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Rep. Dornan's Years in the U.S. Air Force

December 20, 1987

Though the 1986 campaign is long over with, your editorial staff just could not resist reprinting that old pack of lies about my military service record, "Dornan's Broken (War) Record," (Dec. 6). But why should I expect otherwise? After all, the lies were originally spread by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee with the willing compliance of your paper during that campaign.

It also comes as no surprise to find out that the author of this attack-dog "Commentary," Joseph N. Bell, is a registered-Democrat doing his liberal party leadership's bidding. But like The Times and the Democratic Party, Bell deliberately twisted his facts.

In six congressional campaigns, I have never run on my "war record." I don't have one. I was a peacetime U.S. Air Force fighter pilot (1953-1958). But I've never run on my excellent peacetime military record either--check the campaign literature. I have always included military service in any biographic information because I am proud of it. However, it was never a central, or even peripheral, campaign issue until your paper and the Democratic Party made it one last year.

I did not bring up my military record during the '86 campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did. Then with goose-stepping precision, The Times and the Democratic Party shamelessly and dishonorably tried to trash my honorable (and quite dangerous) service to our country. So I defended my honor in Orange County and corrected the lies on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Along the way, I discovered that for 12 years my opponent, Richard Robinson, had passed himself off as an officer and combat pilot (his actual Marine Corps job title was "warehouseman") in F-4 Phantoms and helicopter gunships when in reality he was a PFC.

Ironically then, it was my opponent who actually lied to The Times about his military record--for 12 years--and got away with it. But The Times would never report the truth. Instead you continued to trash me for supposed exaggerations of my record that were made up by the Democratic Party. Your whole treatment of that ugly episode was a clear-cut example of one-sided, advocacy journalism as you surrogated for the Democratic Party.

The Times, the Democratic Party and Joe Bell, whoever he is, still don't understand why you are all having to "beat the bushes" to find an opponent against me.

Contrary to your views, a quality opponent doesn't need a military record to run against me. What you do need is someone willing to stand up for America, who will vote to continue strengthening our military defenses and who will remember that communism is the enemy of freedom and therefore our enemy.

Unfortunately for America, too few of these pro-defense, pro-service people advocates can be found among the ranks of Democratic Party candidates.

ROBERT K. DORNAN

U.S. Congressman

38th District

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