“Throughout the campaign, DeVore has emphasized his service as a military officer and a young Reagan White House appointee at the Pentagon as experiences that helped make him the most qualified candidate,” the Times writes. “But at times he appears to have overstated those accomplishments.”
Three main points of controversy here.
He recalls the Israeli troops taunting the Syrians, who fired shots in response. But Zelnick said they were out of range and that Israeli journalists present had publicly teased him for reacting to the gunshots. “Nothing I saw or experienced could reasonably be interpreted as our having been driven off the hill by Syrian fire,” he said.
In response, DeVore has posted the audio tape he recorded of the incident, as well as the transcript, on his website. There are gun shots fired, and DeVore can be heard remarking that the gunmen could take off his head at the range they were at. This might have been the “teasing” Zelnick talked about:
As we were being escorted off the observation post, I [DeVore] asked the Israeli escort officer, “Did you ask him, do they usually test fire their weapons like that every day? It's just…”
He said, “They're not too happy about being photographed.”
“…it's just their way of displaying their displeasure with us?”
Israeli officer, “I mean they don't see you… don't take it personally, OK?”
“Yea, I know.”
Israeli officer laughs.
Third point: DeVore has said that while serving in Ronald Reagan's administration, he pitched U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter on the idea of asking congress to support an Israeli missile defense system, an idea that was successfully put into action. But Hunter, speaking to the Times, doesn't credit DeVore with the idea.