This rumor has been making the rounds on the boards and chat rooms over the past few months. But getting the MSM to do any real investigative work on John Kerry's past is like pulling teeth. CBS doesn't seem to mind spending five years trying to prove a story about the president that has been debunked time and time again. But when it comes to the democratic nominee...nothing.
However, this morning, the New York Sun finally reports:
An official Navy document on Senator Kerry's campaign Web site listed as Mr. Kerry's "Honorable Discharge from the Reserves" opens a door on a well kept secret about his military service.
The document is a form cover letter in the name of the Carter administration's secretary of the Navy, W. Graham Claytor. It describes Mr. Kerry's discharge as being subsequent to the review of "a board of officers." This in it self is unusual. There is nothing about an ordinary honorable discharge action in the Navy that requires a review by a board of officers.
According to the secretary of the Navy's document, the "authority of reference" this board was using in considering Mr. Kerry's record was "Title 10, U.S. Code Section 1162 and 1163. "This section refers to the grounds for involuntary separation from the service. What was being reviewed, then, was Mr. Kerry's involuntary separation from the service. And it couldn't have been an honorable discharge, or there would have been no point in any review at all. The review was likely held to improve Mr. Kerry's status of discharge from a less than honorable discharge to an honorable discharge.
A Kerry campaign spokesman, David Wade, was asked whether Mr. Kerry had ever been a victim of an attempt to deny him an honorable discharge. There has been no response to that inquiry.
The document is dated February 16, 1978. But Mr. Kerry's military commitment began with his six-year enlistment contract with the Navy on February 18, 1966. His commitment should have terminated in 1972. It is highly unlikely that either the man who at that time was a Vietnam Veterans Against the War leader, John Kerry, requested or the Navy accepted an additional six year reserve commitment. And the Claytor document indicates proceedings to reverse a less than honorable discharge that took place sometime prior to February 1978.
The whole article has got stuff in it that has been discussed on this very blog for the past two months.
The article continues:
Finding grounds for an other than honorable discharge, however, for a leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, given his numerous activities while still a reserve officer of the Navy, was easier than finding "dirt."
For example, while America was still at war, Mr. Kerry had met with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegation to the Paris Peace talks in May 1970 and then held a demonstration in July 1971 in Washington to try to get Congress to accept the enemy's seven point peace proposal without a single change. Woodrow Wilson threw Eugene Debs, a former presidential candidate, in prison just for demonstrating for peace negotiations with Germany during World War I. No court overturned his imprisonment. He had to receive a pardon from President Harding.
Mr. Colson refused to answer any questions about his activities regarding Mr. Kerry during his time in the Nixon White House. The secretary of the Navy at the time during the Nixon presidency is the current chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Warner. A spokesman for the senator, John Ullyot, said, "Senator Warner has no recollection that would either confirm or challenge any representation that Senator Kerry received a less than honorable discharge."
The "board of officers" review reported in the Claytor document is even more extraordinary because it came about "by direction of the President." No normal honorable discharge requires the direction of the president. The president at that time was James Carter. This adds another twist to the story of Mr. Kerry's hidden military records.
In fact, the entire article read exactly like discussions that have been pointed out time and again all over the web:
Mr. Kerry has repeatedly refused to sign Standard Form 180, which would allow the release of all his military records. And some of his various spokesmen have claimed that all his records are already posted on his Web site. But the Washington Post already noted that the Naval Personnel Office admitted that they were still withholding about 100 pages of files...
...There are a number of categories of discharges besides honorable. There are general discharges, medical discharges, bad conduct discharges, as well as other than honorable and dishonorable discharges. There is one odd coincidence that gives some weight to the possibility that Mr. Kerry was dishonorably discharged. Mr. Kerry has claimed that he lost his medal certificates and that is why he asked that they be reissued. But when a dishonorable discharge is issued, all pay benefits, and allowances, and all medals and honors are revoked as well. And five months after Mr. Kerry joined the U.S. Senate in 1985, on one single day, June 4, all of Mr. Kerry's medals were reissued.