Did Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle Sucker-Punch Jesse Ventura — Or Is He Just Peddling a Book?

Posted: January 15th, 2012 by Militant Libertarian

by William Grigg, Republic

As former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle tells the story, he sucker-punched 55-year-old Jesse Ventura in a bar in September 2006 and then ran away – but Ventura, an honorably discharged Vietnam veteran who completed SEAL training himself,* insists the criminal assault “never happened,” and he’s willing to clear Kyle’s name.

“If a former governor within the SEAL community had been knocked down and … assaulted, it would have traveled through the SEAL community like wildfire,” Ventura pointed outin a radio interview with broadcaster Alex Jones, underscoring the fact that the alleged incident was never heard of prior to Kyle’s recent media tour to promote his new book, American Sniper. “He never hit me; I don’t even know who he is…. I want to clear his name because he’s confessing to assaulting me, and it didn’t happen.”

Ventura, a former Minnesota Governor, long-time professional wrestling performer, and movie actor who has become an outspoken peace activist, was en route to Mexico when Kyle made the allegations during an interview on “The O’Reilly Factor” to plug American Sniper. At the time of his retirement in 2009, Kyle was considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, credited with 255 kills – all of them involving Iraqi insurgents who, it should be noted, were fighting on their home soil to expel a foreign army of occupation.

“It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it,” Kyle, a native of Odessa, told the publicationTexas Monthly. “My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job.”

According to Kyle’s account, the confrontation with Ventura occurred at McP’s Irish Pub, a popular SEAL hangout near the Naval Special Warfare Center, in September 2006. Although Ventura insists that he has no recollection of the incident, he says that he may have been at the bar – whose owner is one of Ventura’s former instructors – to attend a function at the SEAL facility.

In an interview with Sirius Radio personalities Opie and Anthony, Kyle claimed that Ventura, who made no secret of his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and his support for anti-war Republican presidential contender Ron Paul), “was bad-mouthing the war, bad-mouthing Bush, bad-mouthing America…. He told us that we were killing innocent people over there, men women children [and] that we were murders … [and] then he said that we deserved to lose a few guys.”

Ventura supposedly made those remarks despite the presence of family members of slain SEAL Michael Monsoor, who died on September 29, 2006 in Ramadi, Iraq. Monsoor, who smothered a grenade with his body to save his colleagues, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. As Kyle told the story on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Ventura was asked to tone down his comments, but simply became louder and increasingly disrespectful – so he slugged the 55-year-old man in the face.

“That happened? You knocked him out?” Bill O’Reilly asked.

“Well, I knocked him down,” Mr Kyle responded, explaining that rather than sticking around to see how Ventura would respond, he fled the scene – acting on the wisdom of a SEAL Master Chief who supposedly taught him to “Punch and run.” The story left self-styled tough guy O’Reilly was visibly giddy with admiration, despite the fact that what Kyle described was a cheap shot of the sort that would be taken by a bullying punk, rather than the heroic take-down of a marauder. This assumes, of course, that the incident ever happened.

As Ventura points out, “nobody goes to McP’s alone,” and if Kyle is telling the truth, there should be witnesses to his criminal assault. While the ex-Governor’s concern to clear Kyle’s name is most likely facetious, there is a serious question about his credibility. Only 160 of Kyle’s 255 claimed sniper kills have been confirmed; if he has invented the story of his less-than-valiant face-off with Jesse Ventura, or embellished it beyond recognition, how reliable are the war stories he is peddling in his new book?

More importantly Kyle isn’t merely a guy peddling a book: He’s also a major player in Craft International, a Homeland Security contractor involved in training domestic law enforcement agencies, where he will have ample opportunity to teach SWAT operators and other police personnel the same “Punch and run” ethic he claims to have displayed in his encounter with Jesse Ventura.

To hear Gov. Ventura’s interview with Alex Jones, go here.

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Comments (30)

 

  1. Raven says:

    * Ventura didn’t just “complete SEAL training” (then as now it was called BUD/S — Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL, the same training for both UDTs and SEALs), he also actively served on an Underwater Demolition Team in Vietnam. Since then, all UDTs have been merged into SEALs and all those who served on UDTs are now recognized as SEALs — the same way “Army Air Corps” veterans are now recognized as “Air Force” veterans.

    In any case, after leaving Vietnam, he did his reserve duty on Reserve SEAL Team ONE — and yes, I do mean designated “SEAL” at the time, wearing the trident and all. Ventura served as a SEAL. (If anyone wants to say reserve duty isn’t “real” duty, please say it to the faces of the reservists coming home from Iraq… while they’re still in a group and on their feet… and let them patiently explain otherwise to you.)

    Captain Larry Bailey, USN (Ret.), a SEAL, and former Commanding Officer of the Naval Special Warfare Center (where all Navy SEALS undergo basic and advanced training), vouches for Ventura here:
    JESSE VENTURA — SEAL OR NOT?

    • Ga'Tor says:

      re: “In any case after leaving Viet Nam…”
      PO James Janos AKA Jesse Ventura, never served in Viet Nam and was never in combat. UDT training is NOT the same as SEAL training. At the time (Venturas), one had to complete BUD and then if selected attend SEALs. Now it has been combined into one school – BUD/S.

      • Aaron says:

        Actually, he did serve in Vietnam, but never received a combat ribbon as he did not see combat. He completed BUD/S but never went to SEAL training because he did not re-up (he was in a total of 5 years and some change). He is considered a Vietnam veteran by the VA and receives benefits as such.

        As for the Agent Orange thing, I’d like to see proof that he recanted. He never did. He claimed the blood clots that ended his wrestling career were caused by AgOr. It’s a known side-effect admitted to by the VA – a neighbor of mine died from it, in fact, and his wife still receives VA disability payouts thanks to that.

        As for his politics, I don’t think “socialist” or “left wing” are even close to describing reality. More like “Reaganite” or libertarian lite. He refunded sales tax, for hell’s sakes, and opposed teacher’s unions and fought higher education funding from public monies. Hardly “left wing” positions.

      • Raven says:

        @Ga’Tor: I gave you the AuthentiSEAL.org link on my previous last line above. At that site, the former CO of the Naval Special Warfare Center, a retired SEAL himself, explicitly states [direct quote, emphasis added]:

        “Jesse Ventura went through UDT/SEAL Class 58 in 1970 and was assigned to UDT-12, where he spent three years (including three deployments to Subic Bay, Philippines). As a UDT frogman, he operated in Viet Nam waters and earned the US Viet Nam Service Ribbon. He undoubtedly, like so many UDT men of that era, went ashore in Viet Nam for short periods of time. After he was released from active duty in 1973, he joined Reserve SEAL Team ONE. The point here is that all graduates of BUD/S are referred to within the Naval Special Warfare community as SEALs. They received the same training, whether they went to SEAL Teams or Underwater Demolition Teams. The case made by Commander Salisbury on Fox News Channel recently is without merit; Jesse Ventura is a SEAL by any definition. — Larry Bailey, Captain, USN (Ret.)” [end of quote]

        Captain Bailey, who is a 27-year SEAL veteran and used to command the SEAL program, knows what he is talking about, and contradicts you on almost every point. (Combat was not in dispute; Ventura never claimed combat.)

        Now why couldn’t you have just clicked the link before you commented?

  2. At the time of his retirement in 2009, Chris Kyle was considered the most murderous military-industrial-complex-and-state-sponsored-murderer in U.S. history, credited with 255 murders – all of them involving Iraqi Patriots who, it should be noted, were fighting on their Home Soil to expel a foreign army of invasion and occupation.

    Now, Murderer Chris Kyle is training more GUNvernment Murderers…

    How can these murderers ever sleep knowing that their spouses/parents/children/neighbors/etc might be so afraid and repulsed by their murderous atrocities that they slit their throats while they sleep…

    • Raven says:

      @John and Dagny Galt: “… credited with 255 murders…”

      To be utterly, utterly fair to Chris Kyle — just as only he accuses himself of punching Jesse Ventura, and nobody else (including Ventura) supports that accusation — only Chris Kyle has attested to his “255” claimed sniper kills. Others have confirmed a bare 160, leaving 95 unconfirmed and on his say-so alone. In view of this punching-Ventura fairytale, Kyle’s say-so seems a flimsy reed.

      • Militant Libertarian says:

        Good point, Raven. I personally think he’s nothing more than a PR piece for the DOD and this book’s publisher. Part of the overall selling of the war.

        Nothing against Carlos Hathcock, whom I consider one of the greatest shooters of all time, but he was used in the same way by the USMC for Vietnam War propaganda.

        • Raven says:

          @ML: If they’re so happy using such a blatantly self-inflated balloon this time, then what on Earth will they pull out for the next iteration?

          There have been so many persuasive-but-fake SEALs and other cases of “Stolen Glory” that AuthentiSEAL.org and other groups/websites were perpetually chasing them down.

          But, gee golly gosh, now it seems like those are the ideal candidates for PR fronts, because they’re so persuasive….

      • Hey, if he is willing to confess to 255 murders…he shouldn’t get a pass on the ones the officials haven’t counted yet…hmmm…

      • Ga'Tor says:

        You and others obviously have no clue regarding the militay terms “confirmed” and “unconfirmed” regarding combat kills and the history behnd them. Also there are different criteria depending on the type of kill i.e. Sniper, Combat, Tank, Submarine, Air combat, surface warfare etc. Bottom line is that a ‘confirmed’ kill is witnessed and documented. An ‘unconfirmed’ kill is one that is ususally witnessed but not documented. Lot of different circumstances involved in the later.

        • Raven says:

          @Ga’Tor: “You and others obviously have no clue regarding the militay terms….”

          (1) Learn how to spell “military” before claiming you yourself have a clue to give anyone else.

          (2) Learn the meaning of the word “military” (from the Latin miles soldier): of, for, or pertaining to the army or armed forces, often as distinguished from the navy; of or pertaining to soldiers; befitting, characteristic of, or noting a soldier; following the life of a soldier.

          (3) We are presently not discussing (former) members of the Army, i.e. “soldiers” — “military personnel/training/etc.” — but rather (former) members of the Navy, i.e. “sailors” — “naval personnel/training/etc.”

          (4) You obviously have no clue regarding the difference, which (along with your further-above scouring by Captain Bailey’s quote) makes your attempt to lecture others the most pitiful performance I have seen in the last three years.

        • Raven says:

          P.S.: If it helps to remember the difference this way:

          United States Military Academy = West Point = Army.

          United States Naval Academy = Annapolis = Navy.

          Not the same location, not teaching the same things, not generally going the same places. (Infantry might drown marching less than halfway there.)

          You don’t want to mistake a Navy Captain for an Army Captain. Same word, not same grade. (Think “full bird Colonel.”)

          The differences are important. Get the picture?

        • Raven says:

          P.P.S.: But by your logic, Ga’Tor, both the future Army officers and the future Navy officers should be attending the United States Military Academy (West Point), because everything’s “military” [or "militay"], right?

          Have you noticed yet that the Real World™ doesn’t agree with you?

  3. anon Ymus says:

    —-Two words—

    ———————-‘SET UP’————————–

  4. furthermore…and to answer dissenters…

    consider what you would call a sniper murdering Americans if he claimed any other place as his/her origin…

    reference:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states

    granting, of course, that Barack Obama claims the authority to murder ANYONE on the PLANET that he and/or his henchmen choose…including Americans, no matter who/what/where/when/how/etc

  5. Ga'Tor says:

    PO James Janos aka Jesse Ventura has a long history for streching the truth, misdirection and outright lying.
    ex.:
    He never served in Viet Nam.
    He never saw combat.
    He once claimed to have have suffered an illness due to Agent Orange. A lie which he later retracted.
    Stated “Until you have hunted men, you haven’t hunted.” He was never in combat so….
    Look PO Janos served his country honorably and in that regard he IS a hero as are all who have volunteered. That said he moved very much to the left side of the political equation in his subsequent carreer in pro wrestling, Hollywood and then politics. In those realms one gets used to the hype, glitter and grandstanding in order to advance one’s carreer. Ventura is well known to be overly critical of the government, politics and yes, even the military. What he is alledged to have said in Mc.P’s bar fits perfectly in context to what he has said before and after.

    • Aaron says:

      See above for my response for your double-post response.

    • Raven says:

      @Ga’Tor: “He never served in Viet Nam.”

      What part of “As a UDT frogman, he operated in Viet Nam waters and earned the US Viet Nam Service Ribbon.” do you have trouble understanding?

      At this point, it’s not just Jesse Ventura you accuse of “outright lying” but also Captain Larry Bailey USN (Ret.), a 27-year SEAL veteran and the former Commanding Officer of the Naval Special Warfare Center (where all Navy SEALS undergo basic and advanced training) — who’s quoted above in bold. Link already provided before your first comment.

    • Raven says:

      Y’know, it just sank in: when Ga’Tor says of Jesse Ventura (who operated in Viet Nam waters and earned the US Viet Nam Service Ribbon) that “He never served in Viet Nam.” — that can’t possibly apply *just* to Ventura and not *also* to all of Ventura’s crewmates… in fact, to all other US Navy personnel operating in Viet Nam waters (just like Ventura) who earned the US Viet Nam Service Ribbon.

      That means Ga’Tor is not just slamming Ventura, he’s slamming the entire US Navy, because only on-dry-land service counts to him as “serving in Viet Nam.”

      (Gosh, I suppose riverine combat doesn’t count as “combat” then, either!)

  6. And…now…back to the murderous rampages…

    http://lewrockwell.com/vance/vance275.html

    O Lord God of war, we beseech thee to bless our troops in their latest military adventure. Go with U.S. soldiers as they travel around the globe to intervene in the affairs of other countries. Use the U.S. military to smite the enemies of the United States just like thou used the children of Israel in the Old Testament to smite the heathen nations. We ask for thy special protection on the U.S. soldiers who have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and now occupy those countries. Guide every bomb to its target, and every bullet to the heart of its victim. We pray that thou would send these Muslims to hell who dare to plant roadside bombs to harm U.S. soldiers. We know that thou will look after widows and orphans – so please help our soldiers, thy soldiers, to create as many widows and orphans as possible. Destroy the young Iraqi and Afghan children with bullets, malnutrition, or disease before they grow up and become suicide bombers. We beseech thee to guide all Predator drones to their targets in Pakistan and all the other countries where terrorists and their families need to be killed. Fill U.S. soldiers, thy servants, with the spirit of indifference to the death and destruction that they are causing. Avenge the United States, thy country, for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We also humbly request that thou move upon Congress to not only increase funding for this war, but the overall military budget as well so thy people can fight another just war against the Muslim infidel. All these things we ask in the name of the Prince of Peace.

  7. Chris Kyle was only following in the footsteps of the current murderer-and-sock-puppet-and-chief Barack Obama:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/105019.html

  8. unimpressedbychris says:

    Chris Kyle is trying to sell a book, he went on Faux News, which is known for being the baby of Rupert Murdoch, currently under investigation in the U.K. for illegal practices to extract ‘news’ as well as Faux News being notoriously one sided and right leaning. They make even the term ‘neo-con’ sound liberal.

    Why didn’t Faux News want to interview Jon Steven Turner? Because he wouldn’t support their political right wing agenda which, at the moment, is fully about trying to convince people to vote for Romney. They’re a news stations that caters to the fears of old, impotent, white men ( i say ‘white’ because that is their biggest and verifiable numbered auidence ). Hmm…bit of a trend there?

    Unlike Chris Kyle, Jesse did his active and reserve time and though he used his braun for entertainment purposes for a while, he also made a run for public office and SERVED again. He did his best to PROTECT the interests of the state he was GOVERNOR of.

    Chris has come out and called the Commander in Chief’s vice-president a ‘traitor’. Good thing you, like Jesse, waited till you were out of uniform to voice that opinion. But, technically, you served with him in office. If he was such a traitor, Chris, it’s a damn good thing Biden wasn’t in office when you were active or you would’ve been obligated to stand down, based on your accusation, and get your butt put in the brig until you recanted or were discharged, whichever the Navy would’ve seen fit to do first.

    NOW you claim you sucker punched a fellow veteran AND two time serving Governor. And if it was so very important to avoid discussing in your book, why mention it on Faux News at all? If you’re such a spooky, secrety, tight lips kinda fellow?

    And the credibility sinks ever more…

    You wrote that book to first make yourself money, then to make your mercinary company money, then to prop up right wing political agendas to cut funding for veterans through the VA, many of whom ARE suffering and struggling with PTSD. You went out of your way to ensure that O’Reilly knew that you, the mighty SEAL, didn’t suffer PTSD. Of course not. You, the brother punching, disrespecting, governor punching, punch and run away guy are too superior to be impacted by PTSD? For all your talk of wanting to protect your brothers and sisters in arms, you sure are lending your strengths to those groups who would, if they could, subtract BILLIONS of dollars that go into the VA to HELP those who have suffered in their lives every way possible that conflict veterans have and do.

    From this disabled combat veteran I just want to say…you ain’t no brother in arms of mine. Go muscle and hustle for your mercinary group and shut your damned pie hole about the rest of it, mmKay tough guy?

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