A box of donated Bill O'Reilly books* was allegedly burned and displayed on the Tumbler account of an alleged soldier in Afghanistan, Gawker reports. The account entitled "Everqueer" claims that the box of books was sent to soldiers at a remote outpost in Afghanistan, and burned on a Commander’s orders:
"Some jerk sent us two boxes of this awful book (SPOILER ALERT: George Washington - Patriot; George Soros - Pinhead) instead of anything soldiers at a remote outpost in Afghanistan might need, like, say, food or soap. Just burned the whole lot of them on my Commander’s orders."
The Gawker article failed to include Everqueer's followup blog post yesterday to the hot item story he posted two days ago, which notes that the alleged soldier did keep a copy of the book and the burning was done out of "military necessity:"
"I've read people’s squeamishness about setting books ablaze. I hear you. The motivation behind the order to burn them was not political. As mentioned in the original post, we are in an extraordinarily remote location. We don’t have a post office here, so sending them back wasn’t an option. Extra space is scarce and alternatives that a few mentioned, like recycling, are nonexistent. All waste is burned on the base and in town; wood and paper goes in that barrel. I was getting rid of a bunch of cardboard boxes and the books were in the burn pile. There were 20 of them. I saved one for the bookshelf. I’m aware of the historical implications of book-burning. I won’t say I didn’t take pleasure in removing a few copies of this bigoted twerp’s writings from circulation, but the reason for doing so was military necessity."
While that blog post clears up that the alleged soldier was not burning an entire box of donated books solely for ideological objections, he does not hold back expressing his distaste for O'Reilly. The account posts several photos claiming to be within Afghanistan, but there is nothing on the account that confirms it belongs to a U.S. soldier.
O'Reilly supports Operation Shoebox, the Wounded Warrior Project, Families of Military Casualties, the Fisher House Foundation, among many other national and New York City-area charities.
We've updated to note that the alleged soldier's original post did not say the books were sent by O'Reilly himself. Additionally, it's worth pointing out that the reason we did the story was to note that when this story originally started making the rounds on the internet, it didn't note the alleged soldier's follow-up response: mainly that the command to burn the books was not an ideological one, but rather a logistical one (to save space). That's important because even though the book-burner says he doesn't agree with O'Reilly, the order and subsequent burning doesn't prove a systemic front-line animosity of the Fox News host or widespread hatred in that unit's ranks (as some on the left would like to boast about).