The Truth Be Told

Found this over at the Weasel Zippers.  According to, this has been verified as an real letter sent to President Obama; it is not an urban myth.

Dear President Obama,My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert..

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate. Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can’t figure out what country you are the president of. You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like: ” We’re no longer a Christian nation” ” America is arrogant” – (Your wife even announced to the world,”America is mean- spirited. ” Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.”

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom. What have you done?

I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue. You were elected to lead, not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts, who was putting up a fight? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.

You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That’s not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.

And I sure as h— don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.


           Harold B. Estes


One response to “The Truth Be Told

  1. Analysis: Chief Boatswain’s Mate Harold B. Estes, USN (Ret.) is a real person residing in Honolulu, Hawaii, who does indeed turn 95 years old this December.

    He is also the confirmed author of the above letter, or the earliest version of it, at any rate. According to Rick Terwilliger, Estes’ longtime friend and publisher of Fore n’ Aft Magazine, the original was dictated by Estes (whose eyesight is poor), signed by him, and mailed to the White House, as well as a list of about 50 other handpicked recipients in November 2009.

    Thanks, presumably, to one or more of those original addressees, Estes’ letter has since been published on scores of blogs and online message boards, and gone “viral” in the form of the email text reproduced above.

    ‘Despicable lies’ or misquotes?

    While it is Mr. Estes’ right as an American to upbraid his President, it bears pointing out that in this case he has done so largely on the basis of misquotes.

    Let’s take a closer look at Obama’s so-called “despicable lies.”

    Despicable Lie #1: “We’re no longer a Christian nation.”

    Sure enough, Obama said exactly those words in 2006 at Sojourners magazine’s “Call to Renewal” conference in Washington, D.C. But that wasn’t how the sentence ended.

    Here’s the full quote, in context:

    Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation — at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.
    The awkward phrase, “at least, not just,” was a verbal flub. As written, the passage was supposed to go:

    “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

    • Call to Renewal Keynote Address (as Written).
    • Call to Renewal Keynote Address (as Delivered).

    Despicable Lie #2: “America is arrogant.”

    This was apparently paraphrased, out of context, from a speech Obama delivered to European students in Strasbourg, France on April 4, 2009:

    It’s always harder to forge true partnerships and sturdy alliances than to act alone, or to wait for the action of somebody else. It’s more difficult to break down walls of division than to simply allow our differences to build and our resentments to fester. So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years we’ve allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there’s something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.
    But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what’s bad.

    On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.

    • Transcript: Remarks by President Obama at Strasbourg Town Hall.

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