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May 16, 2009
Winter Soldier embarasses Dems
Another military imposter has been exposed who supposedly served in Iraq and became the darling of the anti-war left when he trashed the military and the United States.
Rick Duncan, executive director of the Colorado Veterans Alliance, spoke at an Obama veterans rally, appeared in Democratic campaign commercials, and lent his name to several Democratic candidates. He claimed to have served in Iraq where he was wounded by a roadside bomb and came back home an anti-war activist.
Except none of that was true. His name is actually Rick Strandlof and, according to this Michael Riley article in the Denver Post, he never even served in the military:
Now, politicians are dealing with news that the man they believed to be a former Marine and war veteran wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb, in fact, never served in the military - but did spend time in a mental hospital.
Many of the candidates he supported won their elections handily and now say they were defrauded as much as anyone else.
"His fraud is a slap in the face to veterans everywhere and a betrayal to us all," Rep. Polis, a Boulder Democrat, said in a written statement Thursday.
"It sounds like this man had a problem telling the truth and needs help," said Tara Trujillo, a spokeswoman for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
There is little doubt that Strandlof had a remarkable ability to fool people, something aided by the fact that among his fabrications was his claim that he suffered a severe brain injury, which helped cover behavior that associates now concede was often erratic and strange.
But there were also plenty of signs during much of the time Strandlof was working on behalf of candidates for anyone watching carefully.
When it comes to anti-war soldiers who "speak truth to power," the Democrats appear to suspend belief and refuse to believe signs that they are being snookered. Strandlof is just the latest in a long line of pretenders who have taken Democrats for a ride and made them look all too eager to embrace those who tell lies about the military and America's efforts in Iraq.