Senator busted lying about military service

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OrangeFan69

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#1
Stolen glory is a pretty shady thing to do. Do you agree?

Yes or Yes?

In fairness, no one expected someone from Arkansas to read the entire campaign ad. Lot of multi-syllabic words.

https://www.salon.com/2021/01/22/se...nce-as-an-army-ranger--but-he-didnt-have-any/

Sen. Tom Cotton campaigned on his "experience as an Army Ranger" — but he didn't have any
Arkansas senator has repeatedly said he served as "a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan." That's not true
By ROGER SOLLENBERGER
JANUARY 23, 2021 12:20AM (UTC)

Tom Cotton (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
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Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has accrued a resume tailor-made for a Republican politician: He leapt from a small-town Arkansas cattle farm to Harvard University and then Harvard Law School; he left a leading New York firm to join the military after George W. Bush's re-election; he was discharged after nearly eight years and two war-zone deployments as an Army captain and decorated hero — including two commendation medals, a Bronze Star and a Ranger tab.
But when Cotton launched his first congressional campaign in 2012, he felt compelled to repeatedly falsify that honorable military record, even as he still served in the Army Reserve.
In his first run for Congress, Cotton leaned heavily on his military service, claiming to have been "a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan," and, in a campaign ad, to have "volunteered to be an Army Ranger." In reality, Cotton was never part of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the elite unit that plans and conducts joint special military operations as part of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Rather, Cotton attended the Ranger School, a two-month-long, small-unit tactical infantry course that literally anyone in the military is eligible attend. Soldiers who complete the course earn the right to wear the Ranger tab — a small arch that reads "Ranger" — but in the eyes of the military, that does not make them an actual Army Ranger.
Yet Cotton told the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record in February 2012: "My experience as a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan and my experience in business will put me in very good condition." The year before, he told Roby Brock of Talk Politics in a video interview that he "became an infantry officer and an Army Ranger." A Cotton campaign ad placed in the Madison County Record in May 2012 identifies Cotton as a "Battle-Tested Leader" who "Volunteered to be an Army Ranger."

Reached for comment, Cotton spokesperson Caroline Tabler told Salon in an email, "Senator Cotton graduated from Ranger school and is more of a Ranger than a Salon reporter like you will ever be." (It is not immediately clear whether Tabler herself is a Ranger, or whether she graduated from Ranger school. Further, Tabler, a spokesperson for Cotton's Senate office, copied the office's chief of staff, Doug Coutts, on the email, but to a Cotton campaign address; senate offices may not coordinate with campaigns. Tabler asked to arrange an off-the-record call in that email; Salon declined, citing the unfavorable terms.)
It isn't a minor or insignificant distinction. Last summer, Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler addressed it during New Hampshire's Republican Senate primary, which featured two Ranger School alums: Colorado lawyer Bryant "Corky" Messner, and retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc. Messner claimed repeatedly that he was a Ranger; Bolduc did not make such claims, and called out his opponent over it.





How can Democrats unite with Republicans who enabled Trump?

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"Unless you served in a Ranger battalion, I think you're overstretching your claim," Bolduc told Messner last spring. "I'm Ranger-qualified, and I always stipulate that. I never served in a Ranger battalion."
The Ranger Regiment is considered the Army's top action unit, and over the course of the so-called War on Terror, Rangers have killed or captured more high-value targets than any other unit. The regiment comprises four battalions, and members wear distinctive tan berets as well as a red, white and black Ranger "Scroll," a cloth badge distinct from the black-and-gold tab that Cotton earned at Ranger School. Attending the school, in fact, is not a prerequisite to serve in the Ranger Regiment.
"It should be noted that Ranger School and the 75th Ranger Regiment are completely different entities under completely different commands with completely different missions, and one is not needed for the other," writes one Ranger veteran for the Havok Journal.
When Kessler asked the Army to evaluate Messner's claim, a Special Operations Command spokesperson made a distinction: Ranger qualified vs. an Army Ranger.
The U.S. Army Ranger Course is the Army's premier leadership school, and falls under Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, Virginia, and is open to all members of the military, regardless of whether they have served in the 75th Ranger Regiment or completed the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program. A graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger Course is Ranger qualified.​
The 75th Ranger Regiment is a special operations unit with the mission to plan and conduct joint special military operations in support of national policies and objectives. The Regiment's higher headquarters is the U.S. Army Special Operations Command located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Regiment is the Army's largest, joint special operations force. All members of the 75th Ranger Regiment have passed the Ranger Assessment Selection Program 1, 2, or both. Anyone who is serving or has served within the 75th Ranger Regiment is a U.S. Army Ranger.​
Messner told the Post that his claim had never been closely examined until he ran for Senate, and provided five statements from retired officers saying that anyone who graduated from the school had the right to call themselves a Ranger. Kessler went to the retired colonel who headed the Ranger School between 2014 and 2016, who said the difference was indeed a matter of debate, but concluded: "Should [Messner] say he was 'Ranger-qualified' in his ads? Probably. Maybe."
Kessler described Messner's phrasing — "Corky became an Army Ranger, serving abroad guarding the Berlin Wall during the Cold War" — as "especially problematic." Some of Cotton's claims appear to go even further, especially when describing his "experience as a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Kessler gave Messner two "Pinocchios," the Post's measure of falsehood. Cotton, who in a fiercely criticized New York Times op-ed last summer advocated for calling in the military to put down Black Lives Matter protests, deserves at least as much.
ROGER SOLLENBERGER
Roger Sollenberger is a staff writer at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @SollenbergerRC.
 

llcoolw

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A politician caught fabricating and lying? Then all is right in the world.

Just messing with you. I’m glad you care. Lots are starting to care too. This is good but I don’t know if it’s not too late. We got one that was a presidential candidate and was a SOS that told a whopper while she was the First Lady. And that didn’t hold her back. She had a blue dog Democrat best friend that did become president and he told even bigger whoppers.
Unfortunately, morals and character don’t mix in politics. Not sure if politics attracts those kind of people or if it turns them into those kind. Either way, I’ll continue to raise family up on my adornment pedestal.
I’m interested in that Tulsi lady, she might be an exception if politics attracts low character people, but look out for her if politics changes the person.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#3
Stolen glory is a pretty shady thing to do. Do you agree?

Yes or Yes?

In fairness, no one expected someone from Arkansas to read the entire campaign ad. Lot of multi-syllabic words.

https://www.salon.com/2021/01/22/se...nce-as-an-army-ranger--but-he-didnt-have-any/

Sen. Tom Cotton campaigned on his "experience as an Army Ranger" — but he didn't have any
Arkansas senator has repeatedly said he served as "a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan." That's not true
By ROGER SOLLENBERGER
JANUARY 23, 2021 12:20AM (UTC)

Tom Cotton (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
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Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has accrued a resume tailor-made for a Republican politician: He leapt from a small-town Arkansas cattle farm to Harvard University and then Harvard Law School; he left a leading New York firm to join the military after George W. Bush's re-election; he was discharged after nearly eight years and two war-zone deployments as an Army captain and decorated hero — including two commendation medals, a Bronze Star and a Ranger tab.
But when Cotton launched his first congressional campaign in 2012, he felt compelled to repeatedly falsify that honorable military record, even as he still served in the Army Reserve.
In his first run for Congress, Cotton leaned heavily on his military service, claiming to have been "a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan," and, in a campaign ad, to have "volunteered to be an Army Ranger." In reality, Cotton was never part of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the elite unit that plans and conducts joint special military operations as part of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Rather, Cotton attended the Ranger School, a two-month-long, small-unit tactical infantry course that literally anyone in the military is eligible attend. Soldiers who complete the course earn the right to wear the Ranger tab — a small arch that reads "Ranger" — but in the eyes of the military, that does not make them an actual Army Ranger.
Yet Cotton told the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record in February 2012: "My experience as a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan and my experience in business will put me in very good condition." The year before, he told Roby Brock of Talk Politics in a video interview that he "became an infantry officer and an Army Ranger." A Cotton campaign ad placed in the Madison County Record in May 2012 identifies Cotton as a "Battle-Tested Leader" who "Volunteered to be an Army Ranger."

Reached for comment, Cotton spokesperson Caroline Tabler told Salon in an email, "Senator Cotton graduated from Ranger school and is more of a Ranger than a Salon reporter like you will ever be." (It is not immediately clear whether Tabler herself is a Ranger, or whether she graduated from Ranger school. Further, Tabler, a spokesperson for Cotton's Senate office, copied the office's chief of staff, Doug Coutts, on the email, but to a Cotton campaign address; senate offices may not coordinate with campaigns. Tabler asked to arrange an off-the-record call in that email; Salon declined, citing the unfavorable terms.)
It isn't a minor or insignificant distinction. Last summer, Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler addressed it during New Hampshire's Republican Senate primary, which featured two Ranger School alums: Colorado lawyer Bryant "Corky" Messner, and retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc. Messner claimed repeatedly that he was a Ranger; Bolduc did not make such claims, and called out his opponent over it.





How can Democrats unite with Republicans who enabled Trump?

00:00/00:00







"Unless you served in a Ranger battalion, I think you're overstretching your claim," Bolduc told Messner last spring. "I'm Ranger-qualified, and I always stipulate that. I never served in a Ranger battalion."
The Ranger Regiment is considered the Army's top action unit, and over the course of the so-called War on Terror, Rangers have killed or captured more high-value targets than any other unit. The regiment comprises four battalions, and members wear distinctive tan berets as well as a red, white and black Ranger "Scroll," a cloth badge distinct from the black-and-gold tab that Cotton earned at Ranger School. Attending the school, in fact, is not a prerequisite to serve in the Ranger Regiment.
"It should be noted that Ranger School and the 75th Ranger Regiment are completely different entities under completely different commands with completely different missions, and one is not needed for the other," writes one Ranger veteran for the Havok Journal.
When Kessler asked the Army to evaluate Messner's claim, a Special Operations Command spokesperson made a distinction: Ranger qualified vs. an Army Ranger.
The U.S. Army Ranger Course is the Army's premier leadership school, and falls under Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, Virginia, and is open to all members of the military, regardless of whether they have served in the 75th Ranger Regiment or completed the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program. A graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger Course is Ranger qualified.​
The 75th Ranger Regiment is a special operations unit with the mission to plan and conduct joint special military operations in support of national policies and objectives. The Regiment's higher headquarters is the U.S. Army Special Operations Command located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Regiment is the Army's largest, joint special operations force. All members of the 75th Ranger Regiment have passed the Ranger Assessment Selection Program 1, 2, or both. Anyone who is serving or has served within the 75th Ranger Regiment is a U.S. Army Ranger.​
Messner told the Post that his claim had never been closely examined until he ran for Senate, and provided five statements from retired officers saying that anyone who graduated from the school had the right to call themselves a Ranger. Kessler went to the retired colonel who headed the Ranger School between 2014 and 2016, who said the difference was indeed a matter of debate, but concluded: "Should [Messner] say he was 'Ranger-qualified' in his ads? Probably. Maybe."
Kessler described Messner's phrasing — "Corky became an Army Ranger, serving abroad guarding the Berlin Wall during the Cold War" — as "especially problematic." Some of Cotton's claims appear to go even further, especially when describing his "experience as a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Kessler gave Messner two "Pinocchios," the Post's measure of falsehood. Cotton, who in a fiercely criticized New York Times op-ed last summer advocated for calling in the military to put down Black Lives Matter protests, deserves at least as much.
ROGER SOLLENBERGER
Roger Sollenberger is a staff writer at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @SollenbergerRC.
Went through training and wear the tab issued to you by the Army....you are a Ranger. The contention that he was not is made as a personal opinion by an individual. Ask the Army, he is a Ranger. The statement about anyone can try out is disingenious at best, an outright lie at worst. There is a list of qualifications everyone has to meet from physical to mental as well as being an upright citizen. SEALs are the same way and using this distortion of facts, the same could be said about them.

Those who gave their opinions represent certain factions within every branch that incorrectly and self-righteously hold the prima dona attitude that if you are not carrying a weapon, driving a tank, flying a plane, etc., then you not really part of said organization. Patently false. My kid endured it during his 10 years in the Marines because of his intelligence/communication MOS instead of an 03. One of the reasons he rolled over to the new Space Force last summer.

Rangers include dozens upon dozens of specialties that are not combat related including carpenters and veterinarians. They are all Rangers.

This is a smear campaign. You also might want to retract your comment about certain stereotypes who cannot read. This article did what it was designed to do, hook in the ill-informed and let them spread it.
 

CocoCincinnati

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#4
So if I understand this right, he did volunteer for and complete ranger school, not an easy thing to do, and he did serve two combat tours, winning a bronze star, just not as a member of a ranger battalion. If he did make that claim, he's a freaking idiot. Says more about his common sense if he actually thought he needed to embellish an already very respectable service record with something so easy to verify. I still respect his actual service though and I would like to hear the actual quote rather than just taking salon's word for it.
 

OrangeFan69

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So if I understand this right, he did volunteer for and complete ranger school, not an easy thing to do, and he did serve two combat tours, winning a bronze star, just not as a member of a ranger battalion. If he did make that claim, he's a freaking idiot. Says more about his common sense if he actually thought he needed to embellish an already very respectable service record with something so easy to verify. I still respect his actual service though and I would like to hear the actual quote rather than just taking salon's word for it.
The writer was told to piss off by two separate members of Cotton’s team.

He served, just definitely exaggerated.
Which is kind of odd for someone who is such a war hawk.
 

steross

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He did not exaggerate in the slightest. You really need to learn how to read.
I agree this is much ado about nothing but he clearly did exaggerate in the slightest. If you say you were a "Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan" people are going to think you were actually serving as a ranger there. If I said I was a "doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital" people would think I worked there as a doctor. If I only went there for a conference or something it isn't a lie to say it but it is a clear exaggeration.
 
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I agree this is much ado about nothing but he clearly did exaggerate in the slightest. If you say you were a "Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan" people are going to think you were actually serving as a ranger there. If I said I was a "doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital" people would think I worked there as a doctor. If I only went there for a conference or something it isn't a lie to say it but it is a clear exaggeration.
He was a Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do not understand why there is any confusion. He did not say he was part of any specific battalion, squad or anything else. He is a Ranger and he was in those theaters. People want to apply their own optics of what that means, that is their prerogative but does not make anything he said anything but the 100% truth.

As described in your analogy, if that happened, I would agree but he was awarded a Bronze Star whch would mean he "performed surgery" and was not there for a conference.
 
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steross

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He was a Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do not understand why there is any confusion. He did not say he was part of any specific battalion, squad or anything else. He is a Ranger and he was in those theaters. People want to apply their own optics of what that means, that is their prerogative but does not make anything he said anything but the 100% truth.

As described in your analogy, if that happened, I would agree but he was awarded a Bronze Star whch would mean he "performed surgery" and was not there for a conference.
I'm guessing you didn't serve because if you did you would completely understand the difference. Lots of people go through training schools in the military. Many people are Airborne but only a few of them serve in Airborne units. I went through several schools but only did missions regarding some. I was actually on a SOST team so would say "I was on a SOST team in Afganistan" I also did CCAT school but did not do that while deployed. I would not say "I was CCAT in Afghanistan" because I wasn't even though I completed CCAT school. I've been through infantry school but would not claim I was infantry in Afghanistan when I was serving as an AF doctor. Going through Ranger school is a very difficult one and something to be very proud of. But it isn't serving as a ranger any more than going to pilot school means you are serving as a pilot. You are correct that I could say I was "an infantry soldier in Afghanistan" and it would technically not be a lie. But, it clearly would be an exaggeration since I was not doing that job. What he said is pretty harmless and not a lie, but still an obvious exaggeration as he wasn't doing that job. Bronze Stars are not given for being a Ranger so it is not like a doctor performing surgery. It has nothing to do with it.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#16
I'm guessing you didn't serve because if you did you would completely understand the difference. Lots of people go through training schools in the military. Many people are Airborne but only a few of them serve in Airborne units. I went through several schools but only did missions regarding some. I was actually on a SOST team so would say "I was on a SOST team in Afganistan" I also did CCAT school but did not do that while deployed. I would not say "I was CCAT in Afghanistan" because I wasn't even though I completed CCAT school. I've been through infantry school but would not claim I was infantry in Afghanistan when I was serving as an AF doctor. Going through Ranger school is a very difficult one and something to be very proud of. But it isn't serving as a ranger any more than going to pilot school means you are serving as a pilot. You are correct that I could say I was "an infantry soldier in Afghanistan" and it would technically not be a lie. But, it clearly would be an exaggeration since I was not doing that job. What he said is pretty harmless and not a lie, but still an obvious exaggeration as he wasn't doing that job. Bronze Stars are not given for being a Ranger so it is not like a doctor performing surgery. It has nothing to do with it.
At no time did he say he served in combat as a Ranger which would be the equivalent of your anecdote about stating to be an infantryman. He stated he was a Ranger which is completely accurate. Just because you choose to not state your CCAAT training, and presumably wearing a patch of the unit, means nothing other than that is your decision. But again, he did not say he was deployed as a Ranger. In fact he did not deploy as a Ranger but that does not mean he was not one. The tab on his shoulder and the Department of the Army say he is, despite whatever optics you want to subjectively apply.

You clearly misread the Bronze Star comment because I never remotely implied it has anything to do with the Rangers. The point was, it validates his serving, and serving to an exemplary level. He was not there on some USO tour doing nothing.

Take the time and read his official bio. The only time it mentions the Rangers is when it lists his accomplishments. His ad campaign flyers simply say he was a Ranger. He was.
 

steross

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At no time did he say he served in combat as a Ranger which would be the equivalent of your anecdote about stating to be an infantryman. He stated he was a Ranger which is completely accurate. Just because you choose to not state your CCAAT training, and presumably wearing a patch of the unit, means nothing other than that is your decision. But again, he did not say he was deployed as a Ranger. In fact he did not deploy as a Ranger but that does not mean he was not one. The tab on his shoulder and the Department of the Army say he is, despite whatever optics you want to subjectively apply.

You clearly misread the Bronze Star comment because I never remotely implied it has anything to do with the Rangers. The point was, it validates his serving, and serving to an exemplary level. He was not there on some USO tour doing nothing.

Take the time and read his official bio. The only time it mentions the Rangers is when it lists his accomplishments. His ad campaign flyers simply say he was a Ranger. He was.
Sen. Tom Cotton campaigned on his "experience as an Army Ranger" — but he didn't have any
Arkansas senator has repeatedly said he served as "a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan." That's not true.

There it is right in the headline. Served as a ranger. I guess I'll start saying I served as an infantry soldier in Afghanistan. I mean, I had completed infantry school. I had the blue cord. I did not deploy as an Infantry soldier but that does not mean I was not one.
Thanks. That is gonna sound cool. I'm glad that isn't an exaggeration like I previously thought it was. I'll be sure to not use the words "deployed as" since that seems to be the critical difference. I'll stick with served like he did.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#19
Sen. Tom Cotton campaigned on his "experience as an Army Ranger" — but he didn't have any
Arkansas senator has repeatedly said he served as "a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan." That's not true.

There it is right in the headline. Served as a ranger. I guess I'll start saying I served as an infantry soldier in Afghanistan. I mean, I had completed infantry school. I had the blue cord. I did not deploy as an Infantry soldier but that does not mean I was not one.
Thanks. That is gonna sound cool. I'm glad that isn't an exaggeration like I previously thought it was. I'll be sure to not use the words "deployed as" since that seems to be the critical difference. I'll stick with served like he did.
That is a headline, from Salon no less. He said nothing that was not the truth. Said he was a Ranger and and served in the middle east. Factually correct.

Was he a Ranger?
Yes.

Did he served in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Yes

Anything else is optics applied by the left to fit a narrative.

And again, your analogy is not even close to the same thing
 
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steross

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That is a headline, from Salon no less. He said nothing that was not the truth. Said he was a Ranger and and served in the middle east. Factually correct.

Was he a Ranger?
Yes.

Did he served in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Yes

Anything else is optics applied by the left to fit a narrative.

And again, your analogy is not even close to the same thing
Post number 16 and you NOW decide to whine about the source that you have been discussing the entire time? It was a quote. A direct quote. In the headline.

Here, see what you think of this source claiming he was an Army Ranger "in Iraq." What tough decisions did he make as a Ranger not working as a Ranger?
He was a Ranger in Iraq, but not doing Ranger duties in Iraq. I was an infantry soldier in Afghanistan, but not doing infantry soldier duties. The analogy is not only close it is identical. Both are "factually correct."

And, I am the one saying it is no big deal just an exaggeration. In the world of politicians flat out telling provably wrong lies, an exaggeration is truly not a big deal. Yet, somehow that opinion is in your hack mind a partisan thing. Unlike you, I would be saying the same thing if he was a democrat. This isn't partisan, it is a military thing. You are the one with no earthly idea what you are talking about because you have never done any of it. You are telling a veteran that an obvious exaggeration about military service isn't an exaggeration because it is factual. Exaggerations are factually correct. But, they are said in a way to make the person think it is more than the fact at hand. That is the difference between an exaggeration and a lie, which is not factual. You simply overstepped in saying it wasn't an exaggeration. And you know it, but your highly partisan self can't stand the thought of admitting the truth. Which we all know is, "Yea, that is exaggerating."