This L.A. Times piece is a wrenching and awful read. Basically, a pathological liar named Richard Strandlof impersonated a Marine veteran of Iraq, posing as "Rick Duncan" at antiwar rallies and veterans-support events. Guy takes up collections for care packages for troops in Iraq; no one knows whether the packages ever got mailed. But the piece doesn’t make it sound like he did it for the money — his pathology is the more likely explanation.

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he would describe himself after his unveiling as a schizophrenic, saying, "I sometimes believe things other people know not to be true."

A rule I try to follow is to not be offended on other people’s behalf, so I leave this to the veterans and broader military community. Still, nothing in his background or his illness excuses what he did, and anyone who worked in Colorado to end the war or aid returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan has been deeply betrayed. 

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman