Kudos to The New York Times for exposing the truth-challenged Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a Democrat running to become Connecticut’s next U.S. Senator. Mr. Blumenthal has been saying that he had served in Vietnam when, in fact, he never did. Instead, he received five military deferments and ended up enlisting in the Marine reserve where he served only on the U.S. mainland.
In a press conference yesterday to try and explain what he had said about serving in Vietnam, Blumenthal regretted his “few misplaced words” which he claimed were “totally unintentional.”
Really? Here are samples of those “few misplaced words”:
We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam (2008)
When we returned from Vietnam, I remember the taunts, the verbal and even physical abuse we encountered (2008)
During his service in the Marine reserve, Blumenthal worked on projects like a Toys for Tots Drive – a worthy cause no doubt but hardly one that would have exposed him to “the taunts, the verbal and even physical abuse” that the veterans who actually did return from Vietnam encountered. Maybe Blumenthal is confusing the times when the tots did not like the toys they were receiving and threw them back at him.
Almost as disturbing as the video evidence of Blumenthal’s untruths themselves are his efforts to wiggle out of the corner in which he put himself. For example, he accuses the Times of “outrageous distortion” in the article that included what he said in the video about “the days that I served in Vietnam.” Was that not Blumenthal speaking? Were his listeners supposed to read the Attorney General’s mind and understand that he meant only that he served “during Vietnam” rather than “in Vietnam?”
This wasn’t an isolated incident of garbled syntax, as the normally eloquent and master of precise language Attorney General would have us believe. One of his friends and admirers, former Connecticut Representative Christopher Shays, saw a disturbing pattern:
He just kept adding to the story, the more he told it.
Blumenthal should have come completely clean yesterday and admitted that he made up his narrative about service in Vietnam. He should have provided a full explanation of why he departed so dramatically from the truth on a number of occasions, without having corrected the record before the Times story broke.
The American people are forgiving of mistakes that are completely owned up to. People might have understood how someone as concerned with veterans’ issues as Blumenthal has been during his entire public life can get carried away in the emotion of the moment when speaking with veterans about today’s wars.
However, Blumenthal chose the route of obfuscation and deflected responsibility. He continues the lie by insisting that he is guilty only of an inadvertent poor choice of words which the media is blowing way out of proportion. We already have too many politicians like that in Washington. It is time for this truth dodger to leave the Senate race.