Thomas Gallatin / January 28, 2021

Leftmedia Smears Tom Cotton’s Military Record

Salon and Newsweek dubiously claim that Cotton lied about his service record with the Army Rangers.

Not only is Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) a Patriot for his principled defense of the U.S. Constitution, he’s also a veteran who willingly put his life on the line to defend this nation serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet some leftists, fresh off successfully getting Donald Trump banned from social media by their Big Tech buddies, will do anything to collect more conservative scalps, and they’ve taken their hatchets to Cotton.

Apparently, Cotton represents everything leftists loathe about conservatives, yet without any of the personality flaws that made Trump an easy target. Last summer, The New York Times published an op-ed from Cotton entitled “Send in the Troops,” wherein he made the argument for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to stem the violence and rioting that was rocking several American cities. Leftists at the time ran to their fainting couches as they demanded and eventually got the head of the Gray Lady’s editorial page editor for daring to run an opinion piece that didn’t comport with the Left’s erroneous narrative on BLM.

It’s ironic that only a few months later, leftists praised the call to send in the troops to protect the U.S. Capitol following the riot, but we digress.

The Leftmedia clearly sees Cotton as politically dangerous, which explains its eagerness to smear him. The leftist rag Salon attempted to do this over the weekend with a hit piece entitled, “Sen. Tom Cotton campaigned on his ‘experience as an Army Ranger’ — but he didn’t have any.”

Salon erroneously alleged that Cotton was guilty of stolen valor for falsely claiming to be a “U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan,” when in fact he “was never a part of the 75th Ranger Regiment.” Yet, while acknowledging that Cotton served eight years in two war zones as “an Army captain and decorated hero — including two commendations medals, a Bronze Star and a Ranger tab” (emphasis added), Salon insists that Cotton lied about this military service when campaigning because he said he “volunteered to be an Army Ranger.”

And so Cotton did. He attended Ranger school, received the Ranger tab, and went on to serve with the 101st Airborne — not the famed 75th Ranger Regiment, but neither did he ever claim the 75th. Yet Salon dubiously insinuates that Cotton’s supposed failure to clearly distinguish that his service was with the 101st rather than 75th after Ranger school is tantamount to stolen valor.

Seeing the Salon exposé, Newsweek elected to get in on the Cotton bashing act with a story under the title, “Tom Cotton Blasted for Claims About Being an Army Ranger by Lawmaker Who Was One.” Yet, hilariously, back in 2015, Newsweek ran a story praising the fact that for “the first time in the Army Ranger School’s 64-year history, two women have completed the intense training program and will become Rangers.” The story even acknowledged that while the two women “will become Rangers,” they won’t be joining “the 75th Ranger Regiment” as it “does not allow female Rangers.”

Following its story criticizing Cotton, Newsweek quietly went back to edit its 2015 article referencing the first two female “Rangers” to now say that they “will be allowed to wear the coveted Ranger tab on their uniforms.” Newsweek then added, “This article has been changed to note that completion of the course allows one to wear the Ranger tab, but does not make one a Ranger.”

As the Leftmedia’s attempt to smear Cotton has only grown, National Review’s John McCormack noted, “Retired Command sergeant major Rick Merritt, who served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, told the Arkansas Times over the weekend that Salon’s attack on Cotton was ‘absurd,’ ‘unfair,’ and ‘almost slanderous.’ ‘He’s 100 percent a Ranger,’ said Merritt. ‘He will always be a Ranger. It’s a slap in the face for any veteran — any Ranger — to be attacked that way. It’s not a controversy. It’s a fact that he is a Ranger, just like I’m a Ranger. They’re just playing semantics on the unit in which he served as a Ranger.’” Exactly. Cotton’s a threat to the Left’s anti-American agenda, hence the baseless and ignorant attack.

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