By Erick Erickson
But Chris Kyle’s DD214 form from the Navy, which compiles all his awards and commendations, shows Kyle actually received six, not five, Bronze Stars with Valor, in addition to the two Silver Stars.
Well, that should be the story. But the left, in its ongoing war to discredit any American hero it cannot otherwise declare gay or transgendered, has decided to attack Chris Kyle in order to attack the SEALS as a whole.
The Intercept, a leftwing publication with the subtle aim of discrediting and portraying the United States and its heroes as elements of a rogue and hostile regime, claims that Chris Kyle lied about his awards and commendations. Why? Well they filed a FOIA and
During his 10 years of military service and four deployments, Kyle earned one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars with Valor, a record confirmed by Navy officials.
That is a discrepancy given that Kyle said he got more than that. Never mind Chris Kyle’s DD214, which shows Kyle received more than even he claimed. No, we are supposed to trust the FOIA that the Intercept received.
But there is a problem there too.
If you read the Department of the Navy’s response to the FOIA, you see this language in the second paragraph: “A releasable copy of available responsive award citations is enclosed.”
So it is possible that they cannot find the records to reflect the DD214 certificate. Heck, I have a friend who served in the Army, has all his paperwork to prove it along with eyewitnesses, and the Army has no “available” record of his service.
Of course the Intercept has anonymous sources who claim Chris Kyle was warned about lying about his record. The larger point on Chris Kyle though is that the Intercept’s attack on Chris Kyle is not about him. Here’s a relevant paragraph in their story.
The discrepancy raises new questions about Kyle’s credibility and **highlights a continuing controversy in the SEAL community over members exaggerating or distorting their war records****. In one high-profile controversy, two members of SEAL Team 6 engaged in a public dispute over who deserved credit for the fatal shots that killed Osama bin Laden.
That’s what this is about. The Intercept wants to attack the credibility and integrity of the SEALs in general and since they can’t claim Chris Kyle was gay, as the left loves to do with historic figures, they have to destroy his credibility.
What is most telling is that all the people willing to attack Chris Kyle’s credibility refuse to go on the record.
The former SEAL officer who attended Kyle’s Silver Star ceremony said it was a poorly kept secret in the naval special operations community that Kyle embellished his record. “The SEAL leadership was aware of the embellishment, but didn’t want to correct the record because Kyle’s celebrity status reflected well on the command.”
That’s a pretty telling quote in and of itself. Years after Kyle left the service and years after his death finally and only now are people willing to come forward anonymously to claim everyone knew all along and never said anything through all these years. It is amazing how well members of the military can keep secrets for so long.
Or, we could just believe the DD214 is accurate, it comports more to what Chris Kyle wrote, and the Navy’s own response to the FOIA request notes it is only providing the available documentation. Most any member of the military will tell you lost paperwork is a pretty common experience.
Said one Naval officer to me who I will keep anonymous in the spirit of the Intercept’s own story, “The DD214 is not perfect, but trusting the military to provide all documents is like trusting in the tooth fairy to be real. I would rely on the DD214 more than on the information gathered half-heartedly for a Freedom of Information Act request.”