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Friday, October 29, 2004

Rumor mill buzzing on Kerry's discharge status

Update (Sat Oct. 30 @ 12:50am): This rumor hasn't yet panned out, as acknowledged by its original source, and may or may not ever pan out; see Update #3 below if you want the details.  I'm leaving the original text of this post in the extended entry/archive version, marked with strikethroughs.

If the rumor is not true, of course, it could be definitively proved so were Sen. Kerry to sign Standard Form 180.  That probably isn't going to happen, at least not before the election.  One remains free to draw whatever inferences one thinks are justified based on Sen. Kerry's refusal, but they are, at best, only inferences — in this context, guesses.  — Beldar

-----[original post and numbered updates follow]-----

My email inbox is brimming. 

Yes, I'm aware that there are rumors buzzing about a breaking big story on Sen. Kerry's Navy discharge, about which I last wrote in a post entitled "Was Kerry's original discharge less than honorable?" on October 13th.  My conclusion then was that records analyzed by reporter Thomas Lipscomb in a New York Sun article could support the hypothesis that Sen. Kerry received something other than a full-fledged honorable discharge.  But as you'll see if you read my comments thread, there were lots of contrary arguments as well.  And as I recognized in my last update to that post, there was at least one other plausible contrary inference from the records — equally speculative — that could have explained what seemed to be an odd statutory reference in a page from Kerry's records displayed on his campaign website.

The immediate source of the rumors is a [since-pulled —  see updates below] post by "NavyChief" on the SwiftVets site (but their server is likely to be overwhelmed shortly):

Okay, folks.

We got it finally. We have the Former Secretary of the Navy who stated, "Yes, Kerry did receive an Other Than Honorable Discharge".

Stay tuned for more...

Now to MAKE THE MEDIA AND CONGRESS LISTEN!

Go my brothers and sisters -- spread the news to everyone!!!!

- Chief

PoliPundit, Power Line, and Redstate all have threads up, plus check the Trackback link from Power Line and also the Trackbacks to my post here.

I have no inside info at this point, although I would not be surprised if, as PoliPundit's post suggests, this rumor may refer to something about to be published by Mr. Lipscomb.  I know he's been continuing to work on the story, but I don't know any details. 

I repeat that these are, at this stage, rumors, and I humbly request that anyone linking this post make clear that such is my present opinion. 

Based on my past experience with him and reading of his work, though, like many others, I've found NavyChief — a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer and father of five named Troy Jenkins from San Antonio, who's included (at about the 3-minute, 55-second mark) in the fourth of the SwiftVets' "mini-documentaries" released yesterday, entitled "No Man Left Behind (Pt. 1)" — to be a diligent, bright, and knowledgeable fellow.  Like all of us, he's human, and he's occasionally stumbled in his digging through Kerry's records, but when he's done so, he's acknowledged it quickly.  His new post on the SwiftVets site certainly indicates, however, that this is more than an inference drawn from records — and instead a former Navy Secretary, speaking, one would presume, from personal knowledge.  (See also this very provocative post, from a blogger I'm unacquainted with and hence cannot vouch for even by reputation.)

As they say ... "developing."  If this falls through, I'll be among the first to concede that point.  If it pans out, I admit that I'll be tickled pink.

---------------------

Update #1 (Fri Oct 29 @ 2:35pm):  The original thread on the SwiftVets forum has been pulled.  Make of that what you will; I don't know what to make of it, but it would seem to be equally consistent with either (1) a glitch in the story that casts doubt upon it or (2) a desire to release the story in a less haphazard fashion.

---------------------

Update #2 (Fri Oct 29 @ 2:52pm):  This thread suggests that NavyChief's post was pulled because it represented his personal statement rather than something that the SwiftVets organization is yet ready to be identified with:

We have been advised that material was recently posted to this forum referencing the nature of John Kerry's discharge from the military service. That material has been deleted from this forum.

Please be advised that posts made to this forum express the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Swift Vets and POWs for Truth.

That strikes me as prudent at this point, regardless of whether the rumor turns out to be well-founded or not.  This is still just a rumor.

---------------------

Update #3 (Sat Oct 30 @ 12:50am):  From a post on the SwiftVets forums from NavyChief:

New information has developed on Kerry's Discharge. We have been proven correct in our assertions, however without the proper folks coming forward this will not be public until after the elections.

- Chief

---------------------

Update #4 (Sat Oct 30 @ 3:18am):  D'oh!  A sharp-eyed reader emailed me to note that the link just above is a very old one going back to Thursday, Oct. 28th.  Mea culpa maxima.  I'm not sure what the current status of efforts/research is, but we still seem to be somewhere in the rumors stage.

Posted by Beldar at 02:21 PM in Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink

TrackBacks

Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Rumor mill buzzing on Kerry's discharge status and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


» Kerry's Discharge: News Soon? from The Truth Laid Bear

Tracked on Oct 29, 2004 2:49:23 PM

» Other Than Honorabel Discharge For Kerry from Secure Liberty

Tracked on Oct 29, 2004 4:02:08 PM

» October suprise right back attcha, chump Alert !!! from Perpetual Notions

Tracked on Oct 29, 2004 5:14:43 PM

» More Rumors on Kerry's Discharge from Pajama Pundits

Tracked on Oct 29, 2004 7:31:11 PM

» News Flash Of The Day from The Pajama Journal

Tracked on Oct 29, 2004 10:44:22 PM

» Dishonorable Discharge! Surprise John Kerry we kn from The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill

Tracked on Oct 29, 2004 11:27:09 PM

» Kerry Dishonorable Discharge -- We can't quite prove it yet but we know it's true. from Small Town Veteran

Tracked on Oct 31, 2004 2:39:15 AM

Comments

(1) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 2:57:09 PM | Permalink

This is just sad: link.

I'd be very surprised if Mr. Jenkins has the goods.

(2) drjohn made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 3:22:12 PM | Permalink

A quote real interview with Troy Jenkins is posted at inthebullpen.com and is still there. The topic was lifted from the swiftvets.com site at Mr. Jenkins' request. It does not reflect the official view of the site.

But it does not change the facts.

Have a look.

Thanks

(3) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 3:30:46 PM | Permalink

John O'Neill, appearing on a Seattle radio talk show this week, said he believes Kerry received an OTH discharge first. Then got it changed to Honorable in 1978.

Of course, Kerry can clear this up very easily by signing a Form 180.

(4) PC made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 3:40:32 PM | Permalink

Thanks for the link Geek, (TIC) I'll be calling right away.

(5) FredRum made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 4:40:23 PM | Permalink

Geek, Esq., I'm sure you wish otherwise, but every single bit of research that "Navy Chief" Jenkins has broken on the SBVT web site has turned out to be 100% accurate.

Beldar, the deletion of Navy Chief's initial posts on the SBVT forums has been pretty consistent over the past few months. Usually it works like this:
1. Navy Chief posts some bombshell
2. SBVT moderator edits/deletes the post
3. Within a couple of days, the post turns out to be true
4. Information gets reposted, often with a "sticky" post at the top of the forum.

(6) drjohn made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 4:44:51 PM | Permalink

He has the goods.

(7) The Old Coot made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 5:12:28 PM | Permalink

Kerry has a plan to sign a DD-180 but won't reveal it until 11/03.

(8) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 5:38:06 PM | Permalink

Fred:

To the extent that he predicted that a virulently anti-Kerry publication would run a story that had absolutely no legs or traction, he has been correct on a number of occasions.

(9) john c walsh made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 6:35:25 PM | Permalink


Anyone recall the mystery surrounding the reason that John Lehman (as Secretary of the Navy) would ever have signed Kerry's Silver Star award? Remember, Lehman had been SoN a number of years after Kerry served... ..I'll bet it was not the original he signed but the "replacement" medal he was given after his less than honorable discharge...His less than Honorable came along when Lehman was in office and he is thus (a) aware of it; and (b) he recalls having to sign the "replacement" award.

(10) FredRum made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 6:55:51 PM | Permalink

Geek:

Nice try. "No traction" is hardly a reliable indicator of the veracity of a story. These days, it's more an indicator of how most major news organizations are in the bag for Kerry (or to borrow your words, how virulently anti-Bush they are). Thankfully, the Washington Times, New York Sun and several others do not fall into that category and it sure is refreshing!

Four More Years! :-)

(11) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 10:23:23 PM | Permalink

Fred:

My personal opinion is that his stories are garbage. But, that's a minority opinion here and I've already expended my quota of energy on the Swifties.

(12) IH made the following comment | Oct 29, 2004 11:00:30 PM | Permalink

UPDATE on NavyChief

Brothers and Sisters, how many people will be on the Capitol steps this Sunday, surrounded by media outlets and reporters from various organizations?

UPDATE: Do you trust me? What I posted earlier is coming...

http://www2.swiftvets.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15238

I am going to try and use my humble contacts and exert pressure on Zell Miller and many other politicians to join us.

- Chief

http://www2.swiftvets.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15238&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

(13) Joey made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 1:17:58 AM | Permalink

Following is a brief background on Mrs. John Kerry. She hates being called that, by the way. According to the G2 Bulletin, an online intelligence newsletter of WorldNetDaily, in the years between 1995-2001 she gave more than $4 million to an organization called the Tides Foundation. And what does the Tides Foundation do with John Heinz's money?
They support numerous antiwar groups, including Ramsey Clark's International Action Center. Clark has offered to defend Saddam Hussein when he's tried.

They support the Democratic Justice Fund, a joint venture of the Tides Foundation and billionaire hate-monger George Soros. The Democratic Justice Fund seeks to ease restrictions on Muslim immigration from "terrorist" states. They support the Council for American-Islamic Relations, whose leaders are known to have close ties to the terrorist group, Hamas. They support the National Lawyers Guild, organized as a communist front during the Cold War era. One of their attorneys, Lynne Stewart, has been arrested for helping a client, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, communicate with terror cells in Egypt. He is the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

They support the "Barrio Warriors," a radical Hispanic group whose primary goal is to return all of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to Mexico. Aiding and supporting our enemies is not good for America, regardless of your political views.
If voters will open their eyes, educate themselves and see the real Teresa Heinz Kerry, they will not appreciate her position as ultra rich fairy godmother of the radical left. They will not want to imagine her laying her head on a pillow each night inches away from the President of the United States.

(14) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 2:11:08 AM | Permalink

Joey:

Your comments are false and libelous. The Heinz Foundation's donations to the Tides Center were specifically allocated to a specific project inside Pennsylvania. The Tides Center was not allowed to spend those funds on other projects.

Some people will believe anything.

(15) Paul H. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 5:20:33 AM | Permalink

Beldar, if something eventually does "leak out" (either before or after the election) from Kerry's military records, concerning a board proceeding to "downgrade" his military discharge during the Nixon administration (& with a later "upgrade") -- you might find it interesting to do a "compare & contrast" legal analysis, using previous cases of leaks from personnel files at the federal level.

I know I'd be interested in reading such an analysis.

As examples for contrast, I'm thinking of the attempt by somebody to check out Clinton's State Dept passport application file during the 92 campaign (looking for derogatory info about his reason for travel to the Soviet Union, as an anti-Vietnam war college student). As I recall, that was done by a low-level Bush administration official who was not authorized, and it "blew back"; the first Bush administration quickly put the kibosh on it.

I always thought, though, that this attempt must have been part of the motivation behind the "Clinton White House" obtaining the FBI files on various folks. Nobody ever really got any blame for that, did they? It was an "immaculate conception" -- the files just magically appeared at the White House, and everyone there who might have known about why this happened was vague about the genesis. And of course there was the clever leaking of details from the Pentagon civilian personnel file on Linda what's-her-name (how could I forget that) -- you know who I mean, Monica's friend, who blew the whistle on Monica's confidences about "interactions" with the Big He.

My guess is that Kerry's naval personnel file (hard paper copy) has long since been given special sealed "lockdown" storage (along with any other Washington VIPs with prior military service), by whoever is in charge of these archive files for the Pentagon & the individual services. And it's probably been in such a status ever since Kerry first became a Senator back in the early 80's, and that's why nothing from it has leaked.

Nor should it, in spite of my antipathy toward the man. Of course, such scruples sure didn't apply during the Clinton administration.

But -- if there really was a special board proceeding, to downgrade Kerry's separation from service, during the Nixon administration -- I am surprised that nobody who served on such a board has come forward. But maybe the board members are all dead by now. Or any survivors have scruples enough to keep their mouths sealed.

If the Swifties and sympathizers have located any such survivors (or their former supervisors -- could this be what is meant by "a former Navy Secy"?)-- they must be putting a lot of pressure on them to come forward. The fact that this hasn't happened may say volumes about any such survivors' sense of integrity -- leaks from federal personnel files sure weren't a problem for the "Clintonites" when such leaks were politically expedient.

What a place Washington DC is. I'll be glad when this is over. Even if Kerry is defeated, he'll still go on being a Senator indefinitely, and I expect nothing more will be heard about this.

And of course maybe there never really was any downgrade of his discharge in the first place. I speculate that a Nixon administration move to convene such a board might have been quietly resisted, and eventually put off permanently, by military officials at the time, as an untoward involvement of the military in politics.

Nobody in the Pentagon at the time would have had any particular regard for Kerry, after what he had done in his anti-war self-aggrandizing politicking; but I think that there would have been a feeling that once Kerry's discharge had been originally characterized and then executed, it was wrong to go back and recharacterize it, absent a specific legal action against Kerry (ie, a public prosecution of Kerry for throwing his "medals", going to Paris to meet with the North Vietnamese, etc).

(16) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 6:40:14 AM | Permalink

"Your comments are false and libelous. The Heinz Foundation's donations to the Tides Center were specifically allocated to a specific project inside Pennsylvania. The Tides Center was not allowed to spend those funds on other projects."

Pennsylvania? Yes. Some of the 'contributions' were spent in Penn. The other 'targets' which Joey mentioned (you know the ones) are indeed beneficiaries of Heinz CatSoup.

"Some people will believe anything."
And some people, such as you, won't, no matter the proof. Fact of the matter is, you just don't walk in to the Tides accounting office and ask to see their books. WHY? You know why.

I'll offer the same thing here that I've offered on ComPo as far as your attacking the integrity of the the SwiftVets - Prove that what they have presented does not reflect the facts, and I will quit calling you on your crap arguments. Yours is typical behavior of the Leader you've so aptly chosen to represent you - You call all detractors Liars.

Myself, I prefer calling Senator Kerry a thief. If he wins the election, he will have stolen it as well, for that is the only way he could win the election. If we find out that he was not eligible to even run (less than an Honorable Discharge for instance), then he will be discharged from office.

Fool me once...

The italicized portion Posted by: Geek, Esq. on October 30, 2004 02:11 AM

(17) DRJ made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 8:13:07 AM | Permalink

Beldar,

There's a cryptic update on 10/30/04 at 2:20 am from Navy Chief on the following Swift Vets thread entitled "Calling all hands on deck":

www2.swiftvets.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15238
(I can't make the URL work directly, but follow the Google link)

that suggests the discharge issue may still be on the table.

(18) The Old Coot made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 9:52:16 AM | Permalink

The sad fact is that "Geek" and others like him/her would not care a whit if Kerry's discharge was less than honorable. They would not care if he admitted to eating puppies and kittens. They are so blinded by their hatred of Mr. Bush that nothing would change their minds.

(19) Dan made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 12:02:22 PM | Permalink

It appears as though there is no rally in DC on Sunday. They are pulling back from this rumor.

(20) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 12:22:59 PM | Permalink

Cap'n Doc:

You make a fine argument, but for the fact that it completely contradicts the known facts:

http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx@docID=224.html

"False allegations about Kerry's wife have been circulating for months, but the velocity of the Internet "whispering campaign" picked up substantially with the approach of the Fall campaign.

One false message claims Teresa Heinz Kerry gave $4 million to a foundation that used the funds to support a list of "radical" groups including one with alleged links to Hamas and another that is said to have offered to provide a lawyer for Saddam Hussein. But public records show otherwise. Heinz Kerry's foundation money was directed to projects such as "Sustainable Pittsburgh," which promotes "smart growth" strategies."

How sad that some wingnuts are willing to smear a woman without doing five minutes of research. I hate to break this to you, but not everything you read on the Free Republic or Little Green Footballs is true.

Now, regarding the discharge issue, there is documentary proof that he got an honorable discharge. That is a fact.

The suggestion that he got a dishonorable discharge is supported by nothing by rightwing rumor-mongering.

I have proof that he got an honorable discharge--you have no proof to the contrary.

I do find comfort in the fact that you are already deluding yourself about him "stealing" the election--speaks volumes about your confidence in Bush.

Toodles.

(21) drjohn made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 12:27:33 PM | Permalink

I speak for myself only when I speculate that someone was overtly threatened not reveal the truth.
It must be noted that in the new Bin Laden tape Bin Paden uses the language of both Michael Morre and John Kerry. Kerry was instrument of the North Vietnamese 30 eyars ago and he is now an instrument of Bin Laden. Moore is a tool. Period.

(22) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 12:31:27 PM | Permalink

Alas, our intrepid Mr. Jenkins was defeated by an evil conspiracy within the government:

http://www2.swiftvets.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15303

The Kerry discharge story is officially dead.

(23) PBRMan made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 12:57:07 PM | Permalink

I don't understand why Kerry's discharge papers wouldn't be reachable by a Freedom of Information Act suit. My (uninformed) understanding is that the only papers requiring the execution of Form 180 by the veteran or his kin are Privacy Act matters, such as medical records. Anyone know the law in this area?

(24) PBRMan made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 2:05:10 PM | Permalink

Geek asserts that he has proof that Kerry received an honorable discharge. Everyone acknowledges that his 1978 discharge was honorable. What is at issue is whether his earlier discharge, when his service obligation expired, was on an other-than-honorable basis (e.g., dishonorable or general) and was superseded pursuant to the Carter amnesty or other directive. That issue can be resolved by matters within Kerry's control. Under the common-law principle established in the Case of the Chimneysweep's Jewel, a presumption arises that his initial discharge was not an honorable one. It is only a presumption, but it is not rebutted by his 1978 discharge papers.

(25) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 2:26:51 PM | Permalink

What other discharge? He was in the Reserves between 1972-1978.

This issue was discussed in Beldar's earlier post on the subject.

To date, there has been no evidence of an earlier discharge.

(26) The Old Coot made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 2:29:40 PM | Permalink

Geek: I'm saddened that you seem blinded by your hatred of Mr. Bush. I then must acknowledge that you probably cannot reasonably respond to the following:

Since at least 1960, candidates for the highest office in our land have traditionally released their income tax and military records. Until this year, I cannot think of an exception to this, at least with candidates from the two major parties.

Mr. Bush has authorized the release of all of his family tax returns for many years, and Mr. Bush has authorized (either by signing a DD-180 or by Executive Order)the release of all of his military records. Mr. Kerry has repeatedly refused to release all of his records. Please tell me what conclusion should an unbiased person draw from that? Put differently, what is Mr. Kerry ashamed of?

(27) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 2:44:24 PM | Permalink

Coot:

Spare me the dishonest condescension. As a lawyer, I am trained to deal with facts. And the facts are that there is documentary proof that he was honorably discharged. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there was another discharge. None.

As far as any undisclosed documents go, I refer you to that ultra-librul rag, the Washington Times:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20041018-124856-1545r

"At this point, it is thought that the remaining unpublished documents are limited to medical and college records."

"Here are some of the charges brought by Internet bloggers and veterans opposed to Mr. Kerry:
•Mr. Kerry did not receive an honorable discharge. "My guess is that he was discharged in the '70s but not honorably," said one blogger in a widely circulated e-mail.
This accusation is refuted by Mr. Kerry's DD214, a separation-from-active-duty document. It was provided to him by the Navy and posted on his Web site, JohnKerry.com.
Mr. Kerry joined the Navy in 1966, completed officer training and served nearly four years on active duty. He requested an early separation in December 1969, which was granted a month later.
The Navy issued the DD214 that January 1970 that lists his "character of service" as "honorable."
A second charge is that Mr. Kerry did not successfully fulfill his time in the Reserves, so a special board had to be convened to determine what type of discharge he should receive.
Navy documents show that in 1978, he received an "honorable discharge certificate" after a board of officers convened and reviewed his record.
Navy officials say today that the board was standard operating procedure at that time for all reservists and does not indicate Mr. Kerry did anything wrong.
After service just short of four years on active duty, Mr. Kerry transferred to the Ready Reserve and then in 1972 to the standby Reserve. He was not required to attend drills under those two designations, says a Navy official who asked not to be named."

I have logic and facts on my side. You have your hatred of Kerry that causes you to see things that aren't there. I win.

I especially recommend that you read and re-read this passage from the WTimes:

" Navy documents show that in 1978, he received an "honorable discharge certificate" after a board of officers convened and reviewed his record.
Navy officials say today that the board was standard operating procedure at that time for all reservists and does not indicate Mr. Kerry did anything wrong."

You. have. nothing.

NavyChief made a complete ass of himself--going so far as to discredit himself with the Freepers--over this. Lipscomb' NY Sun story is a millstone around his neck--it is proof positive that he is not a journalist, but rather a political operative and a liar.

(28) wannabe made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 2:50:05 PM | Permalink

Interesting - I noted you and others vouched for Mr. Jenkins and in his announcement that he is "standing down" on this issue, perhaps Osama's endorsement of John Kerry renders any further October surprises unnecessary in the opinion of higher ups (or more likely there are legal and evidentiary hurdles) my curiosity was piqued by Mr. Jenkins PostScript:

"Working with Senator Kerry four years in the POW/MIA Office left me thinking -- when did the man ever do any work?"

As someone interested in THAT particular part of Kerry's life and puzzled by why neither the Swifties or the RNC have picked up on Sydney Schanberg's rather damaging allegations vs Kerry when he was Chairman of that Committee, in his article for the Village Voice, "When Kerry's Courage Went MIA" [and let's face it, clearly Kerry hasn't sued Mr. Schanberg or we'd have heard about it by now, n'est-ce pas] I was intrigued by the fact Mr. Jenkins is implying he worked under Kerry during that particular investigation which is rather fascinating, one wonder what stories Mr. Jenkins could tell, one wonders whether he was a source for Mr. Schanberg. Because as Chairman of this Committee it was one of the few real leadership roles Kerry took in his 20 years or so as a Senator. One would think his role here would have been worth a good look by someone other than Mr. Schanberg, or at least the conservative media. I do surmise since Cheney was Secretary of Defence at the time and John McCain was a member of that Committee, perhaps to bring up allegations vs Kerry might drag others into the fray.

Well if Kerry wins, 60 Minutes and the Kerry-snubbed Bob Woodward and others got plenty of potential material to work with after the election. Maybe Hillary will save it up until she challenges Kerry in 2008.

Because you know the media, they love to build you up then tear you back down......

(29) Beth made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 3:21:44 PM | Permalink

As a lawyer, I am trained to deal with facts.

Or, as a lawyer, you are trained to "DEAL WITH" facts--as in, trained how to work around them.

Why are you arguing here? You're not going to change ANYONE'S mind about anything. Just because you haven't SEEN documentation of the facts, doesn't mean no one else has. There are millions of things that exist without your having seen them, aren't there? I suppose you firmly believe that Bush was AWOL, too...without having seen any documents to back THAT up.

Spare US the condescension. "As a lawyer" doesn't mean squat. You might take note of the fact that there ARE actually a LOT of people who are smarter and more logical than you claim to be, despite not having that pretentious "Esq." beside their names. I know that's a shock to you--deal with THAT fact.

Now, I'm finished feeding the troll.

Apparently the person who KNOWS the truth has gotten cold feet on Navy Chief. Politics, as usual, reigns supreme. Yeccchh. I can't stand fear and paranoia. (Which, incidentally, is why I'm NOT a liberal.)

(30) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 3:39:10 PM | Permalink

Beth:

I take a reality-based approach to ascertaining the truth. You take a faith-based approach ("Cause NavyChief sez so"). I prefer mine--I always did prefer the Renaissance approach to the Medieval approach.

But, bluster on. You've done a bang-up job of convincing yourself.

(31) The Old Coot made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 3:41:17 PM | Permalink

Geek: My last on this...I promise.

1) No condensation was intended. Apologies if it read that way.
2) If you really are a lawyer trained in facts, you should know better than to try to put words in my mouth. Please read my previous posts; I have not expressed (nor hold) any hatred for Mr. Kerry. I am highly suspicious of his past and find him unsteady regarding our security. I obviously won't vote for him, but I reserve my hatred, loathing, whatever, for the likes of Arafat, OBL, Zarqawi and other deliberate murderers of innocents. Neither Mr. Kerry or Mr. Bush fit that profile.
3) And finally, why couldn't you answer my rather simple question? Why won't Mr. Kerry release all of his records, i.e., what is he ashamed of?

(32) AzCat made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 3:53:16 PM | Permalink

Geek - You'd be a better lawyer if you were also trained to seek facts ....

(33) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 4:02:49 PM | Permalink

Coot:

Beats me. From what I understand, these are primarily medical records, which members of the press were allowed to inspect, but have not been published.

From my perspective, there has been such an all-out smear campaign against him that exposing his medical and college records (which don't deal with his service per se) to every political operative determined to smear him probably seems like a bad idea.

More importantly, this stuff happened 30+ years ago. Was John Kerry too strident in his opposition to the war? Was Bush snorting coke and dodging the draft? Those kinds of questions aren't going to lead us any closer to killing bin Laden or improving our health care system.

(34) wannabe made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 5:17:19 PM | Permalink

Geek Esq

Have you read all of Thomas Lipscomb's investigation, all of his articles and Beldar's posts?

A few things. I believe Lipscomb is suggesting Kerry never served in the reserve from 1972 - 1978 - given his anti war stance it wouldn't be suprising.

If that isn't true, how can you explain the following:

The DD215, an amending document, issued in March 2001 says Kerry terminated his service in March 1970.

I believe there are no documents available to support he was in the reserve but I'm not sure on that count.

When John Kerry was running for the Democratic Congressional nomination in 1970, he told everyone he received his "honourable discharge" in March 1970 - see his interview with the Harvard Crimson Tide, dated February 18, 1970.

Now it appears Mr. Kerry didn't receive a honourable discharge until 1978.

So at minimum we've caught Mr. Kerry once again in a little white lie, which just adds up to a pattern of a lot of little and not so little white lies. Walter Mitty lives.

But never mind, "Anybody-but-Bush" and Soros will just pull the strings.

Let's talk about the Standard Form 180 - if the only records outstanding were college and medical records, where are all the after action reports that are the subject of all the controversy from the Swift Boat Vets?

And someone noted the other day, why are Kerry's military records from December 1969 and January - February 1970 missing from his website - oh it is that Christmas in Cambodia thing.

The Navy when pressed for documents by Judical Watch, gave some new documents and confirmed there were many not released yet pending the signing of the Standard Form 180. They said you have to go to Kerry's website for the rest - well how do we know Kerry has all his records posted, he's lied before and takes items up and down on that official website all the time. And Judical Watch felt they were entitled to their own copy of the documents (after Rathergate who can blame anyone).

By the way, I believe just one of the afteraction reports was released to Judicial Watch by the Navy and surprise surprise I believe it confirmed what the Swift Boats Vets were saying and that one of Kerry's so-called Band of Brothers lied about being present at one of the medal incidents. Of course this too went largely ignored.

Tell me Geek, Esq. if Kerry was so adamant about Bush releasing all of his military record and Bush signed this same Standard Form 180, what is Kerry hiding? It seems so simple and only fair. If you've got nothing to hide.

Frankly I suspect the Navy is hiding something too and naturally doesn't want to create an internal scandal because my sense is that someone or some persons in the Navy helped Kerry whitewash/upgrade his record in an "extralegal" fashion - that third citation on that Silver Star is a mystery huh, the one John Lehman said publicly he never wrote nor signed.

And if Kerry is elected those records will be destroyed forever, if they aren't already, unless Bob Woodward gets to them first, LOL, since Kerry snubbed Woodward - not a wise move.

(35) Lee Shore made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 6:03:58 PM | Permalink

It is absolutely true that Kerry's SF-180 refusal is suspicious.

BUT -- I Googled "Captain Donald L. Nelson" and found only one case (U.S. v. Williams, No. 01-0675) and no mention of Secy of the Navy Middendorf.

Looking on this link:

The addy DLNelsonSF@msn.com could be good or it could be an alternate screen name of someone else.

The phone (925) 964-0943 in Danville, California is the same town for two Donald Nelson entries in Switchboard.com (no addresses, unfortunately):

(925) 964-1301 and (925) 855-9994. Of course 964-0943 could be an unlisted number.

But the question is, why does he want people to call him? Why doesn't he call Fox News or the Washington Times himself?

I have a feeling that if this were true it would have emerged long ago. And even if it's true it's a bit too late to affect the election.

BTW, Lehman was SoN under Reagan '81-'87 -- well after Kerry got his "honorable" in 1978. link

Of course he might have known of the "reissue" of Kerry's medals after his first election to the Senate in 1984.

~LS

(36) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 6:04:15 PM | Permalink

Wannabe:

link

Changes in status are sometimes mistakenly referred to as "discharges." In 1972, Lt. John F. Kerry, then a member of the USN's Ready Reserve, was transferred to the Standby Reserve for an indefinite period of time.

In 1978, he was received a full honorable discharge from a board that was considered a standard operating procedure for reservists.

Lipscomb ignored this document out of either incompetence or dishonesty. Take your pick.

(37) Paul H. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 6:14:56 PM | Permalink

Geek -- it's my distinct understanding, based on personal experience, that under the law everyone who entered the military (both officer and enlisted) during the Vietnam and post-Vietnam era had a statutory 6 year service obligation.

(This period is now 8 years. If my memory of the 6 year period is correct, Congress would have had to make a statutory change recently. I did contracts as an ROTC instructor from 89 to 93 and I remember "6 years" from that time period, so it must have happened since 93).

The six years could be done in a variety of ways. When I was commissioned in the
Army in Dec 1977, my "contract" called for me to do 4 years of active duty, minimum; had I elected to separate at the end of the 4 year period, I could have gone into active Reserve/Guard service for the remaining two years -- or I could have elected to go into an inactive Reserve status (for this status, all I would have had to do was keep Uncle Sam informed of my address, in case of a general call up).

I followed Kerry's timeline of service on his campaign web site. http://www.johnkerry.com/about/john_kerry/
service_timeline.html

He entered active duty as an enlisted man in Feb 66, probably (as a college grad) with a contract guaranteeing him the right to attend Naval Officer Candidate school (a common military career pattern and totally unexceptional). He completed OCS in Dec 66 and went on full time active duty as a naval reserve officer. I expect his "commissioning" contract, like mine, called for a minimum of 4 years active duty -- a standard obligation and again totally unexceptional.

When Kerry accepted a commission as an officer, this meant a new "contract" and should have started the 6 year "obligation clock" over again. 4 years of active duty as an officer would have taken him to Dec 1970, with a further 2 years of active part-time duty (drilling one weekend a month), or inactive (tell Uncle Sam where to find you) naval reserve status -- lasting until Dec 1972.

This would have been statutory! Everyone had this 6 year timeline applied to them -- officer, enlisted, Army Navy Marines Air Force.

After 3 years and some months of full-time active commissioned service (as a Reservist, but for all intents and purposes essentially the equal of an equivalent grade Regular navy officer) -- Kerry requested (by letter in Jan 1970) and received (in late April 1970) an "early release" from active duty.

Why did he get this? For "the convenience of the government". Plus if you count his several months of service as an enlisted man (Jan to Dec 66) he was over 4 years total active service.

Vietnam was winding down and all the services were replete with excess junior officers. "Early outs" were happening all over (for example the Air Guard was happy to "early out" F102 fighter pilots, since the aircraft was going out of service and there were plenty of USAF pilots who wanted to stay in the Air Guard for a career, transitioning into new fighters).

I doubt if any navy reserve unit needed him for active part-time reserve (drill weekend) status, and I gather he wasn't inclined in that direction anyway. But -- Kerry would have still been carried, under his commissioning contract, as an inactive Reserve officer on the rolls of the Navy -- until the 6 year obligation expired in Dec 1972!

And then somebody, somewhere, would have been obligated to "flag" his file and complete action on a final discharge -- either with his active involvement in the process, or without. Final discharge actions don't just go into "limbo" indefinitely (for another 6 years in this case evidently, until Dec 1978).

His campaign web site timeline talks about his early release from active duty in April 1970, but is completely silent on what had to have happened (routine, or "nonroutine") on or about Dec 1972! (It doesn't cover Dec 1978 either).

And nobody else seems to know. This is what the Swifties are homing in on, and what this thread is about.

His total silence on the subject isn't helping him (or his defenders, such as you) -- at least among those of us who understand this subject.

Fortunately for his electoral prospects, the vast majority of voters don't understand it either.

(38) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 6:21:51 PM | Permalink

Paul:

Read the document. It states:

"In line with this legislation, regulations provide that each member of the Ready Reserve WHO HAS FULFILLED HIS STATUTORY MILITARY OBLIGATION be afforded the opportunity to execute a written request to remain in the Ready Reserve."

The letter also informs him that if he does not sign up for the Ready Reserve, he will be transferred to Standby Reserve.

(39) Paul H. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 6:49:24 PM | Permalink

Ok, Geek, I see your latest post.
Quote:
>>...Changes in status are sometimes mistakenly referred to as "discharges." In 1972, Lt. John F. Kerry, then a member of the USN's Ready Reserve, was transferred to the Standby Reserve for an indefinite period of time.

In 1978, he ... received a full honorable discharge from a board that was considered a standard operating procedure for reservists.<<

Outside my knowledge range. So -- let's hear from the Navy. Did every Naval Reserve junior officer completing his 6 year obligation in Dec 72 get transferred from the Ready Reserve to the Standby Reserve for an indefinite period of time, and then later receive a full honorable discharge from a board, under standard operating procedure for reservists?

This sounds unusual (and like a violation of a contract) to me. I don't think Kerry was volunteering for 6 more years in any sort of military status in Dec 72 -- do you? And I would think that the last thing Uncle Sam needed in Dec 72 was more "inactive naval reservists in the standby reserve".

But I "dunno" about the Navy's needs for standby reservists, then or now.

Did a significant fraction of the pool of eligibles get transferred? Or was it just one?

(40) Paul H. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 7:25:34 PM | Permalink

Quote:

>>"In line with this legislation, regulations provide that each member of the Ready Reserve WHO HAS FULFILLED HIS STATUTORY MILITARY OBLIGATION be afforded the opportunity to execute a written request to remain in the Ready Reserve."

The letter also informs him that if he does not sign up for the Ready Reserve, he will be transferred to Standby Reserve.<<

It would have been a violation of law for the Navy, the Pentagon, or the Nixon administration to have involuntarily extended Kerry's expiring 6 year obligation in Dec 1972 for 6 more years -- regardless of whatever his Reserve status was.

And a "board" (of naval officers) shouldn't be needed for any routine processing of honorable "discharges" (btw I don't think that's the right word, when an officer leaves his service obligation) -- either in 72, 78, or now. The personnel branch (NAVPERS?) enlisted sailors, or civilian employees working in the office concerned, would handle routine personnel actions.

A "board" in 78 implies a correction of a previous "board" in 72. But of course I don't know that for sure.

Be interesting to see what the "board" says on Tuesday.

(41) AzCat made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 9:21:53 PM | Permalink

The 16 Feb 1978 letter conveying Kerry's honorable discharge referenced 10 USC 1162, 10 USC 1163, and BUPERSMAN 3830300. The referenced sections of the US Code dealt with involuntary Presidential discharge of military officers following board actions. Kerry has come nowhere near sufficiently explaining these references and in that light his refusal to release his military records must remain highly suspect.

(42) Paul H. made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 9:42:54 PM | Permalink

Interesting "poop" Azcat. Thanks for posting it, but I'm afraid we're so far out in the weeds now that it doesn't matter. I'm no lawyer and would be way out of my depth except I had some training (and interest in) personnel matters as an Army officer.

Good job of "d" Geek, if you're still there. I hope you're considered for an important job in a potential Kerry administration; we're going to need him to have all the good help he can get.


(43) drjohn made the following comment | Oct 30, 2004 10:29:45 PM | Permalink

You must be lovin' this, Bill.....

and it's well deserved....

(44) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 31, 2004 1:18:21 AM | Permalink

AZCat:

Did you read the Washington Times article? It was an administrative discharge that was fairly common in the service, and does not provide evidence of wrongdoing.

You will also note that the language in the statute in no way provides for a review/reinstatement/modification of a prior discharge.

The timeline is:

August 1972: Kerry in Standby Reserve. He has not been discharged, nor does he have any negative actions taken against him by the military.

1978: Kerry receives an honorable, administrative discharge.

In order to believe the Sun's wacky version of events, you have to believe that:

1. Kerry was received an OTH discharge for unspecified reasons after 1972 from the Inactive Reserve. There is absolutely no evidence of this.

2. Either:

a. Kerry was reinstated between 1972 and 1978 under some mysterious provision of military law. There is absolutely no evidence of this.

b. The board that issued the 1978 discharge exceeded its statutory authority in reversing the dishonorable nature of his earlier OTH discharge. The plain language of Sections 1162 and 1163 contain absolutely no language that woud authorize such an action.

My suggestion is that nothing out of the ordinary happened. Kerry entered the Standby Reserve, and received an administrative discharge some years later under a common procedure.

Also note that the Times article mentions it is likely that the only documents from Kerry's file that have yet to be released are medical and college records, none of which bear on this question.

Paul H: Officers' obligations did not end with their fulfillment of their statutory service. They only became completely separated from the Armed Forces upon a discharge or their resignation.

(45) Navy Chief made the following comment | Oct 31, 2004 1:02:44 AM | Permalink

Geek Esq,

A lawyer, huh? Apparently not a good one. When you talk about documents and what facts you are dealing with, you really should look carefully. Do you need glasses? Shall I spell it out for you?

The only reason I am taking this tone with you, pinhead, is because you struck with the "ass" comment. The reality is that you have made an ass of yourself. I would have left you in your Kool aid world, ignorant of the truth, but for some reason you irritate me. I certainly hope you are still around after Monday to post your ignorant comments. You must be an expert with military matters, Navy especially. It doesn't sound that way, however. You quote the Washington Times article without knowing the source? Pathetic -- I hope none of my acquaintances ever need your services. I'll expect a full apology come Monday, but I won't hold my breath because I'm sure you'll be under your bed pissing your pants.

- Chief

(46) SteveoBrien made the following comment | Oct 31, 2004 2:17:27 AM | Permalink

He'll stonewall it.

Voluntarily he'll release those records about five minutes before he releases a copy of his wife's income tax return.

Of course I'm certain there's nothing wrong in there so why all the dither? but of course if that sucker is really more than 100 pages in length, as rumor has it, one never knows when a minor item or two or three or four might fall out but be caught before it hits the floor.

(47) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 31, 2004 2:56:57 AM | Permalink

That's about what I expected from ya, Chief. You're long on insults, threats, and promises.

If your pattern holds true, you will once again not back up your words.

How's that rally coming? Or your campaign to beg your friends to beg Senators to give you a phone call?

(48) NavyMustang made the following comment | Oct 31, 2004 4:45:49 AM | Permalink

Geek:
While I was a staff instructor at Submarine School, I instructed young officers on their service jackets. Given that expertise, I can tell you that there is too much missing from what I would expect to see in Kerry's record. Unless Kerry was one sick person there shouldn't be more than 10-15 pages of medical records (closer to 10 even with all the grievious wounds). So the question becomes: what is in the other material not released? Might it pertain to the fact that he did not satify his service contract? By that contract he should have been a drilling reservist, not having tea with Madam Binh. I have read your posts above and trust me, you are clueless - Kerry owed the ready reserve time (I signed the same contract that Kerry did - I know). Further, there is no evidence in his record that he satified this requirement or was excused from it. In looking at pictures of Kerry during this time frame I would suggest to the jury that he did not honor his ready reserve commitment (the haircut would never pass inspection). I might expect that the missing pages would show an Admiral's Mast (a really bad event for a naval officer) for his failure to honor his contract.

I can make a lawerly case that Kerry did not earn his first and third Purple Hearts. I can tell you that in the famous picture where he is testifying to congress Kerry is wearing ribbons that are not documented in his released records. So - is he trying to pad the hero look or are they documented in the missing pages? In your posts you cite the NYT to minimize what might be there. Great source - not! My experience tells me that he is hiding something else the records would have been made public.

You need to understand that this is not about political affliation. It is about a man who betrayed his shipmates while in Vietnam, betrayed his country after he came home, and continued this betrayal as a Senator (for example, can you say Nicaragua? POWs?). Duty, honor, country - the Chief and I understand this well. We understand the concept of shipmate. Kerry did not then and based on his recent statements, it still escapes him.

You can speculate all you want, but from your posts you haven't been there, done that, and you shouldn't be wearing the tee shirt.

If Kerry is your idea of a fit leader then....

Remember: Christmas in Cambodia, UN security council, etc., etc., etc..

NavyMustang
LCDR, USN(RET)

(49) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Oct 31, 2004 7:08:16 AM | Permalink

HEY, Geek, esq!.

I told you that I'd keep calling you on your crap arguments, and I'm going to.

"Now, regarding the discharge issue, there is documentary proof that he got an honorable discharge. That is a fact."

Yup. You're correct. There is documentary proof that he got a Purple Heart as well. But since I know more than you do about how one obtains a Purple Heart, I know more than you do about how Senator Kerry got his first and third, and I know more than you do about his anti-American activities whilst still in the military, your argument just went down in flames. THAT is a fact.

Now any time that you would like to dispute the word of Kerry's CO, the attending Physician at Sickbay, the ranking Hospital Corpsman who signed his Sickbay call sheet, the ranking officer for the mission, or any of the facts to which they have sworn affadavits, then I will hoist your crap arguments to the top of the nearest flagpole and beg forgiveness for calling you an idiot.

BUT, until then, don't try to use the DanRather argument on me.

"The suggestion that he got a dishonorable discharge is supported by nothing by rightwing rumor-mongering." Right. Why does the man have FOUR discharges?

"I have proof that he got an honorable discharge--you have no proof to the contrary."

He has "proof" he was awarded three Purple Hearts as well. I have 'proof', in the form of sworn affadavits, that he obtained at least the first one in a manner unbecoming an officer.

"I do find comfort in the fact that you are already deluding yourself about him "stealing" the election--speaks volumes about your confidence in Bush." I have every confidence in the President winning re-election. I have however seen how those of you of like mind will defend the behavior of your guy using any means to win an election. After calling on the President to release ALL of his military records and accusing him of being AWOL, it sure is heartening to listen to your guy claim he's released ALL of his records (6 months ago), now reveal to even you deaf people that he hasn't.

He is a common thief. Nuance yourself out of that one. I can prove that accusation, Geek.

The italicized portion Posted by: Geek, Esq. on October 30, 2004 12:22 PM

Toodles. Don't revisit this thread unless you're prepared to refute what I've said.

(50) Paul H. made the following comment | Oct 31, 2004 7:12:10 AM | Permalink

Quote:

>>...My suggestion is that nothing out of the ordinary happened. Kerry entered the Standby Reserve, and received an administrative discharge some years later under a common procedure....

...Officers' obligations did not end with their fulfillment of their statutory service. They only became completely separated from the Armed Forces upon a discharge or their resignation.<<

I'd be interested to see you come up with a cite from the law proving this.

Retirees like myself are on "permanent call" in the retired reserve. But you can't be retired until you've put in "your twenty" (the services had an "early retirement" program during the downsizing of the early to mid 90's, but that's now come and gone. Didn't exist in the 70's).

Short of this (be you alive or be you dead, be you officer or be you enlisted) -- you're either "in" or "out". There wasn't some mysterious "limbo" reserve status for Kerry between 72 and 78 -- nor did his personnel file get lost for 6 years in some mysterious black hole Pentagon "hold box".

If this had happened routinely, the 2-stars in charge of the various services' personnel commands would have been summarily relieved. You don't mess with the troops' mail, nor with their ETS (estimated time of separation) dates.

(What a misnomer that acronym was -- when "Joe Snuffy" is "on fire" to get out, he knows that date to the "t").

Oh well, there's a lot of mysterious things out there in the universe. For example, until the last several months, I'd never heard of any policy by any service, allowing someone to leave their Vietnam tour early after the award of 3 Purple Hearts.

Not surprising I hadn't. I wonder what the total population of that particular subgroup was? I'm sure nobody in the Pentagon thought it was necessary to track the numbers at the time.

And of that subgroup, how many of them never spent even one day carried on "hospital" status on the daily unit "morning report" (or whatever the Navy term was for the daily formal report of unit personnel status)?

Kerry got right in there and learned about this obscure personnel policy, bringing it to the Navy's attention when he applied to leave Vietnam early. Yet you want me to accept that just a couple years later, in 72, he was somehow blithely indifferent to his formal reserve status with the Navy. Yeah, right.


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