June 1, 2010
The views are from (1) those who believe the Illinois Republican candidate for US 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 said 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.