Skilled combat operator and strategic advisor to America’s top commanders on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq…or junior level staffer writing down notes during a few meetings? Right now, nobody knows for sure what role Andy Kim actually played during America’s wars against terrorism.
TOMS RIVER-Andy Kim is a Democrat currently running for Congress to represent New Jersey’s third congressional district, but he’s been embroiled in a flap over his accounts of his service as an Obama administration staffer during the nation’s war on terror.
In May, Kim was accused of embellishing his role during the war by his opponent, Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur.
Kim was accused of what could amount to stolen valor for a civilian official in a warzone.
At the time, Kim’s campaign website claimed, “From the White House, I helped our nation lead a global war against ISIS, from our military headquarters in Afghanistan I served as a strategic adviser to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen, and from the Pentagon I helped our nation build a strong military.”
After being called out on his embellishment, Kim’s campaign edited the paragraph.
Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Lujan has gone as far as saying, “National security expert Andy Kim has spent his life serving our country and keeping our families safe. From fighting ISIS on President Obama’s National Security Council to working alongside General Petraeus in Afghanistan.”
Kim later walked back his claims.
“I worked at the White House on countering terrorism and protecting our country, advised the Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon on national security, and I served in Afghanistan as a strategic adviser to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen,” it later read.
This week, the Burlington Times also looked into Kim’s record, coming up essentially empty handed with any facts to support the candidates claims of being a vital asset during the nation’s fight against ISIS. Republicans dismissed letters from two other Obama era officials supporting Kim’s claims simply as partisan support for their candidate.
In the story, former U.S. Navy Seal Ryan Peters says Kim is committing the act of Stolen Honor since he was not actually a member of the United States armed services, but a civilian working for the Obama administration.
“It’s completely laughable and offensive. I’ll give civil service its due but he wasn’t fighting the way John Kerry was and most veterans,” Peters said in an interview. “That line shouldn’t have been used. Once you start to equate yourself to guys who have experienced being shot at everyday, you’re going to get pissed off people. It’s not stolen valor … but I would say it’s stolen honor.”
“I’ve looked at thousands of resumes in my life. People try to puff themselves up into something they’re not. He’s done that,” MacArthur said this week in an NJTV interview.
At issue is the fact that the only government documents made publicly available to date identify Kim simply as a “notetaker”.
“Kim’s role as a notetaker would make him the lowest ranking staffer in the room months after he claimed to be closely advising America’s top generals on how to defeat ISIS in Afghanistan,” MacArthur Campaign Manager Chris Russell said. “Furthermore, despite his claims of proximity to Petraeus, Kim isn’t discussed in the extensive Petraeus biography penned by his mistress, Paula Broadwell, and the Washington Post’s Vernon Loeb. A curious omission for someone who claimed to be so close to the General.”
When asked for more proof of Kim’s service during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Kim’s campaign manager, Evan Lukaske simply referred to a news story published in the political commentary blog, “New Jersey Globe“.
“This piece pretty much rebutted those claims that MacArthurs[sic] team used,” Lukaske said.
Below photo depicts President Barrack Obama, Andy Kim and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Photo copyright Electronic Arts.