Saturday, February 16, 2008

To Republican Request For Rick Noriega’s Military Records: You Sure You Want A Dog in This Hunt?

Texas State Rep. LTC Rick Noriega got a message from the Republican Party this past week. In it, they asked him whether he would release to them his Texas National Guard military records. Here is how they framed it in Republican party spokesman Hans Klinger’s letter to Rick:

“You have indicated that you intend to make military experience, integrity and transparency the cornerstones of your campaign. We are grateful for your service to this great country and we agree that those that seek higher office should support transparency and openness regarding all of their public service records”

“It is with that transparency in mind that we would like to officially request that you sign the enclosed letter authorizing the Texas National Guard to release all of your records from your military service and return it to us no later than . . . ”

I like that part about “transparency”, because it is transparent to me, to Rick’s campaign, and to anyone who reads this message that drips in poisonous sincerity that the Republican Party of Texas, and the Cornyn campaign, have it in mind to pick apart Rick Noriega’s military service record. They plan to do it in the same heinous ways that were perpetrated on the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign by the Bob Perry-financed “Swiftboater’s for Truth” campaign. The campaign that gave the English language the verb “to swiftboat”. I also like Rick Noriega’s response to their fawning request:

“I am concerned that your intentions in this matter are not honorable. In the past, some Republicans have conducted dishonest and disreputable attacks on veterans.”

The release goes on:

“Noriega states in the letter that he welcomes honest scrutiny of his over two decades of military service, including his deployment to Afghanistan and his service as the Laredo Sector commander in the fight against drug and human trafficking along the Texas-Mexico border.”

I have a comment and a question. The comment is this: if you are as angry as I am about this attempt to besmirch the military career of Rick Noriega, why not sign Noriega's petition to stop the smear attacks before they start?

Now here is my question, directed to the Cornyn campaign, and to the “Dogs of War” that these Karl Rovian veteran bashers plan to release this election season:

Are you sure you want a dog in this hunt?

Are you sure that your man, the guy who votes against sending our soldiers the necessary equipment to prevent bodily injury, the guy who votes against veterans benefits, is up to this fight?

Where was John Cornyn when his draft number, number 28, was called on that fateful August day in 1971? When men were called to military service that year, draft numbers up to number 95 were called.

When your country called men of your age group to military service, Senator John Cornyn, where were you?

I have friends who were called up that year. I have relatives that served honorably and were killed in action in Vietnam.

Where. Were. You. John. Cornyn?

Are you sure that your dog will hunt in this? Are you sure that Texans, who are very, very sensitive in this area, want to see a Vietnam chickenhawk attack the military record of a veteran of Afghanistan? What you decided to do back when you were of draft age may have seemed like a good idea then, but how do you suppose it is going to play now? Now that we have men and women fighting and dying overseas again?

Better think again about this one.


TXsharon said...

righteous rant and damn good questions.

Anonymous said...

Hal, did you hear this story? John Wayne was on the Dick Cavett Show during Vietnam and he started attacking the anti-War activists in scurrilous terms. On the show with him was actor Ricardo Montalban. What Wayne didn't realize was that he had walked into a HIGHLY VOLATILE situation. Montalban knew that Wayne hadn't served in WWII (Wikipedia's John Wayne entry goes into this in detail) and Wayne's sons weren't in Service despite being prime draft age.

What Wayne didn't know was that Montalban had combat service in WWII (I believe he was tailgunner on George McGovern's bomber) and that Montalban's son had been KILLED a week before while serving as a Medic in Vietnam.

When Wayne began sliming the anti-War people Montalban angrilly stood up and Dick Cavett quickly cut to commercial because it was gonna be UGLY! When the show resumed after the commercial break Montalban was still there, but Wayne WASN'T! No explanation was ever given as to what happened and the show resumed without Wayne.

What is it with Latinos like Montalban and Noriega that they REFUSE to be lectured on partriotism by pious Chickenhawks while the rest of us just sit and take it? Maybe Tom DeLay was right when he blamed "minorities" for not leaving any room in Vietnam for "patriots" like himself!

They claim we lost them Vietnam
Because we had no "guts;"
This comes from valiant creampuffs
Who wouldn't risk their butts.