New information uncovered by Nitpicker blogger Terry Welch is causing further, and very serious, headaches for Mark Kirk. The Chicago Sun-Times picks up the story:
In yet another embarrassing revelation for GOP Senate candidate Mark Kirk, a document from the Department of Defense has surfaced showing military officials expressed “concerns arising from his partisan political activities during his last two tours of active duty.”
Kirk, a commander in the U.S. Navy reserves, needed a “waiver” to become — in his words — the first congressman to be deployed to an “imminent danger” area since World War II when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 and again last year.
Because of the officials’ concerns about his previous “partisan political activities,” they required him to write out an “acknowledgement of limitations required for all candidates on active duty,” which he did. The waiver was granted.
Partisan political activities conducted while on active duty is a violation of military regulations, punishable by up to two years of confinement and dishonorable discharge from the military. While the activities Kirk was cited for in the document Nitpicker obtained aren't specified, they are probably a handful of tweets made from the Kirk campaign. Kirk says that it was his staff who posted those "pre-approved" tweets, which apparently made little difference to the Pentagon.
Kirk is on the defensive, attacking whoever leaked the document (Nitpicker says it was a source inside the Kirk campaign) and in a surprising and politically questionable move, attacking the Pentagon, saying that a politically motivated Obama administration somehow tampered with the document. From the Sun Times story:
The Kirk campaign issued a statement Wednesday night asserting that Kirk never violated any Defense Department rules, and vowing to find out what “political operatives” gained access to his “confidential records.” ...
Kirk’s statement said the Obama administration changed the original language of the waiver, inserting concerns about his “partisan political activities.”
“Going forward, we will be submitting a Freedom of Information Act request for all correspondence between Administration officials and Democratic campaigns or political operatives regarding Mr. Kirk's personal military records. We will not stand by and allow partisan attacks invalidate two decades of military service, both here and overseas.”
That's a rather loaded accusation, one that the DOD will likely not be to thrilled about. The document also raises yet another question about Kirk's statements about his service:
The document that surfaced Wednesday also raises issues about whether Kirk is being accurate when he says he was deployed to an “imminent danger area.” Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Gail McGinn wrote that as a congressman, Kirk was ineligible to deploy to such an area. McGinn has since retired.
Kirk has taken what is clearly an honorable and exemplary service to his nation, and besmirched it by trying to exploit it for political gain. Repeatedly and in a vast number of ways: awards, commands, engagements. He's created a parallel, fantasy account of his service, for political gain. And he got caught, at least once that we know of, by the DOD for doing it. Given the level that the Kirk story has reached, maybe the traditional media's will finally get over its fetish for false equivalencies and we'll stop hearing "Blumenthal" every time there's a new story about Mark Kirk.
Comments are closed on this story.