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What Troubles Me About the Legend of Chris Kyle

If our record website traffic numbers of the past week are any indication, most of you are well aware that our own Michael J. Mooney has written an article in the April issue of D Magazine about former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who was senselessly killed in February by a fellow veteran whom he was trying to help recover from mental illness. You should read the whole thing.

I’ve no doubt that Kyle’s wartime heroics saved many American lives, and that he and men like him deserve our thanks for the sacrifices they made. But in considering his legacy, I can’t get past that story (first written by Mike on this blog, then fleshed out at the beginning of his magazine piece) about Kyle killing two would-be carjackers at a gas station along Highway 67 south of Dallas.

Leave aside for the moment the issue of whether this story is true. Let’s say that it all went down precisely as Kyle described it to Mike. I find that even more disturbing than if he’d just made the whole thing up. Here’s why:

1) No man, not even a decorated war hero, deserves the right to serve as judge, jury, and executioner. Had he turned over the keys to his truck, there’s a good chance there would have been no need for any deaths that night. If the two men were planning to murder him as well as steal his vehicle, they’d surely have shot Kyle on sight. They didn’t. Such criminals deserve punishment, but we shouldn’t applaud any individual for deciding for himself what that punishment should be.

2) But maybe I’ve got that first point wrong. Maybe Kyle was far more threatened by these men than I’m realizing, and so when he drew his weapon and fired, it truly was a case of justified self-defense. OK, fine. Why then should we be comfortable with local law enforcement and a mysterious figure at the other end of a phone line at the Department of Defense conspiring to sweep the matter under the rug, to the point where there’s apparently no evidence of the deaths of these men, no police report on the incident at all? And they do it just because “they didn’t want to drag a just-home, highly decorated veteran into a messy legal situation”? I don’t trust the local cops to decide who, on American soil in a non-combat situation, should have an unquestioned license to kill.

3) Perhaps you think I’m making too much out of those first two issues. You’ve got no problem whatsoever with Kyle’s actions that night or the cover-up that followed. How then do you feel about Kyle talking about it with a reporter? Our military goes to the trouble of muscling in on local authorities so that their guy can carry on with his day unfettered, and then Kyle discusses the matter openly? Talking to Mike he could have dropped just enough hints to allow some enterprising reporter to suss out exactly where this took place and which police department may have acted criminally in withholding public information and making dead bodies disappear. The very people who helped him out of his situation could themselves become exposed to prosecution because Kyle essentially ratted them out.

Any way I look at this, I’m bothered. I can’t seem to shrug it off.  (And I haven’t even mentioned the implications of what I consider the most likely scenario: that this didn’t happen at all, or is an extremely hyperbolic account.)

Mike writes that people will be telling stories about Kyle generations from now, stories that may get embellished over time to the point where we’re no longer sure what’s true, and that “it may not matter too much, because people believe in legends for all their own reasons.”

I don’t understand those who would choose to believe and celebrate this particular legend about Chris Kyle. To me, it does nothing but besmirch what otherwise seems a legacy of laudable service to our nation.

  • Gref

    “someone he can’t even begin to measure up to”

    All of us a superior to someone who makes up stories about killing people for the sake of his ego.
    Seriously, pretending you killed 30 people in Katrina means you are pretending you are a mass murderer for the sake of your ego.
    If you don’t feel superior to that person, you need to get your own head straight.

  • Gref

    “I worked in law enforcement for 25+ years and served in the Army”

    You didn’t work a single day in any law enforcement agency that fails to record multiple shootings or lets people leave the scene based on what their name is.

  • Gref

    “Now we come to the tricky part. Do we press charges?”

    You can’t press charges. All of the police departments that could have jurisdiction over that area said it is a lie, no such shooting took place.

  • T.O.

    Sounds like your pissed you didnt get the story to write about. If two guys had gun on me, your dam straight i would fire back. Media is alot to blame on how people act. Look at all the school shootings. If the first one was never televised you would have far less school shootings. Get a life and write about something good instead of trashing people.

  • The Dude

    No one is extending sympathy for the two dead criminals, if they existed at all. Whether they deserved to die or not is not at issue. The question, as others have so clearly stated, is whether such a double killing can simply be swept under the rug. Chris Kyle’s military service, heroic as it was, is not an excuse to kill two people and then make it disappear. The incident must still be investigated as a homicide. If the circumstances hold it up as justifiable, fine, but Chris Kyle was not 007 with a license to kill. In this case, it sounds more likely that he was either a pathological liar or was himself suffering from mental illness. I can’t imagine someone killing 160 people in wartime, being wounded twice, and being in 6 IED attacks, without being affected by it in some way.

  • CAM

    And then there’s his story that he was a professional bronco rider who had to quit after a bronco fell on top of him in the chute, dislocating his shoulder, breaking his ribs and damaging his wrists so badly that he had pins put in both of them. He even had to be helicoptered to the hospital. He should have scars on his wrists. I don’t see any. Do you?

    When asked in his deposition what his job was during the period when he was supposedly a pro bronc rider, Kyle said that he was a ranch hand.

    I suspect that Kyle is a world-class liar. I doubt if we’ll be telling stories about him in five years. Maybe we’ll be talking about the astonishing credulity of Fox News and the American public.

  • CAM

    Kyle claims he was awarded two silver stars. In a photo of him receiving a JINSA award in 2005, I don’t see him wearing that insignia so he must not have had one then. He’s also not listed in, but that website may not be a complete listing. I see Michael Monsoor’s Medal of Honor, but don’t see silver stars for Monsoor–and he reportedly had them.

    Probably wouldn’t hurt to double check that Kyle was actually awarded the medals he claimed.

  • CAM

    Lord. I just read the part in AS where he talks about his post-accident wrist pins. He says they stuck out a few inches on either side and once when he was driving one of them was banging into the signal indicator so he broke the pin off at the skin level. Uh-huh. That’s the last we hear about that until later in the book when he says that a Navy physical “revealed” that he had pins in his arm. I guess he’s talking about these wrist pins that stick out a few inches because he doesn’t tell us about any others.

    Everything Kyle says is a lie, including “and” and “the.”

  • Full Blown Idiot

    You are a full blown idiot for giving out advice on how to handle a carjacking. You are way outside in area you have expertise in. You are entitled to you opinion but when your advice is reckless and could cause considerable harm to anyone foolish enough to take your advice you should be called out.

    The story is made up most likely by another full blown idiot working with you. It is obvious the burden of proof for publishing here is very low or non-existent. There is no evidence Chris ever said this other than a claim of one wane be journalist. The Super Dome incident is hearsay as well. A clever way of bumping up web hits.

  • Patriot

    WRONG…WRONG…WRONG. Ratfinks deserved execution…the gene pool is better without them!

  • Scottcs

    Oh brother…if you get carjacked, you may wish to defend yourself, or, perhaps you’d prefer to die yourself

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  • Mick King

    Well I’ll quote Chris here:
    “Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems.”

    My question would why did these two low life’s have a god damn right to hold Chris up at Gun Point demanding his money & his truck in the first place?

    Only a do Gooder Lilly live red soft cock would argue any other way!

    Society spends far to much money & time trying to readjust these criminals so they can be released back into society to repeat their acts of crime. Eye for an eye, tooth for an tooth!

    I hope one day, you & your family are held up by gun point & let’s see how understanding you are at the end of the day.

    My other question would be why did Chris have to find a need to lie in the first place?
    He was already a War Hero, a Legend & one of the most decorated Veterans around, there was no need to lie at all.
    You doogooders are the reason thousands of innocent people died in the Twin Towers. You traitors questioned the American Way of life & let those scumbags into your country to commit on of the most horrific crimes of all time.
    I suppose you think that incident was a conspiracy & no one died at all. Just a bit of showmanship to get everyone onside so they could invade the Middle ESt????
    Why don’t you Dogooder Losers take a friendly visit over there & catch up with you friendly ISIL Team & see how loving these guys are towards you all.
    Christ I can’t stand losers like you taking the sides of Criminals.
    Traitors the lot of you all.
    Rant over.

  • TeXan

    Face it he, PO Kyle, was top secret. get over it.

    BTW Kyle was given 2 purple hearts. Anyone with any info on the injuries wounds?

  • Crazy Otto

    Miles away? Gerald do yuo have problems with reality?

  • Shibu Isaac

    Looks like the writer is not a war veteran.A soldier who has fired a gun in battle,has automatic instincts,to fire when danger approaches even in civil life.

    So allow Chris Kyle to be the hero,THE LEGEND.

  • Natasha Johnson

    Hi, i am Natasha, and i am sharing my testimony, with the whole world, on how i got my ex husband back within 48 hours, by the help of the superb Dr. Brave. After just 2 years in marriage with my husband kyle. He divorced me and got separated from me and our little son Shaw. He left home to another lady. I did all i could to get him back, but they all proved abortive. Until one faithful day, an old friend of mine Sarah, told me about Dr Brave, who helped her in a similar issue. At first, i doubted it, but later on, i decided to give it a try. When i did, he helped me cast a re-union lover’s spell. And within 48 hours, my husband came back, pleading and apologizing to me. And right now, we are very happy together, with abundant love, joy and riches. You too can contact this amazing spell caster right now, on any issue that you are having on his [email protected] or you can contact him through his website
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  • Justin Moore

    get a clue, this guy served for our country for 4 tours in iraq, two men holding a gun at him demanding his truck, who do they think they are…he has a right to defend himself after what he has been through…i would say he is a hero as well for getting those two scumbags off the street.

  • TeXan

    Marylou, What about the 25 Negro looters he shot in NO? That put a quick stop to the looting.
    BTW Did Kyle have PTSD also? Was Kyle or Eddie Ray receiving a monthly PTSD check? what will happen to the check? will Eddie still get his check in prison? Will Kyles widow Taya get the check for Chris?

  • William Zabel

    He lied about the supposed car jacking and the so-called Ventura knockout. What the hell else do you think he is lying about? I don’t like the fact that he wrote a book about what he did in Iraq. To me it is something that soldiers should keep to themselves. I don’t think Americans need to hear about his kills.

  • William Zabel

    The government is not going to cover for a war hero like that. Researchers have tried for some time now to find evidence of this carjacking and it does not exist. Nor did he punch Ventura as he claims. Unless you have not been reading these postings here there are cops, one from Texas posting here that says all checks with Texas law enforcement authorities show the incident did not happen.

    Another thing I will not worship people who serve in the military and kill civilians around the world. Chris Kyle bragged about what he did as though it was a trip to Disney land. The U.S. Military is a murder machine that has killed millions of civilians around the world without cause, not some half dead, man on kidney dialysis in a cave somewhere. America supports murder and its citizens worship at the feet of cold blooded killers.

  • William Zabel

    Not if that veteran is a liar and war criminal.

  • William Zabel

    The event never happened!

  • Steppy412

    Kyle met with the cops. They had a video. If it’s clearly self defense, no charges would have been filed. That’s they way things work. Nothing special, just how it works for everyone.

  • Eggo

    You live by the sword you die by the sword. God will exact vengenance and it will be final and forever. Hero is very loosely thrown around because people need a hero! We accomplished nothing in Vietnam Iraq of the other places the last war we had was world war 2. Unfortunately there are real military people who can see the truth that no one wants to believe. The who what and why of it all is seen in Gods eyes only! There are a lot of unsung heroes looking for nothing from anyone. A true solider who kills has a conscience and quietness that only another solider like them can understand! There is no joy in bragging about killing people whether it be enemy or foe! I understand well what you are saying and seeing! God help us all and please bless the USA to become great again.

  • Eggo

    Lolololololhahahaha!wowwwwww and this is a hero!

  • Brady Robinson

    If it is true that he killed someone trying to rob him then your crazy for disecting it so critically any normal civilian would be understood for acting impulsively under circumstances in which he felt threatened. It’s self defense, nobody is expected to sit and think, ” well these guys probably don’t really want to hurt me else they’d have done it already so I should just calm down and willfully get robbed that way nobody gets killed and I hopefully don’t get hurt” while they’re suddenly in such an intense obviously threatening situation. It’s ridiculous to expect anyone to be that rational while getting robbed. Also any criminal that is willing to strong arm rob people has admitted to himself at some point that he is putting himself in a dangerous situation. The robbers probably wouldn’t even blame him for his reaction. If it is true.

  • timotei

    I heard Chris Kyle was 10 feet tall and shot flaming arrows out of his are…and that he, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Norris parachuted into Gettysburg together

  • Holly Bentley

    I am a huge supporter of our Veterans. My son served in Afghanistan. My father in Vietnam and my grandfather in WWII. I respect Chris Kyle’s honorable service. I see him as an American hero, but that doesn’t mean he was perfect. It saddens me to realize it, but he it seems he likely was a compulsive liar. I have read a lot about his “tall tales” from several different sources and I do not believe he shot carjackers and it was covered up. I do not believe he shot looters in New Orleans after Katrina. (Who could believe such a thing and support it even if they did?) I am not a fan of Jesse Ventura, but I find it hard to believe that he would say the things Kyle said he did – and it was proved false in a court of law. It does not negate his service to his country or the fact that he was a good father and husband and helped others.

  • brimac58

    Perhaps you do not have the journalistic or investigative skills. I am a retired Police Officer and saw the video. I guess you struck out Jason.

  • brimac58

    What an appropriate last name, cunt.

  • brimac58

    Jason Heid, why should we believe you? What are your credentials? You demonstrate a lack of knowledge on Chris, not to mention that which is classified.

  • Jennifer Shifflett

    The criminals got what they deserved. I’m sure this wasn’t their first criminal act to pull or get away with & that kind of behavior will get you killed or put away. Consequences that they were aware of. Chris Kyle was an American hero & will always be known as that. Was he perfect, nope, but had a good heart which made him a good person

  • Gretchen West

    The story is a lie. Kyle was a compulsive liar & was even found to be one by a court of law. He was also an idiot whose idea of helping a mentally ill man was to give him a loaded weapon. His whiny widow needs to shut up & pay her husband’s debts.

  • unclesamonmars

    The stupid is strong with you, Jethro.

  • unclesamonmars

    Hey now! Let’s not muddy up the debate with historical facts!

  • unclesamonmars

    Right. Another gun range John Wayne. You’d be too busy pissing your Spiderman Underoos to get off a shot.

  • unclesamonmars

    You are ate up with the dumbass. What kind of gun would your invisible guy in the sky carry?

  • unclesamonmars

    VoiceofReality. Ha! That’s a good one.

  • unclesamonmars

    You are so full of shit, there should be a handle on your head to flush out the fiction you find to be reality.

  • unclesamonmars

    You’re just another limp dick dumbass, that lives vicariously through a miscreant like Kyle. It never happened!

  • unclesamonmars


  • unclesamonmars

    And you are why people fear the cops. You are a self centered, macho git. Anyone with such a disregard for life, shouldn’t be in law enforcement. Good thing you retired.

  • unclesamonmars

    Says the guy that’s only been accosted by paper targets.

  • unclesamonmars

    Kyle’s story is just more of the “legend in his own mind” crapola. He was so full of himself, he expected for all of us to believe he was so well known to the cops, that brandishing his Texas DL was sufficient for them to begin a cover up of his actions.

  • unclesamonmars

    Thanks for your input, Mrs. Kyle. God! You rednecks are so full of shit. Please shut the fuck up!

  • unclesamonmars

    It didn’t happen, idiot. That is the only relevant fact. The guy was full of shit.

  • unclesamonmars

    Ah the logic of the pencil dick redneck. If you call me out to my face, I will kick your ass. It was more than a couple of journalists. Of course, as ignorant as you are, no telling what “a couple” means to you since you have to take your shoes off to count above ten. This is the US and no one has to apologize for an opinion. If you weren’t a Trump dick sucker, you’d know it.

  • unclesamonmars

    Your mom called! Your diapers are back from the cleaning service.