One man is a refugee-turned-American-soldier, a decorated lieutenant colonel who holds a Purple Heart from his duty in Iraq – where he was injured by a roadside bomb – and a master’s degree from Harvard. After working in US embassies in Kiev and Moscow, he now sits on the National Security Council, and writes eloquently and forcefully about his sense of duty.
Courtesy of Jill Filipovic
The other is a child of privilege – who inherited hundreds of millions of dollars and avoided the Vietnam War draft by claiming bone spurs. He rails against the First Amendment protections the American media enjoys, pillories career civil servants, and has belittled those who have served and suffered, including the Muslim family of a slain soldier, and a former prisoner of war, the late Sen. John McCain.
He hinders investigations into hostile foreign interference in the American elections that are the bedrock of our democracy. Now he stands accused of undermining the integrity of those elections by asking a foreign leader to dig up dirt on his potential opponent – something to which he has admitted.
Who is the real patriot here?
If you said the first man – Alexander S. Vindman, the war hero, the man who literally bled for his country and has dedicated his life to public service – you would be wrong, according to a right-wing media apparatus that has gone all-in on the second man, Donald Trump.
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On Fox News, John Yoo (yes, that John Yoo, the former government lawyer who came up with George W. Bush’s “enhanced interrogation” torture policy) opined that perhaps Lt. Col. Vindman was a traitor engaged in “espionage” on behalf of Ukraine. Former Wisconsin Republican Congressman Sean Duffy used his new platform at CNN to similarly smear Vindman, saying “We all have an affinity to our homeland where we came from. Like me, I’m sure that Vindman has the same affinity.”