Stealing Valor and Rewriting History

There's a fellow in Connecticut who likes to embellish his resume, apparently. This is not, in and of itself, much in the way of news. The problem is, he's the Attorney General and he's trying to run for the United States Senate. 

Richard Blumenthal had this to say recently:

“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.”

The man never served in Vietnam. He obtained five deferments, then landed in the Marine reserves. A rhetorical mistake? Or a pattern of conceited vanity, otherwise known as trying to steal a little valor:

[...] 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.

The New Haven Register on July 20, 2006, described him as “a veteran of the Vietnam War,” and on April 6, 2007, said that the attorney general had “served in the Marines in Vietnam.” On May 26, 2009, The Connecticut Post, a Bridgeport newspaper that is the state’s third-largest daily, described Mr. Blumenthal as “a Vietnam veteran.” The Shelton Weekly reported on May 23, 2008, that Mr. Blumenthal “was met with applause when he spoke about his experience as a Marine sergeant 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.

In the interview, he said he was not certain whether he had seen the stories or whether any steps had been taken to point out the inaccuracies.

“I don’t know if we tried to do so or not,” he said. He added that he “can’t possibly know what is reported in all” the articles that are written about him, given the large number of appearances he makes at military-style events.

He said he had tried to stick to a consistent way of describing his military experience: that he served as a member of the United State Marine Corps Reserve during the Vietnam era.

Richard Blumenthal is not a Vietnam Veteran. He served during that era, but he never served in Vietnam. What a disgrace.

I don't care what party we're talking about. Blumenthal is a Democrat; were he a Republican, I would still call him a reprehensible, moral and physical coward.

I'm old enough to remember the ridicule that Vice President Dan Quayle received for his service in the reserves during that era; had Quayle equated being a weekend warrior with service in Vietnam, he would have been laughed out of the room. Mr. Blumenthal should resign immediately, and find a way to go into private practice. Public life has no place for this kind of nonsense. Really, does the man's shame over gaming the system and avoiding service in Vietnam even exist?