Ben Carson has admitted that he never applied to join the West Point, despite implications in his book that he had.
The Republican presidential hopeful wrote in his 1996 autobiography, Gifted Hands, that he had been offered a full scholarship by the military academy.
However, West Point said it had no record of an application from Ben Carson.
Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign team has denied that he lied about West Point, saying the academy effectively offered him a place.
In his book, Ben Carson recalls a meeting in 1969 when he was a high school student in Detroit enrolled in the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program, which provides preliminary officer training for students.
Then 17 years old, Ben Carson dined with the decorated general, William Westmoreland, and says in his book that a “full scholarship” was subsequently offered.
However, the presidential hopeful’s campaign team on November 6, after inquiries by Politico, said he never applied to join West Point and the scholarship assertion was based on “conversations” he had.
“His senior commander was in touch with West Point and told Dr. Carson he could get in, Dr Carson did not seek admission,” campaign spokesman Doug Watts told Reuters in an email.
The confusion comes as other parts of Ben Carson’s personal story related in his book have also been questioned.
He has stood by his assertion in the autobiography that in his youth he was prone to sudden violent rages that he has overcome as an adult.
In one episode, he lunged with a knife at a close friend but fortunately struck his friend’s belt buckle.
The retired neurosurgeon has made much of his struggling childhood while on the campaign trail.
Ben Carson is the joint frontrunner in the Republican presidential race with Donald Trump, who wasted no time in capitalizing on the latest story.
Donald Trump tweeted: “Wow, one of many lies by Ben Carson! Big story.”
Liberia’s information ministry has announced that 17 suspected Ebola patients who went missing after a Monrovia quarantine centre was attacked have been found.
The government had previously denied they were missing.
New UN figures show that 1,229 people have now died since the beginning of this year in the outbreak that has also hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says there were 84 deaths reported between August 14 and 16.
Ebola has no known cure, but the WHO has ruled that untested drugs can be used to treat patients in light of the scale of the current outbreak – the deadliest to date.
The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external hemorrhaging from areas such as eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can cause organ failure.
The Liberian information minister said the missing patients were now at the newly expanded treatment unit opened over the weekend at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in the capital, Monrovia.
He also said the health of three Liberian doctors infected with Ebola had improved after they receiving the experimental drug ZMapp.
Two US missionaries, who were flown home for treatment from Liberia, are reportedly recovering from the virus after taking doses of the same medicine.
ZMapp was also given to a 75-year-old Spanish priest who contracted Ebola in Liberia, but he died in Spain last week.
Seventeen suspected Ebola patients who went missing in Liberia after a Monrovia quarantine centre was attacked have been found
In Nigeria, which has had four fatal Ebola cases, health officials say five people have now recovered from the virus and been discharged from hospital in Lagos. Another three are still being treated.
The attack on Liberian quarantine centre, where 37 people were being held in Monrovia’s densely populated West Point township, took place on Saturday evening.
There are conflicting reports over what sparked the riot, in which medical supplies were also stolen.
Officials said the protesters were unhappy that patients were being taken there from other parts of the capital. Other reports suggested the protesters had believed Ebola was a hoax and wanted to force the centre to close.
There are also reports that the mattresses and linen being used by patients were taken during the attack.
In neighboring Sierra Leone, the agricultural minister has said the outbreak is also having a severe impact on the economy, as 66% of people were farmers and agriculture accounted for 46% of GDP and 25% of all exports.
Since the outbreak spread to Nigeria in July, when a person infected with Ebola flew from Liberia to Lagos, several airlines have stopped flights to the worst-affected countries.
Kenya’s ban on people from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone entering the East African nation comes into force on Wednesday – and Cameroon has closed its land, sea and air borders with Nigeria.
Liberia has admitted that 17 suspected Ebola patients are “missing” after a quarantine unit in capital Monrovia was looted.
The government previously denied the patients are missing and tried to reassure people, saying they had been moved to another health facility.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for exit screenings on all travelers from affected countries.
It wants checks at airports, sea ports and major land crossings.
Several airlines have already stopped flying to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – the countries worst affected by the world’s most deadly outbreak of Ebola, which has no known cure.
The Ebola virus has killed 1,145 people this year, the WHO says.
Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said protesters in the West Point district attacked a quarantine centre on Saturday because they were unhappy that patients were being taken there from other parts of the capital, Monrovia.
Liberia has admitted that 17 suspected Ebola patients are missing after Monrovia quarantine unit was looted (photo Getty Images)
Other reports suggested the protesters had believed Ebola was a hoax and wanted to force the centre to close.
Tolbert Nyenswah had said that all the suspected patients had been transferred to an Ebola treatment centre in the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia.
However, on Monday, Liberia’s information minister said 17 of the 37 patients were unaccounted for.
He said the authorities were now trying to track them down but said he was confident they would return.
He said the attack on the quarantine centre was Liberia’s greatest setback since the Ebola outbreak began.
Blood-stained mattresses, bedding and medical equipment were taken from the centre.
The looting spree could spread the virus to the whole of the West Point area.
Lindis Hurum, from medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), says there is an urgent need for a massive public awareness campaign in Liberia.
MSF says the Ebola outbreak has had a terrible impact on Liberia’s entire healthcare system, which it says is more or less falling apart.
Many health facilities have closed, with patients as well as medical staff, too scared to turn up for fear of catching the disease.
The Ebola epidemic began in Guinea in February and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
One Nigerian doctor has survived the disease and was sent home on Saturday night, said Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu in a statement.
Onyebuchi Chukwu said five other people infected with Ebola had almost fully recovered.
The death toll of 1,145 was announced on Friday after the WHO said 76 new deaths had been reported in the two days to August 13. There have been 2,127 cases reported in total.
Even before Paula Broadwell’s affair with David Petraeus emerged this was a point which bothered talk-show hosts, perplexed interviewers and left onlookers faintly bewildered at the string of appearances which constituted Broadwell’s publicity tour for that book, All In.
Her own explanation, such as it was, is glib at best. They met, Paula Broadwell repeatedly trotted out, at a dinner for West Point alumni back in 2006.
After dinner there were drinks and at drinks David Petraeus gave her his business card and they just kept in touch.
Two years later, in 2008, Paula Braodwell was working on a dissertation on theories of leadership and so, she told Jon Stewart: “I shot him an email, and said, <<I’m gonna to go for it>>.”
David Petraeus’ reaction was to invite Paula Braodwell well and truly into his camp. For a man of such experience the extent to which he let his guard down is breathtaking.
But then Paula Broadwell is nothing if not convincing when it comes to outlining her own credentials and, given the glowing portrait of “strategic leadership” she penned as David Petraeus’s biography, nothing if not flattering.
In one television interview Paula Broadwell recalled approaching General David Petraeus and asking him to be a case-study for her dissertation. She wanted to show: “What Petraeus’s role was in forcing the military to adapt to win the wars we were in”.
“There was no room for a conversation of shortcomings of the Petraeus theology. She wasn’t a reporter. She struck me as an acolyte,” one advisor to David Petraeus is quoted as telling the New York Post.
And while Paula Broadwell stroked her subject’s ego with one hand she shored up her own credibility with the other; part Mata Hari, part blue-stocking.
Another in the Petraeus camp noted, on meeting her: “I was underwhelmed. It was surprising to me that she was his official biographer.”
But, when it came to promoting her book, for Paula Broadwell establishing her own academic, military and security credentials came second only to establishing whether General David Petraeus was, as Jon Stewart put it, “awesome or incredibly awesome”.
She dropped academic qualifications and security clearance the way a socialite might pepper her conversation with boasts of parties attended and ‘BFFs made.
According to Paula Broadwell, being embedded in Afghanistan with David Petraeus was not the huge leap many imagined because, she explained: “We had previously met through academia.”
Paula Broadwell herself was a graduate of West Point and a specialist in counter-terrorism with black ops experience, high security clearance, “and then some”.
She was High School Valedictorian, All State Basketball player, top of her class at West Point, holder of a masters from Harvard…and how do we know all of this? Because Paula Broadwell has taken great pains to tell us.
Paula Broadwell was an acolyte, never a reporter and an unquestioning devotee of David Petraeus
We know that her husband Scott Broadwell is not “just” a radiologist but an “interventional radiologist”.
Writing in The New Republic, Noam Scheiber states: “When my friend met her, she was fond of pointing out that her husband was no mere radiologist but a special breed known as <<interventional radiologist>>. She would draw out the word <<interventional>> for emphasis.”
We know that she can run 6-minute miles and do hundreds of press-ups, that she has 13% body fat and is an ironman triathlete and marathon runner.
We know all this because Paula Broadwell has told us. We know that she hosted a charity BBQ for wounded veterans because she invited Jon Stewart and the assembled press.
Meanwhile, until Paula Broadwell stopped posting, her Twitter feed was a dizzying mixture of her following both world-causes and the world-famous.
According to the Times, Paula Broadwell recently tweeted: “Heading 2 @AspenInstitue 4 the Seucirty Forum tomorrow! Panel (media & terrorism) followed by a 1v1 run with Lance Armstrong.”
The political, professional and academic platform on which Paula Broadwell now teeters is one entirely of her own, formidable, construction: itself an exercise in strategy to rival David Petraeus’s own.
Paula Broadwell has set out her credentials relentlessly with faux humility, referring to herself as a mere “mentee” of David Petraeus on one hand then telling the Charlotte Observer in her hometown in North Carolina: “Petraeus once joked I was his Avvatar” a breathtakingly arrogant aside.
Margaret Thatcher once noted that if you had to tell people you were a lady, you probably weren’t. But self-effacement seems the only class that Paula Broadwell ever sat out.
And the more impressive Paula Broadwell made herself the more flattering her interest in David Petraeus must surely have been. What better way to appeal to a man in power than to appeal to his vanity?
Noam Scheiber, describes David Petraeus as a man of “overachieving impulses and intellectual pretensions”.
Recognizing that, Paula Broadwell seems to have taken those dubious attributes as her own template for what she described in several publicity interviews as her “new path of the soldier-scholar”.
As such Paula Broadwell has been a keen writer of opinion pieces and regular poster on the West Point Alumni Notes page.
Writing in the Boston Globe in 2009, Paula Broadwell tackled the issue of fraternization between the sexes on the front line: “Human sexuality will always present a challenge to organizational discipline. In isolated outposts [it] could create a situation where issues of sex impede an organization’s survival skills.”
Rather presciently she concluded: “Banning sex is futile and impossible; the best approach is to set rules regarding fraternization, maintain awareness of relationships within the command, and strictly and fairly discipline transgressors.”
On many occasions Paula Broadwell has noted of David Petraeus that he “spoke truth to power”.
But if the events of the past week have shown anything it is that the court of the man known as “King David”, lacked anyone willing or able to do the same to him.
Because where David Petraeus “spoke truth to power” Paula Broadwell wanted to dissect that power and to get close to it.
Revealingly, in a recent address to the University of Denver Paula Broadwell claimed to have been drawn to the military as an “instrument of power” and that she wanted to understand how that instrument worked – presumably so she could play it.