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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blumenthal Defense: I Didn't Lie All The Time

We really are into dumb territory here, with the Democratic media machine defending Richard Blumenthal on the ground that Blumenthal didn't lie about his service "in Vietnam" every time he spoke about the subject.

The story line arises because earlier in the same appearance in which Blumenthal uttered his famous line about his service "in Vietnam" he also stated that he served "during Vietnam."

As if lying sometimes is excused because one didn't lie all the time.

Media Matters started the defense based on an AP report of the full video, attacking The NY Times for not noting the prior honesty:
So why didn’t the Times include Blumenthal “correctly characterizing his service” in its version of the video? That’s awfully misleading, isn’t it?
Markos Moulitsas, linking to Media Matters, adds "The New York Times apparently now flacks for the NRSC."

Greg Sargent, being a little more reasonable, agrees that Blumenthal's conduct is not excused, but argues:
Even if you don't believe the longer video is exculpatory in any way, as The Times says, there's no conceivable reason for leaving out the fuller context and letting readers make the call for themselves. It seems obvious that when dealing with a story this explosive, you would want to err on the side of more context, rather than less.

This defense is a non-defense. I wonder if Blumenthal would excuse someone being prosecuted by his office for fraud because sometimes the person didn't commit fraud.

Putting aside the illogic of the defense, Allahpundit (with a link to the full video) notes that the defense is not even an exoneration:

The key part comes right at the beginning. If he had said, “I served in the Marine Reserves in Washington during the war” and later said he’d served “in Vietnam,” that would have raised the question of whether he’d simply misspoken. As it is, there’s nothing in the first statement that would lead you to think he hadn’t been in-country; on the contrary, it reads like a textbook example of the sort of deliberate ambiguity the Times accused him of.
I realize Blumenthal is in it to win it and is not going to throw away his chance for the Senate over mere mispoken words.

I imagine Blumenthal with his campaign staff, watching the video play endlessly on television, saying something like:

"Well, we'll just have to win."
Update: One lesson Blumenthal and his media supporters apparently have not learned is that the cover-up can be worse than the crime. More information is trickling out which makes the Media Matters meme laughable (via HotAir):

"I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back to all kinds of disrespect. Whatever we think of war, we owe the men and women of the armed forces our unconditional support."

The occasion was the Stamford Veterans Day parade Nov. 9, 2008.

The speaker was Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, as quoted by The Advocate.

A trove of potential bulletin board material was unearthed Tuesday by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers from its archives quoting the once seemingly unflappable U.S. Senate candidate on his military record, one that he has been accused of embellishing.

During a May 18, 2009, military board tribute to veterans in Shelton, Blumenthal was quoted by the Connecticut Post as saying, "When we returned from Vietnam, I remember the taunts, the verbal and even physical abuse we encountered."

Related Posts:
"I Did Not Serve In That Country, Vietnam"
Say Bye-Bye To Conn. Senate Candidate Blumenthal (D)

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  1. Kudos to this excellent blog for staying on the Blumenthal story! Do not let up until the DNC feels enough pressure to finally move against Blumenthal. He needs to resign.

  2. Is it only liberal left Democrats who think that it's okay to lie, as long as you don't lie ALL the time?

    It reminds me of the liar riddle: there are two men, one of whom is a liar. When asked if he is the liar, they both answer, "No." Which one is the liar? Blumenthal's defense is exactly like the riddle, IMHO. A liar may tell the truth sometimes, but you don't know when. He is untrustworthy, because you can't tell when he is lying or telling the truth.

    Why would anyone stand up for this unfit attorney general who wants to be a Senator?! Truly baffling - right is wrong, wrong is right; lying on the Left is OK, but lying on the Right is HEINOUSLY WRONG; etc. The world turned upside down.

  3. This really isn't such a tough call. If you just review the litany of Blu's "Vietnam" references and read Chris Shays' comments, it's perfectly clear that Blu intended to leave numerous audiences over the years with the false impression that he actually served in Vietnam during the war. I SUSPECT that this didn't start out for Blu as a conscious decision to embark on a Big Lie, but rather began when he realized that certain people he spoke to mistakenly thought he was a Vietnam vet and he found that he could subtly feed into that impression without saying anything that would necessarily expose him as a liar and a fraud. But that was maybe 25-30 years ago. Since then, he has been before hundreds of audiences and spoken with thousands of people, including a great many people whom he had seen and addressed multiple times over the years. He probably figured, at a certain point, that the myth of his having served in Vietnam had become so well established within the circles he traveled that the safest and most convenient option was simply to own it and hope for the best.

    None of this (if true) makes him any less of a liar. He is a liar. He lied about being in Vietnam and he's lying now about how this was all simply a case of sloppy word-choice. Moreover, I think his defenders understand this perfectly well and are simply trying to hand-wave it away before the fallout does him in as a candidate.

  4. I think the reason that the they are defending him, and making up excuses for him, aside from the fact that he is a Democrat, is that there is no one else to run in CT. With Lamont running for Governor, there is no one, with name recognition and the money needed to go up against Linda McMahon, to step in and win the election for them.

  5. Adolph Hitler said this:
    "Tell a lie, make it big, keep telling it, and eventually people will believe it." (rough translation)

    Blumenthal followed the Hitler playbook and the media is now backing his play. Ok, he also followed the barack hussein obama program which is more or less the same thing - the "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" sort of denials we heard from Bill Clinton -- until the blue dress with the ejaculate on it was produced.

    Why would Democratic voters cling to this liar who is unfit to hold any office of honor or trust as someone who they would want to sit and vote in the US Senate????

  6. If he was a Republican, those of us on the Right would be clamoring for him to just go away, give it up. He would be toast and gone.

    Notice how the left acts: defend him, spin away. No morals whatsoever.

  7. Hmmm...so if I only state that I killed someone some of the time and the rest of the time I state that I was merely a bystander when someone was killed, you should only believe that I was a bystander. I misspoke those others times.

  8. It certainly doesn't help his case that he had a fake vet backing him at his news conference.

  9. Here was a guy who used every lawful means available to him at the time to seek deferments and avoid military service during the Viet-Nam War. His is essentially another Bill Clinton story, but with one additional twist.

    By stalling and, as we also know, dissembling with respect to future military commitments with his draft board until the lottery was put into place, Clinton was able to successfully avoid any military service. Blumenthal, however, would not have been able to so elude the draft.

    Here's why. You'll notice that the available information indicates that he finally joined the Marine reserves in 1970. That logically means that he joined the Marine Corps Reserve after the draft lottery was put into place.

    From the recent New York Times story:

    "In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam. He joined a unit in Washington that conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots drive."

    The lottery system began in the late fall of 1969, when the first drawing was held on December 1, 1969.

    According to Wikipedia and other sources, Mr. Blumenthal was born on February 13, 1946.

    And, according to the the Selective Service System:

    "The lottery drawing held December 1, 1969, determined the order in which men, born from 1944 through 1950, were called to report for induction into the military."

    So, Blumenthal’s "fate" with respect to the draft was determined by that drawing.

    The lottery number drawn that day for his birth date, therefore, was "152" and since all of those with a lottery number of "195" or lower, were indeed subject to being immediately drafted, we can surmise that Blumenthal knew at the time he joined the Marine Reserves in 1970 that he had either received his draft notice, or, that he was just about to receive it.

    Bill Clinton, who was born on August 19, 1946, lucked out and drew the number "311" which effectively eliminated him from consideration. And the rest is "history."

    The (since corrected) statement in the Slate piece that said, "Blumenthal enlisted in the Marines, rather than ducking the Vietnam draft, and that he was captain of the Harvard swim team" may have been misleading on more than just the swimming team comment!

    Blumenthal may well have joined the Marine Reserves for the express purpose of ducking getting drafted! In fact, he may have already received his draft "Greeting" letter, prior to joining.

  10. It is a disgusting thing when someone claims to be a Vietnam vet and it turns out that he was lying. Blumenthal is only the latest of the Dems to have done this - John Kerry was before him. It is a betrayal of those, like my cousin who was called up.

    Actually, I hope this calms down long enough for the matter to be taken up again closer to the election... it will do more damage that way