The Wall Street Journal’s Katie Horgan and Greg Kelly, neither of whom have a high enough level security clearance to have seen Pete Buttigieg‘s full military record, suggest in an opinion piece published today that he’s a phony who has mislead the American public. The rhetoric is eerily reminiscent to the vicious Swift Boat attack ads leveled at John Kerry in 2004 regarding his service in Vietnam.
Since Buttigieg worked in military intelligence, it’s unlikely we know the extent of his service, nor will we any time soon.
Horgan and Kelly say, “Mr. Buttigieg’s stint in the Navy isn’t as impressive as he makes it out to be. His 2019 memoir is called Shortest Way Home, an apt description of his military service. He entered the military through a little-used shortcut: direct commission in the reserves. The usual route to an officer’s commission includes four years at Annapolis or another military academy or months of intense training at Officer Candidate School. ROTC programs send prospective officers to far-flung summer training programs and require military drills during the academic year. Mr. Buttigieg skipped all that—no obstacle courses, no weapons training, no evaluation of his ability or willingness to lead. Paperwork, a health exam and a background check were all it took to make him a naval officer.”
In our experience, those who did the most in war talk about it the least. Serving in a support or noncombat role is honorable, but it shouldn’t be the basis of a presidential campaign.
What the defamatory opinion editorial omits is Buttigieg has always balanced his rhetoric about his tour of duty even saying in May of 2019, “Look, it’s not like I killed (Osama) Bin Laden, right? I don’t want to overstate what my role was, but it certainly is something that was dangerous.”
Military records reviewed by CNN show that Buttigieg was part of a unit assigned to identify and disrupt terrorist finance networks. While it was partly a desk job at Bagram Air Base, he also worked as an armed driver for more than 100 trips his commander took into Kabul.