The only 180 John Kerry hasn’t accomplished in his litany of flip-flops throughout his campaign is Standard Form 180, the paperwork necessary for the complete release of his military records from the Department of Defense repository.
The Kerry campaign and website continue to claim he has released all military records. In fact, they’ve released the few documents painting the senator in a favorable light. There are at least 100 pages, promising to be much more revealing, still unseen. Kerry controls their release. All he has to do is sign the Form 180. To date, he has refused.
It goes without saying the main stream media isn’t clamoring for him to comply although they hounded President George Bush relentlessly to release his Air National Guard records. Bush, by the way, did the right thing–he signed his Form 180. Kerry has made his naval service the focal point for his election. Shouldn’t we expect the war hero to open his military service to America? Where is the outrage (I ask tongue-in-cheek)? Where is the objective journalism? More realistically, what is Kerry hiding?
Thomas Lipscomb writing for the New York Sun and Geoff Metcalf of NewsMax.com have been pursuing Kerry’s military record irregularities and his refusal to authorize their release tirelessly. Without Kerry’s assistance, however, it will take a critical and very timely leak or we will never know the truth behind Kerry’s military service in time for it to make the difference.
With true patriotism and integrity, John O’Neill and the Swifties have proven beyond any doubt that Kerry lacks the character and moral fiber to be the leader of our men and women in uniform. (As an aside, I’ve been touring the country with John O’Neill over the last several weeks, and I’ve never met a finer human being.)
The final element in Kerry’s absolute failure to meet the standards our military deserves in a commander-in-chief, in this retired officer’s opinion, is in the factual nature of Kerry’s discharge (although I would love for some resourceful citizen find a way to republish and distribute Kerry’s radical, anti-American tome The New Soldier — which my publisher Regnery Publishing has offered to do for free — and hand it out at the polls on November 2).
As for every veteran, the truth will be found the form DD214, the official Department of Defense document of release from military obligation given to Kerry when he exited military service on July 1, 1972. It is conspicuously absent from the documents released so far. Everyone serving in the military receives a DD214 the day they separate or retire from service. My suspicion along with a growing number of military personnel is that Kerry received an “other than honorable” discharge in the early 1970s as a consequence of his vehement anti-US, anti-military activities with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and his potentially treasonous t???? ªte-???? -t???? ªtes with North Vietnamese Communist officials in Paris. If not, let him release his records. If so, America should demand the release.
Kerry’s activities during his post-war political resume building efforts are expressly prohibited by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 104, Part 904; the United States Code Title 18, Section 953 (18 USC Sec. 953); and, arguably, the Constitution, Article 3, Section 3. In fact, the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, Section 3 declares, “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President . . . (who has) engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” In another time and another place, at a minimum, Kerry would have faced courts martial. In another time and another place, Kerry would be breaking big rocks into little rocks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the military penitentiary. Today, he stands on the brink of election as the leader of the free world.
Kerry has built an entire career based solely on four months in Vietnam and two years of post-war protesting. For a politician to have built so much on, and been so successful with, a foundation consisting largely of self-promotion, lies, and unpatriotic (some say treasonous) endeavors is utterly fantastic and extremely tenuous. And the Dems know it–ergo, the refusal on the part of the Kerry campaign to release the entirety of his military service records.
With what we do know, Kerry’s paperwork doesn’t pass the smell test. The few records so far released by his campaign identify FOUR “honorable” discharge dates (every other military member I know, myself included, received one). Kerry’s released documentation notes discharges of January 3, 1970, February 16, 1978, July 13, 1978, and, most peculiarly, March 12, 2001. He has as many discharge dates as months he spent in Vietnam. In my twenty years in the Air Force and through the thousands of people I came to know and serve with, I have never heard of anyone in the military having more than one DD 214 with one discharge date. Kerry, according to his own campaign, has at least four.
There are five potential classes of discharge: Honorable, General, Other than Honorable, Bad Conduct, and Dishonorable. Why does it matter? It’s the sum total of one’s military service boiled down in a phrase. Most employers require former military members to attach their DD214 to their employment application. Anything other than “Honorable” is seen as a character flaw. Bad Conduct and Dishonorable obviously are causes for additional concern.
Because Kerry is submitting his employment application to the American people and might become our military’s next commander in chief, we may be asking our troops to support a man who held himself to lower standards than he would demand from our 2.3 million in uniform. (This is precisely what happened under Bill Clinton’s stewardship when the military prosecuted servicemen for sexual infidelity and harassment while the commander-in-chief was committing similar crimes in the Oval Office). In fact, if a former military member applies for employment with defense related industry, he is required to sign and submit Form 180. Kerry, seeking to be CEO for our nation’s defense, has refused.
Here’s the crux of the confusion. On February 18, 1966, Kerry obligated himself to a six-year commitment to the Navy, and to the tenets of the military judicial system, with an expiration date of July 1, 1972. On January 3, 1970, Kerry asked for, and was granted, an early transfer from his active duty service to the Naval Reserve. As a reservist, he was still under oath as a commissioned officer and subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He still carried a military ID card and was still a member of the U.S. armed forces. Kerry’s service commitment came to an end, as scheduled, in July, 1972. As such, a DD Form 214 with a discharge status was due.
Kerry’s “honorable” discharge, though, doesn’t come until February 16, 1978. Why? Possibly because President Jimmy Carter, through Proclamation 4483, granted a full and complete pardon to all military personnel who committed offenses and violations of the Military Selective Service Act during the Vietnam War. He pardoned deserters, draft dodgers and those who went absent without leave (AWOL).
Interestingly, Kerry’s honorable discharge letter from the Department of the Navy, dated February 16, 1978, notes that Kerry’s discharge was taken “by direction of the President” and “with the approved recommendations of a board of officers convened under the authority of reference [10 USC Sec. 1163] to examine the official records of officers of the Naval Reserve..” This is extremely unusual. Review boards are not convened for discharges and certainly not “by direction of the President.” The “authority of reference,” 10 USC Sec. 1163, refers to “the grounds for involuntary separation from the service.” What was being reviewed, then, was Kerry’s involuntary separation from the service or, more likely, the disposition of his service. This simply would not have occurred if Kerry’s discharge in 1972 had been “honorable.” Why did Kerry’s discharge meet a board? In all likelihood, he sought relief to improve his status of discharge from “dishonorable” or “less than honorable” to “honorable.” If he signed his Form 180, we’d know. If he’d release his DD214 from 1972, we’d know.
Finally, and most bizarre of all of Kerry’s military records so far released is a DD 215, “Correction to DD Form 214,” initiated for John Forbes Kerry on March 12, 2001. Among other things, the new form changes Kerry’s official US Navy separation date to March 1, 1970! As noted earlier, he wasn’t eligible for discharge until July, 1972, and was so. Why, then, the new document in 2001? Why, 29 years later, is there the need to correct or change the record?
Here’s why. By moving Kerry’s discharge date to early in 1970, all of Kerry’s post-Vietnam activities would be theoretically exempt from military justice. By moving his discharge date to March of 1970, Kerry’s meeting with the enemy, North Vietnamese Communists in Paris in May of 1970, would be exempt. His joining the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in June of 1970 and his radical, anti-war anti-government activities that followed would be exempt. The Winter Soldier Investigation in January, 1971, and Kerry’s infamous testimony to Congress in April, 1971 would be exempt. His arrest for his protest activities in May, 1971, would be exempt. His attendance at a VVAW meeting in Kansas City where the assassination of several prominent and hawkish U.S. senators was discussed and voted on would be exempt.
Democratic presidential candidate Kerry has spent 35 years building a political career on four months in Vietnam. Apparently, he has spent 35 years covering up his post-war activities while still a member of the U.S. Navy many of which seem to be clear violations of the Constitution, US Codes, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Now, he stands on the verge of becoming our commander-in-chief, responsible for the stewardship of 2.3 million men and women in uniform. A former serviceman who won’t come clean on his own record intends to command our forces and enforce the standards of military justice. We’ve been down this path before. America deserves to know. Our troops certainly deserve to know.
All it would take is for him to sign the Form 180.