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Smear: AmeriCorps Is Obama's "Civilian National Security Force" Akin To Hitler's SS

September 17, 2009 9:56 am ET

Conservative conspiracy theorists insist President Obama is determined to turn AmeriCorps into a "civilian national security force" akin to Hitler's SS.  The claim originates from a single speech then-Sen. Obama delivered emphasizing the need for Americans to serve their communities.  Needless to say, the claim has been widely debunked.

Smear: AmeriCorps Is Obama's "Civilian National Security Force" Akin To Hitler's SS

Beck claims Obama's "civilian national security force" is "what Hitler did with the SS," "what Saddam Hussein" did. Discussing Obama's "civilian national security force," Beck said, "I'm finding this -- this is the hardest part to connect to, because this is -- I mean, look, you know, David [Bellavia, former Army staff sergeant], what you just said is, you said, "I'm not comparing" -- but you are. I mean, this is what Hitler did with the SS. He had his own people. He had the brownshirts and then the SS. This is what Saddam Hussein -- so -- but you are comparing that. And I -- I mean, I think America would have a really hard time getting their arms around that." [Fox News' Glenn Beck, 8/27/09]

WorldNetDaily:  "Democrat Sen. Barack Obama's stunning assertion in a recent speech that the U.S. needs a 'civilian national security force' that would be as powerful, strong and well-funded as the half-trillion dollar Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force is not included in published transcripts of his prepared remarks. In the July 2 speech in Colorado Springs, Obama insisted the U.S. 'cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set.'" [WorldNetDaily, 7/16/09]

Sources

WorldNetDaily
Glenn Beck
Fox News
Alex Jones

The Truth

The Experts At FactCheck.org Soundly Debunked This Conspiracy Theory:

"Similar claims have been circulating in right-leaning blogs and conservative Web sites ever since July, when Obama made a single reference to a "civilian national security force" in a campaign speech in Colorado. Obama's detractors make much of his expansive (and exaggerated) description of such a force as being "just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the U.S. military. They also ignore the context.

"Obama was not talking about a "security force" with guns or police powers. He was talking specifically about expanding AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps and the USA Freedom Corps, which is the volunteer initiative launched by the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11, and about increasing the number of trained Foreign Service officers who populate U.S. embassies overseas.

"Here is the relevant portion of what Obama actually said, with the sentences quoted selectively by Broun and others in bold."

Obama, July 2, Colorado Springs, CO: "[As] president I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots [from 75,000] and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals, like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their effort connected to a common purpose.

"People of all ages, stations and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem - they are the answer. So we are going to send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We'll call on Americans to join an energy corps, to conduct renewable energy and environmental clean-up projects in their neighborhoods all across the country.

"We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, and to be there for our military families. And we're going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set.

"We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
We need to use technology to connect people to service. We'll expand USA Freedom Corps to create online networks where American can browse opportunities to volunteer. You'll be able to search by category, time commitment and skill sets. You'll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities.

"This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda and make their own change from the bottom up." [FactCheck.org, 11/11/08]



 


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