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Senate frontrunner lied about serving in Vietnam

By DOUG THOMPSON
May 18, 2010

Richard Blumenthal

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the acknowledged front runner for the Senate seat being vacated by Chris Dodd, lied repeatedly about serving in Vietnam.

Blumenthal, a Democrat, not only never served in combat, he sought multiple deferments to avoid military service and — when those deferments ran out — used political connections to land a coveted spot in a Marine reserve unit that ran Toys for Tots drives and other ceremonial activities in Washington — assuring he would never serve in a war zone.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Blumenthal told a gathering in Norwalk, CT, in March of 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.”

Blumenthal often claimed service in Vietnam. In 2002, addressing a rally of military families in Bridgeport, CT, Blumenthal talked about attitudes for Veterans returning in Vietnam.

“When we returned, we saw nothing like this,” Blumenthal said. “Let us do better by this genration of men and women.”

The New York Times uncovered Blumenthal’s deception in a front page story today and noted that dozens of stories about the Connecticut Attorney General describe him as a Vietnam veteran and that Blumenthal never attempted to correct the record.

Now, Blumental tells The Times, his story is that he “misspoke” about his service during the event in Norwalk.

Although claims about serving in Vietnam became a major part of his political life, selective service records obtained by the Times through the Freedom of Information Act show he actively sought, and received, at least five deferments from military service.  He used connections with powerful friends, like Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham, to obtain a rare “2-A” occupational deferment while working as a special assistant to her.

In 1969, however, Blumenthal, while working in the Nixon White House, received a low draft lottery number — 152. With official help, he landed a spot in 1970 a ceremonial Washington-based Marine Corps. reserve unit that was better known for running Toys for Tots drive and refurbishing playgrounds in the District of Columbia.  The unit was never dispatched to Vietnam or considered for wartime service.

Lying about Vietnam is not Blumental’s only deception. In 2004, he claimed to have served as captain of the Harvard swim team. School records show he was not even a member of the team.

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11 Responses to Senate frontrunner lied about serving in Vietnam

  1. Don Purser

    May 18, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I am a Vietnam veteran. I clearly remember when I went to Vietnam and when I came home. I find this man to be a liar and not worthy of any position of public trust, certainly not the US Senate. Mr. Blumenthal should immediately apologize to all Vietnam veterans, resign his position as NY AG, and remove his name for consideration of any office.

  2. Carl Nemo

    May 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    The people of Connecticut need to demand his withdrawal from the race and also his resignation as AG immediately if not sooner.

    It’s this type of lying, duplicitous vermin that’s wormed their way into the highest offices of our land and explains why incrementally America has become a massive, monumental failure.

    So are they going go give him a pass so he can pick up where Chris Dodd left off; a busy corporatist friendly globalist who’s worked hand in hand with the forces that have diminished America for the past twenty years? / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. b mcclellan

    May 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I wonder about the integrity of those who surrounded the brave toys for tots tin soldier today and glorified what every American should do and feel about Veterans in general. That is, unwavering support and enough respect not to tread on the graves of those who went before.
    Their defense of his conduct by citing good deeds makes it no less an offense to every American who stood to honorably defend, and shows the partisan divide that will infect even those sworn, to Duty, Honor, Country.

    I would gladly trade him my nightmares and ever present forty years of fear and pain for his rosy days of safety. Hell, I’d throw in a ribbon or two if I thought he had the stones to endure what combat Vets experience.

    Every mothers son who grudgingly or not lacked the influence to allow them to make an end run around their duty to our country can be rightfully disgusted by this typical politicians egocentric aggrandizement.

    Could this opportunist fathom the pain of the families that have sacrificed and lain their sons and daughters in the cold cold ground with but a folded Old Glory to remember a life cut short ? Never in a million years.

    Here is the true grit of our leadership today folks, can you feel their heels in your back ?…HACK !

  4. dvl666

    May 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Hey he got the same preferential treatment as W. Kerry who served is “Swift Boated” W who got the cushy job is the hero??

  5. woody188

    May 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    These types of disclosures, particularly after so many years, makes me think the Connecticut AG was thinking of pressing charges against some strong players. Certainly many people knew he was lying all this time.

  6. b mcclellan

    May 18, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    And the good ship partisan goes far into the depths of oblivion dragging mankind kicking and screaming.
    All for Oliver’s wish.

  7. b mcclellan

    May 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Have you ever been to this degree used ?

  8. Bogofree

    May 19, 2010 at 8:47 am

    He didn’t lie – he “mis-spoke.” Sad to say but the WWE has more credibility than Blumenthal.

  9. Almandine

    May 19, 2010 at 10:42 am

    The man has no scruples, period.

    Do Connecticut voters?

  10. Carl Nemo

    May 20, 2010 at 12:26 am

    “an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect the bill”…Colonel Kurtz

    http://jonathanturley.org/2010/05/18/we-band-of-harvard-brothers-connecticut-attorney-general-and-senatorial-candidate-richard-blumenthal-accused-of-lying-about-service-in-vietnam/

    I thought I’d post an article by Jonathan Turley a Constitutional lawyer and scholar concerning his sentiments on this debacle. Also I recommend folks watch the supplied clip from “Apocalypse Now” and reflect on “the “horrors…the horrors of war” another line from the movie and how people like Blumenthal et al. will knowingly parasitize on even the glory and honor given to those that have paid the supreme sacrifice in defense of their nation and our way of life.

    Worse yet he’s been the AG for the State of Connecticut. It makes me sick to think how many people are rotting in the slammer possibly due to an overly aggressive, unquestioned AG’s indictments simply due to he fact his credentials seemingly were impeccable and aboveboard…NOT! : | There’s nothing worse than a sanctimonious prosecutor with an overblown sense of self worth.

    I guess we should expect as much from one of the original colonies that’s basically owned lock, stock and barrel by the corporations from olden times to present. They even elect and tolerate the likes of Joe Lieberman too!? They’re simply getting the representation they so sorely deserve. Unfortunately “We the people” must suffer with their choice of bum Senatorial candidates who make laws and policy for this nation. / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  11. SteveK

    May 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    What does it say about our intrepid press corp that he was referred to as a Vietnam vet dozens of times before he was caught? Are there no newspaper reporters in Connecticut? Was there no one on the Harvard swim team when he claimed to be the captain? How did he think he would get away with these claims? How many aspirin will I have to take to get rid of this headache?