The Corner

New York Times Hits Blumenthal Again

To their credit, the Times isn’t backing off on the Blumenthal/Vietnam story. They’ve found yet another instance of the Connecticut Attorney General misstating his service record:

The most recent article unearthed is one published in The Milford Mirror, a weekly, describing an appearance he made at a May 2007 Memorial Day Parade in Milford, Conn., attended by local officials, military people and the relatives of a local man killed while serving in Iraq.

As people gathered around a bandstand to give praise to fallen veterans, the article said, Mr. Blumenthal recalled his days during the Vietnam War.

“In Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said, according to the article, “we had to endure taunts and insults, and no one said, ‘Welcome home.’ I say welcome home.”

The story also references an item in The Advocate of Stanford

. . .that described Mr. Blumenthal speaking about his military service during the Stamford Veterans Day parade on Nov. 9, 2008.

“I wore the uniform in Vietnam,” he said, “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.”

As this scandal has evolved, two things have become abundantly clear to me: 1) Blumenthal’s non-apology apology was a sham. Blumenthal knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it. But 2) since Blumenthal has also accurately stated his service on a number of occasions — including during some of the speeches referenced in the Times stories — it is unlikely he was trying to substantively misstate his record. Rather, he was attempting to have it both ways in a most lawyerly fashion: coupling mentions of his stateside reservist duty with all this “in Vietnam” business in an attempt to reap the rhetorical and psychological rewards of associating himself with that group while not technically lying.


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