MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT Mitt's Father Ran for President
It's not a new revelation, but it's one worth remembering in light of Romney's addiction to increasing Defense Department funding: he supported the Vietnam War as a college student, while receiving deferments from fighting in it.
Earlier this year, the UK Daily Mail laid it all out, including Romney's participation as the public relations spokesperson for a pro-war rally during his undergraduate year at Stanford (he later transferred to Brigham Young University after his two Mormon missionary years in France). The coverage included a photo of Romney picketing against anti-war students who were protesting the cooperation of the Stanford University administration with the draft process at the time.
In short, Romney was adamantly pro-draft:
They say every picture tells a story.
A newly-unearthed photograph showing Mitt Romney demonstrating in favor of the Vietnam War draft might leave the presidential candidate feeling somewhat embarrassed….
A newspaper clipping headlined 'Governor's son pickets the pickets' states: 'Mitt Romney, son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, was one of the pickets who supported the Stanford University administration in opposition to sit-in demonstrators.'
The photograph was taken on May 20, 1966, shortly after a group of students had taken over the office of Stanford University President Wallace Sterling.
Romney used his student deferment at that time to avoid military service. He then left Stanford for two years of Mormon missionary work in France, for which he received another draft deferment.
When Romney was back in the states – after his mission work – and had transferred to Brigham Young University, the draft was changed to a lottery. Romney received a high enough number that he permanently escaped being in the military, even though he supported the Vietnam War and the draft.
People change, but Romney's "Oxy-Mormon" (credit to Will Durst) position on the misguided and ruinous US adventure in Southeast Asia speaks volumes about his bellicose Defense Department expansion plans.
Even Romney's father, George Romney, reversed his position to question the Vietnam War, declaring that he had been "brainwashed" to support the conflict.
But Mitt Romney still wants to have it both ways: supporting military adventurism while making no personal sacrifice. It should be noted that none of his sons have served in the Armed Forces.
As a blogger on Daily Kos asked: "Why Hasn't This Been Bigger News?" Good question, indeed?