Another Senate candidate lies about military record

Rep. Mark Kirk: Another liar in Congress (AP)

Another politician running for the Senate has lied for years about his military record.

Republican Mark Kirk, running for President Barack Obama’s old Senate set in Illinois, claimed for years that he won the U.S. Navy’s intelligence officer of the year while serving in the reserves.

But Kirk never won the award. His unit won an award but not him personally.

Kirk’s lie comes in the wake of revelations that Democratic Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam when his military service consisted primarily of working Toys for Tots drives in Washington.

Amazingly, some vets seem willing to overlook Kirk’s lie.

“It’s not right, but I don’t hold that in the disregard I would as someone claiming they served in Vietnam when they didn’t or won the Purple Heart when they didn’t,” says Jules Spindler, commander of the Illinois chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Lyle Gaddis, a 76-year-old Korean War vet, tells the Associated Press he is “disappointed” but probably will still vote for Kirk.

“It seems to me like if you see a politician who is actually telling the truth these days, you wonder where he came from,” Gaddis said.

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Blumental”s lackluster apology for Vietnam service lies

Richard Blumenthal: A serial liar

Democratic Senatorial candidate and serial liar Richard Blumenthal is finally apologizing — sort of — for lying about serving his country in Vietnam.

He says he “regrets” what his calls “misspeaking” about his military service. He says he made mistakes and is sorry for them.

Critics say his only real sorrow is in getting caught lying about serving in Vietnam and other untrue claims, including a published report that he served as captain of the Harvard Swim Team when he — in fact — was never even a member of the team.

Few think he tepid apology will satisfy critics.

“This issue isn’t about Mr. Blumenthal’s great service to the state’s veteran and military population, it’s about him refusing to apologize for claiming to be something he is not,” says Richard G. DiFederico, the Connecticut commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The attorney general was considered one of the best friends a veteran could have in our state. It is a true shame that he let a false claim of Vietnam service change all that.”

The New York Times last week revealed that Blumenthalon on several occasions, claimed he served in Vietnam when he had, instead, served in a Marine Corps. reserve unit that ran Toys for Tots drives and other charities.

Blumenthal also let stand, without correction, published reports that he had served as captain of the Harvard Swim Team while attending college there. Harvard records show he was not a member of the team.

When asked by the Associated Press why he had not really apologized, Blumenthan answered:

“I think I’ve answered that. I regret and take full responsibility for any time, those few times, that I have misspoken.”

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