Secrets of Spreading Rumors
This leaves the story in limbo. It may be a perfectly true account about the McCains, but from a family other than that of Gamel, who claims to have gotten a bum rap along with Sen. McCain. Or could it be a brilliantly written smear?
If Prof. Gamel's theory is correct—that a mischief-maker tied her to the story with the hope of adding credibility—the ploy failed. Gamel's quick denial, which was the top entry on Google, pretty much absolves her and at the same time negates the McCain story whether or not it be true.
One rule of thumb: It's irresponsible to forward an incendiary e-mail to 100 of your nearest and dearest friends and colleagues without first researching its authenticity. You can wind up looking like a chump.
Always remember that www stands for Wild West Web.
Below are hyperlinks to this story so you can make up your own mind—or do further research.
The Greatest Rumor in History
Check out the link to "Operation Quicksilver," below. The Allies' brilliant D-Day ruse tricked the enemy into believing that the Pas de Calais was to be the invasion site rather than the beaches of Normandy to the west. Sans the successful Quicksilver, the Nazis might have increased the defenses at Gold, Sword, Omaha, Juno and Utah Beaches; repelled the British and American invaders; and prolonged the war in Europe by two or three years. This is great cloak-and-dagger stuff. Here were double agents; phony radio traffic; rubber tanks, jeeps and trucks littering the British countryside for aerial reconnaissance aircraft to report back to Berlin; and the grandest of ploys—a fictional First U.S. Army Group (FUSAG) headed by none other than the general most feared by the Germans: George S. Patton Jr.
Gentlemen Spies in the U.S.
On a far smaller scale was the British Security Coordination (BSC)—the subject of a truly delicious new book by Jennet Conant, "The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington." Headed by the reclusive and mysterious Canadian industrialist Bill Stephenson, code-named Intrepid, this unlikely band of randy Brits was set up to counter rampant isolationism and persuade the American government and public that entering the war against Germany and saving Britain was good and necessary.