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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Mystery Surrounds Kerry’s Navy Discharge

Thomas Lipscomb of The New York Sun: Mystery Surrounds Kerry’s Navy Discharge. (Hat tip: LGF)

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 wellkept 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 itself 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.

The document is dated February 16, 1978. But Mr. Kerry’s military commitment began with his six-year enlistment contract with the Navy on February 18, 1966. His commitment should have terminated in 1972. It is highly unlikely that either the man who at that time was a Vietnam Veterans Against the War leader, John Kerry, requested or the Navy accepted an additional sixyear reserve commitment. And the Claytor document indicates proceedings to reverse a less than honorable discharge that took place sometime prior to February 1978.
Senator Kerry, when will you sign your Form 180 and allow full disclosure of your records?

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