Brian Williams Admits He Lied About Being Shot Down in Iraq War (VIDEO)

Brian WilliamsWhen it comes to stolen valor, we tend to think of guys sitting in malls with Starbucks in hand, wearing a borrowed Army Ranger outfit. You don't think that someone famous and well-respected, someone like, oh, say, Brian Williams, would LIE about being shot down in war?! But that's what he now admits he did.

Advertisement

Back in 2003, Williams was traveling in a military helicopter in Iraq when a chopper near him was shot down. Williams presented that as the story to NBC, but they somehow changed the title of the story to imply that it was Williams who was shot down. Hey, makes for a better media story, for sure!

Then things began snowballing. In 2013, Williams told David Letterman he was shot down by enemy gunfire in Iraq. A book produced by NBC about Iraq told the same tall tale. And even as recently as this past week, Williams recounted the same story at a New York Rangers tribute for a fallen soldier.

But when The Stars and Stripes asked crew members of the Chinook carrying Williams what happened, they had a completely different story and said that their 'copter never came under direct fire, that it was a different helicopter entirely. Williams' Chinook was an hour away!

One member of the 'copter that was shot down, flight engineer Lance Reynolds, said about Williams:

It felt like a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn’t deserve to participate in.

Yikes. Isn't this exactly what fake soldiers do? Steal someone else's honor and valor? Give none of the sacrifice, reap all of the benefit?

Williams did apologize and basically says he watched video of the shot-down helicopter so often, he must have started to think he was in it. He called it the "fog of memory" and said, "Nobody's trying to steal anyone's valor."

Sounds like the story was originally misconstrued and then Williams either decided to go along with it or he genuinely started to believe it WAS him. Weird. I don't know how you can accidentally believe you were shot down by enemy gunfire. Seems like something you wouldn't be able to misconstrue.

Williams probably enjoyed the reflected drama of the incident and decided since no one was correcting him, he'd keep going with that story ... then maybe he really began to think it was true. Memory is a tricky thing -- people actually start to think they've committed crimes they didn't commit if someone twists the narrative enough, so I suppose Williams could have started to think he was the hero that he wasn't.

It remains to be seen how much this damages his credibility. Here's his apology:

Do you think he lied on purpose?

 

Image via NBC News

Read More >