AND THEN THERE WERE 10…. “Top 9 Lists” just don’t have the same impact, so I’m glad to see the list of Mark Kirk’s falsehoods grow just a little more.

The Pentagon said Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk has been cautioned twice for improperly mingling politics with his military service, but Kirk’s campaign denied any improper conduct Tuesday.

The Defense Department said Monday night that Kirk, a commander in the Navy Reserve, was warned after two incidents of political activity while he was on active duty. Before being allowed to go on active duty again in Afghanistan, Kirk was required to sign a statement acknowledging he knew to avoid all political work.

“Commander Kirk was counseled about each of his violations after they occurred and signed a statement acknowledging the limitations on his ability to participate in campaign activities while on active duty. He was required to complete this acknowledgment before being allowed to begin active duty in December 2009,” the Pentagon said.

This wouldn’t necessarily count as one of Mark Kirk’s (R-Ill.) misstatements of fact, except his campaign issued a very specific statement last week, insisting, “The fact is, Congressman Kirk never violated Defense Department policies.” According to the Pentagon, that’s not true.

And unless I’m missing any, I think that brings us to a new, even total: Kirk (1) falsely claimed he served “in” Operation Iraqi Freedom; (2) falsely claimed to “command the war room in the Pentagon”; (3) falsely claimed to have won the U.S. Navy’s Intelligence Officer of the Year award; (4) falsely claimed to have been shot at by the Iraqi Air Defense network; (5) falsely claimed to be a veteran of Desert Storm; (6) falsely claimed to be the only lawmaker to serve during Operation Iraqi Freedom; (7) falsely claimed to have been shot at in Kosovo; (8) falsely claimed to have been shot at in Kandahar; (9) falsely claimed to have been repeatedly “deployed” to Afghanistan; and (10) falsely claimed not to have violated Defense Department rules on mingling politics with his military service.

At this point, perhaps Kirk’s Senate campaign should start listing the military-related claims the candidate has made that aren’t false.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.