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24 February 2015


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John Minnerath

It's amazing ans sickening to me that a man like McDonald would do such a thing. The man can't be stupid.
I could go on, but I won't.


John Minnerath

"A man like him?" What, a business shark? For him to have slipped like this means to me that he has been doing it for a long time. pl

ex-PFC Chuck

This is disappointing, to say the least. I've never met the man but I do have two 2nd-degree-of-separation connections with him. In my own 45 year experience in the business world it seemed that by the end of that period an arms-length relationship with truth had become a mandatory, if unstated, job qualification for positions near the top of the pyramid.
As for General Shinseki's estimates of the costs of the war, Paul Wolfowitz's denunciation of them was spot on. They were indeed "wildly off the mark," but in the opposite direction from what Wolfowitz was implying. By about an order of magnitude dollar-wise. So far. The general's mistaken cost estimates were likely based on another mistaken estimate, that of the quality of the civilian leadership with whom he was dealing, whose arrogance and mendacity was exceeded only by their stupidity.

The Twisted Genius

I am also of the opinion that McDonald has been doing this for a long time. He has chummed the waters. The sharks and bottom feeders will move in. If he has been doing this, it will come out.

John Minnerath

OK, I know he's a Wall Street type, but some of them must have moral standards and ethics.
I'm still floored someone would make such an idiotic public lie.

The Moar You Know

A man like McDonald. A member of the CEO/MBA class, people who have no qualms about depriving thousands of folks of the means of making a living just so long as they make that quarter's numbers and get their bonus cash.

Worse, that's not enough for him. Throwing employees into the street to rot wasn't enough for him, "earning" millions wasn't enough for him, he still needs more respect, more, more, more, like a cocaine addict frantically hunting through the entire house hoping there's a hit left in a forgotten baggie somewhere. So he lies. About something that he must know he'd get caught at, but that doesn't matter, he needs that hit of self-esteem that his millions couldn't buy him - and he needs it to look superior on TV in comparison to some poor homeless guy who is still a better man than he is, because the homeless guy likely had the intent to actually serve his nation, while McDonald wanted nothing more than to pole vault over his classmates and end up squeezing a bunch of cash out of the pinata that he and his ilk see this nation as.

Stolen valor? Can't steal it if you don't even know what it is.


"Would it be worth driving McDonald from office for this lie?"

Being bad liar might disqualify him.

Abu Sinan

It is pretty amazing for a man to do this in front of the camera. Like you said, he had probably been doing this for a long time so just continued on the camera.

The average American would hear 82nd Airborne and not know the difference. However, with so many cases of people being outed for making false military claims in the past few years, you have to wonder how he thought he wouldnt end up in the same boat?



He was the CEO of my old company. For you to rise that high in the company you have to play the game - he is adept at it...only got caught this time.

The PIE career development framework was hammered into everyone - PIE stands for Performance, Image and Exposure. The Image bit is managing perception - mugging for the camera, a** kissing leadership, tell people what they want to hear etc. You are told over and over again - performance is not enough. That is how the real world works.

Men of honor like Gen Shinseki are disposable. There is no virtue in the corporate world.


That's just it. He didn't think and only now cares because he put his hand on a hot stove top. Why not swap him out for Jamie Dimon and have Mr. J turn the VA into a profit center, with his bonus dollar for dollar with the "savings".


Is there a term like "Ranger" with which SF people can be addressed? If so, he's earned it - as a little dishonorarium.


This is interesting (from his official bio):
"in 2014, Secretary McDonald was awarded the Public Service Star by the President of the Republic of Singapore for his work in helping to shape Singapore’s development as an international hub for connecting global companies with Asian firms and enterprises."

Since when has Singapore been considered a paragon of Democracy or good business ethics?
On a bright note the obey or get fired method might work in overhauling a bureaucracy.

Babak Makkinejad

No worse than Biden claiming publicly that he had won a law scholarship, or the many men from humble back grounds claiming to have been US soldiers in Viet Nam or so many people in the Iranian government who are "Doctors of This or That".


"Field Marshall Hadji Doctor Professor Dada Idi Amin" comes to my mind.



sophistry. Idi Amin was a madman. As for the rest I despise them all. pl



In my experience SF soldiers are addressed by their officers by rank or fist name depending on the degree of privacy. A beginning of wisdom for me in SF was the realization that the sergeants wer better soldiers than I was. After that my concentration was on learning from them and earning their trust and respect while commanding them pl

William R. Cumming

Actually JM but no! Wall Street's basic business plan today is to rip off bytes and bits of funds and data from the sheeple so small that they rely on no one noticing.

And now looks increasing likely that whatever the outcome in 2016 Presidential election no chance of Wall Street losing since Jeb and Hillary long locked up by the Street IMO.

Does anyone actually articulate the real economic contribution of the Street? Not IMO!

A Pols

"Slipping and sliding,peeping and hiding"...
People do forget themselves. A self aggrandizing fable told to a stranger over cocktails at Theismann's, is one thing and people get in the habit of it. But the problem is the camera..
In the former case, you'll get away with it, but in the latter not so much.
Always, the problem of lying to make yourself look good is knowing when where and too whom you can get away with it and when you can't.
People generally end up getting a big head and forget where they are.... Guy's a con man...

Charles I

What an incorrigible learner you are I don't think even your English degree was wasted on you. .

C Webb

Here's what he said in response....

"I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces. That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement."

"I have no excuse," the website quoted McDonald as saying in its report. "I was not in special forces."

See it wasn't a lie, it was an "incorrect/inaccurate statement".

"I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement." <- IMHO, that's the type of apology you get from an egotist/narcissist. It's a version of, sorry if you were offended... It doesn't take responsibility.

That story provides many issues upon which to reflect.


And let us not forget that, as Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Shinseki also told the truth about the force required to stabilize Iraq after the invasion. For his honesty, Rumsfeld canned him. As we all know, Shinseki was absolutely right and Rumsfeld was absolutely wrong. The costs in American lives lost, and ruined by combat injury, the countless Iraqis who were killed, and the rise of ISIS are all the consequence of Shinseki's wartime estimates being scoffed and rejected by stay-at-home neocons. Are we really ready to give the Bush family one more chance--with Wolfowitz, Hannah and the rest due to be back as the new "national security team?" If Jeb had not made the announcement himself about his chosen advisory team, I could not have made it up.


TANGENT: That reminded me of Fraser and "Quartered Safe Out Here"


Narcissists are adept at brazen lying and can utter the most monstrous lie with a perfectly straight unblinking face. This is because they can't empathise with humans. Performance, image and exposure - exactly.


Maybe Mr. McDonald should follow the example of Bill O'Reilly and claim that the forces he served with are "special" to him. Helping the elite lie is a multi-billion industry. Much of it spent on cleaning up after exposure.


Pity that Bill O'Reilly doesn't have the sense or honor to retire.


Emphathy might explain the lie. People constantly feel the need to empathize, or even try to "become" the other people they are interacting with. It's a universal human foible or "failing", but one that looks especially nauseating when politicians or others with enormous power employ it. (Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" for example. Obama, the hightly educated man, drawling in his speeches. Etc.)

McDonald says he knew straight afterwards what he did was wrong. I believe him. Sometimes your brain plays tricks on you. He's been a powerful man for a long time, having to live in a world largely populated by people less powerful than he. I have no idea how he behaved in his personal life, but it would be a very lonely existance if he did not spend much of his life interacting with others as if his social dominance were NOT an issue. It's not an excuse for his behaviour, but an explanation.

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