Winter Soldier fables: Anti-war “Marine” was lying mental patient
By Michelle Malkin • May 13, 2009 10:55 PM
You remember Jessie MacBeth, don’t you? He was the fake “Army Ranger” thug who lied about serving in Iraq and was promoted by the Iraq Veterans Against the War until milbloggers exposed him as a total fraud.
Well, meet a guy who makes Jessie MacBeth look like a choir boy.
And add this story to the ever-growing file of bogus Winter Soldier Syndrome tales from MacBeth and Micah Wright to Josh Lansdale and Amorita Randall.
“Rick Duncan” of Colorado Springs was a prominent anti-war activist who claimed to have served in Iraq on three tours of duty AND survived the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. He has now been unmasked as a lying mental patient (via Colorado Springs Gazette with a big hat tip to This Ain’t Hell):
Duncan was quoted extensively by Colorado newspapers and TV stations whose b.s. detectors were apparently in the repair shop:
The leader of a statewide veterans group who fought for homeless veterans in Colorado Springs was in the Denver County jail on Wednesday, unmasked as a former psychiatric patient who posed as a wounded Marine officer and 9/11 survivor.
Federal authorities are looking into whether Rick Duncan, whose real name is Richard Glen Strandlof, could have pilfered money he raised in the name of Colorado veterans, said Daniel Warvi of the Colorado Veterans Alliance (CVA), the group that Duncan founded.
“We were all taken aback,” Warvi said.
Strandlof, 31, who invented the name Duncan and claimed he was a former Marine captain and 1997 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, never served in the military and falsely claimed that he was in the Pentagon during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the group said.
Two members of CVA said the group became suspicious of the man they knew as Duncan after discovering inconsistencies in his personal story…The group said it found that Strandlof had been a patient in a mental hospital in Washoe County, Nev., at the time of the roadside bombing in Fallujah, Iraq, that he claimed left him severely wounded. CVA members contacted the FBI field office in Denver, which opened an investigation in early May and arrested him Tuesday night in downtown Denver on a traffic warrant originating in El Paso County.
According to Warvi, when an FBI agent asked whether he was Strandlof or Duncan, he responded “both,” then requested an attorney.
Under his invented identity, Strandlof proved to be a popular spokesman on veterans’ issues. He is quoted in stories as recently as March, when he was interviewed by The Denver Post about a measure before the state General Assembly to cut tuition for veterans.
He often spoke vividly of being in the Pentagon on Sept. 11 when a hijacked airliner was crashed into the building.
“The duality of that day, the good and the bad that I saw that day, are forever etched in my mind and in my memory,” he told KOAA television in an interview last year marking the anniversary of the attacks.
The Gazette quoted Strandlof on issues concerning homeless veterans. The Colorado Springs Independent wrote about him in articles about veterans struggling to deal with their experiences in war and PTSD.
On YouTube, Strandlof appears in desert camouflage talking about his “wounds.”
“I was involved in an IED explosion that killed four Marines,” he said. “I have a plate roughly the size of a, like, cup and saucer on this portion of my skull.” In the video, Strandlof also claims to have had a hip replacement and to have “had a finger blown off.”
Embedded links and videos at Michelle Malkin's web site.