Dishonorable Discharge?

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Was John Kerry actually dishonorably discharged? There are indications coming out now that this might be the case.

Today, the New York Sun is reporting that a document has been uncovered shedding some light into that allegation.

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.

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 six year reserve commitment. And the Claytor document indicates proceedings to reverse a less than honorable discharge that took place sometime prior to February 1978.

John Kerry has repeatedly refused to sign a Form 180, which would reveal the answer. Back when Jimmy Carter was elected President, he gave general amnesty to draft dodgers and war protesters. Was President Carter’s executive order the grounds for modifying Kerry’s discharge. That would also explain why some of John Kerry’s paperwork about medals was dated during his first term in the Senate. Curious, but not definitive.

And so shock and awe begins in earnest from the right. The left is reportedly about to come forward with Bush and cocaine stories.

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Erick Erickson

2 comments

  • Was Kerry’s original discharge less than honorable?
    In a front-page article in today’s New York Sun entitled “Mystery Surrounds Kerry’s Navy Discharge,” reporter Thomas Lipscomb asserts that in all probability, Sen. John F. Kerry originally received a less-than-honorable discharge from the United States…

  • Was Kerry dishonorably discharged?
    The story floating around the blogosphere today is about the possibility that John Kerry was actually dishonorably discharged (or less than honorably discharged) from the Navy, way back when. Today, the New York Sun has an article that is fanning the…

By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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