Sunday, May 29, 2005

America - Purging Kerry's Military Files

The media and the blogsphere have been all abuzz lately about presidential wannabe John Kerry's claim that he has signed Form 180 which would allow the Navy to release all his military records; something he refused to do during the election. Some people point to this as proof Kerry has something to hide. Those people are holding their breath waiting for the records to become available. Well you can exhale. I don't think we are ever going to see "all" of his military records. The proof comes from Kerry himself who admits, on Don Imus's radio show this past Feb. 7th, that he intends to hide some of the records.

Last week the 2008 presidential hopeful suggested he wanted to review his full Navy file to make sure of "what is in the record and what isn't in the record" before signing Form 180.

"I'm going to sit down with them and make sure that they are clear and I am clear as to what is in the record and what isn't in the record and we'll put it out," he told "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert.

Kerry did not explain his reference to "what isn't in the record," though questions arose late in the campaign about why he received his honorable discharge six years after leaving the service.

What's with this we stuff, Kimosabe? You got mouse in pocket white man?

Note Kerry says, "clear as to what is in the record and what isn't in the record". I can hear the shredder from here in Scotland.

I'm no expert on military records and Form 180, but I have read recently that Kerry can advise the Navy as to which records he does not want released. I don't know if that's true or not, but this exchange with Imus sounds like Kerry is having his records purged of any damaging evidence.


Michelle provides this link which shows how "nuanced" Kerry will be able to claim that he has signed Form 180, as promised, and released "all" of his military records, as promised, while still not releasing all of his records, as promised. You watch.

2. Restrictions on release of information. Release of information is subject to restrictions imposed by the military services consistent with Department of Defense regulations and the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act of 1974. The service member (either past or present) or the member’s legal guardian has access to almost any information contained in that member’s own record. Others requesting information from military personnel/health records must have the release authorization in Section III of the SF 180 signed by the member or legal guardian, but if the appropriate signature cannot be obtained, only limited types of information can be provided. If the former member is deceased, surviving next of kin may, under certain circumstances, be entitled to greater access to a deceased veteran’s records than a member of the public. The next of kin may be any of the following: unremarried surviving spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, or brother. Employers and others needing proof of military service are expected to accept the information shown on documents issued by the military service departments at the time a service member is separated.
Form SF 180

So, the new question to Kerry is, "have you signed section III?".

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