Was Kerry's Discharge Status Changed?

Thomas Lipscomb in the New York Sun (who broke the story on John Kerry’s attendance at a VVAW meeting where the assassination of U.S. government officials was discussed) reports on the mystery surrounding John Kerry’s Navy discharge.

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.

A Kerry campaign spokesman, David Wade, was asked whether Mr. Kerry had ever been a victim of an attempt to deny him an honorable discharge. There has been no response to that inquiry.

[Full Story]Of course Kerry could put this issue to rest by authorizing the release of the rest of his service records, an action he has steadfastly resisted to date…

Update: PoliPundit has more background info on story.

Wishful Thinking At The Daily News
Drudge has the flashing light out

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  1. Jim October 13, 2004
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