In response to ProPublica

Thank you for publishing a link to the Move America Forward response to the unfair hit-piece written by ProPublica, which took a variety of half-truths to create a totally false impression about the good works of the leading pro-troop, grassroots charity in America.  All of the insinuations and impressions this article conveys are universally false.

A simple example is her total mischaracterization of the Care Packages sent to members of the 1st Marine Division in Afghanistan.  While the Pro Publica article states that the unit was stationed in Okinawa, she ignores what the representative from the unit told her: ALL of the troops they provided names for were in Afghanistan or on their way.  So they would be in Afghanistan when the care packages arrived.

The author then goes on to totally mischaracterize our long-time relationship with Walter Reed Hospital, using the quotes from employees there who didn’t know what we had done and then treating them as authoritative sources.  We have been there countless times to distribute care packages, counter-picket against Code Pink and other anti-military groups, and even hosting a concert for military patients and their families.  We provided ditty bags of necessary personal items for wounded veterans.  Our contact there agreed to this “partnership.”  Later, however, the supervisor asked us not to use “partner” as it ran afoul of military regulations.  So we deleted that reference.  The author seems to imply that we never delivered anything or worked with them – this is blatantly false.  We delivered every one of the ditty bags.

Egregiously, the author then continues to site photographs in our emails because we didn’t take the photographs ourselves or properly cite their origins.  Of course we don’t.  We are not in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, although we have made five different trips to Iraq.  We use photographs from the internet that depict the subject of our emails.  For example, we have sent TONS of Oreo cookies to the troops.  We had a picture of a soldier eating an Oreo.  She claims it isn’t our Oreo cookie, thus again implying that we didn’t send the cookies – false charge again.  We didn’t say it was our cookie.  We were just illustrating that the troops love getting the Oreo cookies we do send.

From what we have heard from some of her sources, she prompted misleading responses deliberately.  By giving a false set of facts, she then found supposed experts who would say that our activities are illegal.  That is pure baloney.  What kind of integrity would a so-called expert have by rendering an opinion by hearing only one side of the story?  Clearly, no one would responsibly respond to her set-up questions.

In fact, Move America Forward was audited by the IRS.  It involved the same people who are currently under scrutiny for the present IRS scandals.  But the auditor, who spent three weeks in the office going over our books, gave us a clean bill of health and said our records were better than most organizations of our size.

Pro Publica did a poor job in their hit piece and their story belongs in the trash can.   You can see the link to our more detailed response, but I think this letter gives you the correct facts.

Sal Russo,
Move America Forward


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