Friday, September 17, 2004

What is John Kerry hiding?

"I have nothing to hide. I want you to ask me questions."
--John Kerry, Democratic candidate for President
Reuters, August 3, 2004
Oh really?

If Mr. Kerry has nothing to hide, why won’t he let us see the following:

Military records: Kerry promised to release his military records. He claims he has released his full military records. But he has not.
Although Kerry campaign officials insist that they have published Kerry's full military records on their Web site (with the exception of medical records shown briefly to reporters earlier this year), they have not permitted independent access to his original Navy records. A Freedom of Information Act request by The Post for Kerry's records produced six pages of information. A spokesman for the Navy Personnel Command, Mike McClellan, said he was not authorized to release the full file, which consists of at least a hundred pages.
Many of Mr. Kerry’s claims about his war service have been called into serious question. In addition, the U.S. Navy is conducting official investigations into several of Kerry's award citations which appear to be improper. Kerry’s military records would undoubtedly help resolve these issues.

Medical records: Presidential candidates have routinely released their medical records for years. The public has a right to know the physical condition of anyone who seeks such an important position, yet Mr. Kerry has refused to allow access to his full medical records. As the American Thinker remarks:

Equally troubling, but virtually unnoted, is the Senator’s failure to release his medical records. Keep in mind, that Senator Kerry is a cancer survivor, having emerged from surgery to remove a cancerous prostate early last year. His surgeon has spoken publicly about the case, assuring the public that the operation went well, that the cancer had not spread, and that there is nothing to worry about.

But is this level of information good enough?

…Paul Tsongas held the United States Senate seat now occupied by John Kerry. Tsongas also underwent surgery for cancer, emerged successfully, and even publicly swam laps in a pool, to show his physical vigor and Speedo-wearing physique. The late Senator Tsongas became the first cancer survivor in history to launch a major Presidential campaign. Regrettably, Tsongas later died from a resurgence of his cancer, which we had been assured had been successfully eliminated. Had his Presidential campaign succeeded, his Vice President would have taken office.

Tax records: John Kerry is the first presidential candidate in over three decades to block access to his spouse’s tax returns. This is particularly relevant because it is doubtful that Kerry would even be the candidate if not for his wife’s millions. He’s been quick to make a distinction between “his and her” when the subject arises, but equally quick to dip into her money when campaign funds run low. He shouldn’t be able to have it both ways. Campaign funding is a delicate issue in this election, and voters have a justifiable interest in monitoring the flow of money into and out of campaigns.

War journal: Kerry kept a diary during his time in Vietnam, which he has made exclusively available to Douglas Brinkley, Kerry’s official biographer. The excerpts published in Brinkley’s book, “Tour of Duty” contradict some of the major claims the candidate has made, and the release of the remainder of Kerry’s journal would no doubt be invaluable in resolving some of the remaining discrepancies. But as the Washington Post reports,

The Kerry campaign has refused to release Kerry's personal Vietnam archive, including his journals and letters, saying that the senator is contractually bound to grant Brinkley exclusive access to the material. But Brinkley said this week the papers are the property of the senator and in his full control.

"I don't mind if John Kerry shows anybody anything," he said. "If he wants to let anybody in, that's his business. Go bug John Kerry, and leave me alone." The exclusivity agreement, he said, simply requires "that anybody quoting any of the material needs to cite my book."

Senate Intelligence Committee attendance record: According to, although Mr. Kerry touts his record of “improving intelligence over the past 20 years,” he failed to attend nearly 80% of public meetings as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In rationalizing his poor record, Kerry noted that most of the committee’s meetings are closed sessions for which attendance records aren’t made public. Other members of the committee refuse to comment on Kerry's attendance at those meetings, but say his records are readily available if he requests them. Kerry has refused to make such a request.

New Soldier: This is the "other book" John Kerry doesn’t want you to read (the first being John O'Neill's “Unfit for Command). Kerry wrote "New Soldier" in 1971 during his Vietnam protest days, and it is no longer in print. According to this web site, where you can read the book in its entirety, Kerry will not allow the book to be reprinted and is trying to buy up all available copies. John O’Neill offered to re-print and re-release the book, but Kerry has refused.

The obvious question is this: if John Kerry has nothing to hide, then why is he hiding so many things?

Update: An e-mailer to David Limbaugh touches lightly on some of these issues, and more heavily on issues I raised here.

Update 2: Also via David Limbaugh, a newer report on Kerry's stonewalling and the Navy's investigation into his improper award citations. I'm glad one of the bigger bloggers is working to keep these stories alive.

Update 3: A month later, Kerry releases a small part of his wife's tax returns.

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