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Could the Navy Revoke Some of Kerry's Medals?

That might have seemed far fetched a few months ago but now it is passing plausible and approaching possible. (still a long way from probable mind you)

Legal watchdog files complaint against Kerry

The Defense Department's inspector general informed the Navy secretary Thursday of a complaint by a conservative legal watchdog group that requests an investigation into Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's military service.

Gary Comerford, a spokesman for the inspector general's office, said that "if a complaint looks like a potential violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, we refer it to the branch of service in which the violation was alleged to have occurred. We don't make a determination. It is up to the service department that has the records."

According to the complaint, filed Aug. 18 by Judicial Watch, "The, as yet, unresolved allegations include: false official reports and statements; dishonorable conduct; aiding the enemy; dereliction of duty; misuse and abuse of U.S. government equipment and property; war crimes; and multiple violations of U.S. Navy regulations and directives, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and U.S. Code."

Kerry defenders will be quick to point out that Judicial Watch is a conservative organization. Until moveon.org goes after Kerry over his medals, that line of defense is meaningless.

The first issue sure to be attacked is Kerry's first Purple Heart. Even his staunchest supporters and indeed even Kerry himself now admit the wound was (unintentionally) self-inflicted and there was no enemy fire.

The Purple Heart regulations give examples of when NOT to give a PH.

Self-inflicted wounds, except when in the heat of battle, and not involving gross negligence.

So by his own admission, Kerry does not qualify for his first Purple Heart.

However it is doubtful they will stop there.

Kerry’s Bit Of Colored Ribbon

...The Navy also questioned the listing on Mr. Kerry’s Web site of a DD215 form listing four bronze campaign stars for his service in Vietnam. According to its records, the Navy credits Mr. Kerry with two campaigns.That is sufficient for the wearing of the Vietnam Service Medal for one campaign bearing one campaign star for the additional campaign — not four.

Perhaps most puzzling of all is Mr. Kerry’s display of a citation for his Star signed in 1986 by the Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman. Mr. Lehman, who recently completed his service on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, finds this “[a] total mystery. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me.”

No one knows who provided the additional flowery language concluding, “Lieutenant (jg) Kerry reflected great credit upon himself.…” Well, someone certainly did.

In a statement to Fox News’s Major Garrett, Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan explained that Mr. Kerry had lost the first two citations for his Silver Star and had asked the Secretary of the Navy to provide a new one. Leaving aside the unprecedented appearance of three separate Silver Star citations on Mr. Kerry’s Web site all containing different language signed by three different people, this explanation makes no sense at all.

Veterans lose citations all the time.They simply ask the appropriate military records office to send them a replacement copy, and it does. There is no mystery to this standard procedure that requires the intervention of the Secretary of the Navy.

It remains to be seen how possible this all is. It really is not up for debate that he should never have been awarded the first Purple Heart. But the odds of it being taken away now are, I suspect, rather slim.

If it does enter the MSM that he might have to give a medal or two back, it would appear to be the end of him politically, his Vietnam service being all he brought to the campaign. But never underestimate the media. If Kerry does get into this pickle they would rally behind him unabashedly.

No matter the outcome it will be high stakes political drama and we'll have a ring side seat.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Could the Navy Revoke Some of Kerry's Medals?:

» The LLama Butchers linked with This is going to get ugly

» snellspace.com linked with Conspiracy Theorists Field day

» The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill linked with UH OH....Looks like the Demos need another candida

» Snugg Harbor linked with The Navy Is Getting Restless

» The Politburo Diktat linked with Navy Challenging Kerry's Medals

Comments (13)

The press, which was happy ... (Below threshold)

The press, which was happy to call Judicial Watch nothing more than a 'watchdog group' when they were going after Dick Cheney will be sure to slap the 'conservative' label in front of them now and remind people that he took his mother to court once.

I've said this before - if ... (Below threshold)

I've said this before - if they take away his first Purple Heart, does that mean he has to go back to Vietnam for another 8 months?

There is still more to this... (Below threshold)

There is still more to this story that makes no sense. The Swifties brought up the following, but I am not sure where it went, or where it's going.

Kerry enlisted on 2/18/66 for 6 years. He was apparently seperated from active duty on 3/01/70. His DD214 was altered with a DD215, ostensibly to correct the date. But the date is the same on both documents. The only difference is he has more campaign stars listed on the newer document. Stars we now know he wasn't entitled to.

Now it gets real bizarre. His Terminal Date of Reserve Obligation was 17 Feb 72. This would mean that all the while he protested, testified and impugned Nixon, he was a commissioned officer in the reserve. There is nothing to explain why he didn't go to prison for this, as all those activities are prohibited by the Uniform Code. This period might explain some of the more significant charges leveled by the swifties and now being explored by the Naval Department - dereliction of duty, etc.

The last strange twist is that Kerry didn't leave the reserve in Feb. 72. He didn't get discharged until
Feb 18 of 1976 or 78.(the pdf's are blurry but it is definitely one of those two years. There is no documentation to account for several missing years.

ALong with these regularities, isn't it strange that people hound Bush about the Air Guard, being AWOL, etc. and for all intents and purposes according to Kerry's own documents he was AWOL from the Naval Reserve for a period of approximately 6 - 8 years. I have found no document that indicates he fullfilled any of his reserve obligations including monthly meetings and at least a few weeks of active duty each year.

Sorry for the long post, it's Kerry's fault for his convoliuted service record. Wait, check that, I am sure he would tell us it was really his staff's fault! ha ha ha

Not to defend Kerry...but s... (Below threshold)

Not to defend Kerry...but some of that Reserve time may have been spent on *inactive* reserve...in other words all he had to do was keep his uniforms in order and carry tie ID card. As the war had wound down by then they were placing any number of folks in that status. This in no way excueses him from the conduct he displayed upon returning to the states and his trips abroad.....He should be in front of a military courts marshal for what he did. But that is just the old Navy in me....I have a short fuse when it comes to tratiors!

I have no military experien... (Below threshold)

I have no military experience beyond the fact that my father was an Army officer most of his life in various stages of enlisted and service status.

BUT, I do know from my father's example that what Kerry did while still enlisted and how he did what would be so unacceptable as to be worthy of very severe action by the military, to and about Kerry.

So, that has always puzzled me about Kerry's history: his quite noticably national/international protests and the nature of those protests, the extremes of what he said and did to and about the U.S. military while still enlisted. Even for someone no longer enlisted, it's completely dishonorable behavior, went and still does go beyond any acceptable form of "protest" aimed at a "government" (as Kerry continues to say were his efforts, and still are, apparently). So, that he later arrived in the Senate is even more of an insult to almost anyone's understanding of honorable behavior, at least anyone with familiarity with the military and/or law enforcement. Whatever side of a political perspective is taken, his behavior certainly set a very bad example and most people with military and/or law enforcement experience don't abide well with peers or parallels that set bad examples (so Kerry's support base is also suspect under that frame of reference, Senate or no).

Obviously, if nothing else (although there is certainly more there), Kerry's service record bears the similarity to a forged prescription order. People go to jail or at least before a Bench under similar circumstances. At least they don't get to be President of the United States, is how I look at it.

So if he loses one Purple H... (Below threshold)

So if he loses one Purple Heart, will that then nullify his discharge from the Navy?

And will he then be required to report for duty? Wouldn't THAT be a kicker?

Paul,Here's anothe... (Below threshold)


Here's another article to add to the mix. It's from the U.K. Telegraph today with some new information. I saw it posted by someone over on the swiftvets.com forum.

That didn't work...h... (Below threshold)
"Not to defend Kerry...but ... (Below threshold)

"Not to defend Kerry...but some of that Reserve time may have been spent on *inactive* reserve...in other words all he had to do was keep his uniforms in order and carry tie ID card" - OK, first of all let me say this, the fact that he served as an officer and was honorably discharged earns my respect for the fact that he did serve, but as a human he gets none. Even on IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve) he would still have been bound by the UCMJ and still just appear from time to time (although more infrequently than the ready reserve) to show he still is w/in weight requirements and other stuff, so he still cannot inpugn the Pres, testify as he did (of his own free will) or protest the way he did. From what I understand a lot of soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines did this, and from this example, those that were discharged dis-honorably due to that should either have that changed because Kerry wasn't, or he should have his changed because they were! I've said it before and I'll say it again, ANY MAN or WOMAN who serves in the U.S. military deserves our respect for that alone, but it is what they do during and after their service period that will earn my respect for them as a person!


<a href="http://www.pleasur... (Below threshold)
Gee, if they revoke/rescind... (Below threshold)

Gee, if they revoke/rescind his first PH, would he have to go back to 'Nam for 8 months?

There are two terms that I'... (Below threshold)
Steve Cormier:

There are two terms that I'm waiting to see enter this, and I'm wondering why they haven't been used yet.


I would have imagined that if this were about Bush it would have taken the old Nixonian alliance about two seconds to bring these words into play, yet they aren't being used in a situation where they seem obvious.

Anyone seen them used?

I believe Kerry was treated... (Below threshold)

I believe Kerry was treated well by his fellow Vietnam vets. They're simply trying to set the record straight. Now, if Kerry had served in law enforcement and he pulled the stuff he did in 1971 on fellow cops, I suspect the consequences to him would have been more severe. Cops despise Rats.






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