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Posted at 4:03 PM ET, 05/27/2008

Where in the world is Auschwitz?

By Michael Dobbs


Auschwitz, January 1945.

"I had an uncle who was one of the, um, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps. And the story in our family is that when he came home he just went up in the attic and he didn't leave the house for six months."
--Barack Obama, Memorial Day speech, Las Cruces, NM.

In an attempt to burnish his credentials with America's veterans, Barack Obama has frequently talked about his grandfather "who served in Patton's army." He has now added a new episode to his World War II repertoire: the uncle who liberated Auschwitz. Unfortunately, the story shows that the presumptive Democratic nominee has a poor grasp of European history and geography.

The Facts

UPDATED TUESDAY 5:30 P.M.

Auschwitz is located in southern Poland, near the city of Krakow. It was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. At the time, U.S. armies were still on the western borders of Germany, a thousand miles away, regrouping after the Battle of the Bulge. The Americans had not even crossed the Rhine at this point.

The Obama campaign now says that Obama was referring to his great-uncle on his mother's side, and the camp in question was not Auschwitz, but Ohrdruf, which was part of the Buchenwald camp system in Lower Saxony. Ohrdruf was the first camp to be liberated by the Americans on April 4, 1945, and it was visited a week later by Generals Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley. Eisenhower later wrote to his wife that he "never dreamed that such cruelty, bestiality and savagery could really exist in this world."

The campaign declined to release the name of Obama's great-uncle, apparently because he is an elderly man who does not want to be disturbed by reporters. Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said that he served in the 89th Infantry Division which crossed the Rhine river in March 1945.

UPDATE TUESDAY 6 P.M.

The attempt to shield the name of the Obama relative who took part in the liberation of Ohrdruf lasted about an hour. According to the Associated Press, it is Charlie Payne, the brother of Obama's maternal grandmother, Madelyn Lee Payne.

Obama's Auschwitz claim, made during a Memorial Day appearance in New Mexico, was first reported in blog postings by Washington Post reporter Karl Vick and by CBS News. Neither report provided a direct quote, raising the possibility that Obama might have been misquoted. I asked Vick to go back and check his recording of the event.

The above quote is taken from a verbatim transcript. Prior to talking about Auschwitz, Obama mentioned his grandfather (the one in Patton's army), recalling that he did not like talking about the war. This led into a riff on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a term that Obama said was unknown during World War II and the Vietnam War. "People basically had to handle it on their own." He gave the example of his uncle who hid away in the attic after liberating Auschwitz.

Granted, it is getting late in the campaign. The candidates are tired, and prone to making silly mistakes. Many Americans might have problems distinguishing Buchenwald and Ohrdruf from Auschwitz. But should we not expect more from a Harvard-educated presidential candidate? Is it too much to ask that an aspiring commander-in-chief knows (1) that Auschwitz (like many of the other Nazi death camps) is in Poland, and (2) that the eastern advance of the U.S. Army in World War II stopped on the river Elbe? Let me know what you think.

The Pinocchio Test

Before hearing from the Obama campaign, I gave the candidate four Pinocchios for this howler. I am subtracting one Pinocchio in view of the explanation that Obama confused the two concentration camps and that the underlying story was accurate. Three Pinocchios for "significant factual errors."

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | May 27, 2008; 4:03 PM ET
Categories:  3 Pinocchios, Barack Obama, Candidate Watch, History  
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Next: Obama and Auschwitz, Part II

Comments

Seems to me that if the basis for the story is true (i.e. he had an uncle that did liberate a concentration camp and experienced a shock that might have kept him in his house when he finally returned from service) then that it the prime story here. With Hillary, we got little of the correct story, when it was supposedly something that she experience first hand. Seems to me this article is "much todo about nothing"!

Posted by: IndianaJeff | May 27, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

McCain's comments that he can find $100 billion without any justification rate 4 pinocchios, and then Obama's mistake between Auschwitz and Bachenwald also rates 4 pinnochios?

The latter error is easily made - it could be that the story in Obama's family is about Auschwitz. Regardless of where it came from, it's not relevant to the election and Obama gets no political gain from it.

McCain, on the other hand, makes a statement that is obviously wrong, tremendously germane given the differences between candidates in this area, and is obviously to his political benefit.

How can you even run this item when you state the following:

"We will focus our attention and resources on the issues that are most important to voters. We cannot nitpick every detail of every campaign speech"

Please tell me how this is not a nitpick?

Posted by: Eric | May 27, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately, the story shows that the presumptive Democratic nominee has a poor grasp of both history and geography. "

Typical Dobbs, sweeping baseless characterization. How in the hell does one misstatement constitute basis for that sort of judgment? Could someone please explain how this ridiculous schmuck could possibly be the "fact checker" at the Washington Post? This sucks.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

My uncles claim to have done all kinds of stuff too - sometimes through the generations things get misinterpreted or retold wrong by other family members.

it happens.

We've all told one of these whoppers without so much as thinking about the facts as much as the point of the story.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

yes this was a terrible gaffe for Obama. And he clearly doesn't have his facts straight, and most likely never got the story first hand.

But since we are coming off of a Presidency that started out in a state of the union address," is our children learning" and " gynecologist everywhere aren't able to practice their love"... ( I could go on, but there is at least 3 or 4 books of blooper reels from this presidency and I needn't regurgitate them all to make a point) ... I think we can forgive the poorly inaccurate story and look more squarely at the point trying to be made.

McCain and Bush would have enlisted men and women serve 20 years to enable them the same aid that were offered to WWII vets.

Obama, and most enlisted men and women are more reasonably satisfied with the 3-4 years of active and an additional 4 years of inactive duty that is currently asked.

Posted by: Bad Gaffe | May 27, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

WHY are these mispoken sentences reaching the MEDIA? They absolutely will not bring any attention to something THEIR STAR OBAMA says, but let Sen. Clinton make one word of mistake and WOW, THE MEDIA IS ON IT LIKE A SPIDER ON A FLY. I do hope the American citizens will remember the entire last year and a half of this election, after the Nov. election, and DO NOT WATCH OR LISTEN TO MSNBC,CNN,CNNHEADLINES AND FOX IN ORDER TO GET THE REAL AND ACTUAL NEWS. Watch your local stations, and you will be more likely to get the real conditions of our USA.

Posted by: smaggie | May 27, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

OOPS! A TYPO IN THAT LAST MESSAGE. I MEANT TO WRITE, WHY AREN'T THESE misspoken sentences reaching the media. Promise I wll do better.

Posted by: smaggie | May 27, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"In fact, campaign spokesman Bill Burton says, his great uncle was a member of the 89th Infantry Division that liberated the Ohrduf camp, part of Buchenwald and, according to the Holocaust Museum, the first concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops.

The soldier in question, Burton said, is Obama's grandmother's brother, who's still alive."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0508/Obamas_World_War_II_history.html

Posted by: Jon | May 27, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Four Pinocchios seems a little hasty. I don't know a whole lot about my grandfather's service in WWII, and I could easily get some dates and locations wrong trying to piece together stories he told when I was little.

Does it really matter *which* concentration camp this uncle helped liberate? I don't think we know enough about this uncle yet to pass judgment. If it turns out Uncle was stateside flicking paper clips or something, then yeah, 4 Pinocchios.

I just think it's too soon to be this harsh. If it turns out this uncle was imaginary like Hillary's sniper fire incident, then that would be different.

Posted by: Bob | May 27, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

how does this get 4 'pinnochios' when clinton got the same for bosnia?

a potential mix-up of which camp is not equal to a total fabrication.

Posted by: jencm | May 27, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama's ego continues to grow, along with his nose. Unlike Clinton, who exagerates things from time to time, Obama outright lies and simply expects to get away with it. And why not? It works more times than not.

Posted by: thinkwithyourbrain | May 27, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh please! are you people really as stupid as you sound, Senator Obama was not even born when this occured, the story was handed down to him by his relatives and probably third hand.

To relate this to Senator Clinton's first hand Bosnian sniper fire lie is a real stretch.


If this is all it takes to alarm America then you're in more trouble than you realize.

Posted by: Larry the cable guy | May 27, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

This is crappy reporting. Refer to the post where it is confirmed that a relative did in fact help liberate a concentration camp. It is even possile that Obama's relative, as a result of post traumatic shock, mixed up the camps himself, recounting incorrect information. The concept of pinocchio refers to someone telling an intentional lie. Clearly this was not done. At the very most it deserves one pinocchio and only if Obama purposefully said Auchwitz because more people know the name. Your conclusion of FOUR pinocchios is bogus and ridiculous, complete your research before you write articles.

Posted by: AK | May 27, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Four pinocchios is a travesty. It was his great uncle (and lots of us with great uncles just call them uncles), and he mistakenly said Auschwitz instead of Buchenwald. That's one pinocchio at worst.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0508/Obamas_World_War_II_history.html

Posted by: Callimaco | May 27, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to grant that Obama just used "Auschwitz" as a metaphor for "concentration camp". While this conveys a somewhat superficial understanding of the Holocaust, it also may suggest that he either did not know Auschwitz was an actual place and is located in Poland. Either that or he did not know that Poland was liberated and subsequently occupied by the Soviet Union for 45 years.

Posted by: DaveO | May 27, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

In order to fact check, we need more than mention of a generic Obama's grandmother's brother. Yes, he has a grandmother from Kansas who had a husband who enlisted - they lived in Hawaii and eventually their kid had Obama. But no mention of a brother. Til we have a name, cannot confirm if he has a grand uncle, nor if he belonged to the 89th Infantry division.

Why no name to end all this?

Regardless, Obama made a big error errantly naming Auschwitz when in fact in was not. Lack of clarity in history.

Posted by: JM | May 27, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

This is a one Pinocchio. It would maybe qualify as a two but depends on what is learned.

Posted by: ModDem | May 27, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

4 Pinocchios seems a little unfair. After all, he did simply mistake Auschwitz for Buchenwald.
Surely in order to get 4 Pinocchios there has to be some intent to lie/exagerate/distort for political gain. It seems hard to imagine that there was intent in this circumstance.
Also, regarding "a Harvard-educated presidential candidate"; I doubt many presidential canidates or Harvard graduates could point to these two camps on a map.

Posted by: Nicholas Sammons | May 27, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Let's finally hold Obama responsible for these comments, the way we did Hillary with her misspoken history. Obama knows what happened and what did not happen. Either his uncle was in the Red Army, or maybe it was a different kind of uncle, like his "uncle" Wright. Obama is not to be trusted.

Posted by: thecandypoem | May 27, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Part of Mr.Obama's problem is that he should have been a preacher since he is a
fabulous orator. He has large , very large
audiences a la Mr. Bill Graham.Facts are not that important in a setting of the
faithful.However I am apalled at that Mr.
Obama never checked his facts. As someone
who survived world war two I must say That even my children no the difference of Buchenwald versus Auschwitz.

Posted by: Ursula Huggins Whitney | May 27, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

This is just absurd. The rating system presumes that Pinocchios are awarded for intentional omissions or mischaracterizations. In this case, the incorrect statement does nothing to change the substance of the story, and is quite obviously accidental. Awarding any Pinocchios at all is questionable, but awarding four is beyond the pale. This rating serves only to undermine the credibility of Mr. Dobbs.

Posted by: Justin | May 27, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Rubbish. Confusing one camp with another is not a significant factual error.

This is one or two pinocchios at the very worst.

Posted by: Callimaco | May 27, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Earlier in an original version of the clip of that video, Obama said this:

"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes - and I see many of them in the audience here today - our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."

"I see dead people!" Kind of like ESP, maybe? Not the only thing he makes up.

Posted by: JM | May 27, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is getting called out again for his knowledge of history, including his own family's, after declaring to veterans on Memorial Day that his uncle helped liberate the Auschwitz death camp at the end of World War II.

Two problems with the tale: Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Army, and Obama's American mother was an only child.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

As a Jew I am sensitive to issues of the Holocaust. But even to me confusing the name of the camp Obama's great uncle helped to liberate is at worst a minor factual error -- the sort of thing which is not uncommon in all family folklore. What really bothers me is that by giving this three Pinnochios, you are effectively reducing the honor and thanks that Obama's great uncle truly deserves. Anyone who liberated a camp is a hero in my book. To give this three Pinnochios gives the impression that nothing in Obama's story was true. But the facts tell a different story. Acknowledge the minor nature of the gaffe and give Obama's great uncle the respect he earned by reducing this to one Pinnochio.

Posted by: Ben | May 27, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is getting called out again for his knowledge of history, including his own family's, after declaring to veterans on Memorial Day that his uncle helped liberate the Auschwitz death camp at the end of World War II.

Two problems with the tale: Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Army, and Obama's American mother was an only child.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

now if Obama had been talking to a group of Jews in Florida - it would be pandering. This is just retelling a story that was probably told to him incorrectly.

But nice try.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Since when is an "uncle" the same as a "great-uncle"? Obama went to Harvard, shouldn't he know the difference and use the correct term?

Will he next confuse his "father" with his "grandfather"? Presumably he knows what the difference is. Maybe Obama lost his bearings again?

You would too if you had visited all 57 states with one more to go.

Posted by: Mitch | May 27, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I think this is ridiculous, and, mind you, I speak as a VERY pedantic nitpicker, with a European education and a serious case of too-intense attention to minute details.

Case in point...: as prestigious a figure as Willem Buiter just WROTE in the Financial Times (and presumably one demands even more fact-checking accuracy before committing thoughts to paper, than before a speech, right?) that Ms Tatcher "spoke of herself in third person" because she said "we just became a grandmother". Horrors: claiming that "we" is "third person"?! If confusing Auschwitz and Buchenwald is worth 3 or 4 Pinocchios, then how many must this terrible, total *falsehood* of claiming that "we" is "third person" be -- surely 743, AT LEAST?!

Being a pedantic nitpicker, rather than an alleged fact-checker, I of course immediately posted to Mr Buiter's FT blog a comment with a correction, and no less a figure than Martin Wolf immediately replied conceding the exactness of my remarks but reminding me that "sometimes even Homer nods". Apparently, this alleged "fact-checking" column has become unable to tell the difference between a "slip of the tongue" (or pen), such as, "third person" instead of "royal we", or "Auschwitz" instead of "Buchenwald", and a misstatement of fact, and will award huge number of Pinocchios indifferently for one or the other; this makes the column itself totally useless and trivial, so I'll just have to drop my RSS feed of it and maybe make my own blog openly dedicated to relentlessly pedantic and extreme nitpicking instead.

Posted by: Alex Martelli | May 27, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama also tells the story that his mother and father met at a Civil Rights demonstration in Selma, Alabama in 1965.

But actually, he was born in 1961 four years earlier. Barack Obama Sr. married his mother when his mom was three months pregnant with Obama Jr.

Posted by: JPM | May 27, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"Uncle" may not be the same as "Great-uncle," but I'd hardly call out his Harvard education on it. I will always refer to my Dad's aunt as "Aunt Constance" in conversation. Only if it is important that I spell out her exact relationship to me would I bother using "great-aunt." I expect many Americans are the same.

Almost no one does this for "father/grandfather," however, and I consider it offensive to equate the two ways of referring to family members.

Posted by: B-W | May 27, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Why is this not all over msm ?When Hillary made her statement on Bosnia it went on forever also the news was saying that he had 7500 people at hisrally in Oregon last week what they failed to mention was that a free concert was going on at the same spot come on folks get with it face the facts the msm loves BOand Bo is a liar

Posted by: maggie | May 27, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

It was a misstatement, not a deception. There was nothing to gain by substituting the name of one camp for another. Mistakes are mistakes, not lies.

Posted by: An Observer | May 27, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Even three Pinocchios is absurd for confusing Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Since it doesn't change the point of the story one bit, how is it a "significant factual error?" The original four Pinocchios was even more ridiculous. Why don't you just admit that since you just gave McCain four Pinocchios, you had to give Obama the same four Pinocchios in an attempt to appear "balanced."

Posted by: Bo234 | May 27, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Your so full of it, 3 four a misstated name, the most McCain every got was to for flat out lies. Fact Checker my A-S

Posted by: luke | May 27, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

If Obama wins (which he won't) who will the black community blame for their oppression? Who will be 'the man be keeping them down'? All this hoo ha about a comment made by HRC about RFK and I can hear the cries of 'injustice' from the moon. The only good thing that could come of his nomination is the removal of a few hundred years old crutch from black society . No matter anyway- I would NEVER in million years vote for him and increase the overwhelming reverse racism that is gripping this country. He and his entire crew are racists- and believe me HRC did not nor did she have to allude to RFK's assassination attempt to put a thought that I am quite sure is alive and well in many minds already. As a lifelong Democrat-McCain has my vote over Obama any day.

Posted by: Annie Curtis | May 27, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I WOULD WANT TO KNOW THE NAME OF THIS SO-CALLED "UNCLE" OR "GRAND-UNCLE."

I DON'T BELIEVE A WORD OBAMA SAYS. I THINK HE IS LOSING HIS BEARINGS.

Posted by: JEFF | May 27, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Did you notice the error before the GOP press release or are you just channeling their press release?

Because, he clearly explained this, and, in the context of his speech, it was not a great error.

Posted by: M, | May 27, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps."

1. Patton, who Obama's uncle served, did liberate concentrations camps.
2. Patton did have military personnel who investigated these camps for war crimes and provided the largest amount of testimony for Nuremberg
3. The camps (plural) were put under the command of Patton to help get the people in the camps back to their homelands.
4. There was more than one camp refered to as Auschwitz (Auschwitz II) which may have contributed to the confusion
5. It took years to get the survivors in these camps sorted out and back to their homelands.

Because his uncle didn't like talking about it, it's pretty tough for Obama to get a great account. But there's little doubt that if his uncle served Patton, there's a darn good chance he was right in the thick of the horror of the first people who witnessed those camps. When Patton first visited one of them, as tough as he was reported to be and after all the dead soldiers he'd seen, he apparently vomited at first sight.

I think the essence of Obama's account is valid.

If this rates 3 Pinnochios, Bosnia and Joyce McCartan are off the scale.

Posted by: CWatson1 | May 27, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah all of that that all of you Obama fans are parroting OR he is an inexperienced, unqualified, racist LIAR.
That can speak well...pppppppffft!

Posted by: Annie | May 27, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The name of his great uncle is Charles Payne - his grandmother's brother. I've seen some reference of his military service in an ancestry search.

Posted by: CWatson1 | May 27, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

He is Harvard educated, so he should be expected to know the location of each and every WWII-era concentration camp, the location of every torture center run by the Khmer Rouge (there were hundreds), the location and proper pronunciation of every ethnic group ever relocated by the USSR, and the name and favorite colour of every intellectual who died during the Great Leap Forward.

He should also be made to take a religious test so we know he ain't Muslim.

Only then can we trust his judgment.

Posted by: Will | May 27, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The RNC points out a flub in Obama's speech. How about the the RNC pointing out the flub named Bush and his serial factual errors on everything from weapons of mass illusion in Iraq onwards. The morons at the RNC sit around all day with their thumbs up their a--ess while Fuhrer Bush flubs his way through his presidency

Posted by: Bush is a voyeur | May 27, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"I had an uncle who was one of the, um, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps. And the story in our family is that when he came home he just went up in the attic and he didn't leave the house for six months."

"The story in our family" indicates, to me at least, that the experiences of his uncle was told to Obama by someone other than the uncle himself. And it's entirely likely that a civilian relative relating the tale second- (or third- or fourth-) hand might use the name "Auschwitz" generically to describe a Nazi extermination camp. I think I have a greater than average knowledge of WWII history, but until now I drew no great distinction between Auschwitz and Buchenwald (or Bergen-Belsen or Dachau or Birkenau, for that matter), save that they were all places of grave evil. And if I were told that a direct relative was among the forces that helped liberate one of these camps, I'm not certain that I'd be above confusing one for another years after the telling. It's not like I'd be confusing the European Theater for the Pacific one, after all.

I do think that I may ask my 90-year-old uncle where he served and in what capacity when I next get the chance, however. Suddenly it seems a bit more important now...

Posted by: whatmeregister | May 27, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

On the whole I think the Fact Checker is very fair, but in this case, I think that three Pinocchios is way too much. It's easy for family stories to get altered as they are passed down, even in one generation, let alone two. Obama's mistake was not in lying so much as failing to check whether the story he remembered was actually possible. Not to mention that the story, true or not, is really irrelevant to whether or not he should be elected. As political untruths go, this seems like mighty small potatoes.

Posted by: Tamara | May 27, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Before I forget:

"Before hearing from the Obama campaign, I gave the candidate four Pinocchios for this howler. I am subtracting one Pinocchio in view of the explanation that Obama confused the two concentration camps and that the underlying story was accurate. Three Pinocchios for 'significant factual errors.' "

How is an apparently inadvertent "confusing" of the two names worthy of three Pinocchios, given that you yourself admit that the underlying facts are true? It sure sounds like you're trying to save face here after jumping to conclusions before getting all the facts. Typical.

Posted by: whatmeregister | May 27, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

A Harvard-educated lawyer who is a candidate for the US Presidency should know that a relative could NOT have been involved in liberating Auschwitz because it is in Poland. Did Obama not study World History and World War II in college? So much for his foreign policy expertise!

Posted by: WashingtonDame | May 27, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

As a woman of Jewish ancestry, I'm appalled that you would denigrate the heroes who helped to liberate Jews during the Holocaust by nitpicking the details in a family story from WWII. Have you checked all of your own relatives' stories to be sure they clearly delineate between liberation of Auschwitz, Bachenwald or any other camps?

If you think Obama's minor mistake deserves 3 out of 4 Pinocchios, then your "Fact Checker" is a big old Waste Of Our Time.

C'mon WaPo, why don't you put your efforts toward finding actual LIES, not silly little mistakes about war stories passed down by relatives.

Posted by: Newt | May 27, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Which of Obama's uncles is it? The weird one in the family whom says things that he finds disagreeable?

Speaking of facts, mistakes, and lies... the fact is that Obama's mother was an only child. How many men are in his family? How could he get the people in his family confused?!?!

Posted by: Charles River | May 27, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

The statement that PTSD was unknown and not cared for in WW2, is equally false. My cousin was wounded four times in WW2 the last time at Anzio. The term they used was 'shell-shocked.' He enlisted during his first year of law school and despite VA psychiatric treatment, never got over yhe trauma. He was murdered in a New York City movie theater for his disability check which he had just cashed.

Posted by: FRS | May 27, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't care less. If I cared, would it fix the economy or perhaps even better--would it get HRC to quit? I think not.

So LMO.

Posted by: Terese | May 27, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't care less. If I cared, would it fix the economy or perhaps even better--would it get HRC to quit? I think not.

So LMO.

Posted by: Terese | May 27, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't care less. If I cared, would it fix the economy or perhaps even better--would it get HRC to quit? I think not.

So LMO.

Posted by: Terese | May 27, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't think he should get any Pinocchios at all - clearly, it's a mistake. But I don't like it that someone who's running for president is so careless with the things he says. He makes mistakes like this all the time. Shouldn't he be more disciplined?

Posted by: Susie from Philly | May 27, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Stop being so picky. No one will ever run that is any good if you don't just stop. Many people might confuse the 2 camps. At least he brings up the fact there were camps, how often is that talked about today. How many young people even understand the suffering. Here is a candidate who seems to have the following of the young people of our country and they seem to listen to him. Maybe they will learn just a bit.

Posted by: Alex | May 27, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, 4. Well, I guess that's right if 100 would be a well-planned and thought out lie. C'mon. How many Americans even know about that specific concentration camp?

Posted by: Rory | May 27, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

This isn't the first time Obama has "mis-spoken" about a family member's service. In 2002 ( and on his own web page) Obama said:
"My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army," stated Obama.

"He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka."

Auschwitz and Treblinka are in Poland, liberated by Soviets, and no US troops went there until years after the war was over.

Posted by: skydawg1 | May 27, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I have just sent the following letter to Dobbs, his editor and the ombudsman. I encourage others to do similarly.

---

I am writing to express my concerns about the fact check recently published by Michael Dobbs in regards to Barack Obama's great uncle's participation in the liberation of the Nazi camps at the end of World War II. Senator Obama mistakenly identified the camp as Auschwitz when, as the campaign acknowledged subsequently, the camp was actually Buchenwald. Mr. Dobbs asks rhetorically "should we not expect more from a Harvard-educated presidential candidate?" He then calls this mistake a "significant factual error" and "a howler" and on that basic gave Senator Obama "Three Pinnochios" for the statement. This assessment is entirely out of proportion. First, Dobbs's remarks on Senator Obama's education are simply irrelevant and proceed not from any respect for the facts but from an entirely subjective assessment of what "should" be expected from a Harvard graduate. Second, a "significant factual error" is something that would change the substance of Senator Obama's remarks, but the substance of his remarks are entirely correct: his great uncle participated in the liberation of the camps. But Mr. Dobbs's assessment leaves the impression that the substance of Senator Obama's remarks are untrue. Indeed, the "Three Pinnochios" might even be interpreted by some to imply that Senator Obama's great uncle had not participated in the liberation of the camps at all - an impression that would certainly be a great insult to his service to this country and to those he helped to liberate. Please correct these impressions by restoring some sense of proportion to Mr. Dobbs's fact checking.

---

Posted by: Ben | May 27, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Politics is our last best hope. Yet after wading through this blog, I am saddened. I hear and feel that dripping racism is still alive. Hatred for all candidates trumps reason. I hear bantering for political advantage. I assume the writers feel that the facts and arguments must start with their political conclusions. They then find the "truth" in their stories after denying the facts. This type of reasoning elected a man who showed no interest in facts or learning despite being given the best chance for an education of any man from his generation. Will we ever learn? Pick your candidate after you read and study and have considered all the facts. Listen and think about issues that you think count and matter to your life. Try not ruling in or out people on foolish debates like this one. Perhaps, perhaps, we can get it right this time. For our great country, let us hope we do.

Posted by: Brian | May 27, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Barack thought he could kill 2 birds with one stone. He liberated Auchwitz and he has a veteran in the family. See, that gets the jews and the vets. Come on. We are that stupid? 57 states? Great lakes in Oregon? What's Hanford? And finally, I never heard the Reverend make those kind of statements before. Oh yea, the Republicans are salivating.

Posted by: Glenn Mcgahee | May 27, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

What I've learned from watching and reading both the old and new media during this campaign:

We should never hold Obama accountable for his gaffes, that's just wrong.

Now if Hillary makes a non-gaffe ridden statement using a tragic historical incident we all remember to establish a time line, we should accuse her of attempting to incite violence against the Chosen One.

It's only fair.

Posted by: Gayle | May 27, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I think I'd wait for some confirmation that Charles W. Payne was somewhere on the rosters of the 89th before reducing the Pinocchios. The two men named Charles W. Payne who joined the service in Kansas during the war are shown as having enlisted in the Navy. Maybe he joined in another state.

Posted by: Tully | May 27, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM


OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM

Posted by: OBAMA = THE NEXT BUSH TERM | May 27, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

When Obama makes a mistake you can only find out about it on a few websites.

When Hillary makes a mistake it is all over the news for days, beaten to death, exhaulted as the largest sin against humanity.

Obama actually makes errors regarding a sin against humanity and "it is much a do about nothing"!

The disgusting things is that Obama will use anyone, lie about anything, say anything, mislead anyone just for his own personal benefit of getting ahead.

Obama is the next Bush term!

The only change that will happen from Bush to Obama is Obama is half Black. Otherwise, completely identical!

Posted by: Obama is the next Bush term! | May 27, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

MD...
You really were over zealous in your wooden puppet assessment.
Shame on you...you only gave Hillary 2 pinochs for her sniper gaffe and it was a complete made up fairy tale...
This statement is based on FACT..He had the name wrong but the meat of the story was very true..Maybe he should have used a more generic phrase such as a "concentration camp" but all the same..still TRUE.
His Uncle was in one of the first troops to liberate a concentration camp in terms of American troops...
I do believe you jumped the gun on this one..
You deserve an open forum spanking for over compensating..
Tsk ...tsk..
Obama at least was telling a true story that has documentation in the Holocaust Museum..
You should rescind your final tally of puppets...1 at most...

Posted by: Goddesscon2001 | May 27, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Brian,

Yes, racism is alive and well. So what? It always has been and always will. I believe it is the animalistic nature in us. Just like the "blue-eyed, brown-eyed" test done years ago. If it weren't race it would be eye color, hair color, height, etc.

So what?! Have you faced racism? I have.

There are enough good people out there that can see that racism is one of the lowest common denominators that is not a true consideration from someone with scruples.

Now, that said, I do not believe that we should be voting for Obama just because he is half Black, which is what I feel so many say. They say it is not for that reason but yet they completely defend Obama for every error he makes - this one included.

Obama is not qualified for this position. Obama is a charlatin. Obama only cares about himself and not the American people.

Now, what is the most common, low, denominator that the Obama supporter would say to me? RACIST!

That is not change, hope - that is bitter, ugly, anything to get ahead.

There are not true Americans in this country anymore when we would put someone forward without the proper skills to help the country move forward.

The baby boomers hated their parents and now the baby boomers kids are destroying this nation. Hate is the fuel that promotes Obama's campaign. Most of all the top staff, David Axelrod the highest, all used to work for the Clintons in one way or another and now hate them so much that they just want to promote a charlatin as payback.

Our country will never get ahead with all this hate being seeded into our genes.

Now, which hate is worse? Racism or the genetic hate? Seems to me they are exactly the same. Seems to me they are embedded into the Obama supporters.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Way to make excuses for the candidate, there, buddy. Was Obama's relative a member of the First United States Army Group who parachuted into Germany as part of Operation Quicksilver?

Posted by: cab91 | May 27, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

NOW Obama's camp is saying "well, this really wasn't my Uncle - it was my SECOND UNCLE!"

Obama is one lie after the other.

Who benefits? Oh yeah, we know.

Posted by: the second lie | May 27, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

GREAT UNCLE not SECOND UNCLE

Posted by: Well, their saying NOT REALLY MY UNCLE! | May 27, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama is famous for lying to benefit him. He lied about how and where his parents met because he used the emotional historical reference to pump everyone into thinking and linking him to great events.

Obama lies. No one in the media really cares. The media didn't care about Bush lying. The media doesn't care about Obama lying. What is the surprise?

Posted by: Obama the fibber - how cute, says the media | May 27, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Washington Post for at least acknowleding this issue - so far I can't find it anywhere on MSNBC's frontpage or politics page. NO WHERE!!!

Posted by: 1 pt for WP | May 27, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker must be particularly Japanese if he is worried about the difference between Uncle, great Uncle, First Cousin once removed, etc. (In truly careful, formal Japanese there are a myriad of terms to exactly describe familial relationships.)

Obama told a story he inherited from his family, about an older relative, male, who would obviously be thought of as an Uncle, (whereas, my godmother, who is my mothers cousin, I always referred to as AUNT Joanne) and knew that he had had a horrible experience during WWII, (not uncommon for troops who liberated death camps) and hid from the world for half a year. THE UNCLE might have been sufficiently disturbed that HE can't tell Dachau from Theresienstadt. And since he really didn't like talking about it, any version that Barack got, first, second, third hand, was probably garbled enough to be hard to make out.

Classification of this gaffe? One embarrassed Gippetto.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | May 27, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama HIMSELF distanced HIMSELF from HIS OWN reference to what he ORIGINALLY said was HIS UNCLE and now after his "gaffe" has said is HIS GREAT UNCLE!!!!

Obama's trickery.

Posted by: Obama's trickery. | May 27, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

this deserves 4 pinocchios because there was a deliberate attempt to deceive involved.

The point Obama was trying to make was that for him, mental health care for returning veterans was a personal issue -- that he wasn't just pandering to veterans concerns, he really cared about the issue because it involved an UNCLE -- i.e. a close relative.

Obama also deserve four pinocchios for exploiting the Holocaust -- you don't need to liberate death camps to suffer from PTSD, and Obama's comments fail to acknowledge that.

Finally, it should be determined if his great-uncle really did participate in the liberation of 'the concentration camps'. By the time US troops arrived, Ohrdruf had been, for all intents and purposes, abandoned...guarded only by a few Germans. Precisely which unit gets credit for officially 'liberating' the camp remains in dispute -- but it certainly did not involved the thousands upon thousands of soldiers who comprised the 89th Infantry Division. Instead, Eisenhower ordered that US troops be given tours of Ohrdruf so that they "would know what they are fighting for". Unless Obama's great-uncle was one of the relatively small number of troops who entered Ohrdruf on April 4th, Obama is claiming credit for his family for something they did not actually do. (source notes http://www.89infdivww2.org/ohrdruf/ohrdrufintro.htm )

Posted by: paul_lukasiak | May 27, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I will be so Glad to not hear OBAMAS's
Name ever again :)This is a man that Does not know how to speak the TRUTH.How can he get the facts wrong about family members?
"He is just not the one to be the next president"!!Besides,his wife is not first lady material.Just as Obama is not presidential material!!!
I do not mean to be rude,but,Honestly,The Obamas just are not right for the Whitehouse at this time.Later down the road maybe.Thank You

Posted by: Rebecca H | May 27, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post, the Pinoccio goes to you! Because this: "but Ohrdruf, which was part of the Buchenwald camp system in Lower Saxony" is absolutely wrong!!!! LOL

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony. US-forces freed it, Eisenhower visitet it, but afterwards it was given to the Sowjets.

If i would write such a hard accusation on obama, i would have used at least google-maps to confirm me. LOL.

Best regard from LOWER SAXONY! (not Thuringia), Germany
Walther

Posted by: Walther | May 27, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

If this is just a case of Obama confusing the names of camps and "basic story is true" then how do we explain what he said in April, in Charleston?

"My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, foughtin Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain."

So a few weeks ago, his grandfather "heard stories of fellow troops who entered Auschwitz..." but NOW he remembers he had an uncle who actually did enter that camp. Why didn't he mention the uncle in April, why did his grandfather just "hear stories" about Auschwitcz?

Face it. The man is a liar. It's not the first time, either. He lies to make himself sympathetic to some core group and he sometimes forgets his earlier lies.

Us veterans have some colorful words for men who lie about war experiences. I won't mention them here; there might be children reading.

Posted by: donald169 | May 27, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama disrespects the country's history to promote himself, again.

4 pinocchios.

Posted by: Obama's at it again and he just can't stop himself | May 27, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

"The campaign declined to release the name of Obama's great-uncle, apparently because he is an elderly man who does not want to be disturbed by reporters. "

I do not believe that this "uncle" even exists!

Liar Obama!

Posted by: Disgusting! | May 27, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post gets...

Two thumbs up!

Becareful, you soon may see the rath of Obama!

No Facts Allowed Around Obama!

Posted by: Doing your job????? | May 27, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

German concentration camps, Auschwitz is located in southern Poland. People basically had no idea Nazi death camps was German machine to eliminated people.

Posted by: Noras | May 27, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I find it alarming how Obama supporters, along with much of the mainstream media easily discard this as a simple, unintended, and harmless gaffe. However, they would certainly scrutinize this comment if it were made by either Clinton, or McCain. Can't everybody realize how important this election is? Can't we put aside our partisanship long enough to see things as they are? We don't want another idiot in office do we? What about the 57 states comment? Or the some of our fallen heroes are in the audience comment. There are many others. There is a pattern here that is showing Obama is either dishonest, intellectually lazy, or just not very bright to begin with.

Posted by: maxpower | May 27, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the ignorance of people on this board....so what, it was a mix-up of camps? Tell that to the people whose relatives who were murdered in Auschwitz! I'm not downplaying ANY camp, but come on! Are people really this ignorant about the Holocaust? I know what Obama was trying to do and most other intelligent people do too....he was trying to court the Jewish vote by invoking the word Auschwitz....

Posted by: Dawn | May 27, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

donald169, huh?! very interesting. haven't heard about this observation from anyone else. thank you for bringing it to light. this one little website address may be the only place we will see this observation though!

i do not trust obama.

Posted by: liar | May 27, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

yeah Dawn and that is disgusting!

if obama charred little babies would you also defend him saying he was saving them from a life of pain and was trying to get the i-hate-babies-vote?

Posted by: shame, shame, shame | May 27, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

maxpower, i agree with you

Posted by: yes | May 27, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

That's right Obama supporters. Why do the facts matter?

Posted by: Obama said WHAT???????? | May 27, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

SHame, Shame, Shame...I agree with you...I think you may have misinterpreted my remarks. I think what Obama did was disgusting. I was simply pointing out that many on this board act like him misspeaking about what camp his "uncle" "liberated" was no big deal.

Posted by: Dawn | May 27, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Just to help some of the other posters who only read what they want to and IGNORE FACTS...
Here is a wee C & P from http://www.dailykos.com
[quote]
They also offered background on his uncle's unit, from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

Obama's Great Uncle (His Grandmother's Brother) Served in the 89th Infantry Division that Liberated Ohrdruf, a Subcamp of Buchenwald, the First Camp Liberated by Americans, on April 4, 1945; It Was Visited by Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley on April 12th. "Formed in 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War I, the 89th Infantry Division participated in several major military battles. In World War II, the "Rolling W" division landed in France in January 1945 and quickly advanced to the German front. In March 1945, it joined the Third Army's assault on the Rhineland, crossing the Sauer, Moselle, and Rhine rivers that same month. On April 8, the 89th captured the town of Eisenach and subsequently advanced farther into Thuringia and into neighboring Saxony, where it took the city of Zwickau on April 18, 1945. On April 4, 1945, the 89th overran Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Ohrdruf was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops in Germany. A week later, on April 12, Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton, and Omar Bradley visited Ohrdruf to see, firsthand, evidence of Nazi atrocities against concentration camp prisoners." [United States Holocaust Museum][/quote]
~~~~~end C&P~~~~~~
He mixed up a name but the facts of his Grandmothers brother serving and liberating camp victims is TRUE..
Then again am guessing those who will argue he lied are not going to support him anyway in November..but he didn't make up a fairy tale as Clinton did about Bosnia..

Posted by: Goddesscon2001 | May 27, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

RE "...should we not expect more from a Harvard-educated presidential candidate?"

Bush has an MBA from Harvard. Do you hold it against Bush that he wrecked the economy with the help of Congressional Republicans?

Posted by: Eric Jaffa | May 27, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Did you hear?????


NOW Obama is saying, to get the Jewish vote also, Obama is NOW saying he would NOT MEET WITH Ahmadinejad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


hahahahahahahah

NEVER TRUST OBAMA

Posted by: NEVER TRUST OBAMA | May 27, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Come on already. The only problem here was mistaking the name of the camp his uncle was involved in liberating. Three pinnochios for that?

It was factual - not like sniper fire and you give it the same rating.

Time to adjust your scoring Mr. Dobbs.

And to those thinking he was courting the Jewish vote by using Auschwitz, you are insulting Jews who know the names of the many camps far better than any of the rest of us. You insult Jews by thinking they will perk up at Auschwitz but yawn at any other camp. How demeaning you are.

Posted by: Mr M | May 27, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Goddesscon,
You expect me to go on the DailyKos? The loony liberal page? I don't think so....

Posted by: Gina | May 27, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

http://www.barackobama.com/2002/10/02/remarks_of_illinois_state_sen.php

The Auschwitz comment is not new. He's been using it for six years.

Posted by: Mike | May 27, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

3 Pinnochios?? Good God... if you truly think it's worth that many, I guess I'm not going to check your column again because you're obviously a little skewed in your own thinking!

Posted by: Anja | May 27, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I have one more comment - I was overseas during the 2000 campaign and so I ask you very sincerely: were you doing this column back then? You ask in this column if we shouldn't expect more from a Harvard educated candidate. Did you cover the Yale educated candidate in 2000 when he said he thought the Taleban was a musical band? Shouldn't we have expected more from him as well?

Posted by: Anja | May 27, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"

Dear Washington Post, the Pinoccio goes to you! Because this: "but Ohrdruf, which was part of the Buchenwald camp system in Lower Saxony" is absolutely wrong!!!! LOL

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony. US-forces freed it, Eisenhower visitet it, but afterwards it was given to the Sowjets.

If i would write such a hard accusation on obama, i would have used at least google-maps to confirm me. LOL.

Best regard from LOWER SAXONY! (not Thuringia), Germany
Walther"

FOUR PINNOCHIOS TO THE FACT CHECKER!

Posted by: tom | May 27, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. Knowing that the US Army's advance stopped at the river Elbe is terribly relevant to the job of President in 2008.
And to say your granduncle was a courageous hero who helped free the survivors of a death camp (Auschwitz) is a terrible terrible mischaracterization of the truth which is that your grandfather is actually a courageous hero who helped free the survivors of ... a death camp (Buchenwald).
Could we expect more from a Washinton Post employed journalist than this baloney ?
Three Ps ? Really ?

Posted by: Benjamin | May 27, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

If he's going to make a comment to veterans about veterans affairs and policy and wants to throw in an anecdote to make it seem more real, at least get the story straight! Didn't he know he was going to make the speech? Not prepared.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Shame on you for trivializing an event such as the Holocaust by posting silly cartoon Pinocchios on the same page as a picture of starved prisoners of Auschwitz. Obama misspoke, and he corrected his statement. This type of crap promoted as an important and telling gaffe by bloggers and the MSN makes me just want to vomit.

Posted by: Newt | May 27, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow! For Bush's obvious and bare-faced lie about giving up golf, you gave him 2 Pinocchios, but you give Obama 3 Pinocchios for making one factual error (not "errors"!) that was an obvious mistake. Methinks you deserve a few Pinocchios yourself for claiming to be unbiased.

Posted by: jfkeanewa | May 27, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

This was an obvious mistake, since all the concentration camps were horrible.

Since when does a mistake become a lie?

Complaining about someone's lack of knowledge is one thing. Calling that person a liar is another!

ZERO Pinnochios for Sen. Obama.

Shame on you Factchecker!


Posted by: Alice | May 27, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

You know, guys-- this thing is beginning to take on a racist tone. You're so rabidly anti- Obama that it's impossible to believe in the veracity of anything that's printed here. It's sick, and it's wrong, and the lot of you should be genuinely ashamed of yourselves for taking part in this ludicrous chatracter assassination.

Posted by: willie | May 27, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Why are some people doubting whether this uncle even exists AFTER the release of the name of Obama's uncle. Are these posts entered before reading the updates? Or are they just ignorant redneck idiots who post anti-Obama stuff just because it makes them feel good about themselves?

Posted by: Elrod | May 27, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Dobbs, you schmuck. Are you just embarrassed that you jumped on a gaffe too quickly and it turned out to be a relatively minor mistake. Not Auschwitz, but Buchenwald. Big deal.

You are an incredible too, Dobbs. "Three Pinocchios" for 'significant factual errors.'" God, you're a douchebag.

Posted by: You are a schmuck. | May 27, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, that should say "you are an incredible TOOL" in that last post, not "incredible too."

You are also an idiot, Dobbs.

Posted by: You are a tremendous schmuck. | May 27, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs, do you remember why Pinnochio got his long nose? It was for lying, not for neglecting his homework!

If you're going to rate mistakes along with lies, then you should rate the candidates with something other than Pinnochios.

Otherwise, you are misleading people, and you shouldn't call yourself "Fact Checker".

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Why does the MSM allow Obama to get away with this kind of nonsense. When the MSM was out rattling saberes for the Iraq war, Obama refused to support George Bush. If we had followed his advice we would never have discovered Iraq's stockpile of phantom WMD weapons. Obama didn't believe that Saddam was the leader of Al Qaeda. Nither did Bush. But at least Bush and McCain and Hillary knew enough not to let the facts get in the way of a dirty little war for oil and the dollar. Even after the mission was accomplished, Obama refused to apologize for his stand against the war. Five years into this war of choice, Obama remains an opponent of the war. Can he be trusted to launch another war of choice to obliterate Iran.

All you have to do is look at his family history. His great uncle was a treacherous man. We now know he liberated the wrong concentration camp. It's not clear whether his grandfather liberated Europe or fought in the Pacific. Obama refuses to come clean on which front his grandfather fought in.

It is an outrage that Obama has made it this far. The press should stop giving him a free pass. Until he fesses up as to which his front his grandfather fought on - we have ample reason to suspect his family's alleged service to this country.


Posted by: manofpeace | May 27, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Presidents don't need to know the difference between Poland and Germany, or an uncle and a great uncle...Reagan was called senile and Bush was called an idiot for just this kind of error, except that there's more than a hint that Obama was trying to use the mis-stated fact deceptively...not quite as bad as fabricating out of whole cloth like the Tuszla sniper incident for Hillary, but not indicative of his ability to grasp facts and use them. And that remark about seeing some of America's fallen heroes in the crowd...shows he doesn't understand the purpose of the holiday, and doesn't care to check or have his staff prepare him. He thinks he can wing it based on his experience up to now.

But we don't need attention to detail or executive organizational skills in the leader of the Free World...just Hope...and Change...and hopey-changeyness. Right.

These people have no respect for their audience, the American people, and will say whatever they think they need to to get points with the crowd they are in front of.

Posted by: doug in colorado | May 27, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Doug, that was nonsense. What the hell is your point?

Posted by: Doug, what? | May 27, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Good thing Hillary didn't say this. They mainline press (who simply adores Obama and will show him grace) would eat Hillary alive over something like this.

Posted by: gaypastor | May 27, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the fact-checker could check into a 2002 speech Obama made. In that speech he tells the same story about America liberating Auschwitz, and adds that we liberated Treblinka.

But, and here's the twist, in THAT version, there is no uncle doing the liberating. Instead, Obama claims his Grandfather "heard stories" from unnamed men who had done the liberating.

So somehow in 2002 there were these unnamed, unknown Americans who Obama's grandfather said liberated Auschwitz, and this week those unnamed Americans are Obama's uncle?

Methinks someone aught to check into whether this uncle actually spent 6 months hiding in an attic. My guess is that's not quite "accurate" either.

Posted by: Charles | May 27, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

If you listen, Obama says, "I had an uncle....". Had? So the uncle is dead? How convienent.

Now he says he is alive and does not want to be disturbed because he is elderly.

No Obama. Ever.

Posted by: Most media not even mentioning | May 27, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Dear Dummy Dobbs,

I'm giving it 3 pino.'s because it is, basically, true.

No wonder you support Odumba!

Posted by: WTF? | May 27, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

why is this even in a FACT CHECK
He mised up the names of two concentration camp
I am jewish and mixed them up also

The facts are true
His great uncle is still alive and all has been verified

How can you allow3 (or 4) Pinocchios for a true story with a mix up

If I said I read this in the NYT and it was the Wash Po and I corrected it - is that Pinocchio worthy?

Don't you think this is a little harsh (and silly)?

Posted by: alison | May 27, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

This is exactly why Obama will never win the General.

Who is this liar Obama?

Posted by: Hillary wins General | May 27, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

No way this deserves 3 Pinocchios, by far the most absurd rating you have made yet. Mixing up the name of two death camps is not something that should be campaign-altering or even interesting news. The Obama campaign quickly corrected themselves, no harm, no foul. The basic point remained the same, the only thing that changed was the NAME of the death camp. If that deserves 3 stars, then how do almost all the lies and half-truths put out by candidates get one or two pinocchios (i.e. Dems using: 'McCain 100 years in Iraq', Reps using: 'Obama supported by Hamas')? If anything, unless this rating is changed, I have lost so much respect for this blog, and won't be giving it any credibility again.

Posted by: Andrew P | May 27, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama trying to "reach out" to Hispanics:

Obama says

Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!


Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!


Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!


Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!


Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!


Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!


Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!


Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!


Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!

Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!

Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!

Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!

Facts, we don't need no stinking facts! Just make me President!

Posted by: Obama | May 27, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Really?

He does have the uncle, the uncle did liberate a camp, and I presume that you do not contest the description of the uncle's reaction -- which was the point of the story.

The fact that he named the wrong camp makes it a "howler"?

This column was a good idea. It's too bad you seem to be susceptible to spin from the campaigns, and so fail to apply a consistent standard.

Posted by: Helen | May 27, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

this is an incredibly stupid review of a factual screwup that occurred once, and was quickly clarified as "misspoken." Had it been a written speech, repeated numerous times, or no such relative was to be found, then yes, fine, let's talk about it, let's say Obama lied big time.

But a rather minor mistake (in contemporary, 2008 presidential politics) certainly doesn't deserve such harsh judgment.

And what is this absurd notion of "a Harvard-educated" presidential candidate should know better? Are you scolding Obama for not living up to the delusion that Harvard students are all geniuses, who should know everything about everything?

You expected that because he was admitted to Harvard Law and edited the law journal, he should have a thorough understanding of WWII history?

Did you yourself really know, off the top of your head, that Auschwitz was in Poland and was liberated by the Soviets? How many people in the media knew that themselves? And how many googled Auschwitz before writing their columns or jumping on TV?

Posted by: wow | May 27, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Dear WaPo Fact-Checker:

You're seriously straining YOUR credibility here. Get some perspective. The horrible "gaffe" was a simple, everyday mistake, an inconsequential substitution error of absolutely no consequence. His story is true, an uncle helped liberate "a" concentration camp, and the story was perfectly relevant to the "real" point of his comments on PTSD.

This is nothing but a nit! Why is the WaPo contributing to this ridiculous ado about nothing??? This wasn't worth a single Pinocchio. It wasn't even worth "checking."

Posted by: John Kenny | May 27, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I love how he references America's fallen heroes in the crowd...

Obama is a disgusting person.

Obama is anti-American.

I don't know much about Obama but what I do know I don't like.

Hey, Oprah taught us: A person shows you who they are and you need to believe them.

Obama shows us over and over and over who he is and us Hillary supporters believe him but the media is made of people who love this fake and do not want to hear the truth.

The media doesn't need the truth to make money. That is why the media loves Obama. Obama and the media give hope and change to the masses, now that is a money maker!

Posted by: Fallen Heroes, WHAT??????????????? | May 27, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree with several of the commenters -- at least one pinnochio too many.

The relative exists. The basic assertions make sense, while the details were inaccurate.

Plus, you have a nonseqitur which gives the slip, perhaps to your bias. Obama's great error was not geography. He did not assert that Auschwitz was anywhere but where it is on the map.

Obama made the mistake of showing his ignorance by using Auschwitz as a synonym for "Nazi Death Camp."

This is a lamentable state of affairs -- it is important that we do not forget, and knowing specific facts is important. We must not forget.

But, with charity, one must realize that even with his errors, Obama told the Holocaust story correctly (but not accurately.)

Award Pinnochios when the great-uncle does not exist. Award something even worse when they deny the Holocaust.

But have charity, and as you showed, an teaching impulse, when those with good hearts show that they haven't mastered the facts.

Posted by: EgoNemo | May 27, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

You people really need to stop this...every time BO is called out on anything...anything at all...we're all racists! It's not about Bush or Hillary or Harvard or whatever else you try to throw out there to change the topic...It's about BO having no honor or moral character. This guy has totally disrespected his own grandmother that raised him and thrown her under the bus as a racist because it was expediant. His pastor and "mentor" (according to his book) right there under the bus because he was backed up against the wall. No one in their right mind believes that in 15 or 20 years he didn't have a clue what Wright was about. And if his grandmother was such a flaming racist why did she welcome her biracial grandson into her home and raise him with love and care? If I was a relative or friend of his I'd be concerned...those tires can be painful. I say again...he has no honor because if he did he wouldn't be standing in front our veterans and trying to run a scam! You just don't lye about service...anyone's service.

Posted by: mary reilly | May 28, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

This is not the first time he lies. He is making it up as he goes and media just forgive him as if it;s just fatigue. This dude does not know history, geography, politics, he is a crook! let's face it.

Posted by: nancy sabet | May 28, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

OMFG u r an idiot, Dobbs.

Posted by: Patrick | May 28, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Three out of four pinocchios for getting the name of the camp wrong? Are you kidding? His basic story, that his uncle helped save the Jews in Europe, was true. He got the camp wrong. Did he make a historical mistake, yes. But pinocchios deal with lies, not with honest factual errors that aren't even relevant to the central tenet of the claim. Auschwitz wasn't the point of the story - rather, seeing the Nazi atrocities and suffering from PTSD was the point of the story, and that ended up being true. Face it, you guys jumped the gun and criticized Obama before you had all the facts. Now you're practicing some CYA.

Posted by: John Aravosis, AMERICAblog.com | May 28, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Wow! The Obamabots are not big on facts, I see. Facts tend to erode myth.

This is just one example of how he has played fast and loose with the facts. He has spun so many legends about himself it is ridiculous.

Posted by: it's1984 | May 28, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

He has been giving this prepared talk since 2002. It is no gaffe it is a lie. Good spinning by his backers though

Posted by: bubba | May 28, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Obama has family connected with everything that makes America great. The only problem is the Obama family has been shown to be against what does indeed make America great.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Dobbs, you ignorant twit: "Where in the world is Buchenwald?"

Hint: you've been told above!

If you're going to get all snotty about it, you might check your OWN facts, for a change!

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Barak is not a Jew. That he would bear witness to the Holocaust is in and of itself a good deed. His generation did not have to fight in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam and the expectation that he must be well versed in every conflict is absurd. Harvard Law School does not require a course in Nazi concentration camp geography. For him to draw upon a family story and to be mistaken is not a reflection of his intelligence, his education, or his character. It is a failure of memory. Would that the Americans had liberated Auschwitz. We had trained medical personnel who knew how to care for the starving survivors. The Red Army unwittingly provided rations that killed many. I am disgusted with those who only want to ridicule, mock, and taunt this admirable young man. Of course the Republicans would leap to correct this historical inaccuracy. They have nothing else to do. McCain is just another one of their despicable cronies who lies about his political positions, courts the fundamentalists with his new found bigotted morality, and longs to control a war machine to take revenge for the horrors he underwent as a POW. He is no commander in chief. He is as damaged a soldier as any returning from the horror that is Iraq.

Posted by: C. Levin | May 28, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

A lot of people died in concentration camps, and in WWII, Obamas great uncle liberated a concentrations camp. Your tittle and Pinocchios trivialized a very serious time in the worlds past. Millions of people died, stop playing cheap political games with this.

Posted by: Julian | May 28, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Three pinnochios for what was essentially the truth? If we had found out he had no uncle or that the uncle served in the Pacific theatre then maybe this would be a story. At best it is one pinnochio but I think that even that is overblown.

Also how does Hillary's outright lie about snipers get only one more pinnochio and I don't even want to start with all the lies McCain has been spewing and how many he deserves.

Non story.

Posted by: BHB | May 28, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

What's the problem? He confused two concentration camps. Isn't the point that his great uncle helped liberate people from a concentration camp and then suffered from PTSD? Isn't the story more about human suffering than a specific camp? I think so. I don't think this deserves any pinocchios at all. Especially if Clinton got 4 pinocchios for a complete lie about being caught in sniper fire that never happened, anywhere, anytime -- how could only 1 less pinocchio be given for names and towns of concentration camps? Obama should have had the details right, but the camps existed, his uncle helped liberate one of them, and his uncle had PTSD.

Posted by: beth | May 28, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

"

Obama has family connected with everything that makes America great. The only problem is the Obama family has been shown to be against what does indeed make America great.

Posted by: | May 28, 2008 12:17 AM "

Like smarmy little spineless lickspittle little idiots like you who won't even use a name on your posts? Yup! You made America great, all by yourself. Swine!

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

"

I WOULD WANT TO KNOW THE NAME OF THIS SO-CALLED "UNCLE" OR "GRAND-UNCLE."

I DON'T BELIEVE A WORD OBAMA SAYS. I THINK HE IS LOSING HIS BEARINGS.
"

It's in the stories in the press, Jeffie-poo! Learn to read!

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

By making this an issue, the Republican National Committee and their anonymous bloggers have helped to spread the word that Obama's family were heroes in World War II. Which he never brought up directly. Thanks, folks, for shooting yourselves in the foot. Now go back to calling him an "Arab."

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Much ado about nothing. The "Fact Checker" is nothing more than a BullSheet amplifier. It would be nice if you could actually add some meaningful analysis here instead of magnifying a trivial misstatement into a hanging offense...

Posted by: Steve | May 28, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Good point, Tom. The Republicans ARE pointing out that Obama's family were heroes in World War II. Actually, this is pretty exciting news for the Democrats.

Posted by: beth | May 28, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately, the story shows that the presumptive Democratic nominee has a poor grasp of both history and geography. "

Unfortunately, so does the FactChecker, who misplaces Buchenwald by over 100 km. So where does Dobbs get the right to arbitrate, being wrong on the facts?

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I fear that this may be our first presidential election where a person is elected because of the empty words they use instead of having a proven track record of achievement.

Posted by: jim | May 28, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

/You people really need to stop this...every time BO is called out on anything...anything at all...we're all racists! /

Uhh. No every time you call him out on manufactured BS we think yo are idiots and ignorant. Racism has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: BHB | May 28, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

This is a bit shameful of the writer of this article. McCain's blunders should be reverberating through the speakers of every television but they do not. I can't as yet question his mental capacity, but based on his own words, every time he speaks, I have to assume he is lying. He contradicts himself in every new speech. Therefore, misnaming a concentration camp in an uncle's war story is hardly worth more than one Pinocchio for ONE FACTUAL ERROR, not SIGNIFICANT FACTUAL ERRORS. The more I think about this, the more I believe this author is just fishing for (admitted) misstatements to present as significant voting points. Try taking a look at McCain's PROMISING WAR WITH IRAN WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHO THE LEADER IS. MCCAIN'S ERRORS ARE NOT MISSTATEMENTS. HE ACTUALLY DOESN'T KNOW.

Posted by: Kevin | May 28, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

/I do not believe that this "uncle" even exists!/

Too bad that reality intervenes once again.

I really can't wait for it to be 01/09/2009 and to be raising a glass of champagne to President Obama!

Posted by: BHB | May 28, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

HOORAY TOM!

Posted by: Kevin | May 28, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I am a Clinton supporter, but I disagree with the 3 Pinocchios for Obama's statement about Auschwitz and his (great)uncle. It seems pretty clear that he either got the wrong name from his family lore, or mixed up his World War II concentration camp names. It does not seem as if there was any intention to mislead. I think it likely that he has not studied the Holocaust to any degree, and has the (typical) ignorance of its details that mark those who are under the age of 50 or so. As one born in 1948 and raised on WWII movies and examples, I received with my general education the understanding that the Holocaust was the supreme example of humanity's capacity for cruelty.

I do find it ironic that Mr. Obama, who makes a great deal of his sense that we baby boomers are over the hill and irrelevant to modern politics, here reveals the extent to which he, too, is locked in his own generation. Those who survived the death camps and Nazi persecution are now dying off. Soon we will have only history to remember them by, and to remember the hideous facts of the Holocaust. We must keep the specific facts alive, because if we do not, we will bleach out the power of the memories, the camp names and experiences will meld together (as they appear to have in Mr. Obama's mind), and the Holocaust will become just another nasty event in human history....

Posted by: Nancy Brockway | May 28, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

BHB - He is called out because HE manufactured the BS and it came right out of his own mouth. Gotta give you credit...you know and recognize BS from your candidate when you hear it and aren't afraid to say it.

Posted by: mary reilly | May 28, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

From Obama's web-site:

"My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don't oppose all wars."

Pearl Harbor was bombed Dec. 7, 1941.

However, according to the WWII Kansas Veterans Index. His grandfather, Stanley A. Dunham, enlisted in the Army on June 18 1942, more than six months after Pearl Harbor.

Posted by: Mike | May 28, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

"Try taking a look at McCain's PROMISING WAR WITH IRAN WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHO THE LEADER IS. MCCAIN'S ERRORS ARE NOT MISSTATEMENTS. HE ACTUALLY DOESN'T KNOW."

Yeah, but we expect that. McCain is dumber than a rock. Why bother to check his "facts"?

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

When the supposed "Fact Checker" can't locate Buchenwald, why believe him? Dobbs, you need a new line of work. Plumbers make good money! Apply at Roto-Rooter!

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Where in the world is Michael Dobbs?t

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

"You really were over zealous in your wooden puppet assessment.
Shame on you...you only gave Hillary 2 pinochs for her sniper gaffe and it was a complete made up fairy tale...
This statement is based on FACT..He had the name wrong but the meat of the story was very true..Maybe he should have used a more generic phrase such as a "concentration camp" but all the same..still TRUE."

That's okay. What's outrageous is the simpleton doesn't know where Buchenwald was!

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

How does such a woodenhead get hired by a "major" newspaper like the Washington Post? When he so badly screws up his job, how does he manage to stay on? Nepotism?

Posted by: tom | May 28, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I am not an Obama supporter and I find it interesting that he suddenly remembers his white relatives as opposed to when he was listening to Wright's anti white tirades, but not remembering which concentration camp his great uncle's unit liberated is really not such a big deal.
Almost everybody had relatives in the military in WWII (it was mandatory) but how many of us remembers the details of their stories.

Posted by: RJB | May 28, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Is this some sort of an attempt to "balance out" criticism? The MSM usually does this to show that it's even-handed.

Comparing Obama's statement with Hillary's Bosnia story is ridiculous to the extreme. Hillary was giving a *FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT OF SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED TO HER*. Obama, on the other hand, was relating a story told to him third-hand by someone in the family; a story that happened before he was even born. Do you people _really_ think these are the same?

I am all for holding everyone accountable, but COME ON! Find something substantial! This is worse than grasping for straws.

Posted by: Avg Joe | May 28, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

You deserve 3 Pinocchios for you fact checker column.

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony.

This column is a joke. You mock Obama for not knowing geography but you display no knowledge of it yourself. Did you go to Harvard too?

Posted by: Bubba | May 28, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

"I fear that this may be our first presidential election where a person is elected because of the empty words they use instead of having a proven track record of achievement."

Not possible. Reagan 1980 didn't just use empty words, he had an empty head too. But he went on to become one of the greatest presidents this country has seen.

I like how Obama inspires a whole generation. We need inspiration, not fear-mongering. Sorry, McCain is bad news for everyone (except the military-industrial complex, which is funding his campaign).

Posted by: xPOW | May 28, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Please note that all of the Nazi extermination camps were located in Poland:
Auschwitz/Birkenau, Chelmno, Majdenek, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. It seems to me a rather startling betrayal of ignorance for a Harvard-trained lawyer not to know that U.S. troops never fought in Poland and that Auschwitz is not in Germany.

Posted by: DRW | May 28, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

OK, I did graduate from Harvard University and I cannot point out Dachau, Buchenwald, or Auschwitz on a map.

By the way, Obama graduated magna cum laude (top 10%) from Harvard Law, where the grading is blinded.

Three stars, for shame! Dobbs is pathetic.

Posted by: Samir | May 28, 2008 2:06 AM | Report abuse

From Obama's web-site:

"My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don't oppose all wars."

Fact:

No American troops ever entered Auschwitz or Treblinka.

Treblinka was razed by the Nazis in 1943, following a prisoner rebellion.

Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviets on
January 27, 1945.

Posted by: Mike | May 28, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

You deserve 3 Pinocchios for you fact checker column.

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony.

This column is a joke. You mock Obama for not knowing geography but you display no knowledge of it yourself. Did you go to Harvard too?

Posted by: Bubba | May 28, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Fact Checker:

The point Obama appeared to be trying to make was unaffected by his mistake: his uncle was with the division that liberated a Nazi concentration camp where right up to the last minute Jews and others were tortured and killed , and then the uncle had serious psychological difficulties after returning from that long and bloody conflict.

With this attempt to make political hay, you make light of the Holocaust and belittle the service of our uniformed soldiers in WW II. We expect better.

Posted by: Joseph | May 28, 2008 2:14 AM | Report abuse

It'd be a pretty normal gaffe, except for one thing.

Obama's great uncle (Charles W Payne) was in the Navy.

Posted by: Frederick Michael | May 28, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Where can you check that the uncle was in the Navy?

Posted by: Andrea | May 28, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

As far as Obama making a misstatement concerning his great uncle (and I've got aunts and uncles who are my great uncles and I refer to them as "uncle" not great uncle So and So), it's really not a big deal at all.

When I talk to my nieces and nephews about my aunts and uncles, I refer to them as Uncle So and So--not, "Your Great Uncle So and So."

And it seems that just because Obama went to Harvard, he's being railed upon. No one said the man was majoring in geography. If he had been, then this would be about something. It's not. Just one more opportunity for more trivia. If you really want to be fair, then you really do need to check facts. But, if you're just out to show how bad you think a person is because you don't like him or her, why do you waste intelligent people's time with such garbage? Nothing else to do, huh?

Does someone really get paid to write this swill?

Oh, and Annie,

This is for your black-hating self. I've just about had it with the bigotry that I see coming from Camp Hillary.

"I can win the white working class vote. Obama is losing the white working class vote again, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

You represent the kind of person who takes a picnic lunch to a linching and stands there smiling to the camera while black people hang for no other reason than you asserting yourself that God was wrong when He had the gall to create black people without your say so.

Furthermore, you represent the very kind of people who have allowed the education system in the country to go down the tubes because, "I sho ain't gonna teach no darkies how to read."

"Sure, I'll ride the elevator--even if a n____r did invent it. I don't have to acknowledge anything those no-goods have done. Oh, you say a black person invented a mop and a traffic light and a bunch of other stuff? Well, give me a list of those so I'll know what not to use anymore--'cause if one of them invented it, I sure don't want to use it. Can you believe those darkies always complaining about about not getting treated fairly? And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!"

Now, when you use the term reverse racism,
Annie, you remember that in order to reverse something, it had to be the other way first!!!!!!! If it's good enough for me, why isn't it good enough for you (although that's not how I believe, but I'm not the one who used the term).

That's why my skin crawled the first time I heard the term "reverse discrimination," which to me is nothing more than an admission that, "Hey, we did this to you and how dare you do this to us."

And the rest of the lie, "And that no-good Obama, he's just runnin' to help the blacks--never mind he's just as much white as he is black. Oh, did I say that he's just as much white as black? I think I'll be sick."

Guess what, Annie, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof and all they that dwell therein."

Get that, Annie, it all belongs to God and you're just borrowing your piece like everyone else.

"Yep. Usin black folks is gettin' sick and tired of dyin' fo d' country and gittin' substandard treatment. Imagine that."

Most generally, I don't respond to the likes of your rhetoric, Annie, but of late, after hearing all the hate rhetoric that I've been hearing, I've had my fill because as much as you would like to think it's true, Annie, not one of us is any better than the other--that's an insecure person's wishful thinking and it will be a cold, cold day in hell before I ever buy into that garbage. We are all equally as precious to the Maker and I certainly don't need your affirmation--I've got His.

People who espouse your type of rhetoric make my skin crawl. And you are definitely a part of the problem and not the solution--so how can you help Hillary--she's about solutions, you know. We'll never make progress in this country to bring us all together with your kind of stinkin' thinkin' and guess what else, Annie, when we end up selling this country down the river because we refused to come together, our enemies will gleefully waltz right on in and take over and guess what, they might think every one of us are schmucks and unnecessary!

You need to think about that, Annie.

Posted by: sj | May 28, 2008 2:39 AM | Report abuse

You deserve 3 Pinocchios for you fact checker column.

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony.

This column is a joke. You mock Obama for not knowing geography but you display no knowledge of it yourself. Did you go to Harvard too?

Posted by: Bubba | May 28, 2008 2:49 AM | Report abuse

So Michael Dobbs, you think that Obama's misnaming of the concentration camp that his uncle liberated is a "howler?" Seriously? That's really sickening. Honestly, I no longer have any respect for your opinion, your judgment, or your intelligence.

I give you five Dopeys for this article, and five Cruella de Vils as a human being, plus five Jafars for using stupid cartoon characters in an article ostensibly about Nazi death camps. Such sneering, classless idiocy would never have made it to the pages of Katharine Graham's Washington Post.

Posted by: buddhistMonkey | May 28, 2008 3:24 AM | Report abuse

You deserve 3 Pinocchios for you fact checker column.

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony.

This column is a joke. You mock Obama for not knowing geography but you display no knowledge of it yourself. Did you go to Harvard too?

Posted by: Bubba | May 28, 2008 3:40 AM | Report abuse

How many times must Obama be caught lying before even the most gullible Obama cultist starts to suspect the truth about him? Between the lies, the exaggerations, and the pandering, each day he sinks lower and lower. The other day he told a Jewish group that his name, Barack, was the same as the Jewish name, Baruch. So now he's white, he's black and he's Jewish! Mazel tov! I can't wait to hear what he claims if he speaks in Chinatown in San Francisco.

Obama cultists = Scientologists = People's Temple members at Jonestown. Same mindset: We and our beloved leader are full of love and peace and truth and brotherhood - and we'll kill anyone who says were not.

Keep drinking that Kool-Aid, Obamans, there's plenty for all.

Posted by: JP | May 28, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

This does not seem to be an actual lie. The main parts of the story are true. Obama may have originally heard the story from older family members and trusted their memories. He was just repeating portions of his family's legend as told to him but the details were mixed up in the story telling process. this is not a real lie.

Posted by: Jim | May 28, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

You rate this the same as the oft-repeated lies of Tuzla??

My father was an American officer in a forward unit that arrived first at one of the camps...I don't know which one, because he would not talk about it.

But it was well known in my family that it happened,and that he suffered over what he saw there...ever afterward.

Which was Obama's point, you insensitve lout of an ignoramous.

Posted by: Barbara in Santa Fe | May 28, 2008 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Too bad Charles W. Payne was in the Navy. No wonder the Obama campaign doesn't want anyone to talk to him. Oh and his grandfather enlisted in June 1942 not the day after Pearl Habor has Obama has repeatedly claimed.

Not a real big deal but the guy has a history of mixing fiction with reality.

Posted by: Obama is a fabulist | May 28, 2008 4:02 AM | Report abuse

Interesting ratings system you have there.

If Obama had said "liberated a concentration camp" instead of "liberated Auschwitz" there would be no problem whatsoever. Where's the deception, where's the intent to mislead?

For years, I told people my grandmother was from Naples, but technically (and something I wasn't aware of) she was from a town outside Naples.

Posted by: KevinNYC | May 28, 2008 4:05 AM | Report abuse

Now that all of the facts are known and fact checked about this situation, Obama should not receive any Pinocchios for this incident. And if any Pinocchios are awarded for this, then the most Obama deserves is one for not checking himself before making the claim.

Posted by: US Vet | May 28, 2008 4:07 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Payne, helped liberate a Buchenwald sub-camp in April 1945 as part of the 89th Infantry Division.
Records show Charlie Payne was a member of the Army's 89th Infantry Division during WWII. (AP)
"On April 4, 1945, the 89th overran Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Ohrdruf was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops in Germany," according to the museum. "A week later, on April 12, Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton, and Omar Bradley visited Ohrdruf to see, firsthand, evidence of Nazi atrocities against concentration camp prisoners."

Obama told the truth in a sense.

Posted by: Facts | May 28, 2008 4:20 AM | Report abuse

wrong camp

wrong uncle

bad church

bad wife

doesn't wear "that pin"

believes we have 59 states

didn't know about that real estate deal (his home)

yeah, the media has kinged him "Democratic President Bush-#2-Obama!

Posted by: hey, it's just our country | May 28, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: F the flag, right President Obama | May 28, 2008 4:26 AM | Report abuse

That's okay. Obama doesn't know the facts. And neither does his supporters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZTo0iGc_Dw

Posted by: Facts do not count | May 28, 2008 4:29 AM | Report abuse

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Obama's mother was an only child!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is why NOW Obama says it was his GREAT uncle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This guy can not become President!

No Hillary? NO DEMOCRAT!!!!

VOTE McCAIN!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DK9e1aMjMI

Posted by: What????? | May 28, 2008 4:35 AM | Report abuse

Please write more about this. It show's Obama does have a war hero in his family that liberated the first concentration camp in Germany....a point of great pride for many Americans. It show's that Obama is not a liar, yet is a human who might not get every fact perfectly accurate before saying it, yet is willing to admit his error and correct the record. The essence of Obama's tale is accurate! Meanwhile John McCain still seems confused about Shia's and Sunni's and voted to let G.W.B. keep torturing despite his own very personal knowledge of the subject.

Posted by: ObamaSupporter12345678 | May 28, 2008 4:44 AM | Report abuse

Obama's mother didn't have a brother.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFR8IAD1jQ

Posted by: Obama INVENTED brother | May 28, 2008 4:46 AM | Report abuse

Great uncle not simple uncle.
Buchenwald not Auschwitz.
The story was about his uncle's bout of post-traumatic stress; these errors are not significant to the tale he was telling.  (I'm not even sure the first can be called an error.)

And yet you gave that 'three Pinocchios' for significant factual errors.

I think you're fulla...  Well, you get the idea I'd reckon, without me finishing it out.

Posted by: Lee C.  --  U.S.A.  | May 28, 2008 4:53 AM | Report abuse

and to SJ I would add, please do not confuse Clinton supporters with right wing trolls pretending to be Clinton supporters. There is a concerted effort by the republicans to get the 2 democratic camps to fight to the death.

Posted by: ObamaSupporter12345678 | May 28, 2008 5:07 AM | Report abuse

It seems that you have made mistake. Buchenwald is near Weimar in the region of Thuringia, not Lower Saxony. Ah, so YOU are the ignorant elitist as well. Laughable mistake, don't you think, along the same lines of Sen. Obama's. Except he did not judge you, but you feel inclined to judge all others.

Posted by: Kevin | May 28, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

SOURCE:
"Glib WaPo "Fact Checker" Should Give Self 3 Pinocchios or Where in the World is Buchenwald?"

Debrazza, Daily KOS

Posted by: Kevin | May 28, 2008 5:10 AM | Report abuse

You deserve 3 Pinocchios for you fact checker column.

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony.

This column is a joke. You mock Obama for not knowing geography but you display no knowledge of it yourself. Did you go to Harvard too?

Posted by: Bubba | May 28, 2008 5:26 AM | Report abuse

You deserve 3 Pinocchios for you fact checker column.

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony.

This column is a joke. You mock Obama for not knowing geography but you display no knowledge of it yourself. Did you go to Harvard too?

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/28/21951/5804/786/523980

Posted by: Bubba | May 28, 2008 5:29 AM | Report abuse

You deserve 3 Pinocchios for you fact checker column.

Ohrdruf and Buchenwald are not in Lower Saxony, but deep in Thuringia. About 100 km away from the east boarder of Lower Saxony.

This column is a joke. You mock Obama for not knowing geography but you display no knowledge of it yourself. Did you go to Harvard too?

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/28/21951/5804/786/523980

Posted by: Bubba | May 28, 2008 5:30 AM | Report abuse

Give Dobbs a break. He clearly confused Bergen-Belsen for Buchenwald. No one would be silly enough to excoriate someone for mixing up Nazi concentration camps, right?

Posted by: Seth | May 28, 2008 5:57 AM | Report abuse

How is this relevant? I'm thinking, enough WWII stories already!
But, at this point in time, with what we have already seen during this campaign season, all the presidential candidates have an obligation to get their facts straight. No excuses.

Posted by: vcsmith | May 28, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

The Holocust is no joke. And after all Obama's great uncle did risk his life in Germany. Dobbs and those looking for a gotcha moment should be ashamed of themselves.

Jake Tapper is no saint, but atleast he gets it:
No matter where you stand, I guess I just don't particularly care to see Concentration Camp survivors on the same page as cartoon Pinnochios, as whoever does graphics for the Washington Post's great fact-checker Michael Dobbs has done HERE.

And do we really need the headline "Where In the World Is Auschwitz?" This isn't a joke.

I am certainly part of the media world that pounces on politicians when they screw-up. As such, I'm often guilty as charged when it comes to not seeing the forest for the trees. In this instance, the forest is the deliberate extermination of 12 million people. And the sacrifices of the brave Americans who risked and gave their lives to save those people victimized by Nazi barbarism. Not to mention our fighting men and women through the generations who have had to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a conversation about which prompted Obama to mention his great uncle.

Obama deserved to be called out for his mistake. But it's also worth noting that despite all the talk about Obama's problems with the Jewish community, he's never mentioned before that his great uncle helped liberate a concentration camp until it came up in North Las Vegas in a conversation about PTSD.

Posted by: Saybah | May 28, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Obama should be proud of his uncle who fought to keep all "57 states free".

Posted by: iahead | May 28, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

I think this is the first time I disagree strongly with your rating. In my opinion this deserves half a Pinocchio at most.

Posted by: Ikke Leonhardt | May 28, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

The fact checker needs a fact checker. Aint that rich.

Americans are hungry, losing their mortgages, as well as their health care, yet people are still trying to look for gotcha moments with these candidates.

I don't care if it is Obama or McCain. Get on with the real news and stop this foolishness.

Posted by: Saybah | May 28, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I am wondering if Barack Obama has a soul.
The reason is that he deceitfulnessly and unpleasantly has used holocaust to make it sound as if his family was a good example. He even did so on the very day when the Veterans were hounored. He is qoueting an old story as i where true. All of us have had heroes in our families. He can not be trusted!
European

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about Pinnochios, but it sure seems that Obama does have seriously chronic flare-ups of "foot-in-mouth disease". What's next? Another one of his "Crazy Uncle" stories that has an Unc and Jeremiah Wright being the _REAL_ inventors of the internet?

Doesn't his campaign bother to run -anything- he claims through at least a minimal fact check before he gives a speech?

Such a string of embarrassments; somebody in his campaign really needs to sit Obama down and discuss this ongoing problem of his.

Posted by: Rick Thompson | May 28, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

For all the lack of REAL coverage of the Bosnian lie, I think this Obama comment is a pure slip.

If this were to get legs...oye vey!

Posted by: CitizenXX | May 28, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

And when will the RNC get all upset that Ronald Reagan claimed to the Israeli Prime Minister to have PERSONALLY been involved in the liberation of Buchenwald? He never left the US in WWII, making Hollywood movies, although he did PLAY a soldier liberating the camps, so I guess in the GOP world that's the same thing.

Posted by: Tom Quinn | May 28, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Three P's is still pretty high, considering this was clearly a factual mistake and not an attempt to distort the truth. Unlike other convenient lies told by certain candidates, there's nothing to be gained by mixing up the names of the camps.

Posted by: df19808 | May 28, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Thank you President Bill Clinton on calling out the main stream media like CNN & MSNBC on the complete disrepect and unfair treatment of Senator Clitnon and women in general, they have continued to receive and endure assults from these biased scared tabloid media fools, like Ken Oberman and Chris Matthews with their man infatuation with Obama...its funny how they claim over and over Clinton Lies but Obama flubbs???? come on!!! OBAMAS gets caught in lie after lie after lie!!!!! why would ANY VOTER BELIEVE OBAMA CAMP!!!!!

OBAMA LIES AGAIN

Obama LIES about Concentration Camp Claim at an attempt to attract Jewish voters, Often Obama inaccurately recalls his own history and American history, so it's important that we point to the facts Barack Obama's dubious claim is inconsistent with world history and demands an explanation,"It was Soviet troops that liberated Auschwitz, so unless his uncle was serving in the Red Army, there's no way Obama's statement yesterday can be true. Obama's frequent exaggerations and outright distortions raise questions about his judgment and his readiness to lead as commander in chief.

Sen. Obama referrers to himself as 'a constitutional law professor on the campaign trail. TRUTH: He never held any such title! Obama changed website bio to reflect that he was a 'lecturer' rather than 'professor. Chicago Daily Herald

Judicial Watch: Klaus Marre-Obama 'intended to leave no paper trail' OBAMA REFUSES to cooperate in releasing 8 years of his state senate records. One main reason REZKO!

Obama gets 4 Pinocchio's for 100 Years War-why national media won't call out Obama for his distortions on McCain's Iraq comments.

Washington Post caught Obama in a lie about the Kennedy family role claiming them helping his Father Contrary to Obama's claims Kennedy family did not provide the funding for a September 1959 historical records July 1960. Family Kennedy's donated $100,000 to pay for a second airlift in September 1960.

Politico reports, "During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than he acknowledges in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion- positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he's projected during his presidential campaign. The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group's detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his bid for a state Senate. In response to a Politico story, Obama's answers he never saw questioaire?

NBC OBAMA LIES IN PA-AD
It's unfortunate that Senator Obama is using false advertising to explain why he can be trusted to do something about energy prices. In his ad, Obama says, I'm Barack Obama, and I don't take money from oil companies or lobbyists, and I won't let them block change any more. Obama has been the recipient of more than $220,000 from the oil and gas industry just since as of Feb/08. Two of Obama's campaign bundlers are also CEOs for oil and gas companies, per his campaign Web site? Obama dealings with one of his largest contributors Exelon, that he cut deals behind closed doors protecting them from full disclosure in the nuclear industry. Exxon, Shell, and others are among his biggest donors

Obamas record shows he infact did support the war when he got to the senate, voted twice against bringing America's troops back home. He voted for war appropriations giving our money to Halliburton and Blackwater where Texas woman, was gang-raped by her co-workers at a Halliburton/KBR camp in Baghdad, His latest bit of posturing S 433 allows the Bush Administration to suspend any troop withdrawal, if not suspended, keeps the troops in Iraq for a long time to come

Obama said he goofed on votes angered fellow Democrats in the Senate when he voted to strip millions of dollars from a child welfare office on Chicago's West Side. But Obama had a ready explanation: He goofed! Also announced he had fumbled an election-reform vote the day before, on a measure that passed 51 to 6. The next day, he acknowledged voting "present" on a key telecommunications vote. He stood on March 11, 1999, to take back his vote against legislation to end good-behavior credits for certain felons in county jails. "I pressed the wrong button on that," he said. Obama was the lone dissenter on Feb. 24, 2000, against 57 yeas for a ban on human cloning. "I pressed the wrong button by accident," he said. But two of Obama's bumbles came on more-sensitive topics; he backed legislation to permit riverboat casinos to operate even when the boats were dockside. The measure, pushed by the gambling industry and fought by church groups whose support Obama was seeking, passed with two "yeas" to spare -- including Obama's. Moments after its passage he rose to say, explaining that he had mistakenly voted for it.

Obama would later develop a reputation as a critic of the gambling industry, and he voted against a similar measure two years later. But he was clearly confused about how to handle the issue at the time of his first vote, telling a church group that he was "undecided" about whether he backed an expansion of riverboat gambling. And, months earlier, he had voted in favor of a version of the bill.

Mainstream media needs to stop pushing Obama down voter's throats and stop the stupid Clinton bashing. Where's a true journalist? Obamas campaign pastor is not going away anytime soon Rev Wright says you don't have to wait for the afterlife for the mansion on the hilltop, he's right! To shut him up Trinity United Church of Christ is building Rev. Wright a $1 mil house on a lot that was purchased for $345,000. According to his federal income tax return Obama gave the Trinity United church $22,500 in contributions

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I guess bloggers aren't supposed to check their sources like real journalists.
May I ask where Mr. Dobbs got HIS education? I am sure you have learned everything there is to know about the locations of all concentration camps. Therefor I will not ridicule you on your own blog by pointing out your own "gaffes", but instead point you and your less educated readers to this diarist's take on your fact checking skills:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/28/21951/5804/786/523980

Posted by: Euro Pean | May 28, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, Obama sees dead people in his audience; "On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."
Sunrise is Sunshine; "How's it going, Sunshine?"
Sioux Falls is "Sioux City."
Kentucky is closer to Arkansas than Illinois, although it borders Illinois. "I'm not very well known in that part of the country...Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it's not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle."
He's campaigned in 57 states; "I've been in fifty-seven states, I think, one left to go."
They need Arabic translators where they don't speak Arabic; "We only have a certain number of them and if they are all in Iraq, then its harder for us to use them in Afghanistan,"
His double speak about Chavez and FARC said this on a Thursday; "the fermentation of anti-American sentiment in Latin America, his support of FARC in Colombia and other issues he would want to talk about." but on Friday he insisted any country supporting the Marxist guerrillas of FARC should suffer "regional isolation."

I think the man has more than a gaff problem, I think he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Posted by: hpesoj | May 28, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

This is extremely harsh for a simple mistake. I have been a Clinton supporter, and previously thought these were overly harsh on her, but this one takes the cake. The author should stick to actual lies not honest mistakes.

On the bright side, after Obama is president for a while, he will know nore about goegraphy.

Posted by: Scott | May 28, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Here's a problem with Obama's misstatement: If you know anything about the war, you know that the Americans were nowhere near Auschwitz. The Soviets were the great liberators of Poland. The problem is not that he kind of mixed up his concentration camps, but that in order to make that mistake, he has to know very little about the history of WWII. Did this guy go to Harvard?????? By these standards I could have gone there.

I'm going to ignore this, though, because I am a fervent Obama supporter. So whatever mistakes he makes along these lines are fine - I still think he is THE man for the job and I don't think a little lapse of knowledge on WWII detracts from his superior judgement necessary to carry us forward to the future.

Posted by: Lisa | May 28, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Samir - You went to Harvard??? Wow, could have fooled me.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Note to Obama fanboys and fangirls: you don't have to reflexively defend the object of your crush even when he himself admits he screwed up.

It's bizarre that his cult-following is more devoted to refusing to acknowledge any flaws in the man than he himself is. Insisting that he didn't blunder, or that even if he did it shouldn't count against him for some reason - even while Obama himself is conceding that he was at fault - just makes his base look like what it is: a cult of personality.

Posted by: Patrick | May 28, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

This mostly beautiful villages came to their terrible signifation like Rosmary to her baby. If switzerland would have being occupied Davos would have been a concentration camp too and wouldn't be famous today for his world economic forum. So why being so offended when barack is mixing up the names of the concentration camps. When you think about those names you don't think about this beautiful villages you just think about different places of a huge killing industry.

Posted by: maz hess | May 28, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Settle down, Patrick. Nobody's saying he didn't make a mistake, just pointing out that it's a mistake rather than a deception, which is what this blog is supposed to be focusing on. Understanding that simple yet important difference doesn't make anyone a "fanboy".

Posted by: df19808 | May 28, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Why does McCain get off easy when he speaks inaccurately about policy and Obama gets railed for naming the wrong concentration camp? His uncle did liberate a concentration camp, did he not? Whatever the RNC tells you to write, huh?

Posted by: Michael Dobbs (R) | May 28, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The real problem in Obama's statement is his reduction of the Holocaust to a political prop to help illustrate Obama's concern for soldiers.

Maybe Obama should have learned something about appeasement, evil, and national socialism. Of course, this education does not fit his narcissistic psychiatric profile.

Posted by: Ross D | May 28, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This reminds me of the canard used by Holocaust deniers, it is one of their favorite scams since it plays off of people's ignorance of history. They will quote some historian saying that the truth is there were no death camps in Germany during WWII. This is technically true since the death camps were in Poland, and Austria.

Posted by: myhojda | May 28, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

This a three-pinochio howler in the same way that confusing Reagan National and Dulles airports is. Give me a break!

Posted by: nalakop | May 28, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I think it ironic that you don't allow Sen Obama to correct his misspeak when the WaPo has to make corrections to their writings quite often. Example: You thought that the country of Georgia was on the Caspian Sea and had to correct your own "poor grasp of European geography" and state that it is indeed on the Black Sea. Do you accept Sen Obama's explanation? I hope so, I accept yours.

Posted by: Tonalli | May 28, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Hate to resort in a partisan way to an argument "tu quoque," but: Auschwitz/Buchenwald beats Sunni/Shiite, mix-up-wise.

Posted by: Ken | May 28, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

In response to the comment that "this has nothing to do with the election", I'd like to point out that if it had nothing to do with the election, Obama wouldn't have told the story at this time in history. He apparently told the story to generate the support of veterans. In essence, it's a way of saying, "Hey, see what my uncle did, that means I'm one of you guys! Vote for me!"

Posted by: Doug | May 28, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, this misstatement deserves no Pinocchio at all. His story was true, except that he had the wrong concentration camp. By all accounts, Buchenwald was a horrible place and his uncle's experience of taking part in liberating this camp would have been just as traumatic as if he had been in the Red Army liberating Auschwitz. To leave this at three Pinocchios is ridiculous.

Posted by: Chuck | May 28, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

One of the best comments by far:

"The real problem in Obama's statement is his reduction of the Holocaust to a political prop to help illustrate Obama's concern for soldiers.

Maybe Obama should have learned something about appeasement, evil, and national socialism. Of course, this education does not fit his narcissistic psychiatric profile.

Posted by: Ross D | May 28, 2008 10:34 AM "

Posted by: Carol | May 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

This is just another in a long list or 'potatoe' moments for BHO. What about his saying that Bush is responsible for Chavez coming to power? Unfortunately, Chavez come to power when Clinton was in office. Or his saying that the war in Iraq was using all the Arabic translators so they couldn't be use in Afghanistan? Too bad Afghanis don't speak Arabic. What about his claim that the march on Selma inspired his parents to get together and his birth is a result? Selma was years after BHO was born. I suspect Potatoe Head Obama of being almost completely ignorant of world history. All it would take to reveal the depths of this ignorance would be a few serious historical questions from a reporter who isn't blinded by the messiah's halo -- but nobody seems to care.

Posted by: Barry Potatoe Obama | May 28, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Given some of the whoppers, distortions, and errors that have been put out by the various campaign staffs, I can't believe that Dobbs is making such a big deal about this story which seems to have been based on family memories and a story that may have gone through several intermediaries in the telling.

The key points are that a close relative of Obama:
1)saw the survivors and conditions of a Nazi`concentration camp (not death camp,
2)was emotionally distressed by this experience, an emotional problem that continued after his discharge and return to the US, and 3)that at that time, the VA did little to recognise or treat returning vets with what is now called PTSD.

This deserves one Pinocchio at most and Mr. Dobbs needs to focus his much needed fact checking efforts on more substantive issues.

Posted by: Boozer | May 28, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think the fact checker needs to be more careful. I don't think the US Army was 1000 miles away from Auschwitz.

Auschwitz is located in southern Poland, near the city of Krakow. It was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. At the time, U.S. armies were still on the western borders of Germany, a thousand miles away

Posted by: BuccoBandit | May 28, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Oops. Forgot one more intrusive fact. Potatoe Head Obama's great uncle served in the NAVY. His entire story is a fabrication.

Posted by: Barry Potatoe Obama | May 28, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to WaPo for fact checking & publicizing BHO's latest falsehood. Let me see, he doesn't know how many states there are in the good ol' USA, he doesn't know when Chavez came to power, he doesn't know when the march on Selma was, he doesn't know what Wright was saying...ad nauseum. We cannot have such an ill-informed and obviously under-educated man leading this country. Why isn't the MSM reporting ANY of this???

Posted by: beachbum | May 28, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The real problem was his audience-- mostly dead soldiers.

Posted by: Robert in Cleveland | May 28, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Reverand Wright preached it into B.O and the congregation that there was never a holocaust - hmmmm! "Dis es bery intesting"

Posted by: DEXTER | May 28, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Any Presidential candidate should know that Auschwitz is in Poland. A Democrat candidate especially should know where it is. The Washington Post has a gross double standard in these matters, as was shown by the Dan Qualye "potatoe" story. A teacher gave Dan a card with the spelling shown as "potatoe" and he trusted the teacher. Yet that trivial error was portrayed as a really big deal. In the present case, Obama just made something up that was terribly easy for the Post to notice. Yet the Post is acting as a spin doctor for the shallow Obama. That is abysmal given the serial fabrications that Obama knows that he can get away with.

Posted by: D. Kosloff | May 28, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I would forgive a candidate a "slip" or a "gaffe", but what Obama was trying to do was curry favor with veterans. Just like any other politician would do on Memorial Day. Where's the change there?

It's just odd that a man who finds his spiritual inspiration in an Anti-American preacher, now remembering his white family so fondly. Wouldn't it have been great if Obama could have stood up in Church while Wright was railing against "whitey" and said "Now, look here Reverend...I'm half white and I don't appreciate your characterizing all whites as devils. In fact, I have quite a few white relatives who fought courageously in WWII. I was raised by whites, educated by whites -and I have done pretty good for myself in the USA. Heck, my black African father left me and my white mom to fend for ourselves. My white grandparents raised me. Heck, if it wasn't for all the love and support I have gotten from the white side of my family, I don't know what I would have become. In fact, I think I'll write a book about my mom, I'll call it - "Dreams of my mother-how a single white woman can raise a black child to become educated and affluent and be the Democratic nominee for President". After that, I'll write another book, I'll call it, "The Audacity of America - a nation's belief that any one can achieve their dreams, if they work hard, have good parental support, and don't succumb to demagogues."

Posted by: David | May 28, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been telling variations of the "Auschwitz" tale for several years. He has just now realized that he "mis-spoke" and actually meant...um...some other camp? Involving a different relative? Well, several different relatives, actually...but all of them liberated Auschwitz... or talked to some other GI's who did... or something...

Posted by: Smitty | May 28, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I would forgive a candidate a "slip" or a "gaffe", but what Obama was trying to do was curry favor with veterans. Just like any other politician would do on Memorial Day. Where's the change there?


/Change history to suit your campaign speeches!

Posted by: Nauman | May 28, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The first person to break this story was a commenter to the above referenced Washington Post summary of Obama's speech:

Obama has to be lying or is misinformed. No American enlisted troops ever saw Auschwitz until long after the Red Army captured it.

Posted by: Kenton | May 26, 2008 6:46 PM

Posted by: Curtiis B | May 28, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

This was NOT a 'slip-of-the-tongue'.
In 2002, Obama gave the same speech and said that it was his grandfather AND that he knew fellow soldiers who liberated Auchwitz.
Now, it's his uncle AND he actually "went into" Auchwitz.
Obama 'changes' the story to fit the occasion .

Posted by: Nauman | May 28, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm, Uncle Charlie was in the Navy. He wouldn't have been there. He'd have been in the Pacific like all guys from KS who joined the Navy in WWII.

Check it out: http://www.kshs.org/genealogists/military/wwiiveteransresults.php?page=421&branch=N

Posted by: OkieAtty | May 28, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

A 'Slip-of-the-Tongue'???
Obama's 2002 speech : (source Wiki-pedia)

"My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain."

Speech 2008 : "Uncle...went into Auschwitz"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse


"Why does McCain get off easy when he speaks inaccurately about policy and Obama gets railed for naming the wrong concentration camp? His uncle did liberate a concentration camp, did he not? Whatever the RNC tells you to write, huh?

Posted by: Michael Dobbs (R) | May 28, 2008 9:56 AM

Sorry, Mr.Dobbs, but he NEVER had an uncle and NONE of his relatives EVER liberated ANY concentration camp. You guys at the DNC are too stupid to realize the difference.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately, the story shows that the presumptive Democratic nominee has a poor grasp of both history and geography."

Thereby strengthening his credentials as a True American.

Posted by: Rene | May 28, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually, we are merely assuming the rest of the story is true. If BH Obama was wrong about the camp and it's location what makes anyone think that his great-uncle hid in an attic and didn't leave the house for 6 months. If one part of his story is false then I don't believe that we can believe the rest of it unless someone has proof or is willing to state that YES, this DID indeed happen the way it was communicated. Until then, I think the rating is fair.

Posted by: MYOB in NY | May 28, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Your defense is pathetic. Of course the Soviet Union, its army and its people deserve the lion's share of the credit for the defeat of Hitler, but your making use of that point today looks like an altogether cynical defense. I would tell you to take your 3 pinocchios and quit, but your lame answer suggests the Post should just fire you. This isn't the first time we've had something like this from you. Get lost.

Posted by: Mark | May 28, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I am awarding Michael Dobbs five (5) Pinocchios. After this episode he deserves dismissal.

Posted by: Mark | May 28, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Those making excuses for Obama apparently don't care that a Harvard educated politician who is likely to be the next President of the United States doesn't even know where Auschwitz was located.

Look, it may have been a mistake, but it highlights an ignorance that cannot be ignored. This man wants to be commander of the world's most powerful military? He wants to set US foreign policy? And he doesn't even know where Auschwitz was, or who liberated it? And in his ignorance, he is perfectly happy making statements that he knows may or may not be true???

Folks... Obama is showing you what he thinks of you. Think about it. He doesn't know the facts, so he speaks with authority and hopes the rest of the world is as ignorant as he is.

Sorry. I don't care if it was a mistake. I want a leader who knows geography and history. I want a leader who KNOWS a thing or two about Nazis and concentration camps.

Call me crazy, but knowledge of political and wartime history might, just might, be important for our chief commander.

Posted by: D4V3 | May 28, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm, Uncle Charlie was in the Navy. He wouldn't have been there. He'd have been in the Pacific like all guys from KS who joined the Navy in WWII.

Check it out: http://www.kshs.org/genealogists/military/wwiiveteransresults.php?page=421&branch=N

Is this true? Is Obama lying about his "uncle" being in the army? That would be serious. Anyone knows?

Posted by: raulin | May 28, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I missed the column where McCain's failure to keep Sunnis straight from the Shiites. I mention that only because that is, you know, kind of important at the moment as opposed to which concentration camp was liberated by Patton's Army, which is really just kind of a Trivial Pursuits answer.

How many Pinocchio's did McCain get for his (multiple) miscues?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a legitimate issue. I for one think it matters whether the next president has a firm grasp of European history and geography. After surviving the last two presidents' efforts at 'on the job training' I would really prefer not to go through the same thing all over again.

Posted by: Jane | May 28, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

i know the m.o.
fake, but accurate.

Posted by: patrick | May 28, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

his uncle seems pretty cool, I'd like to invite him over to my place to JO... nothing serious, just a little touching, rubbing between buds

Posted by: perfect_scrotum | May 28, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

if he didn't know (he obviously didn't) he shouldn't have said anything. The point is, he embellished what he knew (his great uncle liberated a concentration camp) by naming what is often considered to be the worst concentration camp. He got caught, and now all the obama worshippers are calling foul.
He was embellishing for the advantage, he failed, and he deserves any smack that comes from it. It's politics people, when they fail, you make a point of noting it.

Posted by: kevin | May 28, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I can see how a person could confuse one place he'd never visited with another, but how does he confuse a grandfather with a great uncle?


Posted by: Harry Eagar | May 28, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Before I can recommend a number of Pinocchios, I need to know what the maximum is. I'd rate this right up there with Hillary Clinton's Tuzla tale. First of all, he cannot blame being tired because he's said this before and it's even posted on his website, although there it was his grandfather and he only heard about Auschwitz and Treblinka second hand. Secondly, there's some doubt about whether or not his typical white grandfather even served in Patton's army, or in the Army at all. Kansas historical records show that nobody from Kansas named Charles Payne joined the Army the day after Pearl Harbor as Obama claimed and the only Charles W. Payne who joined any branch of the armed services, joined the Navy.
As this fib has been going on for so long and has been repeated, I think it deserves quite a few Pinocchios.

Posted by: Michael Costello | May 28, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I know a lot of Harvard graduates who don't know much about geography. The current President of the United States of America would be the prime example!

Give Obama a break. Mixing up the camps was an error, yes, but not a major one. The point of this story is that Obama was relating a great-uncle's memory of seeing first-hand the horrors of the concentration camps. I think that is a subject that, especially in these times, cannot be talked about enough.

Posted by: JP | May 28, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I personally wouldn't even mind if he made the concentration camp swap on purpose, because Auschwitz is better recognized. He doesn't want people listening to get caught up on the name of a camp they don't recognize and be distracted from the point of the anecdote. Frankly, it's like substituting Coke for Pepsi - it makes a difference, but it's not going to change whether or not you order a soda.

Posted by: ETB | May 28, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

still waiting for barry to explain how his uncle, who was in the navy, helped the army free an inland , no water access , concentration camp.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Do we have anything better to do? Obama didn't say he himself was ducking sniper fire. He just got two concentration camps mixed up. big deal. can I go back to work now?

Posted by: Jason van | May 28, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

What an Obamination! The empty suit speaks and trips over his own tongue. Liar.

Posted by: bryan2369 | May 28, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama supporters would defend him if he said he had personally been responsible for liberating Jews from all of the concentration camps.

Posted by: Marie Rutherford | May 28, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

This is why Jews hate Obama. He cannot find Auschwitz? What is he - a moron? And did he think by telling this story that no one would fact check it? He told the same whopper last year - only then it was his grandfather who liberated Auschwitz.

If McCain had told a story like this ("My Dad served on the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan during World War II") the press and the liberals would be saying, "He's an old fool! Who gets details like that wrong! He must either be senile or he is a liar!"

Okay, folks, which is it: is Obama senile or is he a liar? Your choice.

Posted by: James Marsden | May 28, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I am giving Obama fice Pinocchios - one for this boner, one for saying that there are 57 states, one for lying about not being there for Rev. Wright's sermons (yeah, right), one for being best buddies with a terrorist, and one for telling Jews that he would defend Israel when he has one of his own advisors who is a Palestinian with links to Hamas and Hezbollah and has written about his support for destroying Israel.

That's five boners, even before this moron gets the nomination. No wonder the first word people think of when they hear "Barack Obama" is "inexperienced." He makes every major party candidate in American history look like a statesman in comparison.

If this naive man wins the presidency, I give this country a year before we are hit by terrorist again. And, this time, it will be the President's fault for surrendering to our enemies and selling this country out.

Posted by: Ed Steinberg | May 28, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

If someone fears that this may be our first presidential election where a person is elected because of the empty words they use instead of having a proven track record of achievement, then they weren't paying attention in 2001 either.

Posted by: Educated Independent Voter | May 28, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is this article isn't very nice. Shame on you Washington Post, lets find something more important to talk about...

stop manufacturing consent...

Yeah its Noam Chomsky, just so I don't get called on it.

Posted by: Xander | May 28, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

According to this Obama family tree, his grandmother had no brothers. Her father Rolla Charles Payne, b. 1892, would have been 50 in 1942. The only Charles T. Payne is Obama's great-grandfather, born in 1862.

http://www.suntimes.com/images/cds/MP3/obamatree.pdf
10:41 AM
Anna said...

So you telling me Anonymous that Obama's family tree is contradictory also? Is there anything truthful about Obama?

I agree Mike, it is a pattern of blarney. Unfortunately he lacks the glib tongue kissing the Blarney Stone is supposed to imbue. I think I may start calling him Barack von Munchausen.
6:07 PM

http://annapuna.blogspot.com/2008/05/oopps-he-goofed-again.html

Posted by: hutchrun | May 28, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

To give so many P's to this "misstatement" is to denigrate all of the other, more serious, exaggerations, lies, misstatements, gaffe's, goofs and "oops" that can be found is most of Senato O's speeches. He simply has no experience in the real political arena, and this is not an on-the-job training opportunity. He is clearly not qualified even to be in the Cabinet, never mind as the head of it.

Posted by: Terri | May 28, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

`and this is not an on-the-job training opportunity`

Very true - tho` Gore Vidal may think it is :)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

You know what is a lie? That the Washington Post and the mainstream media has ignored it's duty to question and challenge the Bush administration's propganda on an unnecessary war because it is to busy covering BS topics like this one. Our news media is nothing but tabloid trash.

Posted by: MSMSucks | May 28, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Seriously? "But should we not expect more from a Harvard-educated presidential candidate?" Talk about Monday morning quarterbacking. Jumping all over this one mistake in a tired man's understanding of history? The Washington Post has to start leading the way in ignoring the gaffs and slip ups that party hacks pounce on to try and win points against each other. If the media stops giving credence to this sort of drivel, it will be harder for the spin machines to push it on the American people!

Posted by: Jim | May 28, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't he mentioned this story before, if it touched him so? It's not in his books. It was only his grandfather that'd seen things in his 2002 Oct speech.

To use this as PTSD example is insensitive.

Something's odd here.

Posted by: sheri | May 29, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

con't
Oops, & in 2002 it was Auschwitz & Treblinka. Once in error okay. But once caught, on something of heavy intensity, learn & get the name right.

Posted by: sheri | May 29, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure the people who were liberated really care that Obama made a gaffe. Sigh. Way to miss the point, media.

Posted by: Jacob | May 29, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Please don't speak for all Jews, James. Obama has more Jewish support than McCain, for instance.

Posted by: Jacob | May 29, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Geez, what a totally worthless article. I fail to understand how naming the wrong camp could amount a lie, let alone a "3 Pinnochio" lie. I guess if he'd got the date wrong as well, like saying it was April 3 instead of April 4, then it would've been the biggest lie ever told? Would you have to create a "5 Pinnochio" rating for that?

Posted by: Lefty | May 29, 2008 2:32 AM | Report abuse

This is 4 Pinocchios story. First, in front of veterans of WW2, he lied that his uncle liberated a cc that the russians did. Second, he lied that his uncle was in an army infantry regiment (his uncle was in the navy). Third, he won't own up like a man to his lies.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/27/AR2008052702983.html

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2022466/posts

Posted by: Soj4life | May 29, 2008 2:34 AM | Report abuse

Is it too much to ask that an aspiring commander-in-chief knows (1) that Auschwitz (like many of the other Nazi death camps) is in Poland, and (2) that the eastern advance of the U.S. Army in World War II stopped on the river Elbe?

Do I think the average American should know this?
Not really.
Should an aspiring commander-in-chief?
Without a doubt.
Does this gaffe illustrate a lack of knowledge or a simple misstatement?
I don't know.

Posted by: Ken in Irvine | May 29, 2008 3:32 AM | Report abuse

Maybe BO was talking about his other uncle...you know...Uncle Wright! ;)

Posted by: justme819 | May 29, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

No, Obama's uncle did not sign up for the Navy. That was a different Charles Payne. There were a dozen of them from Kansas who served in WWII. This is par for the course accuracy for the Riehl World/Hotair/ Michelle Malkin / Freeper echo chamber.

From Sweetness-Light:

On the matter of the military service of Charlie Payne, the great-uncle of Barack Obama:

His full name is Charles Thomas Payne and he IS the uncle (the term "uncle" has in fact been used even for great-uncles in that family) who served in the Army in the 89th Infantry during WW II and suffered severe enough PTSD that, after coming back from the war, he isolated himself at home for some time.

Charles recovered, attended college and to this day is an active, mentally vital, 83 year-old resident of Chicago.

This information was obtained tonight from a phone conversation with members of the Payne family and is being posted to correct the mis-information that is swirling around the internet.

CORRECT info:
1. Charles' middle initial is "T", not "W";
2. he did have what is now termed PTSD; and
3. he was so traumatized by what he encountered during the war, that he in fact did isolate himself at home for a lengthy period of time.

Charles is the second of FOUR Payne siblings:

1. Madelyn Lee
2. Charles Thomas
3. Margaret Arlene
4. Jon Virgil, (born 1937, which is why there is no listing for him in the 1930 Census of Augusta City, Butler County, Kansas. This census has been the only source offered for "Payne sibling info" oin all of the genealogical sites cited by those interested in this story.

I suspect that the listing for Charles E. Payne of Kansas is in fact the record for Charles Thomas Payne. I believe the scribe probably heard "E" instead of "T." That type of error is frequent in census records and in military records where the info is provided orally:

Payne, Charles E. Inducted 9 June 1943, Army 37531353 Registered, order # V11125 Augusta, Butler Co. (Board # 2)

http://sweetness-light.com/archive/a-query-to-the-89th-divisions-website#comment-111557

And then there's PolitiFact, who actually seem to take pride in their work:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/may/28/right-soldier-wrong-camp/

Posted by: John | May 29, 2008 4:15 AM | Report abuse

Whenever I read "journalism" like this, I'm reminded of why I cancelled my Post subscription.

Posted by: Jason Twining | May 29, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, John.

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Three Pinocchios! Boy oh boy, I would hate to see how many you get for a REAL lie. George Bush would have broken that meter. What an absurd standard, and how pathetic is it that a "fact-checker" doesn't differentiate between a deliberate falsehood intended intended to deceive and a factual error that does not change the essential part of the statement. Did you ever consider that Obama was told by his family that it was Auschwitz? And did you ever consider that people refer to great-uncles as uncles?

Posted by: The Frito Pundito | May 29, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

You're worthless.

Posted by: zeno2vonnegut | May 29, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Four pinochios. This is almost as good as Obamma comparing the travails of campaigning to the Bataan Death March.

At the very least he needs to get a few of his tame generals to give him some history lessons.

Posted by: davod | May 29, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Funny. The Washington Post used to be a real newspaper.

Now days, I give it 4 bird cage linings.

Posted by: rochrist | May 29, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"Senator Obama was not even born when this occured"

Neither was I. But I know the Americans couldn't possibly have liberated Auschwitz...and I'm not even running for president and my grad degree is from UCSD rather Harvard.

Posted by: PA | May 29, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

OK, we doomed to suffer through 5 more months of the GOP trying to create a wedge between Obama and Jews, but holy cow is the GOP over reaching when it tries to use the Holocausat like 9-11 despite GOP appeasement and trading with the Nazis. Also GOP pundits have a sick habit of claiming every criticism of them is like persecution of the Jews, and every liberal is a Nazi, especially Al Gore.

The GOP comes off as tone deaf, pathological, and with an overwhelming contempt for the intelligence of the public in general and the Jews in particular. By trying to exploit this issue, the press looks pretty bad also.

Posted by: Burford Holly | May 29, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Never mind that this whole conversation is inane, and that this mistake somehow earning "three pinnochios" is stupid and insulting almost beyond comprehension.

My comment is, what the hell kind of headline is "Where In The World Is Auschwitz"? Now we're trivializing some of the worst suffering in human history with a cutesy headline that's basically a play on words about of Matt Lauer or Carmen Sandiego? Seriously?

This gives new meaning to the word "profane." Disgraceful.


Posted by: John B. | May 29, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

OK, I've read the description of the "Pinocchio test" and it makes clear that the purpose of the test is to gauge the level of INTENTIONAL shading or misstating of facts that occurs in candidates' statements. An accidental flub mixing up the name of a geographical location (which may have been the way Obama himself learned the story) in an account that is otherwise true doesn't even merit one "Pinocchio." It's a no harm, no foul mistake because the story is fundamentally true.

This alleged fact-checker page has been shown to be biased before, and it just keeps proving it. It's a masterful exercise in propaganda indeed to have such nonsense labeled "fact-checking"!

Ever since WAPO's attempt to mainline the muslim smear several months ago in that shameless Perry Bacon article, I have reduced my visits to this site to a minimum, which is the closest an online reader like myself can come to canceling my "subscription." The paper is failing in its core purpose of informing readers. It is becoming truly disgraceful.

Posted by: Steve V | May 29, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Clearly there is a difference between Auschwitz and Buchenwald, but do you really think Obama lied? How many of your readers could have stated the difference? Did YOU know the difference before googling it? Be honest.

Posted by: sd | May 29, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

would you hold Bush to this standard?

Posted by: sd | May 29, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

obama reminds me of my father 5 years before he died at the age of 82. my father was a WWII hero that stormed the beaches of normandy and helped to liberate france.

yet, as he got older and older, we heard him tell us that when he was in africa... and when he had been in the air force (he was army)... and when he was in italy... and when he was just about every place in the world during WWII!

you see, my father was getting quite senile and did not know when he was remembering fact or some made-up fiction in order to glorify himself.

which is exactly what seems to be the case with obama: his lies are beginning to stretch out so far that he should be given FIVE, not three, pinnochios!

can you trust this man? he seems to be getting alzheimer's, and at such a young and handsome time of his life!

Posted by: Lu | May 29, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

You people are sick. We should not be putting "pinnoccio nose" cartoons with photos of concentration camp victims.

Questioning camp names?

Come on!!!!!!!! Oh, they weren't "real victims" because they weren't at Auschwitz.

Posted by: Fred | May 30, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

If this were an isolated incident, it would be excusable. Instead, this is just another in a long list of "misstatements." This goes beyond a "simple mistake" or a parroting of some story told by an uncle. A wanna-be president doesn't realize that Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army, therefore couldn't possibly have been liberated by his grandfather?? Please. And also it wasn't his grandfather. You'd think he'd do some fact-checking before spouting off such stories during a presidential campaign. However, he shouldn't have needed to do any fact-checking with regards to the simple facts about Auschwitz. Harvard Law, huh? Are all Harvard/Columbia grads this clueless, or is it just him? Obama's long list of "misstatements" remind me of the Bush Administration's poor fact-checking regarding Iraq's non-existent WMDs. I expect more of a President of the United States.

I will repeat the last portion of the post, which most people here ignored: "But should we not expect more from a Harvard-educated presidential candidate? Is it too much to ask that an aspiring commander-in-chief knows (1) that Auschwitz (like many of the other Nazi death camps) is in Poland, and (2) that the eastern advance of the U.S. Army in World War II stopped on the river Elbe?"

Posted by: Sue | May 30, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

My mistake--he made a "great-uncle" into an "uncle," not a "grandfather." He mentioned his grandfather's service under Patton. I love how he uses his grandparents to further his gain, whether it be in a positive or negative light; it doesn't matter, just as long as it's good for him.

Posted by: Sue | May 30, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

You begin to understand why Obama is so much for CHANGE! No one likes to change a story as much as BO!

Posted by: JPIPK | June 1, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of the posters that giving 3 Pinnochios for a mistake is silly. What is interesting to me about this story is how Obama mentions PTSD as being unrecognised for Vietnam and WW2 vets. As the daughter of a WW2 vet, I've just recently realised that for much of my childhood my father had PTSD, and none of us really realised it. How much of the worlds ills really comes down to soldiers coming home after brutal wars and never really being well for years?

Posted by: sharon | June 2, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I do not think this story is fair. And I am the daughter of a soldier who did fight in WWII as a regular army ground soldier, and who heroically in my family's opinion, fought, got a purple heart, and survived the Battle of the Bulge. What did you ever do in WWII? You were probably too rich to ever be a ground troop. Did any of the actually fighting troops ever know the names of the German towns they were in? This sounded like absolute hell on earth. Be real. Yes, Obama should be more accurate. But, this is really unfair too. And, thank you to the sister who mention PTSD about WWII vets as well. Yes, they saw & did WAY too much, and got no mental health help. And today's vets don't either. It sounded so horrible, my dad doesn't talk about it until recently... can we please help veterans more??

Posted by: cybergrace | June 5, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

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