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May 10, 2005



Kerry will authorize the release of his military records only if they corroborate, in full, his "interpretation" of his service. This would include a showing (i) that his discharge had never been anything other than honorable, (ii) that his injuries were severe enough, and his conduct sufficiently courageous, to have warranted his medals, and (iii) that he was justifiably allowed to cut short his one-year commitment after four months. In other words, Kerry's military records would have to show that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were wrong, both in general and on the specifics of his service. If this were the case, Kerry would have signed the Form 180 during the 2004 campaign.

So: even if a release of his records tended to vindicate him (in which case Kerry would certainly call a press conference, or send a mass e-mail to crash servers worldwide), signing the Form 180 now would only cause his former supporters to ask: why didn't he do this months ago, when it might have helped?

Harry Arthur

He'll never sign the Form 180 because his discharge was other than honorable.


He will never sign the Form 180 because it has not been approved the the UN.

Mark Coffey

I'm inclined to think he would hold a press conference, given what an issue it has been...but it ain't gonna happen.

Molon Labe

He *has* signed it as promised. He just hasn't submitted it.


Kerry's really trapped on this issue; there's no good result for him in signing the Form 180. If there's something embarrassing on there, he'll get lambasted by the Republicans for not disclosing it before the election. And if there's nothing embarrassing in there, folks like Kaus will flay him alive (not that Mickey didn't do that during the election season, even if he did donate to and vote for Lurch in the end).

I do think that it's a something-less-than honorable discharge, mainly because the 1978 date that Kerry claims to have ended his service to the Navy never made any sense.


He *has* signed it as promised. He just hasn't submitted it.

Good point.

As to the less than honorable discharge, a rump group of last year's Kerry-bashers (OK, that includes Beldar, Cecil Turner, and me) were not convinced then, and I don't think new evidence has emerged that would change our minds.

The alternative view (I will dig for a link) was that Kerry was put in the Reserve as an automatic part of concluding his active service; in 1978, the Navy flushed out a lot of reservists (including Kerry) for whom they had no use.

OK, here is my Oct 13 story, with a Nov 1 follow-up.


Regarding Naval Reserve status -- that doesn't really help. Then he was meeting with "both sides" (our enemy the North Vietnamese government and our other enemy, the communist insurgents of the South) while under oath and obligation not to. Private citizens and sons of career diplomats are free to do all kinds of things the government might, reasonably or unreasonably, object to. But comissioned officers of that government suffer considerable restrictions. In particular officers are supposed to avoid even the appearance of aiding an adversary.

There is no question about the dates of Sentator Kerry's meeting in Paris. There is some remaining fuzziness about whether he was, or was not, subject to UCMJ during that period. The SF-180 release of a complete and official timeline of the Senator's service would help resolve that fuzziness.

Which is why I anticipate the records will remain under seal of privacy for his lifetime.


14th Amendment. His discharge may have been upgraded to honorable by Carter, but a Presidential pardon is not enough to make him eligible for either Senate or Presidency if he gave aid or comfort to the Communists while visiting France.


Go to http://polipundit.com/index.php?p=7562. There is a Wictory Wednesday campaign this week to FAX to Kerry's offices the three-page form to release his military records!!

I just signed up with efax and sent mine. Might be better than your fax machine, because all the numbers are gonna be busy most of the time for days!


Jor, the problem is obvious that Kerry thinks he still is "significant". As such, he should view our sniping as the highest of compliments!


Hmm, I will yield my tin foil hat to no one.

And my current theory is that the big beneficiary of Kerry's non-signing is Hillary - while Kerry is hanging around, he takes up space and attention that might go to the current unknowns.

If he signs and exits, Hillary loses. Of course, if he signs and stays in, Hilary wins, because, if there are no damaging disclosures, then he is as big a chump as we thought (the Kuas theorem).

Edwards would be an obvious winner if he signed.

Harry Arthur

Anyone know how to download a copy of Senator Kerry's current discharge? I believe it was on his web site during the campaign but cannot seem to find a link to it now.


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