Mark Kirk's military history: 3 views

Mark Kirk's military history: 3 views

The views are from (1) those who believe the Illinois Republican candidate for

Thumbnail image for kirk.jpg

U.S. Senate, Mark Kirk, has exaggerated his military record; (2) those who think that he is getting a bum rap, and (3) mine.

Here is a clarification
from Kirk himself about the honors he has received from his military service.

Here is an article saying that embellishing his military record is not something new for Kirk

My view: As I've said before, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who now is running for senator, is a low-life for falsely
he served "in" the Vietnam War, when he should have said he served "during" the Vietnam War. People who misrepresent their service to the country are snakes.

Kirk comes close to the fudging that difference, but doesn't go as far as Blumenthal. Kirk's main misdeed appears to be claim to have won an individual award, when it actually went to a unit.

Kirk, however, has done one important thing that has received virtually no media attention: He has posted his fitness reports on line  for all to see what kind of Naval officer he has been. Read them here. As a former Navy officer, I know that these evaluations can sometimes be brutally honest and destructive of an officer's career.

I read nothing like that in these reports. Among the glowing comments from his commanding officers:

  • "Personally recognized by numerous flag, air wing and squadron
    commanders for providing the most comprehensive, concise Balkan
    intelligence picture in EUCOM theater."
  • "Phenomenal performance as senior Navy Intel Officer deployed to Aviano [air base] Ital in support of Operation ALLIED FORCE. Would rank #1 of 20 if compared to all officers in this command."
  • "Head and shoulders aove any other Intelligence Officer I have ever met."
  • "Unmatched in knowlege of foreign capabilities."
  • "A true team leader."
  • "Definite command potential. A natural and charismatic leader. A superlative speaker and briefer. LCDR Kirk possesses the credentials and qualification to excel in any assignment. Confident and savvy." 
  • "Set the standard for tactical intelligence briefs..."
  • "Promote to [commander] now!"

Imagine that, someone who's actually competent running for Congress. Uh, can we say the same about Kirk's Democratic opponent in the Senate race, Alexi Giannoulias--the guy said he knew about banking because he was a big shot in his family's banking business and then, after his bank failed, said that he was just a lower level employee. Talk about embellishing your service record. Maybe Giannoulias should release his fitness reports too. Oh, that's right, Giannoulias didn't volunteer for the military, like Kirk.  


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  • Kirk, or his campaign more aptly, lied by saying the award came from the Navy. The award was sanctioned by the Navy, but not administered by the Navy itself, but an outside organization.

    I agree that Kirk's fudging comes close to Blumenthal, but Kirk did serve and his reports do seem to show that he served in a satisfactory and good way, so there should have been no need to exaggerate or lie, whichever he did.

  • Blumenthal and your beloved Mark Kirk both fudged on their campaign remarks to make them sound more heroic. So many politicians stretch the truth during the campaign. Kirk likes to make it appear that he is a squeaky clean Eagle Scout, but he will do whatever it takes just to get himself elected. He is no better, no worse, than Blumenthal and no better, no worse, than Ganoulious. Like other politiicans, Kirk has a massive ego and like other politicians will pander to voters. What is more compelling than to be a military hero?

  • Posted by Dennis Byrne for Mike Vallencourt:

    Part honest is like part pregnant, ya either iz or ya ain

  • A lie is a lie is a lie...whether you are a republican or a democrat. They both rewrote history for political gain. And what in the world does Mark Kirk posting his fitness report have to do with anything? Are fit liars less guilty?

  • In reply to designgirl:

    Honesty is one qualification--an important one--for elective office. If it were the only one, maybe Chicago and Illinois wouldn't be in such a shambles. I posted the fitness reports because it says something about his competence--another standard for judging a candidate. Take it or leave it.

  • In reply to designgirl:

    I can take this lier before I can take the other lier. I figured all you good libs liked good liers,there are so many to choose from. (What's the meaning of is,is)I don't think a bank went under because of his statement.

  • In reply to designgirl:

    The thing I figure is that Alexi lied about being a competent banker. So, I guess things are back to even. Except that Kirk says he is willing to clear the record. Alexi isn't buying his bank back from the FDIC.

    However, unless one is going to vote for the woman trolling the Niles Public Library saying that she is the write-in candidate, I guess the only maxim one can take to the bank (and that's probably now MB Financial) is that you can tell that a politician is lying when his lips are moving. Apparently, it is a universal characteristic. Also goes for Patti when she says her husband "is honest."

  • In reply to designgirl:

    A politician who inflates his military record probably made a conscious decision to do so. Military service is held in high regard now--in fact, for the past 30-some years since Ronald reagan restored patriotism as a virtue after it had gone into hiding post-Vietnam. Even so, serving in the military as a clerk-typist isn't very exciting, so the political striver may feel the necessity to invent a little combat experience for himself.

    Military service hasn't always been held in high regard. Read "From Here to Eternity" and have author James Jones--who was there--tell you how the peacetime Army was viewed between the World Wars. It was "Soldiers, Sailors and Dogs Keep Off the Grass" he writes. Pearl Harbor changed that. Come to think of it, 1941 was the last year we had a truly peacetime military.

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