Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Fact check: Idaho candidate claims challenger faked serving in the military, but claim is unfounded

Here’s an article from the Associated Press:

By Kimberlee Kruesi

In a recent debate for Idaho's lieutenant governor, Republican Sen. Marv Hagedorn accused one of his top opponents of faking military service.

The three-term state senator on Tuesday said former Idaho Republican Party Chairman Steve Yates was "pretending" to have a military background in order to woo voters in an already crowded field for the No. 2 statewide position.

Yates says he has never claimed to be in the military, and Hagedorn's campaign couldn't point to any fliers or events where Yates said he was in the military. Yates was a civilian intelligence analyst with the National Security Agency.

Here's a closer look at the claims made by the candidates. The six-way GOP primary is May 15.

HAGEDORN: "There's some that are pretending that they've served in the Department of Defense. Sorry. Some of us take offense to that."

YATES: "I never claimed to be in the military. Ever."

THE FACTS: Hagedorn, a 20-year naval veteran who has campaigned largely on his military background, was directing his comments at Yates, who was standing next to him during Tuesday's hour-long debate.

Yates worked as an international affairs analyst for the National Security Agency between 1991 and 1996. He eventually became an aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney during President George W. Bush's administration.

Hagedorn says Yates is trying to confuse voters into believing he was in the military, for example by calling himself a former "intelligence officer."

Hagedorn worked as a military intelligence officer for the Navy. Yates was an analyst at the National Security Agency, a U.S. defense agency that is one of the 17 organizations in the National Intelligence Community, reporting to the director of national intelligence.

"I have never claimed to be anything other than what I was, which was an intelligence officer at the Department of Defense and senior official at the White House," Yates said in a statement.


HAGEDORN: "You were hired on as an intelligence analyst at NSA, which I truly appreciate ... but NSA is under the Department of Homeland Security."

THE FACTS: NSA is not under the Department of Homeland Security. According to the NSA's website, the intelligence agency is under the Department of Defense and is considered a defense agency.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: