Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mr. Kerry's SF 180, Part II

Today's New York Sun revisits the issue of Senator John Kerry, and his recently-signed SF 180, the Defense Department document authorizing release of his military records.

Kerry supporters claim the files--which were released to three "friendly" media outlets in late May and early June--provide the complete record of Kerry's Vietnam-era service in the Navy. Others have their doubts. Swift Boat leader John O'Neil has speculated that certain documents may have been expunged from the Senator's military records. For example, the records released to the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press offer no explanation as to why Senator Kerry obtained his honorable discharge in 1978--almost six years after he left the Navy. Virtually all military members know the status of their discharge at the time they leave service.

As you may recall, Senator Kerry applied for admission to Harvard Law School after leaving the Navy, but his request was denied. A member of admission committee reportedly said that Kerry was turned down, in part, because of issues with his military record that might prevent eventual admission to the bar.

More than three decades later, key portions of Mr. Kerry's service record remain as murky as elusive as ever. The New York Sun--which has pursued this story with dogged determination--has submitted its own request for a copy of the Senator's military record, and service-related medical files. Mr. Kerry has denied the Sun's request. Go figure.

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