Is ‘Uncle Liberated Auschwitz’ Barack Obama’s ‘Bosnia Sniper’ Remark?

It has been described both as a distortion of history, genealogy, and geography.

On Memorial Day, Barack Obama said that his uncle participated in the liberation of Auschwitz.

“I had an uncle who was … part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps,” Obama said.

“And the story in our family was is that when he came home, he just went up into the attic and he didn’t leave the house for six months,” he said.

Well, it couldn’t have been Auschwitz that his uncle liberated, because the Soviet Red Army – not the U.S. Army – reached Auschwitz first, and the U.S. Army never got to Auschwitz. That’s the historical error.

And it couldn’t have been his uncle, because research proved none of Obama’s uncles were in the Army. That’s the geneological error. The Obama campaign later said that the “uncle” was actually a great uncle on his mother’s side.

And Auschwitz is some 500 miles from Ohrdruf, which was part of the Buchenwald camp system. That’s the geographical error.

Now, The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog has given Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama three Pinocchios (significant factual error and/or obvious contradiction).” Noel Sheppard actually takes Michael Dobbs to task for taking away one of the four “pinocchios” Dobbs had originally awarded, saying, “With all due respect, Mr. Dobbs, Ohrdruf had a population of 11,700 prisoners while the gas chambers of Auschwitz killed 1 million innocent people. Comparing the two is an insult to mankind.”

Certainly, we can argue that this is tantamount to the Bosnia sniper incident that Hillary Clinton alluded to. She described flying into Bosnia, and that part of the story was true. Every other thing she said about the event was false.

It would seem that Barack Obama changed the relationship of his relative to make the story more personal for him, and changed the location to Auschwitz to make the story more exciting and “historic.”

The Obama camp is simply chocking it up to a “mistaken reference.” But this is about the same Barack Obama who tore into John McCain for a verbal gaffe confusing the Sunnis and Shiites:

(CNN)Barack Obama on Wednesday took aim at potential rival John McCain over the Arizona senator’s apparent misstep at a recent press conference in Jordan, the latest sign Democrats are looking to capitalize on the moment.

“Just yesterday, we heard Sen. McCain confuse Sunni and Shiite, Iran and Al Qaeda,” Obama said during a speech on Iraq Wednesday morning. “Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no Al Qaeda ties. Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America’s enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades.

The gaffe in question occurred during a news conference in Jordan Tuesday, when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee repeatedly said Iran was supplying al Qaeda. Iran is predominately a Shiite country and is not aiding the Sunni dominated Al-Qaeda.

McCain ultimately corrected himself after Sen. Joe Lieberman whispered in his ear.

“I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al Qaeda. I am sorry,” the Arizona senator said.

And this is the same Barack Obama who said,

“It is wonderful to be back in Oregon,” Obama said. “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.”

You can hear this rather stunning gaffe in glowing color on Youtube if you’d like. Barack Obama could become the first president of the United States who had no idea how many states he was actually president of. Yet somehow Barack Obama deserves to be let off the hook for making a mistake most kindergarteners wouldn’t make, but John McCain deserved to twist in the wind for his slip of the tongue.

So when the Obama camp came out with this response the words “great big giant hypocrite” came to mind:

Obama campaign aides were indignant that Republicans had pounced on what they called an innocent mistake over such a grave subject. Tommy Vietor, an Obama spokesman, decried “using the Holocaust and concentration camps as a political football.”

When Jesus talked about the guy with the log in his own eye making a big deal of the speck another guy had in his eye (Matthew 7:1-5), he could have been talking about Barack Obama. For Obama to go after John McCain on his foreign policy expertise is kind of like Kobe Bryant’s five year old daughter telling him how to shoot jump shots.

But – in addition to Barack Obama’s rather galling hypocrisy – the thing I’d really like to address regarding the Obama “uncle” error is the underlying text and subtext Obama was addressing.

The text was mental health care for veterans. Obama was ostensibly saying that veterans have had to deal with traumatic experiences that continue to affect them long after the war is over. I agree fully, and so does every else. But Obama self-righteously wanted to claim the moral high ground OVER JOHN MCCAIN, WHO PERSONALLY SPENT FIVE YEARS ROTTING IN A NORTH VIETNAMESE HELLHOLE WITH SEVERE UNTREATED INJURIES!!! by claiming that he’d had a relative who suffered.

The subtext was the recent problems that Obama has been having with the Jewish community over the growing perception that he’d meet with terrorists and rogue dictators without preconditions amounted to weakness and a lack of support for Jews and for the state of Israel, which tends to be concerned about such things. This might be because the leadership of the most significant country in question – Iran – has repeatedly stated its sworn intention of “wiping Israel off the map.” Stuff like that raises hackles, particularly when Iran is daily defying the International Atomic Energy Agency on its uranium enrichment. Israel is saying, “How about a little less dialoging and a lot more preconditions?”

But come on, think about it: Obama didn’t even know what relation he was to this “uncle” of his. He had no idea what camp the man had helped liberate. You just don’t get the sense that this “story” deeply affected Barack Obama, or that he hung on every word.

This is just another politicians cynically taking advantage of every part of his life that he possibly can – no matter how irrelevant it was to him up until the moment it suddenly became useful – to use for the sake of personal political gain.

Hillary Clinton needed to pad her “battle-hardened leader” resume and dreamed up a sniper attack. Obama needed to placate the Jewish community and “discovered” a relative whose unit had liberated a camp.

Barack Obama has repeatedly proven that he is not the sweeping figure of hope and change that he cynically presents himself to be. He is just as willing to lie, pander, and demagogue (there are several other sites recording such as well; both of these are worthy of review) as any other Democratic candidate whose come down the pike in recent years. Barack Obama now has a well documented history of lying about his family to score cheap political points. That’s about as cynical as you can get.

I’ve got to come back (May 31) and add a new flare-up that has occurred over the past few days over troop levels relative to the surge strategy:

On Thursday, McCain said last year’s increase in the number of troops in Iraq was working. “I can look you in the eye and tell you it’s succeeding,” he said. “We have drawn down to pre-surge levels. Basra, Mosul and now Sadr city are quiet.”

Obama’s campaign was quick to say McCain was wrong.

“This is the guy who says I need more knowledge,” said Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois who has been criticized by McCain as too inexperienced — particularly on foreign issues — to be president.

“He’s wrong. That’s not true and anyone running for commander in chief should know better,” Obama said to a cheering crowd at a campaign rally. “As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own view, but not your own facts.

The United States has 155,000 troops in Iraq — about 20,000 more than before last year’s troop increase. The number would be cut to about 140,000 after current withdrawals are completed in July.

McCain’s campaign said it was just a question of tenses — saying “drawn down” as opposed to “drawing down.” A campaign official said Obama’s campaign was just “nit-picking”.

At the very least, this seems like yet another throwing of stones in a glass house.  Yet the man who recently said his uncle liberated Auschwitz when he doesn’t even have an uncle and the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, and who recently told an Oregon audience that he had visited 57 states, with one yet to go, appears to passionately believe that McCain’s choice in verb tenses somehow renders him unfit to be president.

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11 Responses to “Is ‘Uncle Liberated Auschwitz’ Barack Obama’s ‘Bosnia Sniper’ Remark?”

  1. straightrecord Says:

    get over it. you’re spending too much time watching tabloid cable when you really should blow up your tv and get legitimate and relevant news elsewhere. so he said auschwitz instead of burchenwald. big deal. simple error and nothing more. check out how this “gotcha” stuff is harmful stuff at

  2. Hans Says:


    no offense, but the topic of your entire blog is in complete contradiction to what allows you to have it your theme.


    never should they merge, for the good of both.

    have a nice day :)

  3. Michael Eden Says:

    A few lines from the Declaration of Independence:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    Jefferson wrote of the Supreme Court: “This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is… by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force of arms would not dare attempt.”

    Separation of Church and State is in the Constitution of the USSR; it is NOT in ours. The fact that liberal justices decided to usurp their role and make law doesn’t make the laws these oligarchs impose upon us legitimate. I frankly wish you people would go to North Korea instead of trying to bring North Korea here. But, until you decide to practice your convictions in the place where they are actually followed, you have a nice day as well. I hear the atmosphere in the People’s Republic of Korea is real nice. And no God!

    Straightrecord, I presented Obama’s outrage over John McCain’s “simple error and nothing more.” You were probably frothing over it as well. It just underscores what hypocrites liberals are.

    Since I presented the Auschwitz/Buchenwald uncle/great uncle “simple mistakes” as a vehicle to demonstrate Barack Obama’s (and liberal’s) very selective outrage, and since you yourself demonstrate that selective outrage, I will figure you are simply another case in point.

  4. straightrecord Says:

    wow, you right-wing nuts really are weird. all my post in response to you said was to quit getting so excited over this stupid gotcha stuff. it doesn’t matter who the victim is. if you stuck to legitimate media instead of getting your information from tabloid cable, you might find yourself better informed and could actually pontificate on something relevant.

  5. Hans Says:

    I am far from having “selective outrage” I have outrage on all sides.

    if as you quote the Supreme court being so bad, has 7 of the 9 been appointed when Republican president’s were in office and they are hell bent on placing two more in there? So they can legislate from the bench maybe? slightly hypocritical of you is it not?

    simple error, is not knowing who is responsible for fighting in Iraq when that is “your” chief area of expertise for being president. simple mistake is saying 57 states when 70% of the entire world knows the US has 50 states.

    it is all ok, seeing that you on the right have little to dig up on Obama, while your candidate, one you guys are stuck with and hate, has an airplane full of baggage to carry around with him, let alone lobbyists on his campaign out the waa-zooo. What came out yesterday, his unpaid economic adviser is in essence the one responsible for ensuring the loosening of regulations that allowed banks to offer mortgages to those that did not deserve them based on credit and now the bubble has burst!?

    poor Republicans, stuck with the “Marverick” they hate and that can’t stop flip-flopping on every issue trying to pander to everyone. good luck to you.

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    I’m sorry, you’re quite right. I should clear all my media sources past your narrow-minded leftist ideology first.

    The way you call me a “right wing nut” is proof that you are a hypocrite by your own ridiculous standard. I’m being unfair? I’m using biased sources? Is anyone supposed to believe that you are even slightly objective” based on your own words? Yeah, I must be a right wing nut simply because I’m not a left wing loon, like you clearly are. Is that it? I love the way you hypocrites think of yourselves as so “tolerant” and “open minded” and then go after everyone simply because they don’t agree with you.

    And tell me, exactly what “facts” are you correcting me on? Are you saying that Obama didn’t make the statement I quote him as having made? Are you saying that he didn’t subsequently admit he had been factually incorrect on the points I offer? What “news” do you allege “my sources” are wrong on? Let me explain something to you: I am offering commentary on the news. My analysis was my own, based on the facts. Maybe you need talking points to tell you how to think, but I don’t.

    And I point out AGAIN that I am coming at this from a “If Barack Obama doesn’t like ‘Gotcha politics, maybe he shouldn’t be playing ‘Gotcha politics himself'” perspective. I QUOTE OBAMA DOING IT IN THIS POST, AND POINT OUT THE HYPOCRISY. Are you incapable of following an argument or something? And I will BET you that when Obama jumped all over McCain for momentarily confusing Sunnis and Shiites, you didn’t get on his stuff about playing ‘Gotcha politics,’ did you, you hypocrite? You are nothing but a garden variety liberal who plays whatever game until someone plays it back on you, and then you start whining and crying.

    Some people care about personal honesty. Barack Obama has already lied about his family several times. He went to Selma, Alabama to give a speech honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and downright lied about how he was conceived as a result of his parents uniting as a result of the protest over “Bloody Sunday.” He was born four years after that. He lied when he claimed his father came to the US as a result of Kennedy’s airlift that “sent a shout across oceans” – when at the time it would have been Republican president Eisenhower who sent that “shout” if anyone did. Actually, Obama Sr. was sent on a scholarship granted by the Kenyan government. But none of that sounds as good as tying in with Martin Luther King and Camelot, does it? So let’s recreate history in a self-serving way.

    Obama has told all kinds of documented whoppers. I suppose it’s no wonder you don’t think it’s “fair” to document them.

    The man used Auschwitz for cheap political gain. Over a million Jews were murdered there. You don’t just use that place to score a political point. If Obama’s family member’s story actually mattered to him one whit, why couldn’t he get ANY of his facts right? The man embellished his story to make it sound better.

    Hans is just another case in point of “selective outrage.” McCain MUST be totally culpable for the Sunni-Shiite thing; while Obama MUST have made a simple mistake in saying there were 57 states plus the one he hadn’t visited yet. Why? Because Hans is an example of a person who is biased, unfair, and driven by ideology over ANYTHING. You guys live on double standards.

    As far as Republicans picking bad justices, I agree. Republicans have picked some terrible justices in the past. Newsflash: I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative. I stand for principles, not for a party that can and has let conservatives down.

  7. straightrecord Says:

    once again, all this silly-season stuff you are getting your knickers in a knot about is just schlock. so what if obama says auschwitz instead of burchenwald, if clinton said “assassination” while recounting june events affecting elections, if mccain says sunni instead of shiite in a slip of the tongue. if you think this stuff or any of the other easily explainable crap (that’s right, including your other oh-my-gosh examples) you posit is indicative of anything important or a character flaw, then you are spending too much time watching gotcha tabloid cable. yes, these are insignificant errors that should be corrected, maybe even by the legitimate media, but not by the screaming meemies that characterize tabloid cable today. blow up your tv and spend that time getting yourself informed about important issues, maybe how selection of a person with a particular take on the issues of the day will affect the rest of your miserable life?

  8. Hans Says:

    “Newsflash: I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative. I stand for principles, not for a party that can and has let conservatives down.”

    [in moderated voice] I ask you if this is your point and I can respect you for it, why would you engage in tactics used by both parties, and in particular the party that let conservatives down hard over the past two elections, by implementing these same type of tactics, theyused to amazingly incredible success, if you stand by principles?

    not insulting, but what principles of worth? Lower one’s self to the lowest of the low to point out issues of minor if any significance. There is not a person in this world that hasn’t embellished on a story before, told the “I caught a fish this big” story, and if there was no one knows him. I always laugh when I think of Kevin Kline in Dave telling about the “fish”

    not telling you what to do, but for too many years we have selected a president based on “sound clips” and this will only continue to get worse with the media world we live in if we let it happen.

    discuss an issue you disagree on, not a flub or exaggeration that has very little significance. I’ll talk economic policy all day with you, as I was slightly impressed by Huckabee’s fiscal conservative policies in Arkansas, but do we need to go down a path, discussing how he was 300 lbs before or dwell on his absurdly stupid comment at the NRA for example?

    if the conservatism is your thing, fiscally speaking I hope, then you understand now is not the year to engage in character assassination based on a few words here, and we need someone that can put competent people into the departments needed to start sorting all this crap 7+ years of war and incompetence has left us with. This is not a party vs party, me vs you thing, this is about the future of our country and right now its on the brink of falling into a proverbial shitstorm.

  9. straightrecord Says:

    hans: as the liberal who posted above you, i offer you a cyberspace handshake. maybe together we can do our tiny part in getting people to quit this destructive behavior that led us to getting the current disaster in the white house. the american public appears to have risen above the gotcha crap and winnowed the candidates down to three people, any of which would be a vast improvement over the present and any of which would bring us back to sanity. let’s get one of them elected based on sound judgments instead of gotchas and then resume our ideological fight.

  10. Hans Says:

    Greeting reciprocated :) Just went over to your site and there was no place to comment :( I always thought OBL killed two birds with his 9-11 stone & GWB, but I see you point out a few more than that, more like a “flock of seagulls” :)

    btw: have you noticed the righties are evolving? I’ve been playing by their tried and true methods of slander & character assassination if they open it up first, and now they respond with “liberal” talking points of “can’t we discuss this, why you gotta go calling me names?” and trying to back their points wirh reason & logic, vs. innuendo and opinion, etc. I think it is humorous ;)

    off to battle the “Hillary Supporters”

  11. Michael Eden Says:

    Why don’t you guys stay on straightrecord’s site? Your both clearly in your own warped little worlds. I don’t even know what point you are trying to make, Hans. I don’t recognize myself – or any conservative I know – in the straw man you build.

    Furthermore, Hans, I can’t believe you: you actually think you can lecture a conservative on how to be a better conservative when you despise conservative values. I would never be so arrogant or full of myself as to offer lectures to you on how to be a better liberal. How do you get in your car with all that hubris you lug around with you?

    You guys are a pair of brazen hypocrites, and you’re too hypocritical to recognize it in yourselves. You somehow think I do something dirty by pointing out Obama’s factually untrue statements. But it’s clearly fine with both of you that Obama jumps all over McCain for a flub he made. You save all your righteous indignation for a perceived slight to a fellow liberal, and then act all holier than thou. You’re just all the more contemptible for doing it.

    I remember in the last election cycle when Sen. George Allen used the word “macaca.” Nobody even knew what the heck it meant. But liberals jumped all over it and destroyed Allen’s career. This guy was the major Republican presidential nominee at the time. A single word, spoken off-the-cuff at a rally, and the story that came out was so huge he couldn’t even keep his Senate seat. It sounded racist to liberals, if nothing else. Nothing Allen said in explanation mattered. Meanwhile Barack Obama goes to a racist church for over 20 years, says grandma is a “typical white person,” talks about working class whites as bitterly clinging to their guns and religion, and you’re fine with it.

    Meanwhile I point out that Obama deserves attacks because he’s dished them out himself, and suddenly you’re offended. Hypocrites.

    You both clearly think like people who are very comfortable embracing contradictions.

    If I may join you in referencing pop-culture icons, you two remind me of Homer Simpson in one of his scenes where he’s convinced himself that he’s intelligent and has it all figured out.

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