Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 15, 2010

KIRK'S PROBLEMS GET A LITTLE WORSE.... Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk ran into trouble recently when a variety of claims about his military service -- in speeches, in correspondence, and in written materials -- were proven to be untrue. Making matters worse for the Illinois Republican, the story isn't quite done yet.

As of about a week ago, I think the list was up to eight separate incidents: Kirk (1) falsely claimed he served "in" Operation Iraqi Freedom; (2) falsely claimed to "command the war room in the Pentagon"; (3) falsely claimed to have won the U.S. Navy's Intelligence Officer of the Year award; (4) falsely claimed to have been shot at by the Iraqi Air Defense network; (5) falsely claimed to be a veteran of Desert Storm; (6) falsely claimed to be the only lawmaker to serve during Operation Iraqi Freedom; (7) falsely claimed to have been shot at in Kosovo; and (8) falsely claimed to have been shot at in Kandahar.

This week, we have a new one for the list.

When Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk says he repeatedly deployed to Afghanistan with the Navy, he's referring to two-week training missions as part of his annual reservist requirements.

After acknowledging a series of misstatements that embellished his Navy service, Kirk is being challenged over his use of the military term "deployment," and this could be yet another opportunity for critics to parse his words in what has recently become a resume-bashing battle with Democratic Senate opponent Alexi Giannoulias.

Deployment can mean more than one thing in the military, but it is often used to describe service members going off to war for an extended time.

Navy Cmdr. Danny Hernandez said there is a difference between annual training and being deployed, which can sometimes last more than a year.

"I would think that would be (considered) two weeks of annual training," Hernandez, a Navy spokesman, said of Kirk's stints. "A deployment is a deployment and annual training is annual training."

The official response from the Kirk campaign is that the candidate's definition of "deploy" is different from that of the U.S. military. As political spinning goes, this needs some work.

Making matters slightly worse, the Pentagon said this week that Kirk "twice violated military policy by participating in political activities while on active duty -- once in 2008 and once in 2009."

Remember when Mark Kirk's selling point as a candidate was his military service?

For more on all of these controversies, Nitpicker is the guy to rely on. Indeed, it's worth emphasizing that he's broken many of these Kirk-related incidents that were later picked up by major outlets.

Steve Benen 10:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Comments

Any ONE of these infractions would get a Dem politician run out of the race on a rail. Where the frig are the talking heads on this one, and more to the point, why are none of our guys bashing this clown in public daily?

Posted by: BillFromPA on June 15, 2010 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, where's Orrin's proposed law?

/crickets

Posted by: Former Dan on June 15, 2010 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

My name is Mark Kirk. When I was battling the forces of evil during Operation Get Sadaam, I got two confirmed kills.

That's right, everybody in my training unit confirmed that I stepped on a cockroach and smashed a mosquito.

Now, I know the military has a different definition but, so what.

Posted by: Winkandanod on June 15, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Onion: "Candidate May Have Lied About Heroic Death In Vietnam"

Posted by: Shade Tail on June 15, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

With a record like this, you'd think he would be running for Illinois Governor

Posted by: Jamie on June 15, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

TWT's (two week trainings) and deployments are terms and duties that are not possible to confuse with each other. Asante

Posted by: Mawazo on June 15, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

I thought, for certain, I was going to read Mark Kirk's name as the protagonist in this article of derring-do.

Posted by: Bill on June 15, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Since Mark Kirk is apparently such a military hero, he should fly down to the Gulf, cap the oil leak, capture the leaked oil, sell it, and restore the coastal economy.


Posted by: Gaia on June 15, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

I find it peculiar that someone with such an outstanding military record as Kirk claims to have had still hasn't learnt the meaning of the word "deploy".

Posted by: exlibra on June 15, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

The only question that I would have is did his training/deployment in Afghanistan even take place in Afghanistan? It would seem odd that the US sends people to Afghanistan for just two weeks, if it is just for training. I have never heard of that before.

Posted by: ashton on June 15, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I read he also claims to have won a sword fight with Errol Flynn. No mean feat when you consider Flynn never lost one, and has been dean for over forty years. What courage.

Flynn could not be reached for comment.

Nauseating on so, so many levels...

Posted by: stevio on June 15, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Make that "dead" not "dean". As far as I know Flynn was never in college...

Posted by: stevio on June 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

He would be in real trouble if only his candidate didn't have a history of lending money to the Mob while loan officer at the family bank . . .

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on June 15, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

That was supposed to be his "opponent," not his "candidate." Sheeeeeesh . . . I think my fingers might have deployed there.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on June 15, 2010 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

he's history regardless of his opponent's own problems, "Lifelong Dem".

Posted by: whatever on June 15, 2010 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

"The official response from the Kirk campaign is that the candidate's definition of "deploy" is different from that of the U.S. military. As political spinning goes, this needs some work."

Sounds to me like his definition of "sane" is also different than the normal meaning.

Posted by: Winddancer on June 15, 2010 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile at Madigan Army Hospital at Ft Lewis, WA, combat veterans from the Oregon National Guard who have returned from being deployed in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been referred to as "Weekend Warriors" by high ranking medical officers who are trying to force them off regular Army pay and have them return to private care in Oregon. Those officers believe several members of the Guard are "gaming" the system in order to receive more money. In addition, there is the Specialist, who returned from a tour in the Middle East and developed severe problems where she was advised to take legal medical marijuana for her suffering. As she was, temporarily off regular duty, her Guard commander authorized her to do so. However, she was called back to Madigan and put on regular status in order to be released from full time service. There, she tested positive for the marijuana and has been threatened with a Courts-Martial and time in the stockade. This was by the same medical officer zealots at Madigan.

Kirk is the Weekend Warrior. The Oregon National Guard units are far from those days of the past.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 15, 2010 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Can't his opponent (Giannoulias) use the "shame" card. Aren't even Republicans ashamed to be voting for someone who falsely claims to have done so many heroic things when so many others have legitimately fought, suffered and many have died without recognition?

Oh, I momentarily forgot, we ARE talking about Republicans.

Posted by: Vandal on June 15, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Already read a few off your posts, but i think this is one off the best i read so far.

Posted by: internet bureau on December 28, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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