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Jake Bequette has a "stolen valor" problem

Mar 21, 2022
A soon-to-be-released book will feature a chapter on Arkansas U.S. Senate candidate Jake Bequette. Presumably, it is a book in which a new politician would prefer not to be included -  since it discusses the accusation of stolen valor that has been made against Bequette.

Stolen Valor allegation explained

The book titled "A History of Lying, 2008 to 2022: Stolen Valor in Political Campaigns from Blumenthal to Bequette" by author Thomas "Jay" Martin was teased for a fall release in an email campaign to book buyers.

A synopsis posted online said the book will compare the lies of politicians and political candidates today with those of the past several hundred years.

The book alleges that Jake Bequette listed false dates for his military service on his campaign website. The synopsis states:
The lie made Bequette's time in the military appear much longer than it was while also covering up that he had chosen to move to the very Washington, DC "swamp" that his campaign alleged he despised.
The synopsis said the book will also discuss the 2010 campaign of Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who lied about his military service during the Vietnam War. Four other case studies will also be addressed. A full briefing of the book can be read by clicking below Click here

The issue of "stolen valor" has become a popular cultural and internet topic. Hundreds of people make videos and write articles (and books) by scouring internet records and social media to find people lying about the scope of their military service - from medals received to dates served in the military.

Who first made the Stolen Valor allegation?

On July 26, 2021, the conservative news outlet, The National File published an article claiming that Jake Bequette lied about his military service. The article was titled "Arkansas Senate Candidate Claimed He Joined Army In 2015, Actually Joined In 2017." In the article, a Department of Defense source of the publication first mentioned "stolen valor."

Surprisingly, it has been eight months since the issue was first discussed by The National File, and no media outlet appears to have investigated the "stolen valor" charge. 

Did Jake Bequette misrepresent his military service?

Jake Bequette announced his campaign for U.S. Senate on July 12, 2021, and Texarkana News found evidence that proves incorrect information was provided to the public about his military service. A website snapshot taken by the Internet Archive on July 12 shows that Bequette's bio falsely states: "In 2015, Jake joined the service and was commissioned as an Infantry Lieutenant." However, published news reports relying on information from the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center indicate Bequette began his military service much later: August 8, 2017.

The untruthful statement was still present on the website on July 23, 2021 - 12 days after the campaign began. This is according to a screengrab made by the Internet Archive at Archive.org.

Bequette's "outsider" status challenged

An interview with a sports news site called The Athletic suggests that Jake Bequette moved to Washington, DC, immediately following an injury settlement he received from his job on the NFL practice team of the New England Patriots.

In an extensive interview with The Athletic, Jake Bequette discussed leaving the NFL practice squad to attend a law school identified as Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

During the entirety of his campaign, Jake Bequette does not appear to have mentioned that he moved to the nation's capital before he joined the military. In fact, Jake Bequette has claimed he is an "outsider" and has preached against the dangers of the "swamp" - which he calls Washington, DC. 

During the Obama administration, choosing to move to Washington, DC to attend what many would describe as the "swampiest" law school in America is against the grain of the outsider image Bequette has tried to create. 

Presumably, Bequette already has numerous friends in the "swamp." And, if elected, Arkansas would actually be sending Bequette back to Washington to return to his already formed elite social circle and golfing pals. 

Who is checking candidate biographies?


Texarkana News spoke with Georgetown's Office of the University Registrar this morning (March 21, 2022). The office in Washington, DC, declined to confirm that Jake Bequette had been a student there and/or his dates of attendance. A spokesperson said a student must agree before any information is released.

Tom Cottone (not to be confused with U.S. Senator Tom Cotton), who was with the FBI and has worked on issues of stolen valor and falsehoods in military records, once said his experience made him conclude: 'If a person was lying about his service, he was often lying about more substantial things, too."

Cottone's statement underscores that a more thorough examination of Jake Bequette's record is necessary, especially from 2015 to 2017. But, more importantly, it appears that neither Jake Bequette nor Bequette for Arkansas (his Senate campaign committee) has apologized or even acknowledged the "stolen valor" allegation or the provably false lie about his military service that appeared on Bequette's website.

Failing to address an issue of this magnitude for months is a mistake that Bequette and his campaign may regret.

Stay tuned for more information on this breaking news topic. We attempted to contact Jake Bequette. No phone number is listed on the website. We called the Arkansas Republican Party office, which said it had no phone number for the campaign. Click below to submit corrections or additional information for this article. Click here

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