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Dodd Replacement Lied About VN Service

From the ‘NY/Region’ section of the New York Times:

Candidate’s Words on Vietnam Service Differ From History

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

May 17, 2010

At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

The deferments allowed Mr. Blumenthal to complete his studies at Harvard; pursue a graduate fellowship in England; serve as a special assistant to The Washington Post’s publisher, Katharine Graham; and ultimately take a job in the Nixon White House.

In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam. He joined a unit in Washington that conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots drive

Sometimes his remarks have been plainly untrue, as in his speech to the group in Norwalk. At other times, he has used more ambiguous language, but the impression left on audiences can be similar.

In an interview on Monday, the attorney general said that he had misspoken about his service during the Norwalk event and might have misspoken on other occasions. “My intention has always been to be completely clear and accurate and straightforward, out of respect to the veterans who served in Vietnam,” he said.

But an examination of his remarks at the ceremonies shows that he does not volunteer that his service never took him overseas. And he describes the hostile reaction directed at veterans coming back from Vietnam, intimating that he was among them.

In 2003, he addressed a rally in Bridgeport, where about 100 military families gathered to express support for American troops overseas. “When we returned, we saw nothing like this,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “Let us do better by this generation of men and women.”

At a 2008 ceremony in front of the Veterans War Memorial Building in Shelton, he praised the audience for paying tribute to troops fighting abroad, noting that America had not always done so.

“I served during the Vietnam era,” he said. “I remember the taunts, the insults, sometimes even physical abuse.” …

But the way he speaks about his military service has led to confusion and frequent mischaracterizations of his biography in his home state newspapers. In at least eight newspaper articles published in Connecticut from 2003 to 2009, he is described as having served in Vietnam

And the idea that he served in Vietnam has become such an accepted part of his public biography that when a national outlet, Slate magazine, produced a profile of Mr. Blumenthal in 2000, it said he had “enlisted in the Marines rather than duck the Vietnam draft.”

It does not appear that Mr. Blumenthal ever sought to correct those mistakes…

On a less serious matter, another flattering but untrue description of Mr. Blumenthal’s history has appeared in profiles about him. In two largely favorable profiles, the Slate article and a magazine article in The Hartford Courant in 2004 with which he cooperated, Mr. Blumenthal is described prominently as having served as captain of the swim team at Harvard. Records at the college show that he was never on the team.

Mr. Blumenthal said he did not provide the information to reporters, was unsure how it got into circulation and was “astonished” when he saw it in print

We’re not sure what exactly the problem is here.

The Democrats want Mr. Blumenthal to fill Senator Dodd’s seat, don’t they? Mr. Dodd and the truth were frequently strangers.

Don’t the Democrats want some kind of continuity?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Dodd Replacement Lied About VN Service”

  1. BigOil says:

    Swiftboated by the New York Times. Apparently, this slimeball will not be ‘reporting for duty’ in the Senate.

  2. canary says:

    He could be criminally charged for claiming this in his present position.

    After election, Obama’s said his grandfather “fought” in WWII under General Patton, but his book, Obama said his grandfather never fought combat or was even in a battle.

    Strange, it’s been on my mind, how teachers could have helped pass Obama, by changing grades, etc. Or allowed his organizing to go towards a credit.

    You’d be surprised how many foreigners come to this country who can barely read or speak English, but American colleges will convert it too classes & degrees. Not sure why colleges do this.

  3. proreason says:

    How is this a problem?

    Lying about military service is a badge of honor for John Kerry.

    Blumenthals real issues appears to be that he hasn’t covered his paper trail sufficiently and that he hasn’t foamed spastically enough about his hatred for the US and our military..

  4. catie says:

    Well, there are a number of fools standing behind him at the VFW Hall in CT. I find it disgusting and I am so glad that I never joined the VFW. My husband has a lifetime membership but I think he needs to get out. Blumenthal is the victim.

  5. Right of the People says:

    His actions are a slap to everyone who served in Vietnam.

    I am a Vietnam ERA vet but I am always quick to point out that I spent my time in Germany, not Vietnam. I just hope the people of Connecticut see through his facade and do the right thing this fall.

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      ROTP all he’d have to do then is move north to Mass. where he’ll be welcomed with open arms. I wonder if Teresa K. has a sister?

  6. JohnMG says:

    …..”The deferments allowed Mr. Blumenthal to complete his studies at Harvard…….”

    Harvard. Imagine that?

    It is my fervent wish that within my lifetime, when it is revealed that someone graduated from Harvard, that revelation is akin to admitting to an incestuous relationship, and carries the same stigma. As it now stands, such a fact automatically places said person(s) on my shit list!

  7. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Prosecute him under the Stolen Valor act and throw the bum in jail! After all, he would be claiming a medal he didn’t receive, a Vietnam Service medal.


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