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Tuesday, June 7, 2005
Not a Bang, but a Whimper
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:29 pm

Via the BoGlo: Kerry allows Navy release of military, medical records

Senator John F. Kerry, ending at least two years of refusal, has waived privacy restrictions and authorized the release of his full military and medical records.

The records, which the Navy Personnel Command provided to the Globe, are mostly a duplication of what Kerry released during his 2004 campaign for president, including numerous commendations from commanding officers who later criticized Kerry’s Vietnam service.

The lack of any substantive new material about Kerry’s military career in the documents raises the question of why Kerry refused for so long to waive privacy restrictions. An earlier release of the full record might have helped his campaign because it contains a number of reports lauding his service. Indeed, one of the first actions of the group that came to be known as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was to call on Kerry to sign a privacy waiver and release all of his military and medical records.

But Kerry refused, even though it turned out that the records included commendations from some of the same veterans who were criticizing him.

The interesting thing about all of this isn’t that there were no revelations-quite frankly, that doesn’t surprise me. Rather, the interesting part is that this episode yet again illustrates Kerry’s serious lack of political acumen. Instead of releasing all this info years ago he allowed his recalcitrance to make it appear that there might be something being hidden. Aside from revealing that he wasn’t a mental giant in college, which is a marginal finding that barely rates above “amusing” I don’t see what the man was thinking in holding the records back.

Most, most odd.

Of course, maybe he just wanted this photo kept under wraps. Ick.

Filed under: US Politics, 2004 Campaign | |Send TrackBack

Pirate's Cove linked with WTW: Kerry signed and released


  1. what I want is the records pertaining to his discharge, and whether he was honorably discharged, or had his discharge status changed under Carters first act as “president.”

    Comment by William Teach — Tuesday, June 7, 2005 @ 8:45 pm

  2. Kerry gradually improved his grades, averaging 81 in his senior year. His highest single grade was an 89, for a political science class in his senior year. Despite his slow start, he went on to be a top student at Naval Candidate School, command a patrol boat in Vietnam, graduate from law school, and become a prosecutor, lieutenant governor, US senator, and presidential candidate.

    So everyone at Yale was out to get him? Or we just have low expectations.

    Comment by bryan — Tuesday, June 7, 2005 @ 8:59 pm

  3. Maybe I am too cynical — but the first reports indicated that the source for all these new documents was Kerry himself — i.e., *he* got the documents and then forwarded them to the Boston Globe.

    Is there anything showing that someone got these documents *directly* from the government?

    Comment by Steven L. — Tuesday, June 7, 2005 @ 9:12 pm

  4. Steven L. -
    Feel free to be cynical. Demonstrating his mastery of nuance, Senator Kerry signed an SF-180 for the Navy to release the records they have. But the majority of military records for discharged personnel are held at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. NPRC is part of the National Archives and Records Administration, and there is no indication that he signed a second SF-180 for NPRC, which would be required for them to release the records that they have.

    Comment by ts — Tuesday, June 7, 2005 @ 9:19 pm

  5. Remember, Kerry was for releasing his records before he was against releasing his records.

    Comment by Buckland — Tuesday, June 7, 2005 @ 9:25 pm

  6. WTW: Kerry signed and released

    Hey, y’all, this is Jebediah. Teach left the keys. Now, about this Kerry critter signing his 180’s, he has apparently done that, and submitted them, and released the info (h/t to Poliblog for the story link).Senator John F. Kerry, ending

    Trackback by Pirate's Cove — Wednesday, June 8, 2005 @ 7:51 am

  7. Don’t think this is over. Copied this off another blog. Kerry hasn’t released his for file.
    Read from the experts.

    Comment by pete — Wednesday, June 8, 2005 @ 8:04 am

  8. Assuming that these actually are all the records, which Steven L., pete, and ts combine to make me doubt, it is a bit baffling.

    Maybe he just wanted to avoid handing the righty pundits who were already mocking his “Frenchness” (Frenchiness? Francitude?) the information that “French” was the subject that he scored highest in during his freshman year.

    Comment by Terry — Wednesday, June 8, 2005 @ 12:06 pm

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