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'GI Bill' parody draws official response


UPI News Service, 02/20/2013 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office confirms it queried the Pentagon about a satirical report that Guantanamo detainees will get GI Bill benefits.

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The parody appeared in The Duffel Blog, founded in 2012 by a Marine veteran and frequently described as a military version of the satirical news website, The Onion.

It quoted a fictitious Defense Department spokesman as saying, "By allowing the detainees to use the Department of Veterans Affairs, we hope to completely crush their souls with bureaucracy" -- and included a made-up quote attributed to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, saying his department is prepared to process detainees' GI Bill benefits claims "in 12-15 years as per standard operating procedure."

McConnell, R-Ky., wrote to a Pentagon official in November "on behalf of a constituent who has contacted me regarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits," Wired magazine reported Tuesday.

"I would appreciate your review and response to my constituent's concerns," he wrote.

Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman, told Wired, "The very idea that the U.S. government would extend GI Bill benefits to enemy detainees is a patent absurdity."

"The senator's office had a request from a constituent asking us to inquire about an issue," McConnell spokesman Michael Brumas said. "Our office forwarded the constituent's question to the Defense Department."

The Duffel Blog carried articles Wednesday with such headlines as "Afghanistan declared gun-free zone" and "Change of command ceremony dissolves into giant orgy."


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