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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.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Was Kerry's Discharge Status Changed?:

» Bob's Place linked with sKerry's Discharge?

» The Jawa Report linked with Dean Esmay Swiftie Interview

» ISOU linked with Some Morning Reading

» Secure Liberty linked with Kerry’s (Dis?)Honorable Discharge

» The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill linked with I think we are missing the point of this election.

» Scary Kerry for Dictator 2004 linked with Kerry Discharge Questions Are Likely a Red Herring

Comments (23)

A change in discharge statu... (Below threshold)

A change in discharge status might also explain the "new" medal citations "signed" by John Lehman in the 1980's for Mr. Kerry's Silver Star and Bronze Star. The scenario is that Kerry was stripped of his medals by the less than honorable discharge and then had them reinstated/reissued with the new citations when his discharge status was upgraded to honorable.

anyone who receives anythin... (Below threshold)

anyone who receives anything other than an honorable discharge can petition the military for a review and change of status. Whether it be for the good of the service, general, medical or less than honorable. The only one that I am not certain can be changed is dishonorable.
Be tht as it may Kerry seems to have everything fall in his lap at the most opportune time. Release the records JK..SIGN THE FORM. He seems to be ok so far "explaining away' everything else. Why not this?

As far as Kerry releasing h... (Below threshold)

As far as Kerry releasing his records, you're forgetting an important point: All those records were microfilmed on the same self-detructing film that was used for Bush's military records.

My <a href="http://beldar.b... (Below threshold)

My take on Mr. Lipscomb's article includes quotes from and links to the relevant statutes (which are otherwise somewhat hard to locate, having been superseded in a 1994 recodification of Title 10).

Comment edited.The... (Below threshold)

Comment edited.

The original spewed lameness was courtesy of someone at:

Lambert, Edwards & Associates, Inc.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Somebody didn't get his rab... (Below threshold)

Somebody didn't get his rabies shot.

Cheney Vows To Attack U.S. ... (Below threshold)
john smith:

Cheney Vows To Attack U.S. If Kerry Elected
GREENSBORO, NC—In an announcement that has alarmed voters across the nation, Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he will personally attack the U.S. if Sen. John Kerry wins the next election.

Above: Cheney issues a warning to Greensboro, NC voters.
"If the wrong man is elected in November, the nation will come under a devastating armed attack of an unimaginable magnitude, one planned and executed by none other than myself," Cheney said, speaking at a rally in Greensboro, NC. "When they go to the polls, Americans must weigh this fact and decide if our nation can ignore such a grave threat."
Added Cheney: "It would be a tragedy to suffer another attack on American soil, let alone one perpetrated by an enemy as well-organized and well-equipped as I am. My colleagues and I urge voters to keep their safety in mind when they go to the polls."
Although Cheney would not comment on the details of his proposed attack on a John Kerry-led U.S., national-security experts said he possesses both the capabilities and the motivation to pose a serious threat.
"There is no question that Cheney has the financial assets and intelligence needed to pose a threat to our nation," said Peter Bergen, terrorism researcher and author of Threats And Balances: Former Executive Branch Officials And The Danger To America. "After all, this fanatic can call upon the resources of both the Republican Party and Halliburton to aid him in his assault. America would be foolish not to take his warning seriously."
After his speech, Cheney was asked to confirm his remarks.
"Make no mistake: If Kerry becomes president, no one will be safe from me," Cheney told reporters. "Businesses, places of worship, schools, public parks: No place will offer you refuge. A vote for Kerry is a vote to die in your own bed at the hands of Dick Cheney."
Stepping up to the podium after Cheney, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge vowed to increase surveillance of the vice president.
"Wherever Cheney is—whether in his office in the White House or stumping in battleground states—we will be watching him," Ridge said. "I will not rule out raising the terror-alert level, should Kerry begin to draw ahead in the polls. Every percentage point conceded to Kerry brings the nation under greater threat of attack by Cheney."
In a televised address from the White House, President Bush promised "to serve and protect the nation" by being re-elected.

Above: Cheney describes the threat he poses to the nation.
"A war against Dick Cheney would be a long, hard struggle," Bush said. "It would be a difficult battle against a shadowy nemesis who is able to hide among us, loves only death and destruction, and hates our freedom. I have the experience, the leadership, and the Republican nomination required to protect us all—myself and my family included—from Dick Cheney."
Although the effect of Cheney's remarks has yet to register in the polls, some voters report that the vice president's threats have concerned them.
"Frankly, I'm terrified," said Dwayne Cummings, a 38-year-old metal-press operator from Cleveland, OH. "The idea of getting attacked by Cheney right now, at a time when I'm out of work, uninsured, and have kids to worry about, is overwhelming. I'm not sure I can vote for Kerry anymore."
Mary Pershing, a loom-worker and lifelong Democrat from Limestone, KY, said she appreciates the government's surveillance efforts.
"At least they're warning us about the danger," Pershing said. "I've always suspected Cheney might do something dangerous someday. Now that we have confirmation of a possible attack—from someone as high-ranking as the vice president, no less—we can make moves to stop it."
Cheney's remarks quickly drew a response from the Kerry campaign.
"I urge all Americans to remain calm in the face of this new threat," Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards said. "Rest assured that, once elected, John Kerry has a plan to contend with any threat against our nation, whether from rogue nations, terrorists, or former vice presidents."
"Should John Kerry be elected, he and I will work with, not against, the international community," Edwards added. "I have no doubt that we would be able to assemble a coalition of nations more than willing to aid us in the war against Dick Cheney."

there are at least two amon... (Below threshold)

there are at least two amongst us that require serious meds

Uh, I fear Dick Cheney. I ... (Below threshold)

Uh, I fear Dick Cheney. I don't feel confident at all given Kerry's track record in the senate that he would be capable of defeating such a threat. I fear far more that he would simply capitulate.

Of course, I guess that would lead to a Cheney led country, which is, well, sort-of what we have now?

Debra: They are already on ... (Below threshold)
The Old Coot:

Debra: They are already on serious meds, the kind found in dark alleys.

TOC....hee hee. True.... (Below threshold)

TOC....hee hee. True.
Must be sad to have to obtain a twinkle in the eye via alternative methods. Me? I have one naturally.
What's the deal with the "woof woof" crap any way and am I the only one that doesn't get it?

The Kerry campaign is freak... (Below threshold)

The Kerry campaign is freaking out again over Kerry's military and anti-military history (he hasn't changed much, he fought in the war, then fought against the war LOL). A new controversy involves the airing of the movie "Stolen Valor" the true story of Kerry's anti-war -- some say treasonous -- activities. Read these stories on NewsMax:

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/10/13/[email protected]&l=143149_HTML&u=10557964

- Deb - you have to be a dy... (Below threshold)

- Deb - you have to be a dyed in the wool, full metal jacket scraggly haired feminist, with coke bottle thick glasses, an aversion to water, and a fashion sense taken from a LandsEnd camping catalog to truly appriciate the effervescent qualities of the "woof woof" reference... *chuckle*

The question of whether or ... (Below threshold)

The question of whether or not someone who aspires to be commander-in-chief ever received a less-than-honorable discharge from the armed forces is certainly relevant, IMHO.

If the MSM won't ask the question, I suggest that we do. Spend a few minutes and a dollar or two calling the national Kerry campaign HQ or the DNC, and ask this question: "Has Senator Kerry ever received a less-than-honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Navy Reserve?"

A "no" answer puts this to rest immediately. Anything else would be quite telling.

Hunter...I guess I have a l... (Below threshold)

Hunter...I guess I have a lot to learn!
~sheesh~ that woman..er..person..er...thing you described.....Trust me I ain't it!!
All I can say is "whew!!"
I am politically informed and pride myself on a lot of things but that while woof woof thing had me feeling a bit ..uh...left behind

kerry's discharge appears t... (Below threshold)

kerry's discharge appears to be on a standard Navy form
NAVPERS 1926/2 (rev. 3-77). It would be interesting to find out if this form was EVER used for a standard honorable discharge. ALso what is the most common use of this form.

It is possible that Kerry d... (Below threshold)

It is possible that Kerry did receive a less than honorable discharge based on FBI surveillance files of his activities since technically he was still a reserve officer when he attended assassination-plot meetings and met with North Vietnamese officials in Paris, not to mention his making unsubstantiated allegations against the military. It also seems logical that it would be the Carter Administration secretary of defense who would allow Kerry to have a retro-active honorable discharge.

I hate all that Kerry is an... (Below threshold)

I hate all that Kerry is and stands for as much as you do, but this story is most certainly a red herring. What the Sun describes is the normal process of being administratively discharged after being on the rolls of the Inactive Reserve. Sorry folks, there really is nothing to see here.

Lets be careful to attack Kerry on what we KNOW rather on what we WISH were the case.

The simple solution is to s... (Below threshold)

The simple solution is to sign the 180 release. If he has anything to hide shouldn't we as the republic he seeks to lead know what that is and then make a judgement on it?

I definitely agree that Ker... (Below threshold)

I definitely agree that Kerry should release his records by signing the DD Form 180. I do wonder what lurks there. I would imagine that its less than complementary. But then its pretty obvious that Kerry is less than complementary.

If Nixon and or Carter were... (Below threshold)

If Nixon and or Carter were involved, perhaps this can be uncovered by going into the presidential files. Has anyone tried that?

Much speculation could be a... (Below threshold)

Much speculation could be avoided by simply asking the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and/or the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers for Kerry's records.

They're public records, and should be available to anyone who wants to see them.

Kerry became a Massachusetts attorney in 1976, and I know from experience that applications to practice law or take the bar exam specifically ask for detailed information (and documentation) about military discharges.

Has anyone heard that Clint... (Below threshold)
Bob W:

Has anyone heard that Clinton is the one who changed Kerry's discharge to Honorable?
I don't know but this question (among many others) should be answered before we vote.






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