Blumenthal’s latest story unravels

posted at 10:12 am on June 18, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

A month ago, the New York Times exposed Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s serial exaggerations and fabulism regarding his military service in the Vietnam era.  Blumenthal had on several occasions either implied or outright claimed that he had served in Vietnam during the war, when in fact he had never left the US at all.  The Democratic nominee for the US Senate had also characterized his service as “active duty,” when the only active duty Blumenthal served was while in training.  For the most part, however, these revelations didn’t disturb his standing in the polls, and Democrats heaved a sigh of relief … until this week.

Blumenthal attempted to put the best possible spin on the controversy in an interview this week with the Connecticut Mirror, which prompted a second look at Blumenthal’s claims by the New York Times yesterday.  At the center of the new spin was a claim by Blumenthal to the Mirror that his recollection of his draft number was that it was high enough to keep him from being drafted, and that therefore his enlistment in the Marine Reserves was motivated entirely by a desire for patriotic service:

Blumenthal, whose educational and employment deferrals kept him out of the draft from 1965 to 1970, joined the Marine Reserves in 1970, when he says his draft number was probably high enough to keep him out of the military. He said he does not remember, however, the number he drew in the draft lottery.

According to a table published by the Selective Service System, Blumenthal’s birth date of Feb. 13 was the 152nd date drawn in the December 1969 lottery, which covered men born from 1944 to 1950. Blumenthal was born in 1946. The highest lottery number called for possible induction was 195.

Well, Blumenthal may recall that differently, though.  And if he was mistaken at the time about his draft number, his explanation would still hold, right?  Unfortunately, Blumenthal himself has refuted that explanation.  In an Associated Press profile of Richard Blumenthal from October 5, 2002 titled “The Enigma of Connecticut’s Most Public Public Official,” Blumenthal admitted that he knew he had a low draft number, emphasis mine:

At a time when American youths were burning draft cards, Blumenthal enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves. He said he enlisted because he had a “pretty low draft number.”

Blumenthal did not go to Vietnam. Records from the Marines, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, said he performed no active duty, although recruits are technically on active duty while training.

Blumenthal insists he did six months of active duty. With the Marines, he studied administration and was classified as an “Admin Man.”

Even back then, his explanations didn’t add up.  At any rate, Blumenthal’s sudden inability to remember his draft number and the reason for his enlistment — which he recalled with clarity less than eight years ago — is yet another clumsy attempt to get himself off the hook for his fabrications in the years since.  Neither the Mirror nor the Times bought that explanation; both researched the claim and found it dubious.  This admission from October 2002 should once and for all confirm Blumenthal’s lack of honesty and integrity on this issue.

One more time, though, let’s make clear what exactly is at issue.  Service in the Marine Reserves was and is honorable service to the nation.  Using legal deferments to put off or avoid military service during the draft era is nothing more than working within the system to meet one’s goals.  Lying about the nature and conditions of one’s service and doing so repeatedly, however, exposes Blumenthal as a man who probably doesn’t deserve the public’s trust in high positions.  If he’s continuing to lie about this, what happens when Blumenthal gets to the Senate?  Are we to believe he’ll suddenly transform into a modern-day George Washington at the cherry tree?

Update: I should have consulted Jules Crittenden on writing the headline.


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When you have a confirmed liar, why would you even think the lie about his military record is the only one he has ever told. If he is that blatant, he is a compulsive liar. He will represent his state well. He represents who they are.

volsense on June 18, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Service in the Marine Reserves was and is honorable service to the nation. Using legal deferments to put off or avoid military service during the draft era is nothing more than working within the system to meet one’s goals. Lying about the nature and conditions of one’s service and doing so repeatedly, however, exposes Blumenthal as a man who probably doesn’t deserve the public’s trust in high positions. If he’s continuing to lie about this, what happens when Blumenthal gets to the Senate? Are we to believe he’ll suddenly transform into a modern-day George Washington at the cherry tree?

Very well put, Ed.

MainelyRight on June 18, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Let’s see…

Politician, check.
Weasel, check.
Liar, check.

So – what’s the news here?

Daggett on June 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM

If he’s continuing to lie about this, what happens when Blumenthal gets to the Senate? Are we to believe he’ll suddenly transform into a modern-day George Washington at the cherry tree?

I’m certain Blumenthal will legislate as a moderate pragmatist once elected.

Sincerely,
David Brooks, David Frum, Christopher Buckley, and Peggy Noonan

Doughboy on June 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM

If they let Bill Clinton get away with his military dodge they will let this guy.After all Billy said he “loathed”the military.

docflash on June 18, 2010 at 10:21 AM

When you have a confirmed liar, why would you even think the lie about his military record is the only one he has ever told. If he is that blatant, he is a compulsive liar. He will represent his state well. He represents who they are.

volsense on June 18, 2010 at 10:17 AM

If all I read was that comment, I wouldn’t know if you were talking about Mark Kirk or Blumenthal.

Blarg the Destroyer on June 18, 2010 at 10:22 AM

At least the draft dodgers were honest in their intentions where Blumenthal can’t even come up to that level.

fourdeucer on June 18, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Service in the Marine Reserves was and is honorable service to the nation.

Glad you said it. Too often the other side has seen service in the Guard and Reserve as something less than honorable (Bush, Quayle). They have been more open to those that do not serve period, like Clinton, than reservists.

The Opinionator on June 18, 2010 at 10:26 AM

The sad thing is that Blumenthal is going to win anyway.

rcpjr on June 18, 2010 at 10:29 AM

When I worked in Management for a very large company – we became Officers of the Company and earned our pay – not by hook or crook – Politicians should be of the same mindset – instead it seems most of them are there to enrich themselves at the trough of The United States of America – it seems we are at the bottom .(except for a few)

wheels on June 18, 2010 at 10:31 AM

The sad thing is that Blumenthal is going to win anyway.

rcpjr on June 18, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I wouldn’t count your chickens before they cross the road just yet. McMahon has another $25 million or so of her own money yet to spend. Matter of fact there have been numerous op-ed’s in lots of papers here in CT lamenting the fact that it appears she may just be able to “buy” the election like she bought the nomination. No matter what the polls say, the Dems here are extremely worried.

Johnnyreb on June 18, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Odds he’ll still win in CT?

Almost the same as the odds that the sun will rise in the east.

mankai on June 18, 2010 at 10:32 AM

From listening to guys who are about five or ten years older than me, they remember their draft number like they remember their first girlfriend. When they’re 95, on their death bed, they’ll be able to tell you what their Vietnam draft number was and if it was high, medium, or low.

RBMN on June 18, 2010 at 10:33 AM

“Using legal deferments to put off or avoid military service during the draft era is nothing more than working within the system to meet one’s goals.”

Uh, okay. And I guess all those guys who got drafted and sent to Vietnam were just working within the system to meet their goal of dying in the jungles of Vietnam so that Blumenthal could meet his goal of going to law school and become one of the Big People in this country. So it worked out well for everyone. Everybody’s goals were fulfilled very nicely.

What an absurd statement. It may have been legal, all those deferments he (and plenty of other people) got, but it certainly wasn’t right. And shouldn’t be pedaled as just another career choice.

Bennett on June 18, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Blumenthal as a man who probably doesn’t deserve the public’s trust in high positions.

Probably?! Have our standards fallen so low that a serial liar and pretender “probably” doesn’t deserve our trust? Probably. Hey at least he hasn’t assaulted anybody on video yet.

TheBigOldDog on June 18, 2010 at 10:35 AM

“We have to elect him to find out what’s in him.”

Akzed on June 18, 2010 at 10:38 AM

The Truth is the easy part to remember, the Lies are the hard part to keep up with.

Indian Outlaw on June 18, 2010 at 10:39 AM

We used to call the Guard and Reservists “Weekend Warriors” because they did not have to go to Nam.

Vince on June 18, 2010 at 10:40 AM

“If he’s continuing to lie about this, what happens when Blumenthal gets to the Senate? ”

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

What happens when ANYBODY gets to the Senate?

The real question is, how vile of a criminal is he?

notagool on June 18, 2010 at 10:45 AM

I wouldn’t count your chickens before they cross the road just yet. McMahon has another $25 million or so of her own money yet to spend. Matter of fact there have been numerous op-ed’s in lots of papers here in CT lamenting the fact that it appears she may just be able to “buy” the election like she bought the nomination. No matter what the polls say, the Dems here are extremely worried.

Johnnyreb on June 18, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Where are you in CT, Johnnyreb? I’m also in CT (West Hartford), and there’s a McMahon campaign office in town, but I’ve heard so many priests around here preaching pacifism a la Gandhi that I’m not sure enough people will hold this against Blumenthal to elect McMahon. Maybe the better angle would be to attack Blumenthal’s LYING about this, which is not a good quality for an Attorney General (which Blumenthal is now) or a Senator.

Steve Z on June 18, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Everyone back then could tell your their draft number. Mine was 90. I was lucky the draft ended before I graduated from college. This man just can’t keep his story straight on his service record. He should be forced to withdraw ……. but, he won’t be.

SC.Charlie on June 18, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Men born during those years to this day remember their draft number better than they remember their current phone number.

Haiku Guy on June 18, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Low draft number? So what.

My number in 1971 was #35.

I wasn’t called. I went on to get a job in a small Tool & Die shop (I had no real interest in going to college).

I joined 3 years later, to my parents misgivings.

And never regretted it.

Blumenthal gamed the system, IMHO, which is not damning in of itself.

But puffing up your past, that is damning.

Apparently the pride of serving the Republic wasn’t enough for Blumenthal.

Shame on him.

CPT. Charles on June 18, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Steve Z on June 18, 2010 at 10:46 AM

New London county here. She seems to poll very well here with the exception of the towns of New London and Groton. She may be a long shot, but she still has tons of money left and that has lots of Dems worried. Plus I think she has more on Blumenthal that her campaign has not released yet.

Johnnyreb on June 18, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Well, I can’t remember my draft number…all I remember is my mom dropping me off in Los Angeles at the recruiting station and saying “Have a great time”, as if I was going on a vacation, kind of surreal.

right2bright on June 18, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I couldn’t remember my draft number, but that’s because I was in ROTC, so I was already committed….

CatoRenasci on June 18, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Low draft number? So what.

My number in 1971 was #35.

They just started drawing down the army then. They would take enlistees but they weren’t drafting in 1971. Now in 1969 they were. They needed replacement bodies because of the way the civilians were managing the war effort.

Vince on June 18, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Lying about the nature and conditions of one’s service and doing so repeatedly, however, exposes Blumenthal as a man who probably doesn’t deserve the public’s trust in high positions.

How about the D next to his name? Isn’t that a clue?

LibTired on June 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM

My lottery number in 1970 was #356. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

Firmworm on June 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM

What man of that generation doesn’t remember his draft number?

joe_doufu on June 18, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I was already in because I had enlisted but my number was 335.

Vince on June 18, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Are we to believe he’ll suddenly transform into a modern-day George Washington at the cherry tree?

What difference does it make? He’s replacing another sleazeball who made lies and deception an art form.

fogw on June 18, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Where are you in CT, Johnnyreb? I’m also in CT (West Hartford)

Here in Texas, that’s like living in the same county.

I don’t remember my draft number, but I was already in boot camp when they pulled the first lottery numbers.

cartooner on June 18, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Dude’s a regular Walter Sobchek!

abobo on June 18, 2010 at 11:04 AM

If he’s continuing to lie about this, what happens when Blumenthal gets to the Senate?

Stop with the trick questions already Ed!

DEMOCRAT = LIAR
There are no Blue dogs!
Nelosn D NE., LIAR
Stupak D wherever LIAR
They lie to get in, they lie when they’re there, they lie when they leave!

THEY LIE TILL THEY DIE!

dhunter on June 18, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Blumenthal gamed the system, IMHO, which is not damning in of itself.

But puffing up your past, that is damning.

Apparently the pride of serving the Republic wasn’t enough for Blumenthal.

Shame on him. CPT. – Charles on June 18, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Precisely, no one of that era disses anyone for doing what the system required. If you went off to college and could stay in, you got a college deferment. When your college time was up you went into the pool of draftees. I

In WWII I do know that medical students got a deferment. My father went off to medical school in 1942 and graduated in 1945. They were allowed no summer breaks. He graduated in May 1945. After his residency he was shipped out to the Pacific in June 1946, after the end of the war. My father’s older brother got a deferment from active service because he had an advanced degree in refrigeration.

The fact that Blumenthal has puffed-up his service record is unsettling. It shows that he lacks integrity.

SC.Charlie on June 18, 2010 at 11:36 AM

I thought I had always remembered my number …101.. but according to this table, it was 104. No big deal, I got my personal invitation in Jan. 1970 and was on my first day in the Army on April 22 of that year.

To paraphrase my invite….

Dear Mr. norm XXXXXX

You are to report to the Spanish Fork bus depot at 05:30 am on April 22 for transport to the Salt Lake City induction center for your induction physical for service in the United States Military.

Sincerely Yours
Richard Milhouse Nixon

By late that same night I was at the reception center in Ft. Lewis, Washington..and with in 6 months; basic, infantry AIT…Vietnam.

norm1111 on June 18, 2010 at 11:38 AM

I had two tours in Vietnam and volunteered for both. The men that I served with have become lifelong friends.

To this day, I don’t know or care to associate with anybody who attempted not to serve. Some men are men, and some are not.

Special Forces Grunt on June 18, 2010 at 11:39 AM

I think it is pretty interesting that the NYT, of all publications, is sticking with the story. Since when do they care about Democrats lying? Especially about military service.

Cindy Munford on June 18, 2010 at 11:39 AM

First of all he did not dodge the military. He dodged the Vietnam war. The chickens and gutless girlymen who ran to Canada dodged the military.

The people who used deferments to avoid the draft were fortunate. It was legal to do then. Many of them came from families that could afford to send them to college. Remember when the Vietnam war began the draft was taking men around 23 years old. By 23 you knew you could be killed in war. It was changed to draft them at 19 years old during the war. At 19 you were still indestructible.

The democrats did that to us. Who in their right mind living during that time can forget how LBJ lied to the nation and then sent American boys to die in a foreign land. 58000+ Americans died for LBJ’s lie. A democrat lie.

This guy is a democrat. They were all scumbags then. They are all scumbags now.

Blumenthal probably did serve 6 months on active duty with the Marine reserves 3 months boot camp, 1 month ITR, and some time in admin school learning to type along with a 2 week leave. Reserve duty was honorable and technically could have led to combat except for the fact the politicians were afraid to call the reserves up for fear of igniting a politcal backlash. Of course Blumenthal knew he would not be called to active duty….but he took the right choice vs going to Canada. Then it was not popular to be associated with the military. Now it is semi-popular since the Vietnam vets confront the antimilitary crowd now. .

In contrast to Blumenthal, John F Kerry joined the Navy and spent 4 months in country. As much as I hate to say it….he didn’t run (to Canada) and he didn’t hide (in the reserves). He could have but didn’t. Some say he even has a memory of going to Cambodia seared in his brain. I would pick Kerry over Blumenthal in a heartbeat and you know how we Marine Vietnam vets feel about Kerry.

Blumenthal is a liar but more importantly he is a wannabe. Kerry is also a liar but he served his country in a war zone. When he came back he dishonored every vet who served but that is another story for another time.

Who is the lowest of the low? Can you say Blumenthal?

kanda on June 18, 2010 at 11:45 AM

In case you have ever wondered how many names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall are of National Guardsmen and Reservists, one hundred and forty Medal of Honor recipients were in the National Guard. Six thousand seventy-seven members of the National Guard or Reserves died in Vietnam.

The Vietnam War Memorial was dedicated NOVEMBER 13, 1982, honoring 58,178 American troops who died. More names have been added. Blumenthal’s will never be one of them. He should have to pay penance by cleaning the public toilets and polishing the granite at the memorial for the rest of his natural life.

opaobie on June 18, 2010 at 11:48 AM

“I remember those days with General Washington, landing on those Normandy beaches under fire from the Confederate racist/sexist/anti-gays.”

NoDonkey on June 18, 2010 at 11:48 AM

What if the Weasel gets elected ( and he will )?
Could he be dragged before an ethics panel ( if the dems do not abolish them ?) Maybe Jeff sessions or Orin Hatch have some surprise for this guy ?

ELMO Q on June 18, 2010 at 11:49 AM

If 60,000 dims voted for Al Greene in SC, don’t you know that the dims in CT will vote for this guy.

Kissmygrits on June 18, 2010 at 11:55 AM

“He said he enlisted because he had a “pretty low draft number.””

Officers do not enlist. Officers receive a commission.

rbb on June 18, 2010 at 12:02 PM

“He said he enlisted because he had a “pretty low draft number.””

Officers do not enlist. Officers receive a commission.

rbb on June 18, 2010 at 12:02 PM

He was enlisted a Lance corporal IIRC, not and officer.

Johnnyreb on June 18, 2010 at 12:14 PM

One more time, though, let’s make clear what exactly is at issue. Service in the Marine Reserves was and is honorable service to the nation.

I disagree with this statement when service in the Reserves is used specifically to polish one’s resume for future political opportunity, and to evade deployment. There is no honor in either of those two decisions.

The vast majority of Reservists are indeed honorable, patriotic people, often serving at great personal cost,many of whom continue to drill in the Reserves after serving in the active duty forces They do not deserve to be maligned or grouped with the craven opportunists.

YTZGal on June 18, 2010 at 12:17 PM

I passed my pre-induction physical and was ready to go to Basic Training in two months, and then the lottery happened. My number was 198. Every guy remembers his draft number during that first year of the lottery.

mydh12 on June 18, 2010 at 12:18 PM

YTZGal on June 18, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Just to set the record straight, while evading deployment by joining the reserves during Vietnam may have been a viable option, it isn’t now.

Reservists are deploying at pretty much the same rate as active duty. We are one force now, the days of the pink IDs are over.

I say this as a reservist who will deploy in July.

NoDonkey on June 18, 2010 at 12:26 PM

I went to the table linked and found that my lottery number would have been 16. I didn’t know that because I never registered for the draft. I was busy when I turned 18 and couldn’t find the time. I think I was on the rifle range that day.

Extrafishy on June 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Service in the Marine Reserves was and is honorable service to the nation.

That all depends. If it was at a time of war and a time when almost no reservists were called up then there was no honorable service about it as it was avoidance. To say there was is an insult to those who joined the active duty Marines or active duty Army or were drafted into the Army or Marines.

Tav on June 18, 2010 at 12:32 PM

The bottom line is that there is nothing dishonorable about his service record. What is dishonorable is that he misrepresented his service record to the public in order to look better to the voters.

SC.Charlie on June 18, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Never worry. It seems to me that the people of Connecticutt love being lied to. Blumie will sail thru with flying colors.

capejasmine on June 18, 2010 at 12:42 PM

he misrepresented his service record to the public in order to look better to the voters.

SC.Charlie on June 18, 2010 at 12:42 PM

He flat out bald-faced grossly lied.

Tav on June 18, 2010 at 12:45 PM

#105

ExpressoBold on June 18, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Service in the Marine Reserves was and is honorable service to the nation.
That all depends. If it was at a time of war and a time when almost no reservists were called up then there was no honorable service about it as it was avoidance. To say there was is an insult to those who joined the active duty Marines or active duty Army or were drafted into the Army or Marines.

Tav on June 18, 2010 at 12:32 PM

So you are saying that all reservists who serverd in the reserves during a time of was=r when no reservists were called up is not honorable service? This shows a complete lack of both reality and honesty on your part. If you knew what you were talking about you would know that many active duty personel were released from active duty. Some immediately and many later joined the reserves still during that war period. Are you telling me they did not serve honorably. What about the WWII and Korean war vets who were in the reserves during the same Vietnam war period? Finally, what about those who did join the reserves and went on Active duty? I Served with many men who were USMCR during that period. All of them were honorable. None of them call up. All volunteers. So your all inclusive statement is wrong.

kanda on June 18, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Unfortunately, among the vast majority of Conn. voters (i.e. Democrats) even this revelation will hurt Blumenthal not at all. In fact, it will probably help him. Democrats are all about sticking it to those mean ol’ he-man military types. Like their idol Bill Clinton, they “loathe the military.”

WarEagle01 on June 18, 2010 at 12:53 PM

So you are saying that all reservists who serverd in the reserves during a time of was=r when no reservists were called up is not honorable service? This shows a complete lack of both reality and honesty on your part. If you knew what you were talking about you would know that many active duty personel were released from active duty. Some immediately and many later joined the reserves still during that war period. Are you telling me they did not serve honorably. What about the WWII and Korean war vets who were in the reserves during the same Vietnam war period? Finally, what about those who did join the reserves and went on Active duty? I Served with many men who were USMCR during that period. All of them were honorable. None of them call up. All volunteers. So your all inclusive statement is wrong.

kanda on June 18, 2010 at 12:53 PM

I spoke clearly and specifically. You are all over the fricken map. During Vietnam, which is the matter at hand, everyone knew that going into, if one could even get in, the NG or the Reserves, which is what Blumenthal did, was to reduce ones chances of being sent to Vietnam to almost nil. You don’t go to a Whore House to pray.

Tav on June 18, 2010 at 1:04 PM

He flat out bald-faced grossly lied. – Tav on June 18, 2010 at 12:45 PM

True, I was being tactful. The sad truth is that is his opponent doesn’t have a chance in a h@ll to beat Blumenthal.

SC.Charlie on June 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I am getting a bit tired of the same old rant by some who think that reserve service and college deferments in the Vietnam era were shameful. Didn’t we go all through this with George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service in Texas? We may have been fighting the war in Vietnam, but it was also the Era of the Cold War. Not everyone who served in this time packed up and was sent off to Vietnam.

SC.Charlie on June 18, 2010 at 1:22 PM

YTZGal on June 18, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Just to set the record straight, while evading deployment by joining the reserves during Vietnam may have been a viable option, it isn’t now.

Reservists are deploying at pretty much the same rate as active duty. We are one force now, the days of the pink IDs are over.

I say this as a reservist who will deploy in July.

NoDonkey on June 18, 2010 at 12:26 PM

I agree with your statement that most Reservists are deploying as much as the reg Active Duty forces. I, personally, am especially grateful to the Reservists in the Medical-Nursing Corps.

To set the record straight, I have first hand knowledge of PLENTY of Reservists who actively evade deploying, but want orders to a nice, cushy Beltway job where they can parade around, churn out white papers or write nice long hagiographic blog posts about being “Citizen-Soldiers”, suck up training seats in expensive schools, and then walk away from their active duty commitment when said expensive training has been achieved. Rather than being excoriated, many are rewarded for such self-serving and churlish behavior.

On the other hand, the term “Reservist” is often misused, because all newly commissioned Officers, even academy grads, are Reservists until they are apply for and are accepted for augmentation.

That being said, thank you for your service and commitment to country. The willingness of Reservists to deploy to the combat zone in an all-volunteer force is something we should all be proud of.

YTZGal on June 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM

. . . After all Billy said he “loathed”the military.

docflash on June 18, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Believe me, the feeling was mutual.

Fatal on June 18, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Until today, I didn’t know my draft number either. It’s in the low 50s (won’t say exactly because I don’t want anyone sending me a birthday present). At the time of the lottery, I was a 2nd Lt on active duty in the USAF via the RESERVE Officer Training Corps, which was the only way to receive a commission besides going to the (fairly new) USAF Academy or OCS or a couple of other methods I may have missed. The day of the lottery, I was probably flying a training mission during my 53 week Undergraduate Pilot Training course with the goal of going to Vietnam. I had to undergo one more flight training program in the specific aircraft I would fly over there, but I had a volunteer statement on record, as did most of the other RESERVE Officers I served with, and we all joined specifically to go to Vietnam…and win. Too bad the politicians who sent us didn’t share our committment and our goal. The 13 year old kid our squadron “adopted” and who lived in our hooch served more honorably than Blumenthal because at least he didn’t lie about being a “war veteran”…although, I guess he actually was since he was there during some of the rocket and mortar attacks.

opaobie on June 18, 2010 at 1:44 PM

YTZGal on June 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Thank you – I haven’t been on active duty for a dozen years so this is going to be fun for me and a huge honor.

I have always considered my time in the Navy as a small little bit that I can contribute to the greatest country in the history of the world. It’s an honor beyond words to wear the uniform.

NoDonkey on June 18, 2010 at 1:50 PM

OT, but I am just curious.

On the other hand, the term “Reservist” is often misused, because all newly commissioned Officers, even academy grads, are Reservists until they are apply for and are accepted for augmentation.

YTZGal on June 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Is this some sort of recent change? I graduated on an NROTC scholarship in 1979 and, although we were considered “reservists” while we were attending school, we were all immediately commissioned into active-duty service upon graduation (The commissioning ceremony actually took place before commencement, they took away our “pink” cards and handed out the “green” ones on the spot). There was no application or requirement for acceptance for “augmentation” (whatever that is)???

Now, we were given a choice to continue with our training/scholarships just prior to starting our junior years in college and were required to sign on the “dotted line” with the understanding that, if we signed on to continue we were accepting an active-duty commitment whether we graduated or not (failure to graduate or complete the program meant we went into active-duty service as “enlisted” personnel instead of commissioned officers).

I guess things have changed?

Fatal on June 18, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Why can’t we all just accept that this man’s fudging of the truth is just resume enhancement for a Democrat. HE IS going to win the Senate seat because NE Dems have a hard time stomaching Republicans in the US House and Senate. And that is just the way it is. Period.

devolvingtowardsidiocracy on June 18, 2010 at 5:34 PM

I am getting a bit tired of the same old rant by some who think that reserve service and college deferments in the Vietnam era were shameful. Didn’t we go all through this with George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service in Texas? We may have been fighting the war in Vietnam, but it was also the Era of the Cold War. Not everyone who served in this time packed up and was sent off to Vietnam.

SC.Charlie on June 18, 2010 at 1:22 PM

No one said it was shameful, just nothing that is deserving of “Thank you for your service”.

Tav on June 18, 2010 at 7:01 PM

OT, but I am just curious.

On the other hand, the term “Reservist” is often misused, because all newly commissioned Officers, even academy grads, are Reservists until they are apply for and are accepted for augmentation.

YTZGal on June 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Is this some sort of recent change? I graduated on an NROTC scholarship in 1979 and, although we were considered “reservists” while we were attending school, we were all immediately commissioned into active-duty service upon graduation (The commissioning ceremony actually took place before commencement, they took away our “pink” cards and handed out the “green” ones on the spot). There was no application or requirement for acceptance for “augmentation” (whatever that is)???

I guess things have changed?

Fatal on June 18, 2010 at 2:50 PM

During Vietnam anyway, in the U.S. Army, all West Point graduates were commissioned in the Regular Army. The top 10% of ROTC and OCS were also commissioned in the Regular Army. The rest, which was the bulk, although on active duty, were technically commissioned in the Reserves, because of congressional limits on the number of Army officers who could hold a commissio in the Regular Army at a given time.

Tav on June 18, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Ed, I think you may actually be giving this guy a bit too much slack. The specific timeline is very important here. What it really seems to come down to is a slight modification on the old Nixonian conundrum, i.e., . . . “What did he do, and when did he do it”?

One month ago (on May 20th) I posted the correct information regarding his draft lottery status as of December 1, 1969, right here on HotAir, and in a bit more detail on Legal Insurrection. It took me but a few minutes of research to come up with that correct information, which I am certain others put together as well.

And among those figuring that out, would have been someone in Blumenthal’s campaign operation, and likely the candidate himself. You can be absolutely certain that during that media kerfuffle a month ago, both he and his campaign were acutely of those very specific details, regardless of whether he had personally “remembered” them or not. Lawyers would likely refer to his testimonial status at that point — as of May 20th or so — as “past recollection refreshed.”

Note also his testy and evasive response to the Connecticut Mirror on what he or his campaign were aware of when the original NYT story broke.

He declined to detail what he and his staff did to check the public record before defiantly asserting the next day at a nationally televised press conference at a VFW, surrounded by supportive veterans, that his misstatements were rare and inadvertent, nothing more than mistakes. Days later, he apologized. (links in original)

Of course they had figured out the details at the campaign! Would they have publicly admitted “mistakes” were made if they did not know the facts?

Back in the late 60s, nearly everyone subject to potentially being drafted knew the details of their draft status, and at all times, especially those who had sought and received any kind of deferrment over time. This guy was working in the Nixon White House, for crying out loud! And for the Washington Post! You think for one second he did not know his precise situation the very moment the lottery numbers were drawn? Of course he did!

As of December 1, 1969, Blumenthal knew he was going to be drafted. And, as of some time in 1970, he joined a Marine reserve unit that was passing out Toys for Tots in Washington, DC. Okay, he served. But he joined that reserve unit to avoid being drafted.

As you have correctly highlighted, Ed, he also specifically told the AP back in 2002 that he enlisted in the Marine Reserve because he knew he was going to be drafted: “He said he enlisted because he had a ‘pretty low draft number.’”

Okay, he told the truth . . . once. But that doesn’t make him any less of a liar! He lied numerous times about serving in Viet-Nam! Now, he calls those numerous lies “mistakes.” Well, there is no such thing as “serial mistake-making!” He was lying!

By the way, in that AP article from 2002 you cited, there is yet also another indicator of evasiveness on his part, where it says:

Blumenthal insists he did six months of active duty. With the Marines, he studied administration and was classified as an “Admin Man.”

There is no job in the military called an “Admin Man!” That is his euphemism to avoid saying what his Military Occupational Specialty, or “MOS” was. His “MOS” would tell us exactly what job he was trained to perform. But, it would not necessarily tell us what job he was given.

Reporters should simply ask to see his DD-214 — his one-page discharge paper. He probably has a small, credit-card sized laminated copy of it that he keeps in his wallet. Many, if not most veterans do. The DD-214 would reveal exactly when he entered the service in 1970, exactly what his job training entailed, and exactly when he was discharged.

Blumenthal has done enough out-and-out lying to justify a demand for factual proof about his service, which he could easily supply.

Here are two specific questions he should be asked, the answers to which would clear a lot of this up — or, provide a solid basis for concluding that he is continuing to be evasive:

1. When he specifically signed up for the Marine reserve unit in 1970, had he already received his draft letter — the “Greeting:” letter from his draft board?

2. Will he agree to make a copy of his DD-214 public in order to clear up his vague statements about when he was sworn in, and what his job was?

Trochilus on June 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

correction –

. . . acutely aware of those . . .

Trochilus on June 19, 2010 at 1:04 PM