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Kirk campaign acknowledges another misrepresentation of military service

Mark Kirk's Senate campaign has now acknowledged a second misrepresentation of his service record, admitting to me that his Web site falsely claimed that he was "the only member of Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

This latest admission comes after Kirk, an Illinois Congressman, recently admitted that his official bio had falsely claimed he'd been named U.S. Navy's Intelligence Officer of the Year award for his service during NATO'S war with Serbia in the 1990s.

Talking Points Memo yesterday alleged that Kirk has a pattern of misleading about his record, digging up an old version of Kirk's official House Web site which stated:

Congressman Kirk is a Naval Reserve intelligence officer who served during conflicts with Iraq, Haiti, and Bosnia. He served four tours at sea and three in Panama. The U.S. Navy named Kirk 'Intelligence Officer of the Year' in 1999 for his combat service in Kosovo. Kirk flew on missions over Iraq and continues to serve one weekend a month in the Pentagon. He is the only member of Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was an air crewman over Iraq during Operation Northern Watch.

Kirk actually served stateside in the Navy reserves during the Iraq War. The Kirk campaign, which had previously refused to publicly acknowledge the misrepresentation or respond to repeated requests about it, sent me a statement this morning admitting they corrected the false claim:

Kirk's 2005 campaign Web site noted this correctly. Unfortunately, the official Web site listed the word "in" instead of "during" but was corrected in 2005.

The use of "in" rather than "during" is precisely what Richard Blumenthal claimed as his excuse for misrepresenting his own record, though Blumenthal seems to have misled a bit more frequently.

While the Kirk campaign is claiming to have corrected the falsehood five years ago, it's likely to become an issue in the Senate race. Dems will argue it fits into a larger pattern that includes two more recent misstatements by Kirk: A campaign ad that repeated the false claim about the award, and Kirk's claim that his staff discovered and fixed that falsehood when in fact the Navy tipped him off to it.

What's more, the falsehood about Kirk serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom was echoed in the media, with no signs it was ever corrected.

The Washington Times printed a 2004 Op ed by Kirk and two others hammering Dems for questioning Bush, describing Kirk in a note as "the only member of Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

Though there's no evidence Kirk knowingly allowed this falsehood to stand, this, again, is precisely what Blumenthal was pilloried for. And Kirk didn't correct the record during a 2003 interview when Joe Scarborough described him as a man who "served Americans overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

The Kirk campaign declined to say whether he'd apologize for any of the misrepresentations, as Blumenthal was forced to do.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 2, 2010; 11:01 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Next: Obama doubles down on gov't as force for good

Comments

IOKIYAR.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 2, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

If the liberals will sacrifice Blumenthal, the conservatives will give you Kirk. My bet is that Blumenthal wins and that Kirk loses - proving a double standard?

Posted by: sbj3 | June 2, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Kirk loses because he's a lousy candidate with no ideas in a state that doesn't vote GOP unless it absolutely has to.

Blumenthal wins because putting someone with WWF skills into the Senate is too far a stretch even for CT.

It's the candidates, stupid.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 2, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"Putting someone with WWF skills into the Senate is too far a stretch even for CT."

But makes you a governor in Minnesota!

Posted by: sbj3 | June 2, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Maddow had a good piece last night on the Kirk lies and his half-arsed attempts at coverup.

Feels like Alexi is keeping his powder dry until the election gets closer. Almost no press about him and not much, if any, advertising that I've seen here.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 2, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

OT:

For those who didn't see, Charlie Crist buddy and former Chair of the Republican Party of Florida was just arrested in his home today. He had been indicted and under investigation, but they picked him up today. More news developing...

Full story here:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/article1099424.ece

and here:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/former_fl_gop_chair_arrested.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 2, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

True, MN doesn't have a governor on their reach for crazy politicians.

Thank God Mr. T isn't from up there.

I'd pity the fool who'd run against him.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 2, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin served on The Russian Front, during World War Three.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 2, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

why don`t you put these stories on the crime page,as a veteran i am tired of these people put on the politicians page,although there are a lot of politicos that do belong on the crime page.we have a couple who are representing new jersey.we have to take our government back.

Posted by: SISSD1 | June 2, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

OT:

"Never one to follow the crowd, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has decided against filing an amicus brief in a case before the Supreme Court involving the controversial Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). Cuccinelli is one of only two State Attorneys General in the entire country who have declined the opportunity to support Albert Snyder. Snyder sued WBC after the hate group protested at his son's funeral. Snyder's son was killed serving in Iraq. "

http://www.bluevirginia.us/diary/762/cooch-assaults-free-speech-at-uva-leaps-to-westboro-baptist-churchs-defense

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 2, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Blumenthal was slammed for claiming in a speech that he served in Vietnam, which, unfortunately for him, was caught on video.

So there is quite a large difference between Kirk and Blumenthal but I understand that would run against the narrative du jour.

Posted by: billcrews | June 2, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

billcrews wrote:

"Actually, Blumenthal was slammed for claiming in a speech that he served in Vietnam, which, unfortunately for him, was caught on video.

So there is quite a large difference between Kirk and Blumenthal but I understand that would run against the narrative du jour."

*****

Uh, billcrews, can you humour me and point out the large difference again?

Posted by: chert | June 2, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

billcrews, Kirk did exactly the same thing.

What's the difference?

You can respond in French or English.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 2, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Lets see how Orrin Hatch handles this one; with the new law he proposed after the Blumenthal news hit the fan.

He'll say it was just a mistake in 5-4-3-2-1.

Posted by: lapdogs | June 2, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@sbj

The double standard here is by you, somehow deluding yourself into believing these two situations are equal.

Ok, you're not deluding yourself...you're simply being disingenuous.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 2, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

IOKIYAR

That stands for "It's okay if you're a Republican" and applies to just about any nasty crack made against a Democrat but excused and played down if the same is true of a Republican.

For further details please consult Senator Hatch's office re Blumenthal and Kirk's utterly different misdeeds and errors on this front. Not.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | June 2, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@BBQ: "The double standard here is by you, somehow deluding yourself into believing these two situations are equal."

Are you saying that what Blumenthal did was that much worse? I don't really think so...

Posted by: sbj3 | June 2, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

OT, on Greer:

Former Florida GOP chair Jim Greer is charged with six felony counts of fraud, theft, and money laundering in connection with a company he allegedly created to take a cut of the state party's fundraising revenues, Florida authorities announced this morning.


The company at the center of the charges is Victory Strategies, created by Greer and Florida GOP Executive Director Delmar Johnson -- and awarded a GOP contract while Greer himself was at the helm of the party. The state party said in March that an audit showed the company took 10% of money raised by the GOP, and that Greer and Johnson had personally pocketed $200,000 from the arrangement.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/greer_charged_with_fraud_grand_theft_over_shell_fu.php

He was Crist's hand-picked head of the party down there in Florida.

What does this say about Charlie Crist?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 2, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Why is having war experience considered such a great asset, by the voters, or is it?


Are the American People always voting from a siege mentality perspective. The way so many politicians feel the need to embelish, or completely lie, about having engaged in combat, tends to suggest that their polling tells them, it works.

Is America not really a confident super power, but instead a nation of bedwetters, who are afraid of their own shadows, and are always looking for some big bad daddy to protect them?

Posted by: Liam-still | June 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Orrin? Anyone home? Orrin...Where are you?

So, Republican Mark Kirk wasn't the only Congressman to serve in Iraqi Freedom after all?

And Republican Congressional candidate, Adam Kinziger is not currently serving as a pilot in the Air Force Special Operations Command?

And Republican Senate candidate Chuck Devore was not shot at in Lebanon while serving as an Army Reservist?

Orrin call home - just want to discuss your Stolen Valor Act - so far, it's lookink like Republicans 3/Democrats 1. Do you agree?

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38034.html#ixzz0piOvapcJ


Posted by: TruthFairy | June 2, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

All, this is encouraging: Obama's speech today will double down on government as a force for good:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/obama_doubles_down_on_govt_as.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 2, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Liam:

"Why is having war experience considered such a great asset, by the voters, or is it?"

Probably because it is evidence of a personal and passionate committment to the well-being of the nation. Most people greatly respect those who have placed their very lives on the line in defense of their nation.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Kirk will get a pass from the Chicago press.
They have decided that he is a moderate, despite his voting record.
When Kirk claimed to have told China to sell its US treasury bonds, it was news in Washington, in asia, but not in Chicago.
He claimed, as a navy-intelligence officer, to have secret information confirming Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.
None of that maters in the Chicago press. They like the guy, like his lies.

Posted by: F_L_Palmer | June 2, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

""Actually, Blumenthal was slammed for claiming in a speech that he served in Vietnam, which, unfortunately for him, was caught on video.

So there is quite a large difference between Kirk and Blumenthal but I understand that would run against the narrative du jour."

*****

Uh, billcrews, can you humour me and point out the large difference again?

Posted by: chert | June 2, 2010 11:54 AM"

I'm not the original poster, but I'll tell you the difference. Blumenthal, after reporting his experience correctly many times, made ONE speech in which he reported it incorrectly.

Kirk maintained a web page for years which included several incorrect statements. Some of them were awfully hard to see as mistakes.

Posted by: F_L_Palmer | June 2, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

There is not a meaningful difference between Blumenthal's comments and Kirk's conduct. If anything, what Kirk did was more deceptive because he ran a website for a number of years indicating that he was a member of the military who served during the Iraq War. Blumenthal merely wanted people to think that he had military credentials by saying things like he served during the Vietnam era (and, at times, by saying that he served in Vietnam).

On balance, what both guys did was foolish and deceptive. I suppose I would say that what Kirk did was worse, again, because of his ongoing false disclosure. It's different than a speech slip-up.

Posted by: teoandchive1 | June 2, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Liam:

"Why is having war experience considered such a great asset, by the voters, or is it?"

Probably because it is evidence of a personal and passionate committment to the well-being of the nation. Most people greatly respect those who have placed their very lives on the line in defense of their nation.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse"

Err, right. Just ask all those patriots in Georgia who voted for the draft-dodging scumbag Saxby Chambliss instead of war hero Max Cleland. Surely you jest.

It means nothing to most voters -- except when someone lies about it.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 2, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm absolutely amazed -- there are those who expect honor among politicians.

Posted by: johne37179 | June 2, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Republicans just want you to wear a flag pin. They don't really care about service, they voted for the ex-drunk frat boy, AWOL Guardsman, Bush. Cheney? Rumsfeld? They had more important things to do during the Vietnam War. But, as long as you wear the pin and wrap yourself in The Flag, that's OK with them. Oh wait, there's that Jesus thing too! They like that.

As Samuel Johnson once said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel".

Posted by: thebobbob | June 2, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If you really want to read an unbiased
account of how the "liberal" press (under whose auspices Greg now operates)has
treated the Kirk matter vs. the grossly overheated stories about Blumenthal, go read Bob Somerby at DAILYHOWLER.com.

Posted by: rosieO | June 2, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Lynn Sweet's article today states clearly that Mark Kirk flew missions over Iraq. Here is the actual article quote. So what is the truth here?

KIRK'S CONFLICT RECORD

On the campaign trail and through his career in Congress, Kirk often boasts about his duty in conflict zones, which raises the question of where he served and for how long. The Kirk campaign gave the Sun-Times some details on Tuesday.

Iraq: Kirk, in an electronic intelligence squadron, "flew missions
patrolling Iraqi airspace during March and April 2000," when the U.S. was
enforcing a no-fly zone.

Afghanistan: Kirk served reserve duty in Kandahar from Dec. 15, 2008, through Jan. 2, 2009. He returned a second time between Dec. 19, 2009, and Jan. 4, 2010.

Posted by: LAB2 | June 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL The now-famous Arizona Gov. Brewer has long claimed that her father "died fighting Hitler."

Um, no. Not even close.

http://www.arizonaguardian.com/azg/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2101:brewer&catid=937:campaigns-a-elections-fp

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 2, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Kirk also comandeered USS Enterprise in Star Trek.

In one stint, he time travelled at 1.25 Warp Speed and participated in the Civil War.

Posted by: kishorgala | June 2, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Kirk just lied about his lie.

http://bit.ly/dwMqdZ

Posted by: nitpicker | June 2, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

There's a bigger story here. In my experience, people are either liars, or not. If they will lie about one thing, they will lie about lots of things.

The only reason the military service lies can even be reported is because the facts can be verified. How many other lies have gone undetected? With these liars, probably quite a few.

Though I am amused and terrified by the latest twist, with the Arizona's governor representative claiming, why *of course* she didn't mean that her father died fighting Hitler when she said that her father died fighting Hitler. An Orwellian twist on blaming the media.

Posted by: pilgrim1629 | June 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

This just goes to prove my point that I have been trying to make for a very long time…politicians are liars! From the President down to local city government. As long we as a people accept this, we will continue to get that caliber of individual representing us. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but I am tired of choosing the lesser of two evils. The first step towards fixing this problem…which seems to be at the root of all the other issues we have, is to add a third option at the ballot box: “Neither”.

Posted by: 17Wolf359 | June 2, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The same people who continue to use the derogatory term "teabaggers" about people in the tea party that may or may not have a majority of gay people in there ranks are voting in favor of health insurance for same sex couples? I don't understand when did Dems stop hating gay people? Whats next are they going to start calling Obama a N***ger to his face!

Posted by: milestones1 | June 2, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

The difference is that Blumenthal misspoke in order to stop a war. Kirk lied to make an argument for prolonging a war.

Posted by: gpsbus | June 2, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse


Maybe in Conn. you can be hailed a hero and be elected for falsifying your Military Record. But your not going to win votes from former or current military voters.
Any liar of his military sevice is not honorable or mentaly fit to be elected to any office.
Well maybe if your from Mass. they're in a world of their own.

Posted by: jhnjdy | June 2, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Poor imbecilic Hannity; poor shrieking lungs Levine; poor fat basstard Limbaugh: what goes around comes around. Have at him, boys. Remind us how GOP lies and sexcapades are different from Democrat ones. Kirk to flight deck; beam me up.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | June 2, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

make excuses for lies and cheats, seems like the government is full of them, republican, democrats who cares when they are doing the same cr$ap. you need to stop worrying about who you voted for, and worry about will i be able to take care of business. like they say because when it hits the fan the government will not be there to help, they will be taking care of theirs.

Posted by: getsix1 | June 2, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr Sargent either you lack the ability to tell the difference between intentional lies
coming from the mouth of a candidate and the semantics you are using to try and damage Mr Kirks reputation. Mr Kirks Unit DID recieve that award you claim he is lying about so to claim he's a liar is disingenuous and he did serve in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and to hit him with the liar tag over a website produced by his staff that said he served in OIF instead of served in support of OIF is cheap and possibly a lie in its own right if I judge you by your own rules. BTW once the typo was found out, in 2005, it was immediately fixed and Kirk didn't spend five years mouthing an outright intentional lie.
I can't even remember the last time I can say I know a journalist who's honorable and professional and the least bit unbiased.

Posted by: Michael_Dugas | June 2, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

In other news.....

The Republicans have one eye towards winning the Senate back in the Fall elections...

and the other eye looking for a flying pig......

Posted by: kishorgala | June 2, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"In other news..... The Republicans have one eye towards winning the Senate back in the Fall elections... and the other eye looking for a flying pig...... Posted by: kishorgala"

Depending on time of year and quantity of foreign beers consumed, (there being no true remnant of the local beers hereabouts anymore) you can find four of the at sawyer point on the Riverfront, or scatterred all over Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, (one hides at Jacob best Book Sellers in Rookwood Center) But Rob Portman is still mostly trying to find someone to take the Bush Albatross off his shoulders, and so will remain just another Republican Wannabee in November.

Posted by: ceflynline | June 2, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

does Hatch want to put him in jail, too? or is law only for Democrats?

Posted by: merlallen1 | June 2, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

billcrews, Kirk did exactly the same thing.

What's the difference?

You can respond in French or English.

Posted by: BGinCHI

=================================

well, Blumethal made his mistake during a speech, where such mistakes are much more common

kirk lied in oral statements AND written documents

Blumethal made his mistake once

kirk made his mistake repeatedly, over a period of years

kirk also claimed credit for naval awards he never received, and for service in operations he never served in

so who's the liar here

Posted by: nada85484 | June 2, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr Kirks Unit DID recieve that award you claim he is lying about so to claim he's a liar is disingenuous

Posted by: Michael_Dugas

no DOOFUS

kirk's unit DID NOT recieve a NAVAL award

kirk's unit won some PHONY award, given by some jock sniffing apple polishing lobbyist outfit

the US Nave DOES NOT ISSUE AWARDS TO INTELLIGENCE UNITS

the award lirk claimed to have been awarded is awarded to A SINGLE INDIVIDULE, and it WASN'T this liar kirk

can you understand that doofus, I mean goober, or uhm, what was your name

I'll just call you teabagger terrorist

ignorant and proud

the very worst of America

Posted by: nada85484 | June 2, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Rangel is a tax cheat, yet he has not been kicked out of Congress, nor has he been criminally charged. Similarly Maxine Waters used her influence to aid a business her family had an interest in.

There are at least 12 other Democratic Congressman who have violated the law, yet the press, the Democrats, and the Justice Department are ignoring.

Republicans have plenty of crooks, yet the press seems to focus only on them.

Posted by: grantpaten | June 2, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Rangel is a tax cheat, yet he has not been kicked out of Congress, nor has he been criminally charged. Similarly Maxine Waters used her influence to aid a business her family had an interest in.

There are at least 12 other Democratic Congressman who have violated the law, yet the press, the Democrats, and the Justice Department are ignoring.

Republicans have plenty of crooks, yet the press seems to focus only on them.

Posted by: grantpaten | June 2, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Giannoulias, the failed banker, will win this race easily. He's a congenial candidate, and he's successfully managed to blame Bush for his bank's failure, and now has Kirk on the ropes. Blumenthal and Giannoulias FTW.

Posted by: KPOM1 | June 3, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

These comments crack me up. Everyone is so busy trying to justify the behavior of THEIR party while demonizing the other party that they fail to see what a bunch of corrupt liars BOTH partys are. Yet we continue to elect them . Maybe we should start pointing the blame finger at ourselves.

Posted by: storms48 | June 4, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If a lowly federal employee were to have lied about his/her military record, they would be immediately fired. Since when did we give Congresspeople the right to be above the laws they create and enforce on other people?

Posted by: marcatine | June 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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