If you have not been following the Third District Congressional race, the Democratic challenger Ken Aden has been caught in a controversy involving what certainly appears to be an exaggeration of his military service.
We can get into the weeds quickly with this, but basically he told multiple media outlets (including me) that he was a Green Beret. He was not.
Bill Bowden of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette has been all over the story and has more details here. Even the far left blog in Arkansas, Blue Arkansas, has dropped their support for Aden over the obvious lies. (And by the way, kudos to them for calling a spade a spade instead of toeing the party line.)
With their backs against the wall, Aden has basically gone into hiding and refuses to talk to the press. But his deputy campaign manager, Ian Gill, agreed to an interview with the liberal blog The Progressive Cop. Gill used this opportunity to blame everyone, including Congressman Steve Womack, for Aden's problems when asked about it saying…
A media more interested in a sensationalist story than discussing real issues. A Republican opponent with ties both to military personn
el and defense contractors. A Republican Party that has engaged in exactly this sort of smear innumerable times. Independent operatives looking for notoriety and money. Take your pick.
Some media and detractors have accused us of attempting to portray this as some sort of vast conspiracy against us. I don't see it as being anything of the sort. All it takes is one person with the motivation to do so to take advantage of a situation for their own ends.
Gill goes on to continue to defend Aden saying, “I can't imagine how anyone who has a single honest conversation with Ken could ever imagine that he would purposefully lie for political gain.” He says the campaign will release his full military file when it is received. We will look forward to that.
The whole thing is sad. From what I can tell, Aden served honorably overseas fighting for our country (although never as a Green Beret). That is something most have not done, including myself. There is no need to embellish his record. It was a pointless lie that – as has been shown – was pretty easy to invalidate.
It is time for Aden to man up and tell the truth. It is no longer about his campaign, which is over, but about his chance to redeem a shred of self-respect.
Also noted – Aden tweeted today that he will have an online town hall on July 11 at 7:00 pm. That could get interesting.