In a story that was a textbook example of slipshod reporting, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled interest group member to scare viewers into believing that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft. At the center of Schlesinger’s piece was a woman named Beverly Cocco, a Philadelphia woman who is 'sick to my stomach' that her two sons might be drafted. In his report, Schlesinger claimed that Cocco was a Republican and portrayed her as an apolitical (even Republican) mom worried about the future. Schlesinger did not disclose that Cocco is a chapter president of an advocacy group called People Against the Draft (PAD) which, in addition to opposing any federal conscription, seeks to establish a 'peaceful, rational foreign policy' by bringing all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Like Schlesinger’s Cocco, the group portrays itself as 'nonpartisan' although its leadership seems to be entirely bereft of any Republicans. The group’s domain is registered to a man named Jacob Levich, a left-wing activist who in a 2001 essay compared the Bush Administration to the totalitarian government portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984. CBS News also reported that there are two bills in Congress to reinstate the draft, but failed to mention that they were both introduced by Democrats.
HINDROCKET adds: The Selective Service System has added this statement to its website:
Notwithstanding recent stories in the news media and on the Internet, Selective Service is not getting ready to conduct a draft for the U.S. Armed Forces -- either with a special skills or regular draft. Rather, the Agency remains prepared to manage a draft if and when the President and the Congress so direct. This responsibility has been ongoing since 1980 and is nothing new. Further, both the President and the Secretary of Defense have stated on more than one occasion that there is no need for a draft for the War on Terrorism or any likely contingency, such as Iraq. Additionally, the Congress has not acted on any proposed legislation to reinstate a draft. Therefore, Selective Service continues to refine its plans to be prepared as is required by law, and to register young men who are ages 18 through 25.
UPDATE: Here is a "mirror" of the original piece by Ratherbiased.Chris Heinz, Teresa Heinz-Kerry's son, was here at the University of Maine trying to sell the same "draft" line:
Tuition increases, war and the possibility that the draft will be reinstated are issues that directly affect younger voters who have a history of not turning out to the polls on Election Day, Heinz said.
Apparently everyone over at the Heinz-Kerry house has drunk the Kennedy Kool-Aid.