Excuse me, there's a clerical error in my mouth
But there's video of Kirk using the award as a claim to special authority in a hearing.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” - Albert Einstein
Rep. Mark Kirk, a Navy reservist who was elected to Congress in 2001, acknowledged the error in his official biography after The Washington Post began looking into whether he had received the prestigious award, which is given by top Navy officials to a single individual annually.That's a good start, but readers of this blog know there's more to look into:
In a message on his blog, Kirk wrote that "upon a recent review of my records, I found that an award listed in my official biography was misidentified" and that the award he had intended to list was given to his unit, not to him individually.
Kirk was assigned to a unit based in Aviano, Italy, during the conflict. A professional group, the National Military Intelligence Association, gave the unit an award for outstanding service, according to a revised résumé posted on Kirk's Web site Saturday.
The association's Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Award celebrates "the exceptional achievements of an outstanding Naval Intelligence career professional," but the citation in 2000 contains no mention of Kirk and instead designates the entire Intelligence Division Electronic Attack Wing at Aviano.
Kirk, whose campaign has emphasized his military service as a reservist, similarly misstated the award during a House committee hearing in March 2002. In a remark recorded by C-Span, he said, "I was the Navy's Intelligence Officer of the Year," an achievement he depicted as providing special qualifications to discuss national security spending.
"I came up with a number of recommendations that I gave to Gen. McChrystal," said Kirk, referring to the commander of military forces in Afghanistan. "We have a tremendous amount of combat power."I find it odd that Gen. Stanley McChrystal--the four star general who had been in charge of the Afghanistan mission for six months by the time Kirk arrived for his second tour, would need the advice of an O-5 who'd been in the country for three weeks. So, what, exactly, did Kirk do in the country? Was he working as a Representative--which would explain his discussion with the general--or as a Navy commander, which wouldn't?
The Navy named Kirk “Intelligence Officer of the Year” in 1999 for his combat service in Kosovo.But the WaPo story says this about his Naval service record:
An official summary of Kirk's military service, released to The Post by the Navy last week, lists other awards and decorations, including two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals, a Joint Meritorious Unit Award, a Navy Unit Commendation, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and a National Defense Service medal.It's possible they left it out, but that list doesn't include a Navy Combat Action Ribbon, which Kirk should have earned if he'd had "combat service."
Kirk was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his Kosovo service in 1999.The phrase "combat service" is conspicuously absent.
I pursued the story because for a soldier or sailor there's no greater disgrace than wearing unearned valor awards. Combat ribbons -- awards for which so many brave warriors have bled -- are the ultimate status symbol to warriors. They bring a special recognition and respect.While Kirk isn't wearing unearned ribbons, he has time and time again claimed the unearned glory of a veteran of two wars and the exalted status of a combat veteran of another.
And with military leaders, from corporal to four-star rank, there's a larger issue: integrity. The very bedrock of any military organization is honor, doing the hard right over the easy wrong and standing tall in everything that's done.
Midshipmen at Annapolis, cadets at West Point, the Air Force Academy, all the ROTCs and other officer-producing schools in the land are taught the code, "I will not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate anyone who does."
These sacred rules don't only apply to cadets, NCOs or junior grade officers, but to every leader who wears the uniform, from cadet to general, midshipmen to admiral.
Upon a recent review of my records, I found that an award listed in my official biography was misidentified as “Intelligence Officer of the Year.” In fact, as noted in my Fitness Report, I was the “recipient of the Rufus Taylor Intelligence Unit of the Year award for outstanding support provided during Operation Allied Force.” It was one of the honors of my life to lead the Intelligence Division Electronic Attack Wing Aviano, Italy – and I am very proud of this award. My official biography will reflect this updated information.But here's what Kos found out.
The Washington Post is apparently hot on the trail of Kirk's military service claims, so expect to see a lot more on this story.Update: Here.
BECK: This is such a ridiculous — this is such a ridiculous thing that his daughter– (imitating Malia) Daddy?Of course, you have Republicans arguing that, somehow, it is the president's job to "plug the hole," including Republican Florida Senator George Lemieux, who thinks Obama should be on the ground running the actual operation.
GRAY: It’s so stupid.
BECK: How old is his daughter? Like, thirteen?
GRAY: Well, one of thems, I think, thirteen, one’s eleven, or something.
BECK: “Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?” Is that’s their — that’s the level of their education, that they’re coming to — they’re coming to daddy and saying ‘Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?’ ” Plug the hole!