Retired Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn and former congressman Scott McInnis are urging the Colorado Retail Council to suggest its members not sell the video game Medal of Honor, in which players kill American servicepeople.
The council says it won't make that recommendation, because it likely would violate federal anti-trust laws.
First, Rayburn's and McInnis' letter:
September 30, 2010
Mr. Christopher Howes
Colorado Retailers Association
1580 Lincoln Avenue
In recent weeks Electronic Arts, a-for profit video game developer, announced the latest version of their "Medal of Honor" video game. The game is set in modern Afghanistan and allows a player to pretend to be a Taliban fighter and shoot and kill US troops. This is a complete disgrace and out of respect to our troops no retailer in Colorado should sell it.
In October, this game is scheduled to go on sale throughout Colorado and the entire country. The controversy over the game has resulted in US military installations throughout the world banning its sale in their post and base exchanges. British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said last month that he was "disgusted and angry" by what was a "tasteless product." Secretary Fox called on retailers to show their support for the troops by not selling the game.
The Medal of Honor is the highest honor that can be earned by our soldiers. Many times it is awarded after a soldier has given his or her life for our nation. For this game to come onto the market at this time with while American servicemen and women are paying for our freedom with their lives is particularly offensive.
Officials of Electronic Arts Corporation should also rethink selling this video game. In their quest for profit, can these officials look into the eyes of those who have lost loved ones serving our country in Afghanistan with a clear conscious? Where is the respect for our soldiers?
The Colorado Retailers Association should come out with a strong public statement denouncing this product and urging all member retail outlets to refuse to carry such an offensive and vulgar product.
We look forward to your response.
US Congressman Retired
US Air Force General Retired
Citing federal anti-trust laws, which he believes bars the council from urging members to sell or not sell any particular product, Howe adds, "In fact, in my 15 year government affairs career representing clients in Colorado I've never heard of a trade association telling its members what they should sell to customers."
The real Medal of Honor has become a point of controversy of late as veterans complain that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have resulted in dramatically fewer recipients than past wars and conflicts.