How the Draft Rumor Got Started

A little more than a year ago, an obscure Defense Department website called defendamerica.mil posted a routine notice from the Selective Service System (SSS) seeking to fill vacancies on the nation's 2,000 draft boards. The boards do little these days--the last draft ended 31 years ago--but they are maintained in case a cataclysmic event makes conscription necessary again.

Few noticed the defendamerica posting, but it pinged around the Web and eventually helped create one of the most dubious e-mail phenomena since ads for penis enhancement: the rumor that if he is re-elected, President Bush plans to reinstate the draft.

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