Stolen valor

Yeah, I think this vet choose exactly the right term: It’s cheesy of Scott Brown to pretend his two weeks in Afghanistan are on a par with National Guard members who served a full tour of duty:

WASHINGTON — The man who inspired Sen. Scott Brown to write a bill making it illegal to falsely claim military honors said he thinks the Massachusetts Republican is stretching the truth when he claims to have “served in Afghanistan.”Brown made the Afghanistan declaration in his recent debate with his Democratic opponent for the Senate seat, Elizabeth Warren.

But Brown’s service in Afghanistan was not combat. It was part of his annual two-week stint with the National Guard, in which he requested, in a highly unusual move, to serve in Afghanistan.

“It sounds to me like we just got another Blumenthal Connecticut, Mark Kirk type things there,” said Vietnam veteran Doug Sterner, referring to exaggerated military claims two years ago by now-Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)”I thought it was seriously misleading,” said Sterner, whose website outing heroes was the basis for Brown’s “Stolen Valor” bill. Sterner’s criticism echoes a Boston Globe editorial published Thursday morning.

“I think it does go to an issue of personal character and that concerns me,” added Sterner, who earlier this year broke with Brown and has endorsed Warren.

Sterner said it wasn’t that Brown’s service was with the National Guard that’s the problem. Scores of Guard members have been recipients of the Medal of Honor, he noted. Brown’s mistake, he said, was implying that his service in Afghanistan was a real tour of duty.

“I would be the last person to denigrate anybody’s National Guard service, but I thought the claim, putting himself on par with men and women who have done combat tours, often in excess of a year, 14 months, was a pretty cheesy thing to do,” Sterner said.

He allowed that Brown can legitimately claim spending time in Afghanistan. But he said he also thought it broke the spirit of what Brown tried to with the Stolen Valor Act, which Brown himself said was aimed at stopping people from benefiting by swiping the real glory from others.

Rewards

Marcy Wheeler:

As TPM’s Ryan Reilly noted yesterday, among the awards Attorney General Eric Holder gave out at yesterday’s Attorney General’s Award Ceremony was a Distinguished Service Award to John Durham’s investigative team that chose not to prosecute Jose Rodriguez or the torturers who killed their victims.


The 13th Distinguished Service Award is presented to team members for their involvement in two sensitive investigations ordered by two different Attorneys General. In January 2007, Attorney General Michael Mukasey asked Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead a team that would investigate the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the CIA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Durham assembled the team and began the investigation.


Then, in August 2009, Attorney General Holder expanded Assistant U.S. Attorney Durham’s mandate to include a preliminary review of the treatment of detainees held at overseas locations. This second request resulted in the review of 101 detainee matters that led to two full criminal investigations. In order to conduct the investigations, the team had to review significant amounts of information, much of which was classified, and conduct many interviews in the United States and at overseas locations.


The timing on this award–coming even as DOJ aggressively prosecutes John Kiriakou for talking about this torture–is particularly cynical.

Virtually Speaking Thursday

Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd | 6pm pacific | 9pm eastern | Listen live and laterhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking/2012/10/19/glenn-w-smith-virtually-speaking-with-jay-ackroyd

Glenn w. Smith – author, activist, political consultant, and Consulting Manager of the Texas Progress Council, a progressive think tank in Austin – and Jay Ackroyd discuss the framing of government programs, like infrastructure development and social insurance–and how that affects our public policy discussions. Follow @GlennWSmith @JayAckroyd

Links

http://firedoglake.com/author/glennwsmith/

http://www.txprogress.org/

Site Meter