    AFTER HE SIGNED AN ORDER TELLING YOU TO STOP RIPPING US OFF LIKE THE LAZY BAGS OF SHIT THAT YOU ARE, AND WHERE YOU COULD SHOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Henry Brookson 12 Jun 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Hello Ms. Williams,

    I’m sure your pay is tripled that of an E-1 in the military, or even doubled that of a high rank E-7 to E-9 in the military. I would like to see if you or any of the politician could live off that, and still provide the basic need for your family.

  4. Joan Blanchardon 22 Jul 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I would like to say to Cindy Williams that she needs to get the military pay for just one year and see how it feels to raise a family on what they get food stamps and wic do help but it is still tough raising a family of 4 on what we get. The military man deserves a lot better for doing what he is called om to do.l Think you should be ashamed of your self. Joan

  5. A. Gabrielon 25 Jul 2012 at 8:21 am

    Ms. Wms. is an idiot, not to mention an obummer supporter–both garbage. . .

  6. Z. Fowleron 01 Aug 2012 at 9:37 am

    @ Hakim, a very measured response and I agree, there are some very difficult choices that need to be made. Not everyone is going to be happy and I feel the national divide is only going to grow in the coming years.

    @Steve, I hope you are getting the support you need for your condition (PTSD) and thank you for serving our country. However the negative and hate filled comments make civil discourse impossible. Name-calling does nothing to support your comments but reveals irrational bias and anger.

    Regarding the article, I think it is clear that the spirit of the original letter remains true today, even if it has been twisted to different political lights. Our military is greatly dis-serviced by our country both in pay during service, and support when they leave the service. More must be done and I support those organizations who are doing so.

  7. Joan Coleon 19 Sep 2012 at 10:17 am

    Obviously, Ms. Williams has no clue what our soldiers have to endure, voluntarily, to protect us and our freedoms. She needs to get to the confessional and confess this awful sin. She will face her creator one day and I hope made to pay for her comments. I hope one day she has to live on the salary of one of these soldiers and see what they actually receive for their efforts. Also, she should be left with one of the awful medical issues many of them have had to experience. Agent Orange or PTSO maybe would be good ones for her. Shame on you Ms. Williams.

  8. Joyce Leslieon 13 Oct 2012 at 11:55 am

    Ms. Williams should be ashamed to show her face in public. I cannot believe anyone is that selfish of dumb. But if you check, this is just one more example of the terrible quality of people appointed by this president. He is not my president, I am ashamed of him too.

  9. Michael Kennedyon 07 Nov 2012 at 10:51 am

    Did you even read the above article? Cindy Williams served in the CBO over 15 YEARS AGO! And wasn’t appointed by any president.

  10. joeon 08 Nov 2012 at 9:36 am

    Have none of you responders read the above? It is totally FALSE! Read the article before you comment on it dumbies!

  11. Paki Stahlon 15 Jan 2013 at 10:41 pm

    This p.o.s. williams, not the actress, is a douchebag and so are all her cronies in washington that live in lala land. They should all be making minimum wage, at mcd’s. They would get fired within a week for their incompetence. When did it become ok for these slimeballs to live so high on our taxpayer dollars?

  12. ginaon 16 Jan 2013 at 6:11 pm

    your very own info is partly incorrect. her bio CANNOT be found at the MIT reference site.

    really. WTF is the truth here??

  13. Leeon 16 Jan 2013 at 9:24 pm

    You were right about the broken link. However, if you do a search on MIT’s site, you’ll find several links to her. Here is one:

  14. Matthew LoFiegoon 18 Jan 2013 at 7:55 am

    Thanks for the link Lee, I’ve updated the article to point to her resume held on the MIT server.

  15. Clayon 19 Jan 2013 at 1:07 am

    USAF SSGT 1967 – 1971 I was paid $100 per month upon entering the service. I enlisted, many were DRAFTED. The pay scale for service personnel is not a mystery. If money is why you chose to enlist then you made a bad decision. I believe her original article dealt with a proposal to boost pay by 25%. It was purely an academic analysis of pay/benefits in the military v civilian sectors. I sometimes believe we actually got more for less with the pre-volunteer members of the military. We were there to serve our country….not for some financial reward. If it’s a job you are seeking you might want to look elsewhere. Why all the focus on PTSD….While tours may be longer in combat, most service personnel never see any. WWII demanded much more of the members of the military. My father spent three years in the Pacific. Landed at Tarawa. The only “unusual” PTSD he brought home was a refusal to buy anything Japanese. Can service experiences be desensitizing…yes…I worked in a hospital….where they bring all the pieces to be put back together again…do we see things that remain with us for a lifetime…yes. Anyone involved in a traumatic event can suffer PTSD….criminal assaults, auto accidents, aircraft incidents….it’s not unique to th military. How did I get to this site…two people I know shared the EMAIL. Once I had read it, I knew it was JUST WRONG and began researching the origin…it wasn’t difficult…why do people just POST anything and everything…I know…if it’s on the internet, it’s true. Bonjour.

  16. bob johnsonon 25 Jan 2013 at 1:49 am

    i hate everything you stand for. if you cant stand behind our military stand in front of them

  17. Maritzaon 25 Jan 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Joe and Michael Kennedy, it seems that we are the ONLY ONES THAT READ THE ABOVE ARTICLE. One Love

  18. Marybeth Montgomeryon 28 Jan 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I hope no one saves her arse when needed!!

  19. nadia tisdaleon 28 Feb 2013 at 11:24 am

    Did you really say that stuff about military pay????Why don’t you risk your life for the small pay the servicemen get???? Like to see you live on that!!!!!!
    You are one crazy lady.I am not surprised — DC doesn’t have a clue what goes on in real world. Up on their pedastals getting high pay to lie.

  20. Wayneon 03 Mar 2013 at 8:07 am

    I was able to find Ms. Williams Bio. Nowhere in it does it mention her ever living on military pay of any sort’ not as a service member, service wife or service “brat”. You can read her degree (BS) from the University of Oklahoma as a Bachelor of Science if you want to but frankly I will take it under the other BS meaning. Her jobs show her as a High School tracher at one point, which is probably the lowest paying of any she has ever held. Then she moves up through the educational path to a Doctorate. Where did she get the funds for her higher education and acceptance to Harvard. Did the American people, including service members taxes provide grants and such for her rise? Then she is on the public payroll. The article containing her bio disputed Obama having the ability to place her in the high departmental office. If anyone believes that I would like to sell them some oceanfront property in New Mexico. The only reason Ms. Williams, Obama and the others can enjoy their opulent lives is because of the sacrifices of our military “volunteers” past and present. And you can throw the Second Amendment into the mix, protecting her right to think and speak her thoughts in front of congressional panels and at cocktail parties. Yes, I spent seven years as a low paid volunteer with a family and am well acquainted with the hardships and struggles they endure. Ms Williams should move out of her big home, move into base housing (enlisted) and live on enlisted pay for one to five years before her next assessment of military overpayment.
    Hakim’s comment and name (yes I know I am profiling) sounds suspiciously like a media or upper crust plant. By the way, if you don’t like profiling you might do a little thinking exercise; the next time you see a wino or homeless street person what are your thoughts about them/ They may just be a product of Ms. Williams way of thinking and may well be former military members. Also when you hear of certain races in the majority of jail/prison ‘guests’ watch the news and see who is featured most often in crime reports. “You do the crime….”. Also who are the majority nationalities (Names) shown infiltrating the U.S. and blowing up buildings and people? Why are young kids being targeted by Homeland Security at airports and people are strip searched by physical or electronic means, while they give lessons on how to ‘suitably’ search Muslims?
    Ms. Williams is a member of the ELETISTS. Better than the masses (us)

  21. Mack Robbinson 19 Mar 2013 at 8:13 am

    I received this e-mail and was quite disappointed and frankly embarassed. In an effort to verify things I have arrived at this website. As yet I have heard no one address the question of pay rate for military men & women. If the numbers quoted in the original email are correct we should all be ashamed. I dont really care about the he said she said but I do care about the real issue and that is boots on the ground.

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  23. […] is a link to the article Ms Williams wrote, Our GIs Earn Enough (H/T to Cindy Williams Military Pay Article Gets New Life and that link, of course). Surprise! Surprise! It is in the Washington […]