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Al Gore’s uncle a ‘phony soldier’?

Oct. 6, 2000: When Vice President Al Gore claimed, during the first presidential debate of the 2000 campaign, his uncle had been gassed in World War I while serving in Bosnia, skeptical fact checkers went to work – and they, like the campaign itself, came up empty.

“And when the conflict came up in Bosnia,” said Gore, “I saw a genocide in the heart of Europe, with the most violent war on the continent of Europe since World War II. Look, that’s where World War I started, in the Balkans. My uncle was a victim of poison gas there. Millions of Americans saw the results of that conflict.”

World War I started in the Balkans, true. Millions of Americans saw the results of that conflict, true. But if anyone was gassed in the Balkans, it wasn’t any of our American troops, who served in Western Europe, and it certainly wasn’t Al Gore’s uncle. An exhaustive records search raised doubts he even served in the military during the “Great War.”

The National Archives had no record of Gore’s uncle in the service and the best the campaign could do was provide a 1959 newspaper obituary saying he had been gassed as a soldier in France, information most likely provided by the family.

Mr. Gore, it’s Mr. Limbaugh on line 1 …

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