It’s hard to believe in this day and age people would make such outrageous claims and not think they will get fact-checked. Apparently Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who is running for Dodd’s Senate seat in Connecticut, hasn’t figured out this whole intertubes thing. Amazingly it was the New York Times that first broke this story, but apparently Blumenthal has a fairly long record of claiming he served in Vietnam, when in actuality he received several deferments and ended up serving in a reserve unit in Washington.

Blumenthal is trying to claim that this story is an outrageous distortion of his record, but I’ll let you judge. He said,

In fact, we are failing many of our veterans again. We are failing them just as we did after the Vietnam War, just as we did our World War II and Korean [sic] veterans. This nation has a way of sending young men and women to war, and then forgetting them when they come home. And that is unforgivable. And I know Congressmen like Chris Shays are working hard to change that situation. We have learned something very important since the days I served in Vietnam, 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.
He has also made other similar statements and has often represented himself and been introduced as a veteran who served in Vietnam.

Yet there is more, the Times Raymond Hernandez also dug up more instances where Blumethal took credit:

But an examination of his remarks at the ceremonies shows that he does not volunteer that his service never took him overseas. And he describes the hostile reaction directed at veterans coming back from Vietnam, intimating that he was among them.

In 2003, he addressed a rally in Bridgeport, where about 100 military families gathered to express support for American troops overseas. “When we returned, we saw nothing like this,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “Let us do better by this generation of men and women.”

At a 2008 ceremony in front of the Veterans War Memorial Building in Shelton, he praised the audience for paying tribute to troops fighting abroad, noting that America had not always done so.

“I served during the Vietnam era,” he said. “I remember the taunts, the insults, sometimes even physical abuse.”

Now I understand a little exaggeration and politicians can usually get away with that. For instance, when Hillary Clinton said her plane came under attack during a visit to Bosnia, that was an exaggeration; a stupid one that was easily fact checked, but sometimes we all take a little license with what actually happened. However, claiming that one served in a theatre of war where thousands of Americans lost their lives, and many suffer the effects of that war today cheapens their actions. Not only is this just slimy and immoral, but it’s our-right dastardly.

What really disgusts me about this whole story is that Blumenthal is clearly trying to claim victimhood so he can play the woe is me card. I think it is bad enough that war heroes are treated as victims, but to try and play on that as a political ploy is simply wrong.

The big question now is whether he will stay in or drop out. Apparently the Democrats have until May 25th to endorse their candidate for the seat, so it might be difficult to find someone to replace him at this late date. However, as of this morning Blumenthal says he’s staying in, but even Connecticut, the bluest of blue states would send someone like this to the Senate? Then again Minnesota elected Al Franken, so I suppose anything is possible.

Blumenthal Vietnam