Remember when the Democrats, etc. were raising questions about Bush’s service during Vietnam. Bush released every single record he could get his hands on and tracked down other records to make sure those were released too. Because the media kept the drumbeat going that the President wasn’t releasing everything, the President released, or had other release, everything.
Now we come to Kerry. Kerry promised to release everything, but, as we should have come to expect, flip-flopped.
The day after John F. Kerry said he would make all of his military records available for inspection at his campaign headquarters, a spokesman said the senator would not release any new documents, leaving undisclosed many of Kerry’s evaluations by his Navy commanding officers, some medical records, and possibly other material.
Kerry, in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” was asked whether he would follow President Bush’s example and release all of his military records. “I have,” Kerry said. “I’ve shown them — they’re available for you to come and look at.” He added that “people can come and see them at headquarters.”
But when a reporter showed up yesterday morning to review the documents, the campaign staff declined, saying all requests must go through the press spokesman, Michael Meehan. Late yesterday, Meehan said the only records available would be those already released to this newspaper.
“He is releasing all military records he has released to The Boston Globe,” Meehan said in a telephone interview. In a follow-up e-mail, Meehan said it was those particular records to which Kerry was referring on “Meet the Press.”
Kerry has not released the formal evaluations from superior officers, although his campaign has given a letter from a commanding officer that recommended him for service aboard Navy patrol boats and also reports for the Silver and Bronze stars that laud Kerry’s actions in combat. By comparison, retired Army General Wesley K. Clark released hundreds of pages of his records during the Democratic primary campaign, including all evaluations of him by his superiors.
Bush earlier this year released 300 pages of documents after media outlets raised new questions about the extent of his National Guard service. Those records, which Bush promised during a Feb. 8 appearance on “Meet the Press” to make available, included many military evaluations and medical records.
So, we got to see the records of what Bush’s commanding officers thought of him, but we don’t get to see the records of what Kerry’s commanding officers thought of him. Probably because several of them are on record questioning the circumstances behind two of the three purple hearts Kerry received in Vietnam — particularly the first one.
According to previous press reports, Kerry showed up at his CO’s bleeding from a cut in his arm with shrapnel in his hand. Kerry said he got it from an enemy round. The CO noted that he had heard no explosions and they did not appear to be under attack.