O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive.
–Sir Walter Scott, poet, from Marmion
But my how we improve the score,
As we practice more and more!
–Mel, the cook on Alice
And the controversy around Jesse Lujan grows. Jeff Evans, yes – that Jeff Evans, contacted the PDN after yesterday’s story. He affirmed that Lujan regularly called into Evan’s radio show as “Dr. Jesse Lujan” in the early 80’s and “discussed his career as a ‘thoracic surgeon’ extensively.” Today’s article continues with an interview of Lujan’s childhood neighbor. She told the PDN Lujan told her he was a doctor in a partnership with two other physicians in California.
Of course I have no idea what the neighbor’s agenda might be, and as for Jeff Evans… Let’s just say he spent time in a federal prison on tax evasion, so take whatever he says with a grain of salt.
But it looks like Lujan puffed up his resume to impress the folks back home. It is a human urge to inflate our achievements and it happens all the time. Hell, I could go down to the strip bars in Tumon tonight and meet a dozen ‘med students’ jiggling their way across the stage and into med school. The problems arise when the lie is inevitably found out. Remember Admiral Jeremy Boorda who committed suicide in 1996 after it surfaced that he wore Vietnam combat decorations he never actually earned. It seemed like a rather minor point to civilians, but the shame of his exposure drove Boorda to take his own life just hours before an interview with Newsweek about the allegations.
At least Lujan didn’t go around announcing his discovery of cold fusion. But passing oneself off as a heart surgeon and thinking that would go undetected demonstrates either incredible hutzpah or dense stupidity. My money is on the latter. I’ve met Lujan a couple times, and he always struck me as a box of rocks. And let’s face it, it was a lot easier to pass this stuff off before the internet and Google turned everybody into an armchair Sam Spade.
I find this all fairly humorous; perhaps I just like seeing a Republican squirm after all that brouhaha during last year’s election about John Kerry and his supposedly ill-gotten Purple Hearts. I doubt it will lead to any repercussions in Lujan’s political career. After all, this is Guam: the land where a rapist can be elected governor, cover up a murder while in office, commit all sorts of graft and corruption with his cronies, and still get re-elected by a landslide. So Lujan will be able to dodge this dust up, especially since he’s part of a Republican super majority in the current legislature. And the ongoing chaos at the hospital will provide plenty of cover for him to hide behind until the dust settles about these allegations.