Kerry refuses to release more records
By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff | April 20, 2004
WASHINGTON -- 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.
White House communications director Dan Bartlett, in a telephone interview, contrasted Bush's action with that of Kerry's. "The president made a pledge before the American people, and he made his complete file available to the media and the public," Bartlett said. "They were able to review all of his medical records, and we fully released the remainder of his military files, including evaluations and performance sheets as well as days served. The president lived up to his commitment he made to the public, and we should expect the same from his opponent."
The question about Kerry's military records came up when Tim Russert, the moderator of "Meet The Press," asked the Massachusetts senator about a story in the Globe last week that quoted Kerry's former commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Grant Hibbard, as saying that he raised questions about Kerry's first Purple Heart. Hibbard said that he had heard from others in the office that there were questions about whether Kerry and his crew took enemy fire, and Hibbard observed that Kerry's wound was minor, resembling a fingernail scrape. Purple Heart regulations say nothing about the severity of the wound. The campaign earlier this year showed the Globe a record verifying that Kerry was treated for the wound and that shrapnel was removed. That document was cited in last week's story, which was based on the forthcoming book, "John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography," written by a team of Globe reporters.
Meehan said yesterday that the campaign would show that document to what he called "legitimate" news organizations. He said other records previously shared with the Globe -- including documents describing Kerry's actions when he was awarded the Silver and Bronze stars -- would be shared with other reporters. Asked whether Kerry would release his evaluations, as Clark did during the primaries, Meehan responded: "We don't have Wesley Clark's evaluations." Asked directly whether Kerry would release all of his own evaluations, Meehan repeated that the campaign would release only the records already made available.
Meehan similarly said no new records would be released when asked if the campaign would make public other medical records besides the one related to the first Purple Heart.
Michael Kranish can be reached at [email]email@example.com[/email]
[quote][i]Originally posted by Thor99[/i]@Apr 20 2004, 04:11 PM
[b] These records really aren't anybody's business... but it really looks like captain flip-flop is trying to hide something. [/b][/quote]
Agreed, but they [b]are now [/b]since Kerry's campaign made a huge deal about Bush's dental records from 30 years ago.
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[quote][i]Originally posted by Spirit of Weeb[/i]@Apr 20 2004, 04:27 PM
[b]He actually DID open his medical records, before he closed them again.[/b][/quote]
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
He's a damn liar! Did anyone watch Meet the Press Sunday? What a crock! Russert asks him softball questions then never comes with the perfect follow-up questions though he had plenty of opportunity....examples (me paraphrasing on all).
[b]Russert:[/b] In 2000 you implied lifting the embargo on Cuba...do you still feel this way?
[b]Kerry: [/b] No, I would now ease it rather then lift it, things have changed..
[b]the obvious follow-up question never asked by Russert:[/b] Besides the fact Castro is four years closer to death and you need Cuban American votes in Florida what has changed?
[b]Russert: [/b] You made a statement that the war on terror is a law enforcement issue.
[b]Kerry:[/b] It is primarily a law enforcement issue that must be won with intelligence and not fough on American soil....we must have intelligence
[b]the obvious follow-up question never asked by Russert:[/b] Why then Mr. Kerry did you try to push bill after bill through the senate in the 90's to slash the budgets of our intelligence agencies??
[b]Russert: [/b] Who were you referring to when you were caught on videotape saying "they are the biggest bunch of liars I've ever seen"?.
[b]Kerry:[/b] The Republican attack machine, the conservative talk show hosts who like and spew hatred..
[b]the obvious follow-up question never asked by Russert:[/b] So Mr Kerry, what do you think of groups like moveon.org who are trying to get you elected by comparing the President to Hitler??