Swift boats for — what??
Well, it’s election season folks. Someone going by the name “Justice S. Reigns” has been sending out emails questioning Vancouver Councilor and Army veteran Larry Smith’s military record — namely his time as a paratrooper.
It’s reminiscent of that Swift Boat hooey from back in the Kerry election days.
And Mr. or Ms. Reigns has been roundly — pardon the pun — been told to take a flying leap by everyone on the chain.
They sent Smith an email Saturday:
“Larry: We noted your Facebook info. which states you were a ‘combat airborne ranger.’
Frankly, it seems unbelievable. Can you send verification?
On his campaign site, Smith said he has a Master Parachutist Badge with over 500 military and civilian jumps.
Smith responded that he has a copy of his DD214, which shows discharge codes and commendations. And this anonymous emailer could have a copy.
They answered on Sunday that they want the long form. (Sound like another recent distraction?)
“No more emails,” Smith replied to Señor(ita?)Reigns. “More than happy to set down with you with another retired Army officer but you are sounding phony and suspect.”
“Reigns” next replied quite helpfully, supplying me with my apparent headline:
“HEADLINES: Incumbent candidate Larry Smith, running for re-election as Vancouver’s City Council position 5, refuses to disclose his long form DD214 [Military confirmation form] verifying his claim on Facebook that he was a ‘combat airborne ranger.'”
Well, that was a bit much for some. His opponent, Cory Barnes, weighed in:
“The emails I have received this morning in regards to Mr. Smith’s military records are not taken in good faith. If you really want to research Larry’s history, stick to the voting track record where you can accumulate plenty enough to cause trouble with. Please stop huff-puffing false charges that aren’t pertinent to his campaign for city council, at least until after the city declares martial law and puts Larry in charge of the riot paratroopers.
Your efforts will only serve to detract from discussing and raising awareness of issues that actually affect our citizens.”
Lew Waters, a conservative Vietnam vet, also wasn’t having it:
“Whoever you really are, you can stop with the BS lies and goading.
The offer was extended to you for a face to face meet with another retired Army Officer to review the records. If you choose to not accept, it is on you, not a refusal to reveal anything.
If you think this helps Cory, it does not.”
Our real-nameless friend answered thusly:
“We shall see how this plays out closer to voting time….. And, why would Council member Smith require another ‘retired’ soldier present to help: …verify his claim on Facebook that he was a ‘combat airborne ranger’…”
Finally, Smith posted this to his Facebook page:
“Unfortunately, my military service has been called into question in this election as to airborne jobs and Vietnam tours. Attempting to answer these questions will bring on other things. It will never stop. I am not sure who is doing this but am sensitive in what I have done. It is a character assassination. This afternoon I dropped off a DD214 to the City Attorney’s office (Ted Gathe) which indicates my awards and certifications. There is also a copy in the Mayor’s office available for public review. I will also have copies of my performance reports in combat available.”
To paraphrase Smith’s fellow (fictional) Vietnam veteran, Forrest Gump: “That’s all we have to say about that.”