Claim: American Sniper subject Chris Kyle shot dozens of looters after Hurricane Katrina, killed two attempted carjackers, and punched Jesse Ventura in the face.
Examples: [Collected via Twitter, January 2015]
Apparently chris kyle was filling up at a gas station near Dallas and 2 localthugs tried robbing him at gun point
He also claimed to have stood on the Super Dome and shot looters after Katrina.
And no evidence whatsoever was found of Chris Kyle claims of shooting looters, or guys in a gas station.
You can’t be upset at police in Ferguson, yet praise Chris Kyle. He sniped people during Katrina. But y’all don’t wanna hear that #FrogTea
Chris Kyle bragged about killing AMERICAN CITIZENS SUFFERING AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA smfh #AmericanSniper
Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle Tells O’Reilly: I Decked #JesseVentura
Origins: The release of the film American Sniper (based on the autobiographical book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History) on 16 January 2015 brought the late Chris Kyle’s story to a wide audience. While the former Navy SEAL achieved a fair degree of fame before his death in February 2013, the release of the movie based on his book prompted renewed interest in both the events it depicted and other claims Kyle made during his lifetime.
Three particular incidents Kyle maintained he was involved in have caused the most controversy. They are:
- In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Kyle traveled to New Orleans and killed about thirty “looters” from a perch on top of the Superdome.
- During the funeral of a fellow Navy SEAL, Kyle punched out Jesse Ventura for saying something defamatory about SEALs.
- In 2009, Kyle shot and killed two individuals who attempted to steal his truck and was released by police without questioning due to the intercession of the Department of Defense.
The film based on Kyle’s book complicated an already tangled narrative, though adaptation of autobiographies to the silver screen frequently invokes creative license. But the rumors that quickly became part of Kyle’s legend came not from the book-to-film evolution but rather from the man himself.
Chris Kyle’s claim he’d fired upon and killed dozens of “looters” after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 preceded the other two tales. The story circulated through postings on several web sites and through a number of news articles, as well as being passed from person to person in both the online and offline worlds:
The SEALs began telling stories, and Kyle offered a shocking one. In the days after Hurricane Katrina, he said, the law-and-order situation was dire. He and another sniper travelled to New Orleans, set up on top of the Superdome, and proceeded to shoot dozens of armed residents who were contributing to the chaos. Three people shared with me varied recollections of that evening: the first said that Kyle claimed to have shot thirty men on his own; according to the second, the story was that Kyle and the other sniper had shot thirty men between them; the third said that she couldn’t recall specific details.
Had Kyle gone to New Orleans with a gun? Rumors of snipers — both police officers and criminal gunmen — circulated in the weeks after the storm. Since then, they have been largely discredited. A spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, told me, “To the best of anyone’s knowledge at SOCOM, there were no West Coast SEALs deployed to Katrina.” When I related this account to one of Kyle’s officers, he replied, sardonically, “I never heard that story.” The SEAL with extensive experience in special-mission units wondered how dozens of people could be shot by high-velocity rifles and just disappear; Kyle’s version of events, he said, “defies the imagination.”
Indeed, the account does not hold water simply on the grounds cited in the passage quoted above. Imagining that SEALs were deployed toNew Orleans in the chaotic days that followed Katrina is not exceptionally hard, considering the level of disorder that followed the devastation wrought by the hurricane. But the notion that dozens of Americans were shot dead on mere suspicion of (relatively minor) crimes, on American soil and with the full support of a system of law that otherwise does not allow for such summary
punitive actions, challenges credulity to a very large degree. Moreover, thirty or so bodies of local residents slain in such a manner never turned up as corroborative evidence of such a claim. The circumstance Kyle claimed would have required the silence and compliance of all witnesses, the families of the dead, all involved law enforcement agencies, and untold others who might have become aware of killings meted out under inarguably public circumstances. Had Kyle and his fellows truly dispatched such a large number of looters or “residents who were contributing to the chaos” (who had neither been charged with nor convicted of any crime, much less a capital one), some other evidence of this tale would have emerged. One person disappearing under such circumstances is unusual; thirty or so is truly unbelievable.
The second claim involved a similar measure of street justice purportedly meted out by Kyle to what many would deem deserving recipients. In that tale, Kyle was nearly the victim of a carjacking at a gas station, but the deadly sniper was quicker than his would-be assailants: he drew and fatally wounded the unnamed men.
The story got odder, though, when police responded to the situation (in some accounts, Kyle called for intervention from the Department of Defense; in others, police discovered his special privileges when they checked his identification and received a mysterious message in response). An iteration of the rumor was promulgated by a New Orleans news outlet after the release of American Sniper, in which both the claims made by Kyle and their built-in lack of verifiability were questioned:
[W]riter Michael McAffrey is far less kind. He excoriates Kyle and reporters who have failed to question Kyle’s bogus stories …
Kyle also told a story about killing a pair of carjackers in Texas and then dialing up the Pentagon for the law enforcement officials who arrived at the scene. That’s another story that nobody — no police, deputy, coroner or witness — has been able to confirm. McAffrey writes, “Just like he didn’t shoot two car jackers in the middle of nowhere Texas, and he didn’t shoot looters in the aftermath of Katrina. None of those things are true … but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who desperately need them to be true.”
The most pervasive version of the rumor stemmed from a February 2013 article on a Dallas-based web site that referenced a very loose definition of the word “confirmed.” According to the site, Kyle and some unnamed officers in the area in which the incident purportedly occurred (never directly specified), stated security camera footage of the incident existed and/or they had spoken to an individual who’d viewed the footage. But no footage matching the description provided by Kyle on the site in question has ever turned up, certainly an unusual circumstance in the wake of the large amount of attention Kyle and the film American Sniper have garnered:
[Kyle] proceeded to tell me about that day. It was in January 2009, just weeks after he retired from the Navy. It was cold that morning, and he was wearing a heavy winter coat. He was driving his truck — his now famous black F350 with the large rims and impressive grill — when he needed to stop for gas. He pulled into a station right off Highway 67.
Kyle told me that the entire incident was caught on the gas station’s surveillance cameras. He said he gave the responding officers a phone number to call. Presumably someone high up in the government explained to the officers who Kyle was. He said the officers were very understanding, that they didn’t want to drag a just-home, highly decorated veteran into a messy legal situation that would surely draw a harsh media spotlight.
Kyle told me that he knew the tape was out there somewhere, because he would randomly get emails from police officers all over the country, thanking him for “cleaning up the streets.”
The site added some telltale markers of a genuine urban legend:
Several of Kyle’s friends were familiar with the incident, and they had heard virtually the same story. After our talk, I called the police chiefs of several towns along [Highway] 67. Most of them had heard of the incident. One, speaking only on background, said he knew some of his men had at least seen the tape. But request after request provided no police reports and no tape.
All involved had heard the story, and some of them claimed to know of a person who had seen the purported footage — but all of them heard the story from the same source (Kyle himself), and none of them could personally attest to having viewed the alleged security camera footage. And just as in the Superdome sniping tale, the putative victims remain unidentified even now, so no one can possibly verify whether they’re even dead, much less the circumstances under which they died.
While those claims were both extraordinary and by their very nature difficult to corroborate, the third was both a bit more high-profile and (eventually) involved a celebrity. In his autobiography, Kyle described a moment of defending the honor of SEALs against someone who’d impugned them at an unimaginably inappropriate time: while they were mourning the loss of a fellow SEAL at a bar:
Kyle wrote in his 2012 book, “American Sniper,” that he punched out a celebrity while mourning the death of Navy SEAL and future Medal of Honor recipient, Master at Arms 2nd Class Michael Monsoor.
Kyle did not identify [the celebrity] by name in the book, but said that he swung at the individual after he “started running his mouth about the war and everything and anything he could connect to it.” That included President George W. Bush and deployed SEALs, who “were doing the wrong thing, killing men and women and children and murdering,” the man said, according to Kyle’s book.
Kyle alleged that he tried to get the man — identified only as “Mr. Scruff Face” — to keep it down, and he responded by saying the SEALs in the bar “deserve to a lose a few.” The man eventually took a swing at him, Kyle alleged, and all hell broke loose.
“Being level-headed and calm can last only so long,” Kyle said in his book. “I laid him out. Tables flew. Stuff happened. Scruff Face ended up on the floor.”
Yet again, the story eventually developed another intriguing twist when Kyle elaborated upon it during a 2012 appearance on Fox News channel’s The O’Reilly Factor. During that segment, Kyle claimed the previously unnamed individual he described was none other than Jesse Ventura, the former professional wrestler, governor of Minnesota, and member of the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Teams during the Vietnam War era.
While the claims about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the carjacking incident were met with some general disbelief, the mention of Ventura’s name introduced a separate credibility issue for Kyle in the form of a lawsuit filed by Ventura against Kyle after the latter’s appearance on O’Reilly’s show. After Kyle died in 2013 the suit continued against his estate, and a jury eventually found Kyle’s estate had improperly profited from claims made by the decedent that had no basis in provable fact and awarded Ventura $1.8 million dollars in damages:
Legal experts said Ventura, a former Navy SEAL, had to clear a high legal bar to win, since as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. According to the jury instructions, Ventura had to prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.
[Ventura attorney David Bradley] Olsen said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him — the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.
Olsen said inconsistencies in testimony from defense witnesses about what happened the night of Oct. 12, 2006, were so serious that their stories couldn’t be trusted. He also pointed out that people who were with Ventura that night testified that the alleged confrontation never happened. And he said Ventura would never have said any of the remarks attributed to him because he remains proud of his and his parents’ military service.
However, it should be noted the jury in the case did not specifically have to determine whether Kyle had in fact punched out Ventura (for whatever reason) in order to find in favor of the plaintiff, and its verdict may not have been unanimous:
The jury told the judge that it didn’t believe it could reach a unanimous verdict, but the judge instructed them to continue. Attorneys for both sides agreed the verdict did not need to be unanimous and would allow a verdict if only eight of 10 jurors agreed.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, who is not related to the author, told jurors they weren’t charged with determining whether Ventura was punched, but rather whether he was defamed by the remarks Kyle attributed to him.
So while Chris Kyle’s historical legacy as one of America’s most lethal snipers in foreign wars is largely confirmed and corroborated, his claims about various “take charge” incidents in the U.S. are lacking in substantiation. No record of any shooting deaths matching the description of Kyle’s purported carjacking victims has ever surfaced, nor has anyone produced the supposed security camera video of the incident (or even evidence such a video truly exists). New Orleans authorities did not log some thirty unaccounted-for shooting deaths in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; and even if Kyle’s claim proved in any way plausible, the government-sanctioned street execution of American citizens on American soil without due process would have prompted a large-scale civil rights scandal.
Moreover, the single claim of this group that stood a legal test of its veracity failed: Kyle’s claims about Jesse Ventura were sufficiently non-provable that a jury (deliberating in a country that, by and large, holds a large measure of respect and pursuant leeway for American servicemen) saw fit to award damages to Ventura totaling seven figures, even with the knowledge that Kyle himself hadn’t lived to see the sanction and the damages would be levied against his widow and other beneficiaries of his estate.
Last updated: 23 January 2015
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/kyleclaims.asp#LH2zpPHuedMzZeqV.99
American Sniper Exposed As Giant Hoax
[ Extended ] American Sniper – Extended Trailer #3
A former Navy Seal who went on to write a bestselling book chronicling his life as the US’s most prolific marksman has been shot dead at a gun range in Texas.
Police said Sunday that the body of Chris Kyle was found by officers responding to an incident at the Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose the previous evening. Chad Littlefield, a 35-year-old friend of the war veteran and author, was also killed at the scene.
In a statement, Sergeant Lonny Haschel said Eddie Ray Routh, 25, of Lancaster, had been charged with two counts of murder in relation to the double shooting. The alleged gunman was found at his home just hours after the shooting, having earlier fled the gun range in a pick-up truck, it is claimed.
Haschel said the link between the men was not immediately clear. Routh was being held on Sunday at the Erath County jail on a combined $3m bond, authorities said.
Kyle was a veteran of four tours of Iraq whose shooting during battles in Ramadi and Fallujah earned him the nickname “al Shaitan” or “the Devil” among insurgents who put a bounty on his head.
Kyle drew criticism for drawing attention to his exploits by writing about the 150 insurgents he had killed between 1999 and 2009. The book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History, became a bestseller.
The US military confirmed on Sunday that Routh was a corporal in the Marines from June 2006 to January 2010, according to the Associated Press. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Haiti in 2007.
Officials investigating the killing of Kyle and Littlefield said that the two men had arrived at the shooting range with the suspect.
They were unable to say whether Routh was suffering from PTSD or had sought treatment. However, at a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Tommy Bryant, Erath County Sheriff said Routh’s mother, who is a teacher, may have contacted the men to “help her son” according to the Dallas Morning News.
“We have an idea that that’s why they were at the range, for some kind of therapy that Mr Kyle assists people with” Bryant said.
Police said that the three men arrived at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort at about 3.15 pm. Kyle and Littlefield were found dead at about 5pm. After the shootings, Routh drove to his sister’s home in Midlothian and told his sister and brother-in-law what he had done, police said. They called the authorities. When they arrived at Routh’s home in Lancaster to arrest him, Routh tried to flee in Kyle’s pickup but he was later apprehended.
Scott McEwan, who co-wrote American Sniper with Kyle, said he was stunned by his death.
“It just comes as a shock and it’s staggering to think that after all Chris has been through, that this is how he meets his end, because there are so many ways he could have been killed” in Iraq, McEwen said.
Trevor Cox, the director of Fitco Cares, a foundation Kyle helped establish for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, described Kyle as a humble man who wanted to serve his country and help other and who died “doing what filled his heart with passion – helping soldiers struggling with the fight to overcome PTSD”.
Cox said that Routh had not come through Fitco Cares.
Cox, a former US marine corp sniper, said: “The gentleman was not affiliated with our organisation. Any time there is a veteran through our organisation I’m aware of it. So the encounter was not through my organisation.”
He said, however, that Kyle and Chad, who were neighbours, also worked with veterans in their own time.
Asked whether it was part of the organisation’s program to take veterans to gun ranges, Cos said: “We haven’t ever done a shooting event, but in my opinion I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate in what he was doing something a lot of military people enjoy. This was a senseless act.”
“It’s important that we continue his legacy and continue to serve veterans fearlessly.”
Fitco Cares foundation, an offshoot of Fitco Fitness, provides in-house gyms and fitness equipment to keep soldiers active and also provides counselling and medical networks.
In a statement on the website Fitcocares.org, which is co-ordinating condolences for Kyle, Cox described the former Navy Seal as a hero for his efforts in combat and at home.
“My heart is breaking” said Cox, in the statement. “Our foundation, Fitco Cares, this country and most importantly, his wife Taya and their children, lost a dedicated father and husband, a lifelong patriot and an American hero.”
“Chris died doing what he filled his heart with passion – serving soldiers struggling with the fight to overcome PTSD.”
In an interview last year with NBC News, Kyle said he didn’t want to put the number of kills in the book but the publisher insisted.
“If I could figure out the number of people I saved, that’s something I would brag about,” he told NBC News’ Lester Holt.
After leaving the navy, Kyle founded Craft International, which provides training to military, police, corporate and civilian clients.
At the time of his death, the former Seal was being sued by Jesse Ventura, the former Minnesota governor and ex-professional wrestler, over claims in the book that Kyle punched him in a 2006 bar fight over unpatriotic remarks.
Ventura says the punch never happened and that the claim by Kyle defamed him.
A trial was due for August this year.
The story behind the Craft Skull logo combines several meaningful pieces of our founder’s life and service to this great nation, but mainly honors his fallen teammates. As part of SEAL Team 3, he and his fellow teammates painted similar skulls on their gear in order to strike fear in the enemy. The crosshair symbolizes his time spent on a sniper rifle and is also in the form of a templar cross to symbolize his faith. Lastly, the crosshair is on the right eye to honor SO2 Ryan Job USN (SEAL), who was critically wounded when he was shot in the right eye while on deployment to Iraq in 2006.
Private Military Firm ‘Craft International’ At Boston Marathon?
Following the successful rescue mission by Navy SEALs of freighter Captain Richard Phillips on Easter morning, 2009, Ryan Job was asked by a local reporter if he thought using Navy SEALs against Somali pirates was overkill. His response was, “despite what your mamma told you, violence does solve problems.” Ryan Job died in September of that year following complications during reconstructive surgery.
The word “CRAFT” inside the skull signifies the team of experts in their “crafts” who are the men and women dedicated to carrying the CRAFT legacy forward.
The Craft Skull is a daily reminder to us all the sacrifices brave warriors have made and what it takes to triumph over evil.
Jesse Ventura Responds – Navy Seal Punch ( FULL INTERVIEW )
Chris Kyle On Gun Violence, Obama Gun Ban Control_ Shortly Before His Murder
Was Chris Kyle on Someone’s Hit List?
Jesse Ventura, former Navy SEAL (yes, he really was), pro-wrestler, Minnesota governor, and TV host, prevailed Tuesday in his defamation suit against the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. A jury awarded Ventura $1.845 million over a passage in Kyle’s 2012 book American Sniper, in which Kyle recounts a 2006 fight inside a bar after a fallen serviceman’s wake. Kyle wrote that he and his group encountered a character named “Scruff Face,” who insulted George W. Bush, slammed the Iraq War, and even added the horrific sneer that SEALs “deserved to lose a few.” A fight ensued and, according to Kyle, “being level-headed and calm can last only so long.”
“I laid him out,” he writes. “Tables flew. Stuff happened. Scruff Face ended up on the floor.” He added that Scruff Face reportedly had a black eye the next day.
Kyle should have perhaps left it at that. But during his book tour stop on the Opie and Anthony show, he identified “Scruff Face” as none other than Jesse Ventura. He repeated the claim again in another interview with Fox News.
The news transformed Ventura into one of the most hated men in America and persona non grata in the military and veteran communities. TV-show deals for Ventura, who had developed a career as a television host with a penchant for exploring conspiracy theories, reportedly dried up as a result.
But then a curious thing happened: Ventura immediately came forth, not issuing the standard press release with a banal denial but rather resolutely and categorically denying he ever made such statements, and affirming that he was never knocked in that California bar or was never in any altercation with Kyle.
Someone here was clearly lying — but who?
For those of us paying attention, Kyle’s story seemed fishy from the get-go. Why would Ventura make such remarks in the company of friends and fellow SEALs, especially those who were at a bar as part of a wake for a fallen warrior? Only a hair-raisingly evil person would say they “deserve to lose a few,” much less to men who have just buried a fellow soldier. While Ventura has been quite publicly critical of both Bush and much U.S. policy (and, for the record, I am not excusing his views), hatred of individual servicemen is a whole other ballgame.
But, this was Chris Kyle, a war hero (!), and thus all blindly believed him.
Ventura asked for a retraction and an apology. He received none. So he proceeded with a defamation lawsuit.
Legal experts claimed Ventura had no shot. A widow crying on the stand? Too sympathetic. A decorated war hero who was tragically killed (in an unrelated accident after Ventura filed suit)? Too sympathetic. Ventura was facing an almost insurmountable uphill battle in an already tricky area of the law.
Once the trial actually began, however, the truth began to emerge. For instance, Kyle, who sat for a lengthy video deposition prior to his death, was inconsistent in his story, described by one local reporter with the following headline: “In video deposition, author trips up on fight details in Ventura libel suit.” The MinneapolisStar-Tribune describes the testimony:
Afternoon testimony may have shifted some sympathy to Ventura’s side. In the deposition, videotaped a year before his death, Chris Kyle said he could not remember who told him that Ventura had hit his head when he fell to the sidewalk, could not recall how he learned that Ventura had a black eye, and conceded that tables did not go “flying” during the 2006 confrontation in a bar near San Diego, which he described in his book “American Sniper.”
After a thorough trial, in which the jury listened to multiple witnesses from both sides, the jury found in favor of Ventura, finding Kyle had indeed defamed the former wrestler. The court awarded Ventura more than $1.8 million (far lower than the amount Ventura sought), consisting of $500,000 for defamation damages and an additional $1.3 million for “unjust enrichment” (meaning that Kyle and his estate wrongly profited from said defamation). The book publisher’s libel insurance will cover the $500,000.
Social media, even journalists, became downright hysterical, insulting Ventura and making knee-jerk defenses of Kyle — so hysterical, in fact, that facts and logic were outright nonexistent.
Consider a few of the frantic claims, along with the facts:
MYTH: He sued a widow! What a monster!
CNN’s Anderson Cooper got in on the outrage game, tweeting: “I cannot believe that Jesse Ventura successfully sued the widow of a fallen Navy SEAL. Has he no shame?”
Whoa, there. Ventura sued Kyle in 2012. Kyle died, tragically, about a year later. The lawsuit then shifted to Chris Kyle’s estate, for which his wife, Taya, is the executor. It is utterly normal for a lawsuit to shift onto the estate, especially when the estate has profited from the issue in dispute. Considering Taya herself has profited from the book (earnings are estimated at a whopping $6 million, thanks to royalties and rights), it stands to reason that the shift is appropriate.
Consider this: A decorated veteran publishes a book saying he fought with someone in a bar after hearing the man say he worshiped the devil and/or thinks child molesters are fine. During the book tour, the author is asked to identify the monster and names you. It makes headlines, helping propel the book’s sales. You file a defamation suit and, roughly a year later, the author/veteran unexpectedly dies. His multimillion dollar estate goes to his wife, an estate largely consisting of profits from the book that defamed you. Do you drop the suit?
Of course not.
MYTH: The jury must have gotten it wrong.
Yes, juries sometimes get it wrong. (Though, statistics show, not often – if you want stupidity, check out judges’ findings.) But common sense would tell you that Ventura’s case must have been exceptionally strong and Kyle’s case extremely weak if the jury held in favor of Ventura. Defamation is notoriously hard to prove, and juries do not easily find against a young widow (who cried on the stand multiple times) or a fallen war hero, let alone both.
MYTH: It’s just a case of he said vs. he said so we have no way of knowing who lied.
Actually no. There were multiple witnesses, called by both sides. Clearly, the jury found Ventura’s witnesses believable and not Kyle’s.