The Boston Globe
says there is nothing new. After stonewalling since at least May 2003, Senator Kerry was damned if he did release them, damned if he didn't. Had the records reflected, as many of his opponents suspected, a less than honorable discharge then he'd would've been further villified by the right. Now that they've turned out to be inoccuous (maybe not! See update below
), even praise worthy, he's sure to be castigated by the left who'll scream, "Idiot! Why didn't you put this issue to bed last year and win the damn election?"
Also included with the released records are college transcripts that show Kerry earned slightly lower grades than Bush. As Harry Forbes points out
, "The delicious part of this revelation will, of course, be hearing some Kerry die-hards excusing his mediocre grades and being certain in spite of such evidence that their man is far “smarter” and that his opponent remains an imbecile" and also adds this very reasonable caveat lest we gloat too
much: "Younger readers should be aware that Kerry and Bush attended college in an era before students were treated as customers by colleges, and when many college professors believed that challenging their students’ sense of self-esteem was an important part of their education."
- "At some point, he decided to stand on principle about the privacy of his records. It was politically stupid and tactically, but Kerry's dubious political instincts are nothing new."
- "In the words of the great Peggy Lee song, "Is that all there is?" Either Kerry is the world's worst politician, or something is missing from his file."
- "I've heard some speculation that Kerry held this back because one of his biggest strengths in the campaign was his perceived intellectual superiority to Bush, and [the inclusion of his transcripts] would put a big dent in that image."
- "Some Democrats with an eye to 2008 are interested in seeing Kerry taken down a couple of notches, taking him out of play for another run at the White House."
- "This raises the excellent question of why Kerry would be so stubborn and obstinate regarding the signing of Form SF-180. Why didn't he release the records during Campaign 2004, when it might have made a difference?"
Others are skeptical of the Globe's claim to have all
of the records.
- "If there is something that he is hiding, and he was not sure whether or not the information was contained in the files, he may have decided to accept the criticism received for not releasing the records, rather than take the risk that the information was contained in the files. That is my personal belief."
- "I doubt we will ever see Kerry's "full" military record."
- "Skepticism does seem to be warranted. The author of today's Globe
piece reporting the news of the release is Michael Kranish, co-author of 'John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best.'
- "My guess is, someone at the Globe simply asked the Navy for Kerry's records, got exactly what they've always given, because they still don't have Kerry's 180, and then they wrote the article, wording it such that people will think that A is connected to B, when they aren't."
- "Interestingly, though, Kranish remains silent on several points of controversy that the secrecy of the files helped stoke."
- "If [Kerry] stood up tomorrow and said, “I made some mistakes back then. I was wrong. I got kicked out of the military. I’m sorry - here are my complete records, and I make no excuses for what I did,” I still wouldn’t vote for him - but I would at least respect that."
- "In fact, later in the story, there appear to be some vital things missing..."
John O'Neil - In response to a request for a comment from the Swift Vets, John tells Matt Margolis:
We called for Kerry to execute a form which would permit anyone to examine his full and unexpulgated military records at the Navy Department and the National Personnel Records Center. Instead he executed a form permitting his hometown paper to obtain the records currently at the Navy Department. The Navy Department previously indicated its records did not include various materials. This is hardly what we called for. If he did execute a complete release of all records we could then answer questions such as (1)Did he ever receive orders to Cambodia or file any report of such a mission (whether at Christmas or otherwise); (2) What was his discharge status between 1970 and 1978 (when he received a discharge) and was it affected by his meetings in 1970 and 1971 with the North Vietnamese? (3)why did he receive much later citations for medals purportedly signed by Secretary Lehman who said he did not know of them; (4) Are there Hostile Fire and Personnel Injured by Hostile Fire Reports for Kerry's Dec. 1968 Purple Heart (when the officer in charge of the boat Admiral Schacte, the treating Surgeon Louis Letsos, and Kerry's Division Commander deny there was hostile fire causing a scratch) awarded three months later under unknown circumstances.
: The closer I read this Globe article, the hinkier it seems. It may well be an artful suggestion
that they have Kerry's full records.