(CNSNews.com) - The liberal political group MoveOn.org has yanked a video ad from its website after being criticized for using images of British soldiers to represent Americans in Iraq.
The 30-second ad, which also began running on CNN and cable stations during the Thanksgiving weekend, stated that "150,000 American men and women are stuck in Iraq" this holiday season.
But the ad showed soldiers who were "not wearing U.S. uniforms," according to a Pentagon spokesman who was interviewed by Cybercast News Service Wednesday, approximately two hours before the Internet version of the ad was pulled from the MoveOn.org website.
"Some folks won't be home this holiday season," the 30-second spot declared before showing a video pan of a group of soldiers getting military rations. The narrator then stated that "150,000 American men and women are stuck in Iraq."
Todd Vician, a spokesman with the U.S. Defense Department, told Cybercast News Service after viewing the ad that none of the men featured in the photograph was wearing U.S. uniforms. "We don't have that style of desert camouflage," he said.
Vician noted that combat fatigues worn by the Marines and the Army have "a pixilated design," and Air Force BDUs (Battle Dress Uniforms) have a different pattern than the uniforms shown in the spot.
In addition to the men wearing foreign uniforms, Vician stated that he had never seen U.S. soldiers using meal containers like those shown in the ad.
The spot contains another discrepancy. While the photo of the soldiers as seen in the advertisement shows one man wearing shorts, a still of the same picture on the MoveOn.org website shows the same man wearing long pants.
A Nov. 21 press release from MoveOn.org Political Action indicated that the advertisement "echoes Democrats' calls for an exit plan from Iraq" and attacks Republicans for "failing to offer a plan to end the U.S. occupation" of that country.
The video ad itself concluded with the following: "Tell your representative. Support our troops. Bring them home."
Along with running nationwide on CNN, the spot was being aired on cable stations in the districts of GOP members of the House of Representatives who, according to the MoveOn.org press release, "launched personal attacks on Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a decorated Vietnam veteran who last week called for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."
MoveOn.org did not return repeated telephone calls from Cybercast News Service seeking comment for this article. It was unclear Wednesday afternoon whether the ad had also been pulled from television.
But the television ad has already reportedly drawn a sharp reaction from an Army captain who just completed his third deployment in Iraq, according to OpinionJournal.com.
James Taranto, the author of the OpinionJournal.com column, wrote that the Army captain was "an old friend" of his who emailed with his criticism. The captain was quoted as calling the MoveOn.org TV ad "completely offensive" and "a Bush-bashing ad" that "shows turkey and crying wives and blames Bush for it all."
As "the idiots from MoveOn.org ... pretend to argue on my behalf, they show a group of soldiers standing around a table in the Middle East," the captain reportedly wrote and added that the individuals in the photo were "actually British soldiers.
"One is in shorts (we don't have shorts as a normal combat uniform), and the others are all clearly wearing British pattern fatigues," the Army captain wrote, noting that people at MoveOn.org "don't even know what an American soldier looks like!"
Make media inquiries or request an interview with Randy Hall.
Subscribe to the free CNSNews.com daily E-Brief.
E-mail a comment or news tip to Randy Hall.
Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.