Kerry and the Military

KERRY AND THE MILITARY….I have to admit that this is pretty odd. John Kerry has finally released his military records to the press and it turns out there’s nothing new there. The Boston Globe reports:

The records…are mostly a duplication of what Kerry released during his 2004 campaign for president.

….The lack of any substantive new material about Kerry’s military career in the documents raises the question of why Kerry refused for so long to waive privacy restrictions. An earlier release of the full record might have helped his campaign because it contains a number of reports lauding his service.

….But Kerry refused, even though it turned out that the records included commendations from some of the same veterans who were criticizing him.

Italics mine.

Kerry’s refusal to release his records probably didn’t directly hurt him that badly, but I’ll bet it did hurt him with the press corps, which naturally assumed there must be some dirt there if he was being so dogged about keeping it under wraps. That undoubtedly colored some of their coverage, especially of the Swift Boat affair. Conversely, seeing those commendations from the same guys who were now calling him a liar and a coward would have deflected some of the press heat away from him and back toward the Swifties.

It’s all very perplexing, and Kerry’s explanation for his refusal is obviously bogus. It’s a strange coda to a strange campaign.