Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Kerry's Military Records

John Kerry finally released his military records. The biggest surprise is that the records do not contain a surprise. With no negative news in the records, Kerry's decision not to release the records during the presidential campaign last year shows either stupidity or extremely poor judgment, neither of which is a good quality for a president.

Why did Kerry wait until now? According to the Boston Globe (hat tip to Captain's Quarters),
On May 20, Kerry signed a document called Standard Form 180, authorizing the Navy to send an ''undeleted" copy of his ''complete military service record and medical record" to the Globe. Asked why he delayed signing the form for so long, Kerry said in a written response: ''The call for me to sign a 180 form came from the same partisan operatives who were lying about my record on a daily basis on the Web and in the right-wing media. Even though the media was discrediting them, they continued to lie. I felt strongly that we shouldn't kowtow to them and their attempts to drag their lies out."


The one area that appears negative for Kerry is his academic record at Yale. His grade point average is slightly below George W. Bush's. Kerry's academic record puts the lie to all the Democrats' campaign rhetoric that Bush is not bright enough to be President. Perhaps Kerry's desire to continue that campaign tactic caused him to withhold access to his military records.

One concern with Kerry's release of his records is that he released the records to the Boston Globe. The Globe reporter, Michael Kranish, wrote favorable articles about Kerry's Vietnam service. So far, the records have not been released to the public. If the records are not made freely available to anyone, doubts will persist about whether all Kerry's records were produced and reported accurately.

In any case, concerns about Kerry's military service are not likely to trouble the American public again. Though Kerry will probably run again in 2008, he will not be favored to win the Democratic nomination, not with his performance in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in the race. Let the voters of Massachusetts make of Kerry's military records what they will.

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