Thursday, December 6, 2012

Faking it until you make it

What was it that David Schroeder did that he deserved 30 days in prison?

Yes, he was a fraud. He claimed to have been a war hero. He claimed he was in the Special Forces with a bevy of medals. He ran a center that treated veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

While Mr. Schroeder was in the army, he never saw a day of action in Afghanistan or Iraq. He served in the military police in the United States and Panama and was discharged before President Bush's war.

He lied on his resume. Of course once he lied the first time he had to keep up the charade - and the charade grew. Each lie was built upon the lie before.

Not that much different than the corporate executive who listed a degree he never received on his resume. Or the politician who fudged the facts in his campaign bio.

If the corporate exec who padded his resume and used it to get his corner office didn't commit a crime, how come what Mr. Schroeder did is a crime? Why is what he did any worse?

Oh, but he used his lies to enrich himself. He found himself teaching cadets at the Houston Police Academy regarding PTSD awareness. And our corporate exec in the corner office with the personal assistant and country club membership didn't do the same? The politician sitting in Washington enjoying the perks of power did capitalize on his lies?

What Mr. Schroeder did was wrong. But it certainly shouldn't have been criminal. If we're going to prosecute those who pass themselves off as war heroes, shouldn't we also go after everyone else who ever made up something on their resume in order to con a company into hiring them? Where should we draw the line?

Mr. Schroeder deserves scorn and ridicule. But he doesn't deserve prison time.

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