Feb 15 2011
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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