“Sua Sponte”: Critics and Veterans Slam Media Attack On Sen. Cotton’s Service Claims

There is an ongoing controversy triggered by an article in Salon suggesting that Sen. Tom Cotton had lied about being an Army Ranger in describing his military service. The Salon article by Roger Sullenberger claimed that Arkansas senator Tom Cotton “felt compelled to repeatedly falsify that honorable military record.” It is an accusation that borders on a claim of stolen valor and could not be more insulting, particularly for someone with a highly distinguished military service record. The article has been denounced as part of a smear campaign by conservative sites like National Review but also veterans as unfair and inaccurate.

Ironically, the regimental motto of the Rangers is the Latin phrase sua sponte, or “of their own accord.” There appears debate on whose accord is controlling on such questions.

Cotton volunteered to serve and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was deployed with the 101st Airborne in Iraq and was promoted to first lieutenant. He also served in Afghanistan. He was awarded a Bronze Star, two Army Commendation MedalsCombat Infantryman BadgeRanger tabAfghanistan Campaign Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal.

False or exaggerated military records have been raised over political claims in the past.  Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., claimed on repeated occasions that he served in Vietnam when he had been in a Marine Reserve unit that was never sent overseas. In one article in May 2008, Blumenthal claimed that “when we returned from Vietnam, I remember the taunts, the verbal and even physical abuse we encountered.” There is no ambiguity on that claim.

However, Cotton not only went to Ranger School and received a Ranger badge but went into combat. Cotton received his Ranger badge and then served with the 101st Airborne Division. As a military history nut, I have discussed the “Screaming Eagles” in prior columns as one of the most storied and revered forces in United States military history.  Cotton was in combat with one of the most elite units in the world.  He never claimed claimed to have served in the 75th Ranger Regiment. Instead, he claimed that he “volunteered to be an Army Ranger” and referred to himself as a ranger on occasion.  Sullenberger maintains that that does not make him an “actual Army Ranger,” but that is not a view shared by some other rangers.  There is no balance in the article. Such countervailing views appeared in coverage following the Salon article.

The Arkansas Times interviewed Command sergeant major Rick Merritt, who served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, who denounced the premise of Salon’s article as “absurd,” “unfair,” and “almost slanderous.” Conversely, Rep. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat who served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, criticized Cotton for referring to himself as an Army Ranger, tweeting a picture of a Ranger in uniform with “Hey @SenTomCotton, unless you wore one of these berets you shouldn’t be calling yourself a Ranger. Truth matters.”

The National Review takes apart that claim and notes that veterans insist that Cotton was a Ranger. Moreover, it noted that major publications have referred to graduates of Ranger school as rangers in the same way as Cotton did. Notably, critics pointed out that Newsweek slammed Cotton after the Salon story but in 2015 used the same description of graduates from the school who did not serve in the actual Ranger regiment. Rather than change its criticism of Cotton, Newsweek quietly changed the 2015 article to remove the reference to being a Ranger.

As the site military.com noted, “the 75th Ranger Regiment requires its soldiers to complete its own eight-week selection process. Upon completing the course, soldiers are allowed to wear a distinctive tan beret with their uniform.” Cotton took the U.S. Army’s Ranger School, a roughly eight-week leadership course on light-infantry tactics. While Salon dismissed the school as a course that “literally anyone in the military is eligible to attend,” military.com wrote

To be clear, serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment or completing the Army’s Ranger School are both significant accomplishments. The vast majority of service members have neither served in a special operations unit nor attended Ranger School, both of which are physically and mentally grueling tasks. Neither are required to be eligible for the other — the only exception being that 75th Ranger Regiment leaders, such as commissioned officers, are required to complete Ranger School.

This does strike me as unfair. Salon as a long history of such hits pieces, particularly against Cotton. For example, the Arkansas Times noted prior pieces entitled “10 frightening facts about Tom Cotton” and “Chair of the imbecile caucus: Sen. Tom Cotton proudly stands at the vanguard of shameless Republican obstructionism.” This latest article was entitled in a way to be used by an Internet mob to suggest a type of stolen valor: “Sen. Tom Cotton campaigned on his “experience as an Army Ranger” — but he didn’t have any.”  This was a man who earned his Ranger badge but served with an elite airborne division.  The headline makes it sound like he was back in the states with the motor pool.  Normally, this type of issue would warrant a parenthetical in a profile piece.

I have no problem with raising this issue. Indeed, I find it interesting. This appears to be a long-standing matter of debate. Frankly, I do not see why Cotton did not just identify himself as Airborne with the Screaming Eagles, which is an enormous distinction. However, the Salon piece is typical of the slanted and sensational coverage that is now common among publications. Articles are designed to thrill audiences in our siloed media where people expect nothing confirmation of their own biases. These sites on the left and the right contribute to the anger and divisions in the country.

290 thoughts on ““Sua Sponte”: Critics and Veterans Slam Media Attack On Sen. Cotton’s Service Claims”

  1. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if he hadn’t qualified as a graduate of the ranger school he would not be allowed to wear the badge on his uniform. The Army gets to make that call not the latte sipping posters on this forum. Moly, here is a man who gave years of his life serve his nation. Your disrespect is not just for Senator Cotton but for all those who put themselves in harms way so that you can put your words on this page. Ingrate.

    1. Cotton is the one disrespecting the military by lying about his record. He said he served as an Army Ranger, which he did not.

      1. Mollygee, here is my suggestion. You should start a letter writing campaign to the Army demanding that they remove the Ranger patch from his sleeve. Do you know what the word school means. He went to a school that taught him all the things that Rangers do in combat. You disrespect all veterans in your continued opinion about something you know absolutely nothing about. We are waiting anxiously for your next drop of wisdom to fall.

      2. I served as a Sonar Technician Chief Petty Officer, Advanced Acoustic Analyst and Anti-Submarine Warfare Fire Control Officer during the Cold War. Our motto is: Sagire Classis Destructum: Search, Classify and Destroy. I never once fired a torpedo, ASROC or VLA at an enemy. Am I lying about my service record and disrespecting the military in the process?

        Asking for thousands of friends.

          1. Thank you! I’m an Oathkeeper and still in service, with you and millions of others. Thank you for your service, Diogenes!

            1. Unfortunately, I was unable to serve due to medical ineligibility. But we had guys and gals like you, so I wasn’t needed 🙂

              1. Diogenes, you’re serving with honor right here on this blog and I suspect elsewhere against domestic enemies. My oath was for that as well. 🙂

                1. Diogenes, Olly has said here that he hates most Americans, so when he says “domestic enemies”, he’s talking about most Americans.

                  1. Olly has said here that he hates most Americans, so when he says “domestic enemies”, he’s talking about most Americans.

                    Really? So now you’re asserting that every person that takes an oath to defend our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic actually hate most Americans? Join the military and hate most Americans. is not a motto adopted by any of the branches of service that I’m aware of. Now Join the Democratic Party; we hate most Americans is a far more provable motto.

                    Keep trying, this is fun.

                    1. beware of “radical extremist groups” that have LEADERS WHO ARE FEDERAL INFORMANTS

                      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/27/proud-boys-leader-enrique-tarrio-fbi-informant

                      like the “Proud boys”

                      just like the old KKK that half of which were informants too,

                      just like the Operation PATCON dupes of the late 90s

                      you can bet ANTIFA is riddled with informants and undercovers too

                      One is tempted to ask, why are the cops so close to all the crooks? Are the cops crooks too?

                      “Oh but it’s necessary” they say — a pat answer for every police abuse!

                      Remember this– the GERMAN ARMY ordered Hitler to join the NSDAP. Fact! Look it up.

                      Sal Sar

                    2. an adage attribute to the Master-mind of Red October– Vladimir Lenin:

                      “the best way to control the opposition is lead it ourselves”

                      Sal Sar

                      SSDD – sameshtdiffday

                    3. Not what I said Olly.

                      Right back at ya, Book. However, the difference is my interpretation of what you said would be a literal translation.

      3. MollyG, Cotton states he never claimed that he served in a Ranger Regiment.

        If you have proof, provide it. He is an honorable man that volunteered for the military. Your statements without proof show you to be a very dishonorable person and a very ugly woman. Salon doesn’t produce such a statement either.

        This is the type of libel to be expected from hateful people like yourself.

      4. Molly, I would rather listen to honorable men that have served rather than listen to one that is intentionally being dishonorable and ugly in the process.

        General Scott Miller: “You’ll leave Victory Pond today with a small piece of cloth on your shoulder, but more importantly, you carry the title of Ranger from here on out”: he said. Scott Miller is the 4-star commander in Afghanistan. He previously served in the Ranger Regiment and Delta Force, and he commanded JSOC.

        • Sgt. Maj. Rick Merritt: “It’s unfair. It’s almost slanderous. [Cotton’s] 100% a Ranger. He will always be a Ranger.” Rick Merritt was the Regimental Sergeant Major for the Ranger Regiment, where he served in numerous positions throughout his career.

  2. So .. what is “Salon”? and who is Roger Sullenberger? Nothing and nobody but toadies of the progressives and leftWINDBAGS. Learn something else today and find the definition of “lickspittle.”

  3. As a decorated combat veteran, I have always found the “stolen valor” issue as ludicrous. I met Jug Burkett, the author of the book that started the whole thing at a book fair and bought one of his books. I hadn’t read more than a few pages before I realized he was guilty of the very same thing he was accusing others of, not to mention that he was profoundly ignorant of many things. For example, he accused a black member of the antiwar movement of not being a combat veteran because he was a flight engineer on C-124 Globemaster transports based in Japan. It so happens that this particular unit flew missions both into and within South Vietnam, and their airplanes were shot at on nearly every mission, as were all airplanes and helicopters operating in Vietnamese airspace. I don’t know about Tom Cotton’s Bronze Star but that particular medal was originally authorized as an achievement award (as are commendation medals.) The Army had authorized the Air Medal for combat aircrews flying dangerous missions over places like Rabaul. Previously, the only award for heroism below the Distinguished Flying Cross was the Purple Heart, which was originally awarded both for heroism and wounds. Young soldiers in North Africa were jealous of the Air Medals and DFCs worn by aircrews so an Army colonel proposed a new medal equal to the Air Medal for ground actions. Not only was it awarded for combat actions – which was later accompanied by a V device – it was also awarded (and still is) for administrative actions. Soldiers who had been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, which was equivalent to the silver wings worn by aircrew. After World War II, those who held the badge became automatically eligible for the Bronze Star. Now, if you want to talk about stolen valor, consider the 1980a action by Army staff officers to downgrade the Air Medal, which requires a specified number of combat sorties or missions, and elevate the Purple Heart, which requires only that the recipient got in the way of a bullet or piece of shrapnel. With a stroke of a pin, the Army – and the military services – downgraded the valor of thousands of men who had been awarded Air Medals and elevated men who could have been lying on the ground hollering for their mother when they were hit. By the way, the Purple Heart doesn’t even require a recommendation. It’s automatic if submitted by a medic. Years ago, I wrote an article about Army Rangers for one of the World War II magazines. The original Rangers were highly trained infantrymen who were expected to carry out dangerous missions behind enemy lines. As it turned out, they were mainly used as conventional infantry and were practically wiped out at Anzio. Only one Ranger battalion, the 6th, which served under MacArthur, ever carried out the kind of mission they were trained for. After World War II, the Ranger units were disbanded but the Ranger school was established during the Korean War to train officers and NCO’s. Graduates were awarded a shoulder patch and were considered “rangers.” The 75th Rangers are rangers in name. They are basically what airborne units were in World War II. By the way, with Air Force special operations help, they screwed up royally at Grenada. The claim by 75th veterans that Cotton is “not a Ranger” is comparable to school-yard taunting by little boys.

    FYI, I had awards and decorations as an additional duty in two different units and know the drill. Whether a military member gets a medal is determined by a number of factors. First, someone has to recommend them – and it’s not unheard of for the member to write up their own recommendation. Next it depends on how the citation is written. Then there is criteria that has to be met. For example, award of the Medal of Honor requires that the recommendation be made by an eyewitness. Consequently, many members don’t get awards they deserved while other get awards they didn’t deserve.

    As for Cotton, it’s all political. Yes, he was a Ranger and yes, his service was honorable in ever regard. Since his highest award is a Bronze Star, he evidently never did anything truly heroic or if he did he wasn’t recommended for a Silver Star or higher, which are the only decorations that really mean anything. By the way, I hold the Distinguished Flying Cross but it’s no big deal. At least it got me promoted to E-6 with minimum time in grade.

    1. Correction – I failed to complete one sentence. What I meant to say was that soldiers who had been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge for combat were entitled to a Bronze Star.

      1. He had the job. Served two combat tours in the infantry and qualified for a CIB which is another prestigious military award.

        Try to keep up.

      2. Molly doesn’t know what end of the tube the round comes out of, but here she is, lecturing everybody

    2. Check out SEAL Donald W. Shipley. When he targets a liar for stolen valor, he has the goods.

      This is not a case of stolen valor. This is petty quibbling

      Sal Sar

    3. Good friend of mine will swear that he broke his family tradition of going into the military, that he was a hippie ski bum (professional skier) and that he never could take military discipline. Says it created a huge generational stir in his family…

      But in the same breath he’ll tell you that :”…but Naval underwater warfare, well, that’s a different story.” Truth is he went through hell week. Seal trained initially but basically became a free lance sniper in Viet Nam. And he was one of the best during his time. The SF he admires most? The Air Force weathermen. They have to be near brilliant, but also able to get through hell week. He and I have always talked for hours about WWII sub action in the Pacific as his father and my uncle were both involved there.

      And wow, it’s worth the price of admission just to hear him speak of special force screw ups in Grenada!! I believe the words unconscionable and inexcusable come up with feeling! He basically knew the Viet Nam SF legends and they all left the service after and Grenada was timed poorly before the new school kicked in. There was a marked lapse in skill, writ large during those years before amping back up.

      A kid i coached in basketball went on to current Air Force SF (not a Weatherman though), but basically those guys have to train in every other SF training since the Air Force relies on those trainings short of having a school of their own.

      Elvis Bug

  4. There used to be a time not long ago where lying, or even embellishing your military record would lead to swift, and rightful condemnation from vets and those who respect our military. Now as long as the guy is a Trump supporter may of those same people are giving him a pass. How times have changed.

    1. Where did he embellish is military record.

      He went to Ranger school. Got the tab.
      He served w the 101 Airborne. Stop me if you’ve heard this… ” I want to be an airborne ranger…” does that mean 75th or 101?

    2. The facts concerning Senator Cotten’s service are easy enough to obtain for any one who cares about the truth. It is unfortunate that this person, Sullenberger, has to resort to slime and innuendo to attack a good man’s military record but then when one writes from the gutter it is only to be expected.

    3. But then, Bill Clinton was DRAFTED and refused to serve, fled his country in wartime to avoid military service and used his friends in high places to defy his DRAFT notice.

      Yet Clinton was elected to be Commander in Chief thanks to a coverup of this scandal by the Corrupt Liberal Media and political cowardice by George Bush who was a combat veteran from WW II and could have destroyed Clinton in political adds during the campaign but did not.

      As soon as Clinton beat the draft he quit his studies at Oxford, England and went on vacation to get this….Moscow!

      Lucky for Clinton this happened before the internet and when the Corrupt Liberal Media had a virtual monopoly on the news so most VN vets were unaware of the details of this scandal at the time.

      Actually, Molly, times haven’t changed that much. If you were a “liberal” coward like Clinton you are excused from cravenly using your friends in high places to defy the draft laws that millions of other young men had to obey. But if you served as a elite combat veteran in two wars like Cotton did, then you can be slimed with your military record denigrated like you done on this forum.

      1. I don’t think he was drafted. What he did was finagle a special exemption from his ROTC service obligations. The officer he conned realized in short order it was a con and retained his correspondence with Clinton. He published it in 1992. The whole imbroglio had little effect. Collectively we voted out a combat veteran who hadn’t done badly in office and voted in an actual draft dodger.

        (One should distinguish between people who took advantage of statutory deferments available to hundreds of thousands of people and people who ran cons or found strings to pull in order to avoid service. It’s a distinction progtrash Democrats pretend is not there. Among those who were granted regular deferments with obviated service were Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Richard Cheney, Pat Buchanan, Howard Dean, Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown, Jesse Jackson, and Gary Hart. Among those with lacunae in their service record are Sundown Joe, Bill Bradley, and Alan Keyes. The con artists include Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Pat Robertson served in the Marines, but his father was able to pull strings to get him a less hazardous assignment. Outside the realm of presidential politics, Rudolph Giuliani’s employer pulled strings to get him excused from military service and it’s a reasonable inference that Mitch McConnell’s arranged for a medical discharge for him; the irony is that neither man came from a well-connected family).

      2. Trump must be out of office; draft deferments are bad again! You also must be pretty young or else you’d remember Clinton was pegged as a draft dodger right off the bat. It was one of the biggest narratives used against him by conservative pundits.

  5. And why does our Glorious Leader hesitate to appoint Glorious Son as Glorious Secretary of the Navy, or better, Glorious Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Hunter Biden’s long and self sacrificing Naval service demands recognition of the highest order. Hunter’s deep commitment to the military, his stellar career as an officer, and his integrity and unblemished character qualify him for the most critical and sensitive government position possible. Perhaps the Big Man waits for the right call from the CCP.

      1. And people say I make dumb comments.

        No. Your dumb comments speak for themselves. People are just saying the quiet things out loud.

  6. This is just ridiculous. Everyone who has served in the Army knows there is a difference between serving in the Ranger Regiment and just earning a Ranger tab, but they are both referred to as Rangers. My first platoon sergeant had a Ranger Battalion combat patch and earned his tab by complteing Ranger school while a part of the Ranger regiment, he too still referred to those with a tab as “Rangers.” Tom Cotton makes no claim that he served in the Ranger Regiment. It is hilarious that Salon should write such a piece because my guess is that if you served in the military it would probably mean you would be barred from holding a job at Salon.

    1. Cotton did repeatedly say that he served as a Ranger. While he did not specify that he was with the 75th, saying that he served as a Ranger was a lie. He was Ranger qualified, but did not serve as a Ranger.

      1. Was he “Ranger qualified?” Did he serve–and in actual combat at that? Are you a Ranger? Do you get to define who is and isn’t?

        Yes. Yes. Most likely, no. Thank God, no.

      2. MollyG, are you saying that woman with a PhD who became pregnant and decided to take care of her baby isn’t a PhD? She writes a promo for an author to be placed in the book and signs her name with the PhD. Are you saying she is not supposed to refer to her PhD? Are you a sexist and hate women or only pregnant ones? Do you hate moms that decide to take care of the children instead of using their degrees? What is wrong with you?

      3. He did two combat tours as an army ranger and a infantryman with the 101st Abn and was awarded his CIB and a bronze star.

        You need to quit lying and smearing him just because you dont like his political stands.

  7. …”The article has been denounced as part of a smear campaign by conservative sites like National Review but also veterans as unfair and inaccurate.” It is this statement that summarizes the problem today. The attack on Tom Cotton should be denounced by ALL legitimate media because it is a creation of lies and conflation. To the detriment of the citizens, 90% of journalists are actually propaganda agents – Orwell’s Squealers to Orwell’s Democrat “pigs”.

    1. Glenn Reynolds concise description of the media in our time: “Garbage people paid to lie for the Democratic Party”.

  8. “The left perceives Cotton as a threat since he may become a Presidential candidate. They want to start destroying him early because he has such a fine record.”

  9. Salon is written by a bunch of little pissant nobodies, and why anyone would waste their time reading the trash they print is beyond me.

  10. We have these pseudo-controversies because all the sh!ts in America are collected at one side of the spectrum. They have a willing audience of tools who pass these libels around on social media.

  11. Notably, critics pointed out that Newsweek slammed Cotton after the Salon story but in 2015 used the same description of graduates from the school who did not serve in the actual Ranger regiment. Rather than change its criticism of Cotton, Newsweek quietly changed the 2015 article to remove the reference to being a Ranger.

    Changing history then?

  12. Ah memory is so fleeting! Some us remember the Republican Party’s ‘swift boating’ campaign against a decorated true American hero, Senator John F. Kerry, during his 2004 Presidential run. Seventeen years later the gander is getting his share of the sauce. Not nice. Never was.

    1. Hanoi John was a glory hound who wrote up his own boilerplate for his purple heart awards. The fact that a vast majority of Swift boat commanders who also served with him judged him a glory hound “unfit to serve” and were relieved when he departed after 3 months with three used band aids and three hearts.

  13. This seems to be confusing, but google “tabbed or scrolled ranger” and it becomes clear. Cotton was Ranger qualified, but did not serve as a Ranger, thus he was not a true Ranger. He has made many statements were he claims to be a Ranger, and thus was dishonest.

        1. This just in: Diogenes masturbates and s^&ts in public. Jury’s still out on whether he gets freaky with dogs. Look it up,

          Elvis Bug

                1. Good time to short Sal Sar! As long as it’s not on the breakout. Wait for the breakout to retrace and jump in hard.

                  Elvis Bug

                  1. Im not shorting Im going full retard long with the other nutjobs from reddit on NOK & AMC & a few others with huge short interest against em

                    with an appropriate amount of risk money of course. you gotta have fun with what you can stand to lose. why not?

                    I got time to make it back if it craps out. can’t even enter Vietnam now due to the covid. prolly will last all year is my guess

                    ss

    1. He has made many statements were he claims to be a Ranger, and thus was dishonest.

      Says the woman who knows nothing of Army idiom. See Kurt Schlicter on this pseudo-controversy.

      1. Says the f widget that knows nothing of SF strategy and tactics whatsoever. See his idiotic commentary throughout.

        Elvis Bug

    2. It’s just a typical hit piece without evidence or any semblance of balanced reporting. The real issue is that Cotton is a republican. Rangers lead the way with honor and pride and Crow, well, what can one say about his comments about a brother Ranger except they are untrue. It’s simple, the Army and other Rangers consider those who have completed the Ranger Course as qualified Rangers. As for serving with the 75th, there simply isn’t room for all who complete the course to serve there. One might also consider that if a soldier completes airborne (jump school) training and earns his/her jump wing, they are considered airborne qualified even though they man not be service in a jump status or with the 82d. They are “airborne” to the rest of the Army as compared to the “legs” who have not earned their wings. While special ops is a big umbrella there a warrior competitiveness between those groups. Unfortunately, there is a certain elitism and self-centeredness exhibited by a few who disparage others as a way of self-promotion. Jason Crow is a prime example and a good investigative journalist might even want to ask him and those who served with him more about his actual time with the 75th and some of his actions there. There are some interesting things to learn there as well. Crow’s time with the Rangers are not exactly what they appear to be either. All is all, Cotton is a Ranger and so is Crow.

        1. Compared to your brain anonymous mine has to be super awesome. One could compare yours to that of a worm but that would be slandering worms.

            1. I take note that Anonymous the Stupid remains empty of content. I have to apologize to the worm community for even comparing Anonymous the Stupid’s lack of a brain to whatever a worm might have.

              1. …he gains momentum going downhill. It feels so good! But oh looks he mentions lack of content while discussing his brain!! Now we’re on to something. Let’s see if he’s got a 3rd gear.

                1. This is the question I asked: “A woman earns a PhD but has children before she is able to use that degree. Is she no longer a PhD?”

                  Only Anonymous the Stupid can inject such a lack of content (see above) into a discussion. Is it known why he does it? Yes, because he is Anonymous the Stupid.

                  The answer, Anonymous the Stupid, to the above question is, she is still a PhD. All you did was demonstrate once again how Stupid you are.

  14. Cotton, what a coward! Not a true military hero, like Senator Richard Blumenthal, who, while serving in Vietnam, earned 2 Silver Stars and the Medal of Honor for his bravery.

    1. Exactly right! I remember reading the Times magazine article about how Blumenthal, Kerry, and Brian Williams overran a VC encampment and rescued 367,490 POWs. If I recall, the only weapons they had were mess-kit spoons, a ZIppo lighter that was out of fluid, and four broken shoelaces. I could be wrong about the brand of lighter. In an act of unabashed valor and patriotism, they refused to accept their individual Medals of Honor, instead insisting they be melted down and sold to support the poor. Ah, yes: I remember it well.

      1. Kerry was a SEAL and he actually did kill VC.

        It’s shameful to mention Blumenthal in the same breath with Kerry

        Now, some people consider Kerry’s kills as shameful. I don’t agree with that opinion, but in the spirit of fostering a diversity of opinion, I’ll share what some have said

        https://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/26/what-john-kerry-really-did-in-vietnam/

        Some people assume soldiers are at liberty to ignore orders. They are not.

        Saloth Sar

  15. Publications like this and the writers who contribute to stories like this deserve to have the privilege of wearing the once honorable badge of journalism revoked. Journalism has to save their profession. Journalists need to establish standards for their profession, clear qualifications before anyone can call themselves a journalist, advertise their contribution was journalism. Transparency, like they want of their subjects and clear distinctions between journalistic writing and fiction or editorial writing should be high on the list of standards. The recent distinction of “Advocacy Journalism” needs to be tossed into the trash. If it is advocacy, it is not journalism.

    1. Journalists have badges? Actually, all they originally had was a pen and paper, then it became a typewriter now it’s a computer or even a smart phone. ANYONE can be a “journalist” if they are able to get the figments of their imagination published.

    2. There is a group called “Society of Professional Journalists.” Its New Mexico chapter demonstrated that the word “professional” is used in the dictionary sense of being paid to do something (as in NOT being an amateur), rather than belonging to a profession such as medicine that requires advanced learning. That NM chapter recently condemned a NM television station for re-employing a talented meteorologist after his unsuccessful run for a US Senate seat – when he was not so employed – and demanded his answers to its political questions; yes … the chapter tried to deny this meteorologist a job and otherwise denigrate him simply because he dared to be a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate! Just another black mark for so-called “journalists.”

  16. The Pinkos are both incoherent and insane with rage.

    They lash out at everyone who is to the right of them.

    Look at some of our lefty commentators – Anonymous, Molly, Silverstein – they are all vitriolic in their rage.

    Childish tantrums that would send a child to a timeout.

    Fortunately, they represent the insane fringe of the country.

  17. Turley ends this with:

    “:… the Salon piece is typical of the slanted and sensational coverage that is now common among publications. Articles are designed to thrill audiences in our siloed media where people expect nothing confirmation of their own biases. These sites on the left and the right contribute to the anger and divisions in the country..”

    Indeed, attacking the war record of a possible presidential candidate has never happened before in our history.

    A Google search of “Jonathan Turley swift boats” yields nothing.

        1. Actually Kerry’s actions were honorable. Although I detest his politics. I was incensed at the way Vietnam veterans went after a fellow vet. Whether his action was worthy of a Silver Star is debatable but higher headquarters evidently thought so.

          1. I appreciate your consistency semcgo. I have no interest in hair splitting on Cotton’s military record which appears honorable and brave. I think he sucks as a Senator, but that’s another story.

          2. while we’re at it, I think Kerry is under-rated as a Democrat leader. nobody likes this viewpoint of course. Democrats seem to hate it that I find something redeeming about his diplomatic tenure especially when I start comparing it to Hillary’s. Hillary sycophants are trolled by that. Raise your hands if you feel provoked, I would be pleased to elaborate.

            And of course Republicans seem to hate the guy. I don’t think that is merited. Anyhow it’s almost pointless to discuss at this time.

            lets turn attention instead to the new SOS Anthony Blinken. Consider his nuanced remarks:

            https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/26/politics/blinken-confirmation-secretary-of-state/index.html

            “He was pressed on Iran and efforts to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. While Blinken made clear the Biden administration feels the world was safer with the Iran nuclear deal in place, he did not offer specifics on plans to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), from which the Trump administration withdrew in 2018.
            “The President-elect believes that if Iran comes back into compliance, we would too,” Blinken said at his hearing a day before the inauguration last week. “But, we would use that as a platform with our allies and partners who would once again be on the same side with us, to seek a longer and stronger agreement. And also, as you and the chairman have rightly pointed out, to capture these other issues, particularly with regard to missiles and Iran’s destabilizing activities. That would be the objective.”
            “Having said that, I think we’re a long way from there, we would have to see once the President-elect is in office what steps Iran actually takes and is prepared to take,” Blinken said.

            On China, he conceded that President Donald Trump “was right in taking a tougher approach to China.”
            “I disagree, very much, with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy,” Blinken said.”

            MY INTERPRETATION: “ORANGE MAN BAD, EXCEPT, STEADY THE COURSE ON THE SAME HEADING!” LOL

            Sal Sar

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