Chuck DeVore

CA-Sen: Did Chuck DeVore Exaggerate His Military Service?


This is an updated post from last night: CA-Sen: Chuck DeVore Having a Republican Richard Blumenthal Moment?

Now, Jennifer Rubin has picked up the story and written two posts about Chuck DeVore’s exaggeration of his military service.

Read them both.

On the radio appearance, his aide says that he introduced himself as a reservist. Yes, but the statement was about his present status. In the debate, he also says things like: “Well, as I mentioned before, I am the sole candidate on either side of the aisle with military experience. I’m a lieutenant colonel of military intelligence within the U.S. army.” Hmm. Wouldn’t the average person think he meant “regular Army” in that capacity? And in a response to a question on Mirandizing terrorists, DeVore says: “Well, this is a very critical question. I am looking at my U.S. Army Military I.D. card and at the bottom it says Geneva Conventions I.D. Card. On the back it indicates that I am Geneva Conventions Category Four. Which is a field grade officer out of anything that means that if I am captured by Geneva Conventions signatory, I can’t be forced to do physical work and of course Enlisted people will laugh at that. The point though is that I am the only candidate out of both my Republican opponents and Barbara Boxer whose actually studied the law of war and knows the Geneva Convention because we have to study it as someone going though the Command General Staff College in the U.S. Army.” I think the average listener would conclude this is evidence of service in the regular Army.

Well, you have the account of the candidate and of a well-respected (by liberals and conservative alike) press reporter. And there is a transcript of the debate. Voters will have to decide whether DeVore was exaggerating his service. Maybe he should hold a press conference and let the media ask all the questions they like.

Chuck DeVore needs to clear the air here and answer the questions about his military status, ballot designation, and military service “under fire.”

The uniform California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore was NOT wearing when he WASNT shot at in Lebanon

Looks like California U.S. Senate candidate Chuck Devore is having a Richard Blumenthal type moment: the candidate’s words on military service differ from history.

Read it all over at the Los Angeles Times.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chuck DeVore made sure that the June 8 ballot described him as “Assemblyman/Military Reservist” because, the Irvine lawmaker said, he didn’t want to be mistaken for just another politician.

The remark reflected his effort to portray himself as an outsider in California politics  albeit one in sync with both the Republican faithful and the “tea party” protesters who have fanned voter disdain for officials in Washington and Sacramento.

“What I have is a solid public record of conservative credentials, whether in office, in the community, or in the uniform of the United States Army,” DeVore, 48, said during a recent debate with his opponents or the GOP nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer in the fall.

But, I thought California ballot designations were to be of current occupations and Chuck DeVore is retired military reservist, no?

Throughout the campaign, DeVore has emphasized his service as a military officer and a young Reagan White House appointee at the Pentagon as experiences that helped make him the most qualified candidate. But at times he appears to have overstated those accomplishments, particularly his experience under fire and his role in the development of a U.S.-Israeli anti-ballistic-missile defense program.

And, what about the BS of him being shot at in Lebanon, when he wasn’t even in the U.S. Army but a college student.

He spoke during the debate of being “shot at in Lebanon” but did not make clear that the shooting occurred in the 1980s while DeVore was a college student studying Arabic and other subjects in the Middle East. Nor did he note that while the shooting was in his vicinity, there was no indication he was a target or was in actual danger.

DeVore said in a later interview that he was a credentialed reporter for the Orange County Register when the shooting occurred. He said he had called the Israeli military requesting to see the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon  identifying himself as an American student studying in Egypt, a reporter and member of the U.S. Army Reserve  and was included in a media tour.

“The Syrians shot at us and kind of drove us off the hill, because they didn’t want press over there. It was like warning shots,” said DeVore, adding that he and the Israeli soldiers immediately took cover.

DeVore mentioned that former ABC News correspondent Bob Zelnick was among the journalists on the tour. Zelnick said the group climbed an observation tower in Israeli-occupied Lebanese territory, from which the Bekaa Valley could be seen. He recalls the Israeli troops taunting the Syrians, who fired shots in response. But Zelnick said they were out of range and that Israeli journalists present had publicly teased him for reacting to the gunshots. “Nothing I saw or experienced could reasonably be interpreted as our having been driven off the hill by Syrian fire,” he said.

Frank Dowse, a Fiorina supporter and a retired 20-year Marine veteran from San Diego who served as a top advisor to NATO, said any attempt by DeVore  subtle or not  to imply that the Lebanon incident was related to his military service “is a bad move.”

Then, there is DeVore’s claim that he was instrumental in the successful funding of the Israeli Arrow anti-ballistic missile system in a Reagan Administration job his mother and father helped him obtain.

“So in his office, I dictated to him a “Dear Colleague” letter that he personally typed up on his Selectric typewriter,” DeVore said. “Within a week, Duncan Hunter had 40-plus signatures  House and Senate, Republican and Democrats, that went to Reagan and [then-Defense Secretary Caspar] Weinberger & the idea was born.”

Hunter was then a Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. In a recent interview, he recalled DeVore as a staunch advocate of the Arrow program on behalf of the Reagan administration  but Hunter said he wrote the letter, and pursued the idea, on his own.

“I drafted the letter that was signed by members of the Armed Services Committee, recommending that Israel embark on the missile defense program,” said Hunter, whose son now represents that congressional district.

Hunter said that he and members of the Reagan administration were working on ways to develop defenses to medium-range missiles at that time, so it would be difficult to credit any one person for the successful funding of the Arrow missile.

“No one in the administration said, ‘It was my idea’  DeVore included,” Hunter said.

Good grief what embellishments and half truths. I guess that is something you have to expect from someone who has made a career in running for public office.

Read the rest here.

One thought on “CA-Sen: Did Chuck DeVore Exaggerate His Military Service?

  1. That’s too bad – I really liked the guy and was pulling for him. Why do these idiots feel they need to embellish their service and accomplishments or non-accomplishments, as it were? I was actually backing DeVore before this…guess I’m gonna have to root for Fiorina now.

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