Politico’s Ken Vogel: Jim Webb’s Story of Heroism Is ‘Creepy’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Politico’s Ken Vogel criticized former Senator Jim Webb as “creepy” for referencing a story of personal heroism for which Webb won the Navy Cross.

During Tuesday night’s debate, candidates were asked which political enemy they were most proud of having made. While Clinton chose the Republican Party even over Iran (which she mentioned in passing), former Senator Jim Webb replied, “I’d have to say the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but he’s not around right now to talk to.”

Politico’s Ken Vogel immediately posted a video clip of the answer on Twitter saying, “Webb’s answer to Q about the enemy he’s most proud to have is creepy.” When challenged on what was creepy about Webb’s response, Vogel offered a different answer:

Apparently, Vogel felt his observation about Webb needed more attention. Wednesday morning he posted the same video clip again, and again suggested it was “creepy”:

Webb was referring to a life-changing encounter he had as a young Marine in Vietnam in 1969. As a platoon commander, Webb was tasked with a search and destroy mission in enemy territory. He and his fellow Marines came upon several bunkers, and Webb took the lead in clearing them. Webb captured three enemy soldiers at the first. Then, after a grenade was thrown from a second bunker, Webb blew it up with a mine. Webb was awareded the Navy Cross for what happened next:

Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker.

According to this site, only 489 men won the Navy Cross during Vietnam, and 175 of those were awarded posthumously. If Vogel thinks Jim Webb’s story of personal courage, leadership, and self-sacrifice for which he received a commendation from the president is creepy, he ought to at least explain why.