In Trump’s desperation to capitalize on the fetishization of our military in order to mollify his base, Trump may have overlooked a rather humiliating scandal that undermines the very integrity of our armed forces.
Despite a slew of public bios claiming otherwise, Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, did not serve in the first Gulf War. Pompeo has been constantly billed as a Gulf War vet on media outlets, via his colleagues, and even on sites like Wikipedia—all of which have gone unchallenged by the Cabinet nominee.
Per Splinter, “These include articles in The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal, a letter signed by 51 Republicans expressing support for Pompeo’s secretary of State nomination, and a Marco Rubio speech on the Senate floor. Throughout all this, Pompeo has said nothing to correct the record. It’s possible, though seems unlikely, that he has simply missed all the references to his nonexistent war history.”
The issue was brought to the forefront by former CIA spokesman and special assistant to President Obama, Ned Price.
It seems apparent from reliable sources that Mike Pompeo did NOT serve in the first Gulf War, but nearly half of his public bios–including his Wikipedia page–and contemporary write-ups claim he did. Is this something he's been content to leave uncorrected?
A quick sample:
— Ned Price (@nedprice) April 20, 2018
While the CIA confirmed that Pompeo “was in the U.S. Army at the time of the Gulf War – serving until 1991,” they qualified the disputed claims by adding, “He was not deployed to that theater.”
The Gulf War started in August 1990 and ended in February 1991.
While Pompeo’s nomination process is likely to be difficult – he will likely fail to garner the recommendation of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – he may very well ultimately become Secretary of State along party lines if only one Democrat defects to the Republicans’ side. If so, our president’s constant exaltation of respect for our military will be exposed for what it truly is: a sham.