I noted before that John Kerry hasn't released all his military records and speculated that he was hiding something (as others have, as well). Well, uh, maybe I was right.

An official Navy document on Senator Kerry’s campaign Web site listed as Mr. Kerry’s “Honorable Discharge from the Reserves” opens a door on a wellkept secret about his military service.

The document is a form cover letter in the name of the Carter administration’s secretary of the Navy,W. Graham Claytor. It describes Mr. Kerry’s discharge as being subsequent to the review of “a board of officers.” This in itself is unusual. There is nothing about an ordinary honorable discharge action in the Navy that requires a review by a board of officers.

According to the secretary of the Navy’s document, the “authority of reference” this board was using in considering Mr. Kerry’s record was “Title 10, U.S. Code Section 1162 and 1163.”This section refers to the grounds for involuntary separation from the service. What was being reviewed, then, was Mr.Kerry’s involuntary separation from the service. And it couldn’t have been an honorable discharge, or there would have been no point in any review at all.The review was likely held to improve Mr. Kerry’s status of discharge from a less than honorable discharge to an honorable discharge.

A Kerry campaign spokesman, David Wade, was asked whether Mr. Kerry had ever been a victim of an attempt to deny him an honorable discharge. There has been no response to that inquiry.

If Kerry were dishonorably discharged, unearthing it now would be a perfect "October Surprise" for the Republicans.

I also mentioned that Kerry and his wife haven't released their complete tax records, and now we can see why: on over $5.5 million of income in 2003 the Kerrys paid a mere $840,500 in taxes -- that's just 15.2%. The Bushes had around 1/7th the income of the Kerrys but paid 28% in taxes.

(HT: James Taranto for the military records pointer.)



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