You just can’t make this stuff up.
Brian R. McCaffrey is a retired four-star general and MSNBC contributor, but on Monday the distinguished former military officer made a faux pas that he likely won’t live down anytime soon.
He posted a tweet that contained what he apparently thought was actual wartime footage from the Russo-Ukraine conflict, showing what appeared to be a Russian MiG being shot down by Ukrainian missile defenses.
Twitter users, however, were quick to inform him it was actually just a clip from a video game.
McCaffrey quickly deleted the tweet and seemed to pretend the whole thing never happened. But the beauty of the internet is that nothing can ever really be deleted, and plenty of Twitter users took a screenshot of McCaffrey’s post to ensure it will forever live in infamy.
Becket Adams, program director for the National Journalism Center, was one of many who retweeted McCaffrey’s post.
i, uh, have some concerns. of all people, you'd think a retired general with four combat tours and three purple hearts under his belt would have *some* idea regarding what this stuff really looks like. the video was clearly animated.
— Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) May 16, 2022
In the original tweet, McCaffrey wrote: “Russian aircraft getting nailed by UKR missile defense. Russians are losing large numbers of attack aircraft. UKR air defense becoming formidable.” Do tell, general.
In fact, the footage is reportedly from a video game called Arma 3, which is an “open-world” military game created in 2013. Even worse for McCaffrey, the game’s title can be clearly seen in the video’s description.
“I, uh, have some concerns,” Adams wrote in his retweet. “Of all people, you’d think a retired general with four combat tours and three purple hearts under his belt would have *some* idea regarding what this stuff really looks like. The video was clearly animated.”
This became even clearer in a post by Twitter user “Rising serpent,” where you can watch the footage. Although clearly very sophisticated (kudos to the game designers), the footage does have a noticeably animated look to it.
Barry McCaffrey, retired 4star general, Clinton appointee and Trump Russia collusion hoax peddler tweets Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) video game footage and tries to pass it off as video evidence of Ukrainian Air superiority over Russia. (Deletes tweet)
— Rising serpent 🇺🇸 (@rising_serpent) May 16, 2022
“Rising serpent” didn’t spare the poor general some withering criticism: “Barry McCaffrey, retired 4star general, Clinton appointee and Trump Russia collusion hoax peddler tweets Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) video game footage and tries to pass it off as video evidence of Ukrainian Air superiority over Russia. (Deletes tweet).”
Then the Twitter trolls piled on the general, and they showed him no quarter. Whatever his combat bona fides may have been, Gen. McCaffrey didn’t stand a chance.
That’s nothing. Last year, I saw him showing us military maneuvers on a Risk Board.
— Jay Lampert (@MortChristenson) May 16, 2022
He didn’t get to his position by using his brains.
— Steve Fisenne (@RubaDingyRapid) May 16, 2022
Probably because our generals have been a joke for awhile now
— Coolweaz (@coolweaz) May 17, 2022
Please cut @mccaffreyr3 some slack. The Gulf War was over in 36 hours, and they did not see a lot of action when he was at SOUTHCOM.
— James F.X. O’Gara (@jfxogara) May 17, 2022
McCaffrey has made frequent appearances on MSNBC of late, where he continues to promote U.S. entanglement in the Ukraine conflict. He’s also been a reliable critic of former President Donald Trump, predictably calling him “a fundamental threat to our democracy.”
Perhaps that’s why Max Boot, a fellow never-Trumper and dubious “foreign policy expert” was caught retweeting McCaffrey’s unintentionally humorous post.
And of course the self-styled military historian and so-called foreign policy “expert” @MaxBoot retweeted this fake video as well thinking it was actual combat footage. https://t.co/NlkcSkja4N pic.twitter.com/IshE2fiCVx
— Dan Caldwell 🇺🇸 (@dandcaldwell) May 16, 2022
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