Saturday, November 7, 2009

Where Did Markos Moulitsas Serve in the Military?

At least one reader of The Truth About Kos blog has resorted to Google and found his/her way here to discover where Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (MAMZ) served in the military. He does claim that he served in the military, and subsequently wrote a very curious and confessional letter to his college newspaper opposing ALL gay service in the US military, regardless of whether they were "out" or "in the closet."

According to a Cato Unbound biography
Immediately after high school, at the age of 17, Moulitsas enrolled in the U.S. Army, and served in Lawton, Oklahoma and Bamberg, Germany. He was a 13P — an MLRS/Lance Fire Direction Specialist (artillery), and served between 1989-92.
The problem with this information is that it obviously came directly from MAMZ himself, without corroboration, and should therefore be considered suspect. On many occasions MAMZ has provided false information about himself and his family.

For example, in the audiotape from an interview at the Commonwealth Club on June 2, 2006, MAMZ said that he spent six months training at the CIA, continuously from 2001 until 2003. , He says spent "six months" continuously training at the CIA between 2001 and "until the Dean campaign took" which was in 2003. It does not require a mathematician to conclude that anyone who started at the CIA in 2001 and was still there at the end of 2003 was at the CIA for at least two years -- not for only six months.

So, why did MAMZ say both that he was at the CIA for only for only six months and that he was there from 2001 until 2003? Was he trying to exaggerate or minimize his relationship with the CIA, or both, and why? Or has he simply forgotten how long his CIA "secret agent" training lasted? In any case, his rendition of the facts cannot be trusted because his story is internally contradictory and his statements of fact are mutually exclusive.

Is it possible that, after providing two contradictory stories about the length of his training at the CIA, that he might also misrepresent or invent details of his military service? I do see that possibility, particularly because MAMZ has misrepresented and contradicted himself with respect to other aspects of his life.

He has said that because he served in the military during the Gulf War, he is therefore a "Gulf War veteran." And yet, in the Cato Unbound biography, he stated with great specificity that he "served in Lawton, Oklahoma and Bamberg, Germany." I think most Gulf War veterans would disagree that the specific service he cites qualifies him as a Gulf War veteran.

As the Ace of Spades website points out, the very reputable Washington Post writer, Jose Antonio Vargas, wrote in an article entitled, "A Diversity of Opinion, if Not Opinionators: At the Yearly Kos Bloggers' Convention, a Sea of Middle-Aged White Males", that was a "Persian Gulf War veteran." No correction or explanation of this conflict of facts has appeared in the Washington Post, and MAMZ has seemed content to let the misstated facts remain misstated.

In an article for the American Prospect, he says, with respect to an alleged three years of service in the Army:
after my three-year stint, while I was stationed in Germany and missed deploying to the Gulf War by a hair (Emphasis added.)
It is this sort of embellishment that makes facts seem maleable and leaves it difficult to believe anything that MAMZ says about himself. He admittedly did not serve in the Gulf War, and yet he mentions both the Gulf War and a rhetorical "near miss" at every opportunity, clearly trying to associate himself with something (war service) of which he admittedly saw none whatsoever. And, as voluable as MAMZ is on other topics, he fails to correct others when the draw the conclusion that he served in the Gulf War.

Perhaps the three greatest lies that MAMZ has told about his family background were that:

"I was an immigrant to the United States." Angry Indian; And yet Cato Unbound says he was born in Chicago. Since it is not possible to be both "an immigrant" and born in Chicago, we once again find it difficult to decide which, if any, of MAMZ's version of his life are true.

In the same interview with El Salvador's online newspaper "La Prensa Gráfica", which is apparently no longer available at its old web address, MAMZ told the interviewer, "“I don’t have money. I don’t come from a famous or powerful family." The mere fact that the manager of his "family hotel", who shares MAMZ's last name, also owns a five-continent salt distribution conglomerate in El Salvador was the recipient of a one million dollar loan guarantee from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) should demonstrate that the two above statements were no less than bold faced lies. Opic lists:

Baja Salt

A $1 million project, supported by a $700,000 OPIC loan, involving acquisition of high-quality salt from Mexico for distribution into Central America, and the establishment of salt processing facilities and construction of warehouses in El Salvador and Guatemala. The project is expected to eventually create 39 permanent local jobs.

CAFTA-DR investment: $1 million.

Baja Salt's owner, Lic. Carlos Alberto Delgado Zuniga, is the same man listed in Salvadoran Government documents as the manager of MAMZ's family hotel, and who shares MAMZ's last name as well as participation in the "family hotel".

Plus, a New online book says the same family member is president of the Association of Salvadoran Hotels and president of the Salvadoran National Tourism Board. Moulitsas lied when he said his family is not wealthy or influential.

So, there you go: The only information about MAMZ's military service comes from MAMZ himself, so far, and MAMZ has shown a proclivity for lying about his biography, even to the extent of lying about the country in which he was born. If you draw the conclusion, based on his statements, that he served in the first Gulf War, MAMZ has no problem with that, although he has told others that he "served in Lawton, Oklahoma and Bamberg, Germany."

Will MAMZ clarify any of these blatant contradictions and apparent lies? If you were trained by the CIA to be a secret agent, would you clarify contradictions about your own past?

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