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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How Do You Know A Politician Lies? They Open Their Mouths!

I know, bad joke.  But it seems all too true.  Now comes the story of Rep. Mark Kirk's (R-Il.).  Mr. Kirk's new claim to fame is his false claim that he was named the Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year in the late 1990's which was made at a committee hearing.  Thanks to the long arm of C-SPAN we can reach back and bring it up as if it happened yesterday.

What is striking about Rep. Kirk's assertion in the video is that it appears scripted and thought out, which belies Kirk's recent defense that the false claim on his website -- that was only removed last week after a Washington Post investigation -- regarding the award was little more than an administrative oversight.

Unfortunately Mr. Kirk is not alone in his "mis-speaking."  Other notables From ( include:
  • Wes Cooley.  Cooley (R-OR) was elected to Congress as part of the 1994 GOP landslide, but only served one term. Why? A few reasons, actually, but the one that ultimately harmed him the most was the whopper he told about his supposed service in the Korean War. Cooley claimed he was unable to prove his service because, as a member of the Army Special Forces, his missions were secret, and that all records of his service had been destroyed in a fire. Oh yeah. He also claimed that his direct report--Sergeant Major Clifford Poppy had been killed--a claim to which the still-living Poppy responded "Tell him he's a liar. Tell him Sergeant Poppy said that."
  • Bruce Faulkner Caputo.  When they fall, they fall hard...and fast. Caputo (R) hoped to unseat Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the 1982 midterms, but withdrew in March of that year after a run-in with then-Moynihan aide Tim Russert. The future Meet the Press host discovered that Caputo had claimed to have been drafted into, and served in, the Army during the Vietnam war. The reality? Caputo escaped the draft by working for the Pentagon as a civilian analyst.
  • Dick Blumenthal.  This one needs no introduction. Blumenthal (D)--Connecticut's Attorney General and Democratic nominee for Senate--has, at least a handful of times, claimed to have served "in" Vietnam. More accurately--and, in fact, the way Blumenthal himself usually describes it--he was a reservist who served during Vietnam, but never overseas. His chief rival, Republican, and professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon, dug up the claim, and fed it to the New York Times, which turned the indiscretions into a potentially major issue for a candidate who would otherwise sail to election.
And I save for last one which will surely stir the fires of hate from neo-conservatives.

Ronald Reagan - Ronaldus Magnus. The most beloved man in all of conservatism repeatedly confused (or "confused") scenes from his acting career with heroic battlefield moments...that he never participated in or witnessed. Reagan, for instance, is reported to have boasted to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Simon Wiesenthal of photographing concentration camps at the end of World War II. He even told Shamir he'd helped liberate Auschwitz. In his autobiography he wrote "by the time I got out of the Army Air Corps all I wanted to do--in common with several million other veterans--was to rest up, make love to my wife." But as Michael Schaller wrote in his book Reckoning with Reagan, "This obscured the fact that unlike most of the "several million other veterans," Reagan had left neither home nor wife while in military service."

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