web counter Media Lies: Was Kerry dishonorably discharged?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

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Was Kerry dishonorably discharged?

The New York Sun investigated Kerry's discharge from the Navy and found some curious anomalies.
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.
The report goes on to show that his discharge status was changed during the Carter administration.

That's not all.
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.
If we weren't living in the media twilight zone, this would be headline news. As it is, you can expect this to never make it to the old media. I doubt anyone will touch it with a ten foot pole, and Kerry isn't going to sign a Form 180 until it's too late to get the records before the election is over.

It this were President Bush it would lead the news on every channel and be page one above the fold in tomorrow's newspapers. (Hat tip to Hugh Hewitt who also links to several other blogs that are carrying the story.)

UPDATE: Beldar seems to be aggregating blog posts on the subject. One issue I'm not seeing discussed is Kerry's medals. If indeed his medals would have been revoked due to a dishonorable discharge and then reinstated in 1985, as Lipscomb asserts, then it's entirely possible that Kerry was telling the truth when he said he threw his medals over the fence.

That would explain his thoroughly confusing explanations for what happened to his medals. To obscure the fact that they were revoked when he was dishonorably discharged and reissued when he became a Senator.