Yesterday I posted an article about Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally and his immoral and unethical use of the military-related charity Special Operation Warrior Foundation (SOWF) to raise money for that rally.
Well, we are just beginning to scratch the surface on the deception that is at play here.
Before I posted my article yesterday, you could find a link to the Glenn Beck event directly on the SOWF homepage under the "Latest News" column. Surprise, surprise, that link is no longer there. I am wondering why SOWF has decided to bury their connection to this event just one day after they were boldly announcing it to the world. SOWF has even removed any reference to the Glenn Beck rally from their "Calendar of Events," which lists everything the charity is involved with through February 2011. Hiding something?
The answer is yes. They are hiding the fact that they are serving as the principal financing arm of a Tea Party rally to be held this summer.
Ask yourself this--when was the last time you attended a "fundraiser" for a charitable organization that was held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial? You have not.
When was the last time you were asked to help support a military charity that provides college scholarships to the children of fallen servicemembers by getting on a bus in your home town of Portland, Maine and traveling to Washington, DC? You have not, unless of course you're a member of the Portland Tea Party.
The answer is "you have not" because normal charities do not lend their name (and their federal tax exempt status) to partisan political rallies held at iconic national monuments sponsored by right-wing ideologues calling for a second American revolution.
Glenn Beck, through his Restoring Honor Rally website describes this event as a "non political, non-partisan" rally. Here is what his website says:
Come celebrate America by honoring our heroes, our heritage and our future at the Restoring Honor Rally on August 28, 2010. Join us at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. for this non-political, non-partisan rally that will recognize our First Amendment rights and honor the service members who fight to protect those freedoms.
But describing this event as "non-political and non-partisan" is nothing more than a lie. Here's the test (and feel free to ask your 5-year old child to help prove this simple experiment):
Do a Google search on "Restoring Honor Rally" and see what you come up with. Do not stop on page 1 of the results. Dig a little deeper. Here's what you will find -- an entire universe of Tea Party chapters making detailed arrangements to travel to Washington, DC and attend this rally.
Here are just a few (my personal favorite being "ResistNet.com--Home of the Patriotic Resistance"...sounds mainstream, right?):
ResistNet.com--Home of the Patriotic Resistance
Tea Party of Western Michigan
"We Surround Rochester"--Glenn Beck's 912 Project
Beaufort Tea Party, South Carolina
Join the Second American Revolution: The American People March on Washington DC
Tri-County Tea Party
Clairmont County of the Cinncinati Tea Party
I could go on and on and on...
So I am asking a few more questions today:
• Why is Glenn Beck and SOWF lying to the American public by calling this a "non-political, non-partisan" event when it is being marketed on Tea Party websites across the country?
• Why does SOWF refuse to disclose the agenda and speakers for the rally (we have asked SOWF Executive Director Steve McLeary who has refused to answer).
• Who are we "Restoring Honor" to? Surely SOWF and Glenn beck are not claiming our military is dishonorable? (The answers from the SOWF Public Relations Director, Edie Rosenthal have been less than comforting. She says that there are individuals in America who need their honor restored, but has only mentioned Tiger Woods when pushed to give a definitive answer).
• What does a Tea Party rally have to do with providing college scholarships to children of fallen war heroes?
Well, I know the answer to the last one: nothing.
Exploiting the men and women of the US military for conservative political gain is simply wrong. Exploiting fallen servicemembers and their families for political money is deceptive, shameful and morally corrupt.
SOWF needs to regain its integrity. The only way to do that is to publicly separate themselves from this rally. Until then, keep sending your money elsewhere. Those of us that have served in uniform will be watching.