The Intercept claims to have records indicating that American Sniper Chris Kyle lied about the military medals he was awarded during his time as a Navy SEAL sniper.
Kyle, who was murdered several years ago, was the subject of a book he wrote about his experiences, American Sniper, and a movie adaptation of the same name starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle. Both the book and movie generated millions in revenue and were huge favorites among American audiences.
According to the report, from The Intercept:
“All told,” Kyle wrote in his book, “I would end my career as a SEAL with two Silver Stars and five Bronze [Stars], all for valor.”
But Kyle, who was murdered by a fellow military veteran several years after leaving the Navy, embellished his military record, according to internal Navy documents obtained by The Intercept. 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.
Kyle was warned at least once before American Sniper was published that its description of his medal count was wrong, according to one current Navy officer, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak about the case. As Kyle’s American Sniper manuscript was distributed among SEALs, one of his former commanders, who was still on active duty, advised Kyle that his claim of having two Silver Stars was false, and he should correct it before his book was published…
…According to two current Navy officials, inaccurate information about Kyle’s awards is also contained in his separation document, known in the military as a DD214, which usually reflects a veteran’s official service record. Kyle’s DD214 form, which lists two Silver Stars and six Bronze Stars with Valor among his decorations, also differs from the number of Bronze Stars with Valor — five — that Kyle listed in his book.
The Navy was able to provide additional documentation about one of Kyle’s Silver Stars as well as three of his Bronze Stars. The Intercept claims the Navy did not have a reason why it could not provide the other information or why it was different than the DD214 information.
Anonymous sources told The Intercept that Kyle was warned to correct his medal count before publishing his book and the same sources say that SEAL and Navy commanders let the discrepancy slide due to Kyle’s celebrity and to make themselves look better.
Matthew Cole, one of the authors of the story, mentioned on his Twitter account that Navy officials questioned his patriotism and motivation for researching this story.
What do you think? Did Chris Kyle lie, or this simply an issue of poor government record keeping?