Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American military history (famously played by Bradley Cooper in movie American Sniper), made a lot of claims about his time in the military.
While his most impressive feat goes undisputed — he’s credited with a monstrous 160 confirmed kills — many of Kyle’s other claims have been proven dubious, if not outright false.
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Kyle, who was killed by a former Marine suffering from PTSD in 2013, said that during his tenure in the military, he punched former governor Jesse Ventura in the face, killed dozens of looters during Hurricane Katrina from atop the Superdome and found chemical weapons in Iraq, among other tales. He recounts his experiences in the book American Sniper, which inspired the film.
Each of the stories is, at very least, impossible to prove, and are widely considered to be embellishments. (Ventura was awarded $1.8 million by an appeals court after he filed a defamation suit against Kyle, which is pretty damning.)
Now new information has come out suggesting that Kyle lied about his military records, specifically medals he was awarded. He claimed to have been awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for valour during his time as a Navy SEAL, but that, it turns out, is also false.
Internal Navy documents reveal that Kyle actually received one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars for valour.
READ MORE: Chris Kyle, slain Navy SEAL who wrote American Sniper, had another book in the works
According to The Intercept, Kyle was warned at least once before American Sniper was published that its description of his medal count was inaccurate, said one Navy officer to the publication (who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak about the case).
In addition, as his American Sniper manuscript was being distributed among SEALs, one of his former commanders advised Kyle that his multiple Silver Stars claim wasn’t correct, and he should fix it before his book was published. He did not.
The United States considers falsifying claims of military decorations a crime, and is outlined in the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.
To read the full exposé, head over to The Intercept.
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