A Republican senator is in some extremely hot water this morning after he made false claims about his military service that have now been exposed as a complete fabrication. The worst part is, this isn’t even the first time the senator has provided false claims of non-existent service to the country. CNN broke the story Wednesday stating that Mark Kirk (R-IL) falsely claimed he was “a veteran of the Iraq War,” yet Kirk never left the America during the Iraq War, and instead served in the Navy Reserve. CNN reported the following:
“Sen. Mark Kirk’s campaign falsely asserted on its website that the Illinois Republican was a veteran of the Iraq war, a misstatement that comes six years after exaggerations over his military record nearly cost him his state’s Senate seat.”
Kirk’s campaign staffers released a statement that blamed the stolen valor on the website administrator, and not on a lie that could easily be compared to the 2010 scandal that almost cost Kirk his senate seat. Now that Kirk is running for re-election, it’s really obvious why the same lie has resurfaced. Kirk is running against a real-life veteran who paid greatly in her actual service to the country. Democrat Tammy Duckworth is “the first disabled woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first member of Congress born in Thailand.” She lost both of her legs during her service as a helicopter pilot. After her injuries, she continued as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard. The excuses continued from Kirk’s campaign, as one person after another was blamed for the “inaccurate” words that were meant to be changed before they were made public. After CNN inquired about the stolen valor, the website was made private, with access only granted to those who have the password. CNN continued:
“Campaign officials said a third-party vendor had drafted the language that they said had not been vetted or reviewed by the senator’s staff. The language, they acknowledged, was inaccurate, saying it would be changed when the campaign began a more direct push to court military veterans.
Kirk’s campaign manager, Kevin Artl, took the high road and attempted to shift the attention to the actual veteran who sacrificed greatly for her country, and continued to push forward without access to her legs. Artl said this about the stolen valor:
“Rather than focus on draft web copy that has yet to go through an approval process, we would welcome the media’s attention on the six military veterans who died waiting for care during Tammy Duckworth’s time at the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.”
In 2010, Kirk himself made claims that he was an Iraq veteran and was even named the Navy’s intelligence officer of the year. Both claims were later scrutinized and Kirk was called out for his extremely disrespectful lie. In standard Republican fashion, Kirk backpedaled, saying that he never said he served “in” the war, but that he served “during” the war. In fact, the award he received from the Navy was completely different, and everyone in his unit received one. Kirk apologized publicly for his pathetic attempt to appear less cowardly, including lies about being shot at while flying missions over Iraq, and a lie about being a “veteran of Operation Desert Storm” in the 1990’s. Kirk cannot be trusted to tell the truth. He is not a true patriot. He is a selfish squanderer of stolen valor who takes credit for brave acts that he himself never committed. All this while bashing Duckworth, the true senate patriot.