Website Scrubs Mandatory Community Service Call
Following a controversy over language that appeared on Barack Obama's official website suggesting that Americans would be mandated to complete up to 100 hours of community service as part of a national service program, the original text has been memory-holed and replaced with a more sanitized version.
Despite numerous bloggers picking up on the switch, along with screenshots from before and after proving the language was changed, mesmerized Obama supporters are still claiming that that detractors had invented the language and that the website had not been altered.
The text from Obama's change.gov website, which went online shortly after the election result, originally appeared as follows (emphasis mine).
The text was changed at some point on Friday afternoon/evening to the following (emphasis mine).
See the two different versions in the following screenshots (click for enlargements).
On a separate area of the website, the program was also described under the heading "Require 100 hours of service in college," but this has also since disappeared.
Clearly, the use of the word "require" suggested that the program would be mandatory, stoking fears that such community service programs would be one aspect of Obama's promised “civilian national security force” that is “just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the U.S. military.
"The language of requiring students to serve and the creation of a "Classroom Corps" sparked a surge of criticism from bloggers for bringing back memories of the much-publicized video of marching Obama youth and Obama's "civilian national security force," which the candidate said in July would be just as powerful and well-funded as the U.S. military," reports World Net Daily.
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"Gateway Pundit called Obama's plan the "creation of his Marxist youth corps," and DBKP commented, "'Choosing' to serve should be approved by parents – not required by the government. No amount of good intentions can sugar-coat words like 'mandatory,' 'compulsory' or 'required.'"
The fact that the language has been sanitized suggests the people behind Obama's transition to power were worried about elevating the controversy surrounding Obama's "national civilian security force," a wildly popular story on the Internet and blogs, but one that has received scant attention from the mainstream media.
Despite the documented fact that the text was altered on Friday, Obama kool-aid drinkers refuse to acknowledge it, claiming that bloggers simply made up the story and that the website was never changed.
"They are calling me — and all of you who have written about this so far — liars. Despite the facts of the screenshots. This is how far they are prepared to go," writes one blogger, adding, "The highlighted text that was the subject of our previous article is just gone. Gone. Gone without explanation or acknowledgement. Furthermore one of their minions writes in a comment telling us that it was never there in the first place, that I misquoted it. Is it really going to be this easy to manipulate the truth, to manipulate us? Evidently they think so."
A Newsvine blogger also described the efforts of Obama supporters to dismiss the story as a concocted hoax.
Fears of "youth brigades" or civilian stasi units increased following Obama's appointment of Rahm Emanuel to chief-of staff.
In his book, "The Plan: Big Ideas for America," Emanuel writes: "It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, all Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service."
The book also notes, "Some Republicans will squeal about individual freedom, ruling out any likelihood that they would let people opt out of universal citizen service."
Emanuel is also an enthusiastic supporter of the United States Public Service Academy Act, a lobbying group founded in 2006 in order to promote the foundation of an American public service academy modeled on the military academies - a youth corps whose students would be trained in "civilian internship in the armed forces".
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