Blumenthal: Um, when I said I served “in” Vietnam, I meant to say “during”; Update: The lies got worse over time, says Shays

posted at 4:14 pm on May 18, 2010 by Allahpundit

No joke; that’s his defense. Skip ahead to 7:00 of the clip and behold. My favorite part, actually, comes a few minutes earlier at around 3:40 when he pinches this rhetorical loaf:

“On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service and I regret that, and I will take full responsibility,” the Democratic Senate candidate told reporters. “But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to this country.”

“I will take full responsibility,” says a guy who’s (a) surrounded himself with vets to provide moral cover, (b) in the midst of lying his ass off about how he supposedly mixed up the concepts of serving “in” a war rather than “during” it, and (c) shamelessly insisting that people are impugning his service when no one’s doing any such thing. Even lefty Greg Sargent felt compelled to call him on that — before slapping him on the wrist with the admonition, “Don’t do it again, Dick.” Gee, Greg. Go easy on the guy.

Let me gently remind you at this point that, per last night’s Times article, Blumenthal’s sins go a bit further than occasionally confusing “in” with “during.” According to the NYT, “even those who have worked closely with him have gotten the misimpression that he served in Vietnam.” And while transcripts evidently aren’t available, some of his speeches were sufficiently misleading to have been described by newspapers as dealing with “his experience as a Marine sergeant in Vietnam.” Through gritted teeth, lefty Marc Ambinder lays that right in Blumenthal’s lap:

Blumenthal is correct that no one can control the articles that are printed about him. But surely this is a misdirection. Ambitious politicians have teams of communications professionals devoted to shaping, manipulating and repairing their public images. It is undoubtedly clear that Blumenthal sought out the identity of a Vietnam veteran, wrapped himself in that cloak, and used it to perpetuate his power. Even if he did not intend to mislead voters about his service, it is incumbent upon him to make sure that he did not use his position to perpetuate a myth that enhanced said power. To me, that DOES make him responsible for being accurate about his service record and going out of his way to correct the perceptional. Military service is threshold-honorable. But after that threshold is crossed, people judge you differently if they know you actively sought a position in a service that put your life in harm’s way. Blumenthal did not.

This isn’t complicated. He’s an ambitious pol and he knew he could squeeze a few more votes out of the electorate by creating the impression that he served in ‘Nam. Evidently he’s been playing this game of hinting that he did without clearly saying so for years and years, with only occasional slip-ups of the in/during variety. That is to say, it sounds like he intended to deceive people all along, but chose his words carefully in all but a few instances to preserve plausible deniability in case he was ever called on this. He’s a seedy liar, but a clever one.

Now that the in/during mix-up is in vogue, I assume it’s also okay for people who went to college in Boston to say they went to school at Harvard. Because you know how easy it is to confuse “at” and “near.” Exit quotation from a Twitter pal: “Dick Blumenthal’s favorite Village People song is ‘During the Navy.’”


Update: Like I said, this has obviously been going on for years. Funny how the innocent “misstatements” tended to get worse and worse as his career progressed, no?

Former Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut, a Republican who says he is a good friend of Richard Blumenthal’s, said in an interview Tuesday that he had watched with worry as Mr. Blumenthal gradually embellished his military record over the years…

Mr. Shays said the change occurred gradually in statements made over time.

“More and more it kept creeping in,” he said. “And it was very different than when he first described his service. I’m not surprised, because he just kept adding to the story, the more he told it. I think what happens in a case like this, it’s a tiny increment of change, but when you haven’t heard him in years you say, that’s a big difference.”…

Mr. Shays said he grew uncomfortable only last month, when he and Mr. Blumenthal attended a memorial for survivors of a building collapse in Bridgeport in 1987, and Mr. Blumenthal again brought up the Vietnam War. “He didn’t say he was there; he said, ‘when we came home’ and talked about soldiers being spat upon,” Mr. Shays said. “The inference was that he was in Vietnam.”


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This has absolutely nothing to do with deferments, or anyone “questioning his service”. The American people think of combat veterans as men of honor, who have stood up and done the right thing, putting America ahead of personal interest at the very highest level. Clearly Blumenthal is an unethical POS who never earned any honor, and for years has been getting away with stealing it. Gigs up, bitch, but hang in there for a few weeks.

motionview on May 18, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Chris Shays is a decent guy, although he’d obviously be hated at HA as a RINO. But it would be far preferable to still have him in the House, rather than that Barry-bot Himes who replaced him. And there’s no need to single out CT voters as “stupid.” They are no worse here than anywhere else. Dodd would have been pummelled if he had stayed in the race. That means there is some measure of intelligence even in bluer-than-blue CT.

Meredith on May 18, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Why do men do this? I am not saying a woman would lie about this but it is a big stretch, to personify yourself as something you are not. Did he collect any benefits? Pictures? Military files?

Where are the Swift Boat Veterans? They let their voices heard, they can pitch in here too!

ProudPalinFan on May 18, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Don’t Marines place a great deal of emphasis on Honor?

ronsfi on May 18, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Seems to me even the distinction between “in” and “during” is dicey. Tom Harkin got into trouble (though not as much trouble as this guy) for claiming that he flew missions during the Vietnam war. Everyone understood him to mean that he flew missions in the war, that is, over Vietnam.

Only later was he forced to qualify his answer that when he said during, he meant elsewhere.

DubiousD on May 18, 2010 at 6:35 PM

he pinches this rhetorical loaf

Good grief, Allah.

John the Libertarian on May 18, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Clearly Blumenthal is an unethical POS who never earned any honor, and for years has been getting away with stealing it. Gigs up, bitch, but hang in there for a few weeks.

motionview on May 18, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Very well said.

SKYFOX on May 18, 2010 at 6:39 PM

I assume it’s also okay for people who went to college in Boston to say they went to school at Harvard. Because you know how easy it is to confuse “at” and “near.”

It’s more than that. He draws the license because he was in the military during Vietnam.

So anyone who was in college while Harvard was an institutional (i.e., every US citizen who ever attended college and quite a few colonists!) can use the Bloomenthal standard to say they attended Harvard.

EconomicNeocon on May 18, 2010 at 6:41 PM

He and Murtha will serve in the same arid outpost.

The Crater of the Ex-Marines.

profitsbeard on May 18, 2010 at 6:42 PM

I served (McDonald’s patrons) in (the time period of) Viet Nam

Tony Soprano on May 18, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Even though I am Vietnam era age but never served, can I criticize the veterans who stood behind Dick Blu as he “took full responsibility” for his actions?

BTW, Dick, the way you take “full responsibility for your actions” is to apologize, which you did, and resign, which you won’t.

BigAlSouth on May 18, 2010 at 6:45 PM

“What’s the difference between Blumenthal and Jane Fonda? —- Fonda has actually been to Vietnam.”

diogenes on May 18, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Chrissie Matthews excoriated (get this) any voter bad enough to vote for him.

Unmistakable conclusion: he was thrown under the bus by his leftist machine. (NYT)

Why?

He’s a very poor candidate. You could easily substitute the word Blumanthal as the antonym for charisma.

He makes Al Gore seem alive personable and non-robotic by contrast.

Any first grader could beat him in a debate -check the Glen Beck debate- on AIG execs home harrassment. He was trembling.

He’s a poor liar -as the entire world knows, though I give him credit for not claiming racism.

Don L on May 18, 2010 at 6:48 PM

I am a Vietnam Era veteran. I spent most of my TOD in Kansas. It wasn’t always easy. When the War heated up, we got plane loads of jet engines to work on. We would work 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Never would I have “confused” my time as being IN Vietnam or anywhere in SE Asia.

This guys is lying.

Doesn’t anyone in politics take responsibility for his actions?

Man up, people.

davidk on May 18, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Don’t know if anyone else noticed but this tool’s service was as an enlisted Marine in the Reserves. Anyone one with a degree and certainly with a graduate degree would almost certainly come in as an Officer unless of course the fix was in and he got an enlisted job that would not see combat. Because as a Marine Officer at that time awful good chance you would see combat as a platoon leader. I won’t go into all the details of this but you get the idea. major dad sends via THS

tree hugging sister on May 18, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Be it a sword or a quill, taking responsibility for moral failure means to fall on it.

Maquis on May 18, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Two political scandals that demonstrate perfectly one of the major differences between the parties. The disgraced Republican is embarrassed. He calls a press conference, acknowledges the transgressions that make him unfit for office and resigns.

The Democrat calls a press conference, stonewalls, lies about what he did and carries on. He describes his outright lies as a few misplaced words. He says he takes full responsibility for his misplaced words, but since he denies his lies and doesn’t withdraw he in fact takes no responsibility. He knows that all stupid liberals need to hear is that he takes full responsibility – when in fact he takes none.

Democratic voters are such gluttons for punishment.

Democrats are thieves, liars, looters and incompetents. You’d better HOPE that when they are turfed out you have some CHANGE left in your pocket.

Basilsbest on May 18, 2010 at 6:52 PM

He retires to a wood cabin and your beavers can do a night-op.
journeyintothewhirlwind on May 18, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Well if he does he is going to be CCCCCCold!

On Dec. 9, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called for the Legislature to ban outdoor wood-burning furnaces, saying the systems “continuously emit toxic smoke that sickens neighbors and pollutes neighborhoods

Farmers are turning a cold shoulder to Blumenthal’s idea, saying outlawing the devices will each cost them thousands of dollars. They also call wood a “renewable resource,” viewing its burning as environmentally sound.

DSchoen on May 18, 2010 at 6:56 PM

The voters of the Nutmeg state are smart and have the heritage of Nathan Hale as a guide. Patriot or liar not a hard choice. Simmons has a good straight up DD 214.

Col.John Wm. Reed on May 18, 2010 at 6:57 PM

EconomicNeocon on May 18, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Ahh!

Thanks for the insight , now I understand why Olbermann actually thinks he went to Cornell and not the Junior College associated with Cornell!

DSchoen on May 18, 2010 at 7:08 PM

Is this where we all yell Liar Liar Pants on fire.

what a putz.
What’s that line in the movie where the wife comes in , catcher her hubby in bed with another woman and she blows up , and he tells her ” Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes? “.

ColdWarrior57 on May 18, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Sorry if this was brought up in earlier threads.
Let’s see: George Bush get’s deferments, servers in the Air national guard, Doesn’t lie about his service record= a bad person.
Blumenthal get’s deferments, servers in the marine reserve,lies about Vietnam service=good guy.
It’s actually has come down to the fact that if you are a Democrat, you are a walking POS.

BruceB on May 18, 2010 at 7:11 PM

I was born when Gary Powers U-2 was
shot down over the U.S.S.R!:)

canopfor on May 18, 2010 at 6:03 PM
====================
Heh, always love it when people are born during major events like that. My father was born on the day Pearl Harbor was bombed.

MadisonConservative on May 18, 2010 at 6:17 PM

MadisonConservative: I know that date by heart,

Dec 7,1941:)

canopfor on May 18, 2010 at 7:15 PM

We can only imagine what other goodies McMahon has on this schmuck. She is by no means a rookie at PR and I am sure her timing was well thought out.

Blumenthal’s little love in was so full of BS it was sickooo. He answered a question about his 5 deferments by saying that he had no idea that he had so many and that the draft board can grant them on their own – errrrrrrrrrrrr Bullfeathers Richie. Deferments have to be applied for and paperwork has to be filled out for each one. Then they are granted.

I almost went off the road when he said that he looked up “MArine Reserves” in the yellow pages -lmfao. Anyone that was of draft age knows that there were several little safe Vietnam free havens like this available to the rich or well connected. Maybe he googled it?

This dude could be the worst liar since Bubba Clinton

iam7545 on May 18, 2010 at 7:24 PM

DSchoen on May 18, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Perfect.

journeyintothewhirlwind on May 18, 2010 at 7:27 PM

“America’s Vietnam War essentially began in 1964, under a Democratic president with even bigger congressional majorities than today’s. A decade later, the party had turned against the war, and its congressional majorities betrayed America’s onetime allies by cutting off aid to South Vietnam and consigning Southeast Asia to communist oppression. It’s no wonder Democrats have a guilty conscience about Vietnam. It’s nonetheless weird when they aren’t truthful about the facts of their own biographies.”

From Dick Blumenthal, Reporting for Duty

AcronisF on May 18, 2010 at 7:29 PM

I found out what “I will take full responsibility” means when Janet Reno took “full responsibility” for Waco.

Socratease on May 18, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Let’s see: George Bush get’s deferments, servers in the Air national guard, Doesn’t lie about his service record= a bad person.

Blumenthal get’s deferments, servers in the marine reserve,lies about Vietnam service=good guy.

BruceB on May 18, 2010 at 7:11 PM

To take it a step further:

Chimpy Bush VP Dick Cheney got 5 deferments = bad guy

His successor as Vice President, Uncle Joe Biden, got 5 deferments = genius.

Another step?

2004, “objective news organization” al-AP sues Bush White House to force him to release all of his military records to the public. Bush complies.

His Democrat “opponent” is never asked for all of his military records. He releases them to exactly 3 people, one of them an al-AP “reporter”. The other two people? A “reporter” from his hometown NY Times-owned newspaper, the other a “reporter” from the looney Left LA Times.

Nope, no Double Standard there.

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2010 at 7:33 PM

I laugh my ass off at all the politicians who crow about their Vietnam service when many of them and their peers were looking for any way possible to get out of going to Vietnam. Can you say “college deferment?”

NavyMustang on May 18, 2010 at 7:36 PM

Viet Era meant served in the MILITARY during the war; but not in VN.

Viet Vet meant served in Vietnam during the war.

fourdeucer on May 18, 2010 at 5:32 PM

From what I can recall from an different controversy (I wish I can remember the name of the person involved), the Pentagon said that it’s acceptable for an active-duty soldier not physically being in the Persian Gulf to call him/herself a Gulf War veteran. One can take part in a war without being on the front-line. Technically, Blumenthal could claim to be Vietnam vet. No listener probably understood his claim that way, but it’s technically true and I find it interesting. By no mean am I trying to defend the guy. He said he came back from Vietnam, which is factually untrue.

year_of_the_dingo on May 18, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Deferral = You don’t have to go now

He received deferrals until he was out of school. That’s when the reason to get a deferral ended. Then he “enlists” in a USMC Reserve Unit and never fires a shot.

Duty, Honor, Country. He uses those words like a punchline.

BobMbx on May 18, 2010 at 7:40 PM

His Democrat “opponent” is never asked for all of his military records. He releases them to exactly 3 people, one of them an al-AP “reporter”. The other two people? A “reporter” from his hometown NY Times-owned newspaper, the other a “reporter” from the looney Left LA Times.

Ahem…”allowed to read, but not take notes or photos of the documents”.

BobMbx on May 18, 2010 at 7:42 PM

“What’s the difference between Blumenthal and Jane Fonda? —- Fonda has actually been to Vietnam.”

diogenes on May 18, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Oh that one hits the nail.

petunia on May 18, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Maybe he meant to say it was really sad when he spit on the returning veterans and was taken out of context?

petunia on May 18, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Used the war and the Marines to embellish his cred. Why bring it up at all and keep on bringing it up. It didn’t seem to help Kerry and actually gave birth to the Swift Boat vets.

Kissmygrits on May 18, 2010 at 7:53 PM

davidk at 6:48
Come to think about it, I was in South Korea, which seems pretty close to South Viet Nam, and sometimes it got very humid.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 18, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Look, people, it’s very easy… your were either in Nam or not….. this pig’s reference to being in Nam for so many times is a travesty. There is no excuse for his comments…. and … no one serves 6 months in Parris Island unless you went to Motivation… you of the Vietnam Marines know what that is.

MNDavenotPC on May 18, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Half my kingdom for the first politician who does not insult me with one of these mealy-mouthed pathetic attempts to walk back an obvious lie. Do they really think we’re all that dumb?

Potfry on May 18, 2010 at 8:52 PM

He’s an ambitious pol and he knew he could squeeze a few more votes out of the electorate by creating the impression that he served in ‘Nam.

He’s disqualified for being an idiot in itself for not thinking that such a thing oculd be checked.

ddrintn on May 18, 2010 at 8:54 PM

He’s a seedy liar, but a clever one.

I wouldn’t say that. He allowed people to get the idea he was a Viet Nam vet, which he had to know they would eventually lie about. Once people discover that they have been deceived, the “It wasn’t technically a lie” excuse never moves anyone. After Clinton got caught, no one still believed “I did not have sex with that woman” just because “There was no penetration.”

A clever politician would have realized that.

RINO in Name Only on May 18, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Why do men do this? I am not saying a woman would lie about this but it is a big stretch, to personify yourself as something you are not.

ProudPalinFan on May 18, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Tuzla Dash comes to mind.

holygoat on May 18, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Semper fibus. Semper lyius. Semper fibus.

You Swiftboated yourself Dude!

Mr. Joe on May 18, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Walter Sobchak or…Richard Blumenthal???: “Donny was a good bowler, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors… and bowling, and as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and… up to… Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling. And so, Theodore Donald Karabotsos, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince.”

Django on May 18, 2010 at 11:31 PM

“Lady, I got buddies who died face down in the muck so that you and I could enjoy this family restaurant!”

Django on May 18, 2010 at 11:32 PM

These people I’m sure thought George Bush did not serve the in the National Guard honorably.

hawkdriver on May 19, 2010 at 6:21 AM

year_of_the_dingo on May 18, 2010 at 7:38 PM

In 34 years, I’ve been deployed to almost everywhere but not always during a conflict there. I’m very careful to not mislead where I have or haven’t seen combat. I would never say that I’m a Gulf War vet, even though I served during that time, even though I served “in” the Gulf. I didn’t serve in the Gulf “during” The Gulf War.

hawkdriver on May 19, 2010 at 6:30 AM

There will always be slime politicians like this guy trying to put one over on the voters. The tragedy is those citizens who, after discovering something like this, stand behind him applauding his twisted excuses when it is plain what he is. This is also evident in Obama with HIS supporters applauding as he lies over and over.

Look at the difference in Blumenthal (Democrat) and the Republican congressman who was caught in an affair with a part time campaign worker yesterday. The Republican immediately resigns knowing his constituents will reject him. The Democrat stands with supporters (useful idiots?) at a public news conference with more lies. There is the distinction with a difference. And why we get better government with conservatives in power.

artman1746 on May 19, 2010 at 8:35 AM

“I misspoke”—the new meme for “I lied.”

Nalea on May 19, 2010 at 8:44 AM

“Admiral Boorda had the decency to commit suiciiiiide-uh,” -Tom Lantos.

Akzed on May 19, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Is it just me or are politicians nowadays getting more and more despicable? Lying about your military service and then saying you merely misspoke is beyond despicable, it should be cause for termination. Seedy liar indeed.

scalleywag on May 19, 2010 at 9:11 AM

So he’s been doing this for years. Why are people only catching him in his lies NOW?

Beo on May 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Wow, if I were one of those Marines standing around him, I’d back away when the lightning struck.

Ward Cleaver on May 19, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Um, when I said I served “in” Vietnam, I meant to say “during”

Baghdad Jim McDermott (D Seattle) did the exact same thing. Claimed to be a Vietnam vet even though he spent the war as a psychiatrist in Long Beach, California.

American Elephant on May 19, 2010 at 5:18 PM

I guess over time, Blumenthal’s lies about his service became – like John Kerry’s – burned into his brain. So he kinda forgot they were lies.

A common malady among lying liars with their stinking lies.

disa on May 19, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Wow, if I were one of those Marines standing around him, I’d back away when the lightning struck

Apparently one of those Marines – isn’t!

Hat tip to Clarice Feldman at American Thinker

Trumpower, like Blumenthal, is a Connecticut resident and has made quite a name for himself hawking books on the Vietnam experience. The ‘POW Networks Phony’ database lists Trumpower’s bogus credentials as follows:

CLAIMING BRONZE STAR w/VALOR device… Claims 2nd Lt, Claims… Wears 3 Purple Hearts, 2 Bronze Stars w/V. The jacket in EARLIER pictures boasted 8 ribbons. This NEW pic has more and includes V device on Bronze Star and 2nd Lt bars…

It’s entirely fitting if the staged Blumenthal apology was, as our anonymous contributor asserts, accompanied by another puffed-up bloviator.

CanuckInPA on May 19, 2010 at 8:52 PM

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