In the months leading up to this week’s trial in federal court involving the former independent governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura and deceased American sniper and Pentagon poster boy Chris Kyle, the Iraq war cheerleaders had already cast their hero and villain.
“If he really wants to be a man, he drops the case,” demanded Bill O’Reilly after Ventura announced his lawsuit against Kyle would proceed after his untimely death last year. (http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/06/05/oreillys-stern-message-jesse-ventura-suing-navy-seals-widow)
They Killed Our Presid... Best Price: $2.05 Buy New $10.96 (as of 06:55 EST - Details) “Why is Ventura a dirtbag?” asked Glenn Beck. (http://www.glennbeck.com/2013/02/05/jesse-ventura-glenn-beck/)
Despite the chickenhawk finger wagging against Ventura from the likes of Beck and O’Reilly, Kyle’s heroic tale of punching out the anti-war veteran and fellow Navy SEAL outside of a San Diego bar in 2006 has proved more fairy tale than fact after the slain sniper’s video deposition was aired in court this week.
The lawsuit dates back to Kyle’s 2012 book “American Sniper LP: The Autobiography of America’s Most Lethal Sniper” when he claimed to have knocked a celebrity named “Scruff Face” to the ground for bad mouthing the Iraq war and saying in reference to Kyle’s unit: “You all deserve to lose a few guys.” 63 Documents the Gover... Best Price: $2.05 Buy New $3.99 (as of 06:15 EST - Details)
While promoting the book on SiriusXM radio and Fox News, Kyle revealed that “Scruff Face” was Ventura, but the former governor denied the incident ever happened and slapped the ex-sniper with a lawsuit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcN0XITFjmw). Before Kyle could face Ventura in court, he was gunned down at a Texas gun range by a Marine he was supposedly helping to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the media reported.
Ventura announced his lawsuit would continue since Kyle’s estate was profiting from the best-selling book that was to receive royalties from a Hollywood biopic based on the ex-sniper’s life. Since Kyle’s widow Tara was in charge of his estate, she was named the main defendant in the lawsuit and the former governor soon found himself cast as the malicious villain out to destroy a slain war hero’s distraught widow.
“Noted 9/11 truther Jesse Ventura has figured out a way to continue his defamation lawsuit against deceased U.S. sniper Chris Kyle: Sue Tara Kyle, the slain former SEAL’s widow,” read the lead in Glenn Beck’s The Blaze American Conspiracies:... Best Price: $1.47 Buy New $7.01 (as of 06:10 EST - Details) following Ventura’s announcement (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/31/jesse-ventura-going-after-slain-navy-seal-sniper-chris-kyles-widow-in-court/).
The grumblings against Ventura from Glenn Beck and Fox News aside, it was not a good week for Chris Kyle’s estate when the case went to trial. In a videotaped deposition, the former sniper admitted that he could not remember who told him Ventura had hit his head on a sidewalk and received a black eye (http://www.startribune.com/local/266448121.html) amongst other inconsistencies in his story. He also admitted to deleting Ventura’s name from the book out of fear of being sued (http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2014/07/10/slain-sniper-author-kyle-says-in-video-testimony-left-ventura-out-book-over/). Additionally, witnesses with close ties to the bar have pledged to testify on Ventura’s behalf that the event never occurred (http://www.startribune.com/local/266230451.html).
Ventura’s lawsuit against Kyle may prove a malicious attempt to profit from a fictitious claim, but it’s unclear what his motive would be. It is interesting to note, however, that during the same year Kyle was promoting his DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODl... Best Price: $1.00 Buy New $5.00 (as of 06:15 EST - Details) book, the USA Today claimed that two of its reporters were the subject of a dirty tricks campaign after reporting on private security companies engaged in foreign propaganda wars for the Pentagon. Just days after their investigation had been published, fake websites and Facebook accounts were set up make the journalists appear sympathetic to the Taliban http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/apr/20/usa-today-smear-campaign). Coincidently, a TMZ story was ran late in 2011 that erroneously claimed Ventura had been pulled over by the police in California (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGkYG7V7_IA) after acting erratically. He was in Minnesota at the time.
Ventura’s persona as a public figure stands in stark contrast to the now deceased and martyred Kyle. An outspoken critic of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the former governor is also known for questioning the government’s version of 9/11 events and the Kennedy assassination. He also claimed in 2009 that 23 CIA agents suspiciously visited him in Minnesota when he was first elected governor, which was later confirmed by the agency (http://www.mprnews.org/story/2008/01/03/jessecia). JFK: The CIA, Vietnam,... Best Price: $6.03 Buy New $10.91 (as of 06:10 EST - Details)
Kyle, in contrast, publicly spoke in favor of the Iraq war and has been glamorized by the media in similar fashion to former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Luttrell). Even his story of punching Ventura out emphasized the former governor’s criticism of George Bush and the Iraq war. And with all the interviews, news features, and Hollywood biopics glamorizing pro-war soldiers like Kyle, false claims of WMDs and the true costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are rarely, if ever, mentioned.
Ventura is the one veteran who has a public form to remind people the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were a horrendous mistake that cost millions their lives. Perhaps that’s why he has been cast as the villain in his fight against “America’s most lethal sniper.”