Wednesday, May 19, 2010

VFW to Blumenthal: You diminish the service of all who served and sacrificed

Yesterday, Connecticut Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal held a shameful press conference at a VFW post in West Hartford to defend himself against The New York Times claim that he lied about serving in Vietnam.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States are not impressed:
VFW’s Response to Blumenthal’s Press Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 18, 2010 - Mr. Blumenthal is not a member of the VFW and VFW National By-Laws do not allow any level of the organization to endorse political candidates.

VFW national did not sanction and was not, in fact, aware that the press conference was going to be held at a VFW Post. This decision was made at the Post level and the VFW Department of Connecticut issued the following:

The following statement is by Richard DiFederico, Department Commander Connecticut VFW:

“Those who served in Vietnam or offshore or in neighboring countries rightfully earned all the belated thanks and appreciation our nation can muster. Those who served in uniform during the Vietnam era also deserve our gratitude, which makes Mr. Blumenthal's claim to be something he is not so outrageous. It diminishes the service of all who served and sacrificed, most especially those whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam Wall. Mr. Blumenthal was considered one of the best friends a veteran could have in Connecticut. It is a true shame that he let a false claim of Vietnam service change that.”

VFW National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., endorses this statement. In sum, the fact that this event was held at a VFW location cannot, in any manner, be construed as a formal endorsement of the candidate.
Howie Carr at The Boston Herald has penned a must read opinion piece on the subject:
This Dick Blumenthal even looks a little like Eliot Spitzer.

And now it turns out, as somebody said yesterday, even Jane Fonda spent more time in Vietnam than he did.

Another congenital liar out of Harvard. Whatever happened to “Veritas?”

We’re talking about Connecticut Atty. Gen. Dick Blumenthal - you can call him “General.” Yeah, it was tough in ‘Nam, as a matter of fact I’ll bet Vietnam is “seared” in his memory, to coin a phrase from the 2004 presidential campaign.

Gen. Blumenthal didn’t just go to Harvard, he went to Yale Law School, alma mater of Hillary “Blood and Guts” Clinton, who herself was once pinned down on the tarmac by sniper fire in Tuzla, Bosnia. Or so she said. [snip]

God bless the New York Times [NYT] for knee-capping this fool. It’s quite surprising that they’d take down one of their own, but now that we know that the story was dumped in their lap by Mrs. Vince McMahon, a GOP Senate candidate, it makes more sense.

“I served during the Vietnam war,” he claimed. “I remember the taunts, the insults, sometimes even physical abuse.”

You sure that didn’t happen at the 29-29 Harvard game in ’68? Yesterday, by the way, it wasn’t the “Vietnam war,” it was the “Vietnam era.”

Remember how John Kerry talked about tracking a “24-point buck” on Cape Cod, and running in the Boston Marathon, but not being able to remember the year? Now it turns out Blumenthal was the captain of the swim team at Harvard, except he wasn’t. Oh what a tangled web we weave....

But Gen. Blumenthal will survive. Within weeks, he’ll be claiming he was “swift-boated.” To paraphrase another Yalie, being a Democrat means never having to say you’re sorry.
Gregory D. Lee at The North Star National pokes another big hole in Blumenthal's story:
In the 1960s and 1970s, draft boards heard every conceivable excuse to not be inducted. Most were legitimate but some were fantasies. Mr. Blumenthal said at his news conference he didn’t know when he received his deferments, implying it didn’t matter to him. I’m here to tell you that those who chose the deferment route, e.g. John Kerry, Bill Clinton, et al, knew exactly what their deferment status was so they could immediately file another one when the first one expired. Knowing your status was more important than your grades, girlfriends, car you drove or anything else in the life of a young man facing certain combat duty in Vietnam.
Yesterday I heard a political consultant on Fox News (sorry I can't remember who it was) handicap Blumenthal's election chances in the aftermath of the Times story.  To paraphrase his remarks:  Five years ago, he would be toast.  But today, I have seen so many politicians survive so many scandals, that I'm never surprised by anything.

I fear he is correct.

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