Monday, November 01, 2004

The Kerry-NBC scandal: anatomy of a successful cover-up

Three days ago, on October 29, I posted this item in Friday's links:

This could be a big development in the campaign: Sen. Kerry just got caught in a lie on national television, and Captain's Quarters blogger
"Captain Ed" Morrissey puts it all together.

Last night, Kerry to Tom Brokaw: "My [military] record is not public. So I don't know where you're getting that from."

Sept. 15, Kerry to Don Imus: "We've posted my military records that they sent to me, or were posted on my Web site. You can go to my Web site, and all my -- you know, the documents are there."

In April, to Chris Matthews: "I released all my military records. ... Everything. All of it. Including my officer fitness reports."

The full Kerry quote from the Brokaw interview: "That's great. More power. I don't know how they've done it, because my record is not public. So I don't know where you're getting that from."

It is necessary to display the complete quotation for reasons made very clear in Morrissey's
posting late yesterday:

Alert CQ reader Gracias Deo noticed that NBC has edited the transcript of the interview Tom Brokaw did with John Kerry three days ago. ... In the transcript for the interview based on tonight's Dateline segment for the interview, the answer has been edited to remove Kerry's admission:

Brokaw: "Someone has analyzed the president's military aptitude tests and yours, and concluded that he has a higher IQ than you do."

Kerry: "That's great. More power. I don't know how they've done it."

What happened to the rest of the answer? ["... because my record is not public. So I don't know where you're getting that from."] NBC must have decided to cut it off, but its excision appears to make NBC look complicit in an attempt to cover up an embarrassing admission.

Its excision appears to make NBC look complicit? It conclusively proves it. Compare and contrast: the
Brokaw interview transcript, with the assertion; and the Dateline transcript, with the assertion deleted.

Next question: what was Kerry trying to conceal by refusing to release his service records and then repeatedly lying about it? According to a front-page piece by
Thomas Lipscomb in today's New York Sun, it is this:

A former officer in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps Reserve has built a case that Senator Kerry was other than honorably discharged from the Navy by 1975.


Kerry spokesmen have also repeatedly said that the senator has an honorable discharge. And there is indeed a cover letter to an honorable discharge dated February 16,1978,on the Kerry Web site. ... [U]nder President Carter's Executive Order 11967, ... thousands received pardons and upgrades for harsh discharges or other offenses under the Selective Service Act. ... Kerry spokesman David Wade did not reply when asked if Mr. Kerry was other than honorably discharged before he was honorably discharged.

And this:

Certainly something was wrong as early as 1973 when Mr. Kerry was applying to law school. ... A member of the Harvard Law School admissions committee recalled that the real reason Mr. Kerry was not admitted was because the committee was concerned that because Mr. Kerry had received a less than honorable discharge they were not sure he could be admitted to any state bar.

But Kerry got away with it. He likely will lose tomorrow--but he certainly would have done so had the voting public ever learned of his full military record. So much for "Lieutenant Kerry, reporting for duty."