We have previously discussed stolen valor cases where police arrest people for pretending to be former decorated veterans and heroes. But what if the man is not only the police but the police chief? When Robert Kerkorian joined the Waukegan, Ill., police department 26 years ago, he said that he was a Navy Seal (a common claim for stolen valor cases). That may have remained his secret until he was promoted to chief and a little checking led to a big embarrassment. Kerkorian was in the Navy for only six months and never even made it to Seal training.
I have previously criticized these cases (here and here) as a threat to the first amendment. Such cases are deterred through social stigma and simple research, as it was here. Waukegan is a small suburb of Chicago and Kerkorian’s lie soon was uncovered.
In a June 29 letter to city officials, Kerkorian wrote:
“I served in my preindoctrination class prior to the start of [Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL] training until I was issued a general discharge under honorable conditions in February of 1987. My discharge was based on my principled refusal to discuss matters involving non-military family members that I deemed unrelated to my ability to serve our nation.” That may have been a problem with the clearance process.
Since he only spent 6 months in the Navy, it seems a bit understated to say “I could have done a better job informing those that I never completed SEAL training.” One officer says that Kerkorian spoke of a combat mission with the Seals.
Kerkorian will be demoted down to his previous rank of police commander.
The way this case unfolded is precisely why no law is needed. The man was disgraced and demoted. There is no need for a criminal law to add jail to such punishment.
Source: Business Insider
Kudos: Michael Blott
26 thoughts on “Stolen Valor: Illinois Police Chief Demoted Over False Claim Of Being A Seal”
I drop a leave a response when I especially enjoy a post on a website or I
have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion. Usually it is caused by
the passion displayed in the post I browsed. And on this post Stolen Valor: Illinois Police Chief Demoted Over False Claim Of
Being A Seal | JONATHAN TURLEY. I was actually moved
enough to drop a thought 😉 I actually do have a few
questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be just me
or does it look like like a few of these comments
come across as if they are left by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social sites, I would like to follow everything new you have to post.
Would you list every one of your shared sites like your twitter feed, Facebook
page or linkedin profile?
Would lieing to get MONEY from the VA the same stolen VALOR? What if I have lots of proof the discredit what this military person is saying can I turn them in.
There is definately a great deal to find out about this subject.
I really like all of the points you’ve made.
When I wrote “thousands of nights each year,” I did not mean that a year has more than 365 nights, but that multiple night raids each and every night all over the country in question add up to thousands of night raids per year. I think the available statistics — to the extent that the U.S. military ever puts out any believable ones — bear that out.
“Stolen Valor”? How about “Pathetic Poaching.”
Retired U.S. Army Colonel Pat Lang once called the U.S. Navy SEALs “Murder, Incorporated.” Good name for them.
The pathetic police officer in question here may have tried to poach on the murderous reputation of our vaunted Visigoths, but if he stole anything from them, I would hardly call it “valor.” How much “valor” does it take to break into some impoverished hovel in the middle of the night and then do whatever-the-hell you want to the terrified inhabitants? Stolen “viciousness, vindictiveness, and vainglory” perhaps. But “valor”? I don’t think so.
A few years back some of these erstwhile ninja assassins of ours broke into a Muslim home in Afghanistan in the middle of the night, killed several men and three pregnant women. (It seems that they had ignorantly interrupted a baby-naming ceremony). Then, to cover up their crime, they dug the bullets out of the women’s bodies and blamed the men of the house for an “honor killing.” Eventually — thanks to some real reporting by real journalists — they got caught in their lies and Admiral Fallon, the commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), personally wound up presenting a couple of goats to (what remained of) the Afghan household as “restitution” for the colossal f***-up. As far as I know, none of the murdering, lying U.S. “Special Ops” guys have stood trial or faced punishment for their horrendous crime.
Now, multiply this crime scene by thousands of nights each year for the decade that the United States has blundered about in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Valor”? I don’t think so.
From what I regularly read of police behavior in the United States these days, it seems increasingly militarized along the lines of how our JSOC thugs regularly operate abroad — meaning in arrogant ignorance and utter contempt for the rights of the civilian population. That the police in America look up to, admire, and seek to emulate this outrageous military behavior at home in the United States comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the blowback from empire that inevitably rots the foundations of any republic that cannot or will not mind its own business and let others live as it wishes to live itself.
We had U.S. Navy SEALs in Vietnam, too. Not that they made any difference.
i think they misunderestamated what kind of seal. looks like he was clubbed as a baby.
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