Apparently, Richard Blumenthal’s Icarus-like plunge was a long time coming…
“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.
As prominent Democrats in the state rallied to Mr. Blumenthal’s side on Tuesday, saying they had never seen him describe himself as a Vietnam veteran or chalking such misstatements up to a momentary lapse, Mr. Shays’s comments appeared to bolster the idea that Mr. Blumenthal’s descriptions of his military record had been somewhat embroidered, bit by bit, with the passage of time.”
Given an inch, Richard Blumenthal took another… and then another… and yet more.
You might call it “mission creep,” with the ‘mission’ being the getting Richard Blumenthal elected and re-elected over the years.
“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.”
Mr. Shays said that he thought someone might eventually check Mr. Blumenthal’s record and find that he was in Vietnam, but in a desk job.
“If he’d stuck with what he said 30 or 20 years ago, he wouldn’t be in the trouble he’s in now,” Mr. Shays said. “He was a Marine. Nobody can take that away from him, but he never tried to play it up other than to say that he was a Marine.””
The problem is not that Mr. Blumenthal served in the reserves. It is that he lied about serving in Vietnam, presumably for political advantage.
UPDATE (Jim) : Here’s Bloomenthal answering the Shays allegations.
I speak repeatedly about my service during the Vietnam era to highlight that we dishonored and disrespected our military men women and veterans during that period… we have learned an important lesson during those years and it’s a lesson that I highlight again and again and again and mention my own service as a means of doing it that we owe our men and women of the military unconditional support.
Of course, he never answered the question and never responded to Shays. Instead he chose behind a message that is a little more than ironic. He lied about his service to lecture us on honoring people who serve. Too much.