Yesterday Connecticut Attorney General, the aptly named Dick Blumenthal, tried to unscrew the damage caused by some decades of lying about his service in Vietnam by trotting out a handful of supporters who happen to be veterans. In the process, Blumenthal scored a notable first: a hat trick of own goals.
Not only did Blumenthal essentially deny what was amply apparent to even the most causal observer, that he had deliberately misrepresented his service during the Vietnam Era and had either done so or allowed it to be done by a slavish media for years, he compounded the error by holding his press conference at a VFW Hall, an organization that he is ineligible to belong to as a full member, and one of the men on stage with him is well known in certain circles as a man who has a matter of course lied about his own military service.
Elliott Storm is a Blumenthal supporter. The campaign called him and asked him to show up; he called up his friends in the “Vet Pack” to join him, friends who, like him, travel around the country talking about ex-soldiers who contend with post traumatic stress syndrome.
Storm, who lives in Milford, wrote a book on the subject, called These Scars Are Sacred.
“If a man wore a uniform during those turbulent times, they were rejected and called ‘babykiller,’” Storm said at Tuesday’s event “People are still attacking veterans who served in Vietnam.” The Times story about Blumenthal’s service is a yet another example of that, he claimed.
Elliott Storm would also be known as Charles Joseph Trumpower. He enlisted in the Marines and, unlike Blumenthal, actually served in Vietnam where he got one less Purple Heart than John Kerry. Mr. Trumpower, for reasons unknowable to anyone but him, decided reality was insufficiently impressive so he commissioned himself a Marine officer and added a Bronze Star with "V" device and another Purple Heart to his awards.
All in all, Mr. Storm seems more an object of pity than derision. In a string of emails with a representative of the POW Network, Mr. Storm -- or Mr. Trumpower or whatever he's calling himself this week -- essentially admits the misrepresentation, apologizes, and, naturally blames it on PTSD which has been his bread-and-butter issue for 30 years. As icing on the cake, he has a fairly extensive criminal record.
Ordinarily I'd leave such a pathetic creature alone. He seems to have reformed himself, at least so far as claiming to be the reincarnation of Audie Murphy goes, and is trying to do good stuff beyond the call of self aggrandizement. The reason I'm not is simple. Mr. Storm has misrepresented his service and has made himself a public defender of another person who has tried to use a fake military career to move ahead politically. Not only did he support and defend Blumenthal, he belittled those who exposed Blumenthal's lies.
The irony here is that none of this probably makes any difference. Blumenthal will undoubtedly win his party's primary and given the nature of Connecticut voters he will take Chris Dodd's seat in the US Senate. I imagine some will claim that a liar replacing a crooked liar is a step up for the state. One hopes, however, that shining the light of truth on the roach-like Charles Joseph Trumpower aka Elliott Storm will drive him back into the shadows where he belongs.