- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 31, 2015

An Iraqi Muslim interpreter for Chris Kyle spoke out against claims by MSNBC foreign correspondent Ayman Moheldin that the “American Sniper” was a racist and went on “killing sprees,” sharing his own experiences with Mr. Kyle whom he considered a dear friend.

In comments published Friday in IJReview, the interpreter, known by his codename Johnny Walker, said that Kyle was not a racist. He told reporters that Kyle had treated him like a brother in arms, sharing meals, talking about families and trusting him with his life.

“If you’re going to call Chris Kyle a racist, then call me a racist too,” Mr. Walker said, IJReview reported. “At times we were on the base, Kyle would laugh with the other Iraqi soldiers and joke with them. Again, why would a racist engage in that behavior?”

Mr. Walker said that when he attended one of Kyle embraced him at one of his book signings in La Jolla, Calif. After seeing him for the first time in several years, and said that Kyle credited him as an American hero during a speech at the event.

“Then, he said that I saved more SEAL’s lives than him. Pointing at me, and I am an Iraqi Muslim. So how is this racist?” Mr. Walker said, IJReview reported.

Mr. Walker defended Kyle for killing Iraqis during his deployments, saying that he had done so to protect Americans as well as innocent Iraqis.

SEE ALSO: ‘American Sniper’ thrills Baghdad crowd: ‘Shoot him! He has an IED!’

“The insurgents had a $50,000 bounty on my head. Every time Chris Kyle killed an insurgent he saved my family, and the innocent Iraqi families too. Why would a racist man protect me and innocent Iraqi families?” Mr. Walker said.

“People should be respecting and honoring him. It hurts Taya, his brother, his dad, his children, his whole family and everyone in the SEAL community when people say such things about a man like Kyle,” Mr. Walker said. “He treated me, and Iraqi Muslim, like a brother. So everyone needs to give him the respect that he fully deserves, and finally let the man rest in peace.”

Mr. Walker is the author of the book “Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs.”

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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