Democrats ask Aden to apologize; Aden doubles down on teh stupid

| June 29, 2012

Tim sends us a link to today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette which reports that Aden’s own party has asked him to apologize for claiming to be a “Green Beret”, so he refuses and pulls out some orders that the Special Warfare Center says should have been revoked. The Democrat-Gazette’s story is behind a pay wall, so;

Candidate asked to apologize for Beret claim
By Bill Bowden , Amy Schlesing

This article was published today at 5:08 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Democratic Party has asked 3rd Congressional District candidate Ken Aden to apologize for exaggerating his military record.

Aden, a Democrat running against Republican incumbent Steve Womack, admitted in a written statement Thursday that he “misspoke” when he said he served “with a Green Beret Unit,” but continued to assert that he earned a Special Forces designation.

The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C., released academic records this week confirming that Aden never graduated from Special Forces training after failing it three times.

Aden was honorably discharged in December 2010 after serving in combat as a staff sergeant for the 82nd Airborne Division, the records show.

Additional documents that the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette obtained Thursday from the National Personnel Records Center and U.S. Army Human Resources Command reinforced the finding that Aden can’t claim to be a Green Beret.

Not only does Aden’s military file not contain Special Forces training certificates, it also shows that he didn’t receive the Military Outstanding Service Medal, which he has claimed on his website and in public statements.

When asked to provide the certificate of that award earlier this week, Aden provided a poor-quality copy of part of a document recommending him for the award that had the medal misspelled. Aden said he didn’t have the entire document, although he has provided several other military documents.

Candace Martin, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party, said it was “unfortunate that he has overstated his military service.”

“He served. He saw combat and was discharged honorably,” she said. “So it is very unfortunate that his service may be overshadowed by the fact that he misspoke. We do feel that it would be appropriate for him to apologize for the misstatement, to military members.”

Martin said someone with the party called Aden but was unable to reach him as of Thursday afternoon. Aden also didn’t return calls from the Democrat-Gazette.

Vince Leibowitz, a consultant with Aden’s campaign, said in an e-mail Thursday that Aden hadn’t received the message from the state Democratic Party.

“Certainly, Mr. Aden is sorry for having misspoken concerning having been assigned to a Green Beret unit,” he wrote, adding that Aden had “served honorably in combat as a [Special Forces weapons sergeant], though with the 82nd Airborne and not a Special Forces Unit.”

According to U.S. Special Operations Command, Aden could not have deployed as a Special Forces weapons sergeant because he started but never completed the required training.

But Leibowitz said Aden “has nothing to apologize for” in regard to his claim that he was designated as a Special Forces weapons sergeant.

Aden has repeatedly said in interviews and statements that the designation of “18B” denoting a Special Forces weapons sergeant on his official military record, called a DD214, proves that he was a Special Forces soldier. He provided a copy of orders given to him when he was in training as proof of receiving that specialty.

The U.S. Army said the orders are not proof.

Janice Burton, deputy public affairs officer for the Army’s Special Warfare Center and School, said the orders should have been revoked when he failed the course.

“As I said yesterday, he is not a Green Beret. He was relieved for academic reasons,” she said Thursday. “He never finished the [18B] training. The orders were saying he was going to that course. In fact, he failed out of the 18B training. Twice.”

Leibowitz tried to discredit a Democrat-Gazette article about Aden’s record by saying that a reporter never called the Special Forces training program. He also said the Army was not allowed to release Aden’s academic records.

But Burton said Thursday that no one in her office has spoken to Leibowitz or Aden about media inquiries.

Also, Burton said, “This is public information. We’re not telling you anything that’s not out there in the public for anyone to request.”

Leibowitz countered that the U.S. Army isn’t reading its own records accurately.

“Unfortunately, it would appear that the Special Warfare Center has their facts wrong,” he said.

Burton said the person who filled out Aden’s DD214 should have checked to see if he graduated from Special Forces training. Without a graduation certificate, she said, the 18B designation is invalid. “In order to be a Green Beret, you must complete all phases of the qualification course,” Burton said. “And you would get a graduation certificate. He did not make it through that process.”

Aden said in a phone interview Wednesday and in a written statement Thursday that he has requested his “complete military file from the National Archives” but did not know when those records would be available.

All military records, however, are stored at the National Personnel Records Center in St.Louis. On Thursday the Democrat-Gazette requested that Aden’s military file be pulled and a complete list of his military education and all awards and honors be provided.

Mark Edwards, chief of media relations for the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, released those records within three hours.

While records indicate that Aden appears to have exaggerated several elements of his military career, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that it is not a crime.

The court struck down a federal law making it a crime to lie about receiving the Medal of Honor and other prized military awards, with justices branding such false claims “contemptible” but nonetheless protected by the First Amendment.

The court voted 6-3 in favor of Xavier Alvarez, a former local elected official in California who falsely said he was a decorated war veteran and had pleaded guilty to violating the 2006 law, known as the Stolen Valor Act. The law, enacted when the U.S. was at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, was aimed at people making phony claims of heroism in battle.

A statement Aden issued early Thursday did not address academic credentials listed on his website that were incorrect. But later Thursday, Leibowitz sent an e-mail blaming the mistakes on the website designer who inputted the information.

The website was changed Thursday to say Aden “attended” Arkansas State University, Mid-South Community College in West Memphis and City Colleges of Chicago.

Aden’s website previously said that Aden had an associate of arts degree from ASU, though none of its campuses has a record of Aden taking classes.

Leibowitz said Wednesday that Aden took online courses through ASU and had accumulated enough credits for an associate degree. But that would be indicated in the school’s records, and it’s not, said Beverly Weems, graduation coordinator in the registrar’s office at ASU in Jonesboro.

Leibowitz said Thursday that Aden has requested his transcripts from ASU, and they will be provided to reporters as soon as they are available.

The website also previously said Aden attended the University of Chicago. A search of Aden’s academic records through student clearinghouse. org indicated that he attended Mid-South Community College in 2011 but not that he attended the University of Chicago.

Leibowitz’s Texas firm, The Dawn Group, designed the campaign website aden4arkansas. He said Thursday in an e-mail that “the material on the website was not written by the campaign, but by the website designer, and it is in error.”

The erroneous information has been on Aden’s website for more than six months.

“The campaign did not realize this error until it was pointed out by the media, and it will be corrected,” Leibowitz wrote in an e-mail. “In fast paced campaigns such as this, once static material such as this is put on the web, it typically gets far less attention than the dynamic parts of the website, such as press releases, etc.”

The Democrat-Gazette was unable to get verification of Aden’s academic record at City Colleges of Chicago on Thursday.

TAH posts on Aden over the last several weeks;

Ken Aden running for Congress in AR-03, a “Green Beret” not so much

Ken Aden supporters; Don’t try this at home

Ken Aden, the phony “Green Beret” congressional candidate; Part III

Ken Aden: Another story we won’t get credit for breaking

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (52)

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  1. Tim says:

    This guy just won’t stop! At any rate, reading over some facebook support groups, lots of his supporters are bailing on him. I personally enjoy seeing him burn like this. It’s well deserved.

  2. ROS says:

    I see, lying is “misspeaking” now. Asshole.

  3. TSO says:

    When will that Blue Arkansas website be apolgizing to us I wonder? Let’s not forget that they bashed us and said we were nuts and all the proof was there etc. That apology…..lost in the mail?

  4. Frank says:

    The D’Rats getting on one of their own re: lying?

    That’s rich!

  5. OWB says:

    Some liars are simply stupid, uninformed or otherwise more irritating than anything else. This clown has taken it into “capitol stupid” territory!

    And for what? To gain a few votes? (Not that that could be seen as a thing of value by the supremes.)

  6. jonp says:

    “misspoke” is Political Speech for “shit, I’ve been bagged”. Love how it’s everyone else s fault. Special Warfare Center didn’t have its records straight guess cause they have no idea who is Special Forces Qualified. Website designer put wrong stuff in that just happened to sit on his site for 6 months and no-one noticed. Military records wrong but he requested them. Took 3 hrs for paper to get them. Shit Weasel….

  7. Frank says:

    @#3 (TSO):

    Commies only apologize betwixt themselves.

  8. Jonn Lilyea says:

    #3 TSO, actually, I went to his blog last night and asked for an apology and it was waiting in my inbox this morning. And he apologized on his blog, too. So, he may have been a jerk, but it looks like he has new-found appreciation for milblogs.

  9. Beretverde says:

    Aden refuses to back down. He now has paperwork supporting his claims.

  10. Tim says:

    Where is the paperwork? A few random awards citations and a fake DD214? Whats the serial number on his Yarbourgh knife? That will clear it up.

  11. TSO says:

    Jonn forwarded me the apology.

    That is one stand up dude, no doubt about it. I give total props to him.

  12. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    I don’t even understand why he thought it necessary to lie in the first place, honorable service with the 82nd is just that, honorable….

    Think how different this could have been for him if he had run on issues and mentioned that he served honorably with a well respected airborne unit…most voters can’t or don’t distinguish between veteran and special forces veteran….so I am not sure what he thought the gain would be, and he must be a complete dumbass along with being a liar to think this would not come out….

    Nice work shining the light on the darkness of these lies…

  13. Hondo says:

    Aden’s pushing for another medal – the DFM. The last letter indeed stands for “medal”. I’ll leave the decipherment of the first two as an exercise for TAH readers – but it shouldn’t be a hard one. (smile)

  14. Old Trooper says:

    @11: I haven’t seen the apology, so I can’t comment on whether he’s a stand up dude, or not.

  15. Hondo says:

    Old Trooper: if the apology he sent Jonn is anything like the one on his blog (follow the link in Jonn’s comment 8 above and read the comments to the article), he certainly is. The one on his blog took guts, and was very public.

  16. ROS says:

    #13 – I’ll assume that’s not to be confused with the BDSM, which he most assuredly has already earned.

  17. Hondo says:

    Well, it gets a bit more interesting now. The article Beretverde cites in 17 above includes a link to a copy of his 18B orders dated in June 2008. It also has an issuing HQ and orders number. And they appear to be orders reclassifying him into the 18B MOS, not orders to attend a course.

    Wonder if IMC never got the word that Aden had been terminated from SFQC and cut a set of invalid orders – or if these were later revoked? If the former, it wouldn’t be the first time installation personnel goofed. If the latter, these are a deliberate attempt to deceive.

    And if they’re not valid . . . .

    I have secured a softcopy of these, and will be happy to provide to SWCS for their review/use/investigation if anyone can provide a POC. One way or another, this needs to be cleared up.

  18. ScalpelShepherd says:

    Who the fuck lies about an MSM?

    This guy thinks of himself as a hero. He should have at least said he was awarded the coveted Medal of Valor. Classified of course. That shit would be believable by some.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Aden is well-qualified for the job he’s tring to get in Congress, i.e., a lying conman. According to the recent court decision, it is called “Free Speech.” DISGUSTING!! Glad you are hounding him. Keep it up.

  20. Bobo says:

    When did IMCOM start cutting orders awarding MOS changes?

  21. Just Plain Jason says:

    Well as a newly minted senior masterairmansgtsecondclassofthearmies, all I have to say is we need to form possies and when guys like this are busted for “misspeaking” they need to be given friendly reminders that there really is a difference, between misspeaking and lieing. I am just fucking tired of playing by the rules when no one else is playing by those same rules. For fucks sake, Dick Bluementhal lied his ass off and got elected, now this dude is doing the same. Hey if you can’t back it up don’t say it. If he actually was a qualified 18b wouldn’t someone who knew him have said yep he’s legit? Shit, how about we let Tim Kennedy have at this guy for 6minutes and we call it square.

  22. Tim says:

    It is my understanding that the MOS orders are issued during the MOS portion of the the Q course. If the Soldier doesn’t complete the Q course then the MOS orders are rescinded. IMCOM doesn’t issue the orders for 18 series, those may only be issued by JFKSWC.

  23. Tim says:

    He has made another public statement today.

  24. Hondo says:

    So, Aden’s reminding folks that “I, and not the Democrat-Gazette or any other media outlet, am the only person entitled to my complete military record”? Hmmmm. Make me wonder what’s in there? Maybe a set of orders that revokes another, earlier set?

  25. Old Tanker says:


    Me thinks you’re on to something…..

  26. Tim says:

    Exactly. Those records include orders revoking the 18B MOS AND a DD214 that doesn’t show 18B. That was added in. Add up blocks 11 and 12, the time in service doesn’t match.

  27. Benjamin says:

    I think the paperwork orders happens frequently. I’m sure everybody has a ton of examples, but during OCS, I received “promotion orders” to E-5. We were all told that this doesn’t really mean we are NCOs, but it is a classification as part of the class. If we failed out, we would be reduced back in rank to SPC.

    So technically, you could fail out of the class and claim you were a sergeant in the Army…if you were the type of person to fail Army schools.

  28. UpNorth says:

    So, the SWC got their facts wrong, and two different colleges got their facts wrong on his student status? I believe him, no, I really do. NO, really. Well, OK, it appears he’s another run of the mill liar.

  29. OWB says:

    Y’all do whacha wanna, but I’m not buying the apology when he continues to skew his records. An acceptable apology is more than saying some words then continuing the bad behavior.

  30. TSO says:

    @30, I’m not buying the apology, my reference to stand up guy was to the Blue Arkansas guy that attacked us for being right wing hatchet men, and then apologized when it turned out our info was right. Aden can engage in autofellatio, but the Blue Arkansas guy deserves a thanks for being stand up about it. he attacked us, and called us names, but he did so out of loyalty, and he thought he was accurate. I can’t get too pissed about that, since I would defend friends with the same intensity.

  31. Beretverde says:

    @24… the DD214 show 2 yrs 9 months as an 18B. OK… what Group then as an 18B? Shit this douchbag phony spent 2 years 9 months in Special Forces training, flunking out three times then doing the “duffel bag drag to Division”. Some dumbass didn’t catch it as he was being discharged.

    I ask you (and Aden for that matter), who would in their right mind, leave Group and go to Division? Again- Fuck Him. He is a cowboy with a big hat and no horse.

  32. Squid Wiz says:

    Just how difficult are the academics in special forces (at least the ones he was applying to) training? I ask that in all sincerity because I really don’t know and I don’t have a good frame of reference.

  33. Tim says:

    Language school was what he failed last time.

  34. OWB says:

    @ #31: Well, that would certainly explain a few things! Obviously, I missed something significant – unfortunately not the first or last time that will happen.

    Thanks for ‘spainin’ it!!

  35. Beretverde says:

    @33.. I know a doc or two (MD not medic) and numerous PAs prior to becoming Docs/Pas that were recycled going through the SF Medic course. But that was a long time ago…BEFORE the 18 series!

  36. DR_BRETT says:

    No. 20 (whoever you are):
    “. . . well-qualified for the job he’s tring to get in Congress, i.e., a lying conman . . .”

    “Thick As Thieves” “Common As Conmen” ?? —
    The horrible truth — Congress-Critters LIE THROUGH THEIR FANGS.
    (whether or not Aden is applicable)

  37. Larry Delashmit says:

    I live in Aden’s Congressional District and he told me face to face several months ago that he was in fact a Green Beret. To misspeak is a onetime affair, to say it repeatedly to different people is just an outright lie. I fell for it cause he knew just enough about Bragg to make it sound as if he was. I’m an old 11b40 from Nam, and still believe in Honor.

  38. Eric says:

    I’d say if “Installation Management Command” cut his 18B order, then he had a buddy get it done for him or gave someone a BS Sob story about how he should’ve gotten it but it didn’t happen and he’s been waiting for a long time to get his orders cut, etc etc. Orders cutters are people too.

    There aren’t any 18B SF Weapons Sergeants Duty positions in the 82nd. There might be 18s in the 82nd, but not as 18s.

    A half-apology doesn’t make him a stand up guy, maybe a sit-up guy so far. He’s only apologizing to you about saying you have no integrity. Its a good start, but he’s still lying about being an 18B…

    And while SWCS can be a massive blackhole of paperwork at times (worked there in the past), this isn’t something they mess up. You either get qualified to be an 18 or you don’t. Same as 37F and 38B. So his spokesman blaming SWCS for his orders being messed up is ridiculous and abhorrent.

  39. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    Ya know what gets me about all this is many of us old-timers knew how to work the system. Having a brother who served he told me ho to get to know and who to stay away from. #1 on the list was th company clerk! After I got married I burned through my leave time like nobody’s business. I left with with 30 days leave on the books and went home with an extra months pay. All because Sgt. Woods, our company clerk, was a friend. It seems more plausible, to me, that that is how the 18B might have wound up in his records.

  40. Airborne MSG says:

    Guys keep up the great work. It’s obvious to anyone who has served recently that this guy can claim all the “paperwork , DD214 foul ups” he wants. In the era of Digital cameras everywhere, can’t he produce a few pics of himself with his team, in a combat zone, oh I don’t know wearing a Green Beret!!!!!!!!!!!! To say he can’t find his Q-Course certificate is the biggest pile of BS of all. Don’t we all have a “love me” book with all our important Sh_t in it? How about a pic from your Q-Course graduation. Sadly most civilians would just accept his BS at his word.

    You guys are doing the Lord’s workk keep it up.

  41. Joe Williams says:

    I disagree with you, JPJ. Tim is is a Ranger. Ibet the best fight would be among QPs over who would Ken first.

  42. Beretverde says:


    Aden’s campaign has circulated several documents to support his claim, including June 2008 orders awarding him a Special Forces military occupation specialty, or MOS. But according to a spokeswoman for the Special Warfare Training Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., that order tells only half the story.
    The other half would be the subsequent order rescinding that MOS, said Jennifer Martin.
    “When the students were entering the 18 Bravo training they would issue the orders [for the 18B MOS], and if they didn’t pass the training they would issue new orders to revoke” the first, Martin said.
    She said the Training Center has directed a copy of the revocation order be located and pulled from the storage files.

  43. ROS says:

    @43- Tim Kennedy is actually an 18B who completed the Q course.

  44. Joe Williams says:

    ROS, my mistake. Still would be ahh discussions over who would get him first.

  45. ROS says:

    Joe, I’d pay for video of whomever does it. :)