Friday, June 10, 2005

Conservatives Continue to Evade Reality on Kerry Records

Remember how just last week the claim of every conservative blog and publication was that signing Form 180 would be a definitive way of finding the truth about Kerry's military record?

It appears the conservatives are all flip flopping. Signing Form 180 proved conclusively both that 1)all the charges against Kerry were fabrications, and 2) that the military records released by Kerry last fall were complete and accurate. All of a sudden, conservatives no longer consider signing Form 180 as meaningful, showing that there was absolutely nothing Kerry could have done which would have stopped the lies against him.

One claim is that Kerry sent Form 180 to the Naval Personnel Command, as opposed to a central storage location in St. Louis, and due to this his complete records were not released. The New York Sun investigated and found this charge to be false:
OFFICIAL: KERRY’S RECORDS SENT TO THE NAVY A top official at the national repository for military personnel files confirmed yesterday that the full record of the Navy service of Senator Kerry, a Democrat of Massachusetts, was sent to the Navy to prepare responses to requests from Mr. Kerry and others for his service history. “We have sent the original file to the Navy,” the director of archival programs at the National Personnel Records Center, Bryan McGraw, said in an interview yesterday.The statement from the St. Louis-based center, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration, undercuts claims by critics of the senator that he effectively withheld part of the file from news organizations.

Some critics of Mr. Kerry, who ran unsuccessfully for president last year, complained that privacy waivers he signed recently for selected news organizations were directed to the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn., which does not usually maintain detailed records on retired service members. However, Mr. McGraw said that is precisely where the original file was sent, though a copy was kept in St. Louis.“The request came from the Navy commander in Millington.The Navy has everything we have.They have had for some time,” Mr. McGraw said. He said Mr. Kerry’s record was sent to the Navy last year, well before the presidential election. Separately, a former Navy lawyer who raised questions about Mr. Kerry’s discharge said yesterday that an unexplained delay in Mr. Kerry’s separation from the service could have been the result of an administrative foul-up.
Rush Limbaugh claimed Thursday that Kerry's "trying to fake everybody out. He did not get his Form 180 records released that show his naval records. He didn't do that. He has not come forth with that. The records that he released only gave his grades from Yale. And he's hoping that this satisfied everybody. He still has not come forth and signed what's necessary to produce his records in the Navy, and that's what everybody's curious about."

Media Matters for America refuted this on Friday, showing that Limbaugh is as big a liar as the original Swift Boat Liars:
Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh falsely asserted that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) "did not get his Form 180 records released that show his naval records" because the "records that he released only gave his grades from Yale." In fact, Kerry authorized the full release of his military records to The Boston Globe when he signed Standard Form 180, according to the Navy.


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