A former secretary of the Navy is urging Sen. John Kerry to open up his personnel files to resolve the question of whether the Democratic presidential nominee received a less-than-honorable discharge from the Navy.
William Middendorf, the Navy chief from 1974 to 1977, told WorldNetDaily today that Kerry, who began inactive reserve status in 1972, would have been issued a document three years later either for a reserve reaffiliation or a separation discharge.
An “honorable discharge” from 1978 appears on the Kerry campaign’s website, but a Navy lawyer who served under Middendorf believes that document is a substitute for one that would have been issued in 1975.
However, no such document can be found among the records Kerry has made available.
“I should think it would be in his interest to open up the files, to clear up any misunderstanding,” said Middendorf, who later served as ambassador to the Netherlands, European Union and Organization of American States.
Middendorf said he cannot comment specifically on any action taken on Kerry, because he is barred, under the 1974 Privacy Act, from discussing personnel matters.
However, he enthusiastically vouches for the character of Mark Sullivan, who formed the basis for a story today in the New York Sun by Thomas Lipscomb, the first to report discrepancies in Kerry’s discharge record.
Sullivan, who served in the secretary of the Navy’s office in the Judge Advocate General Corps Reserve between 1975 and 1977, says the “honorable discharge” on the Kerry website appears to be a Carter administration substitute for an original action expunged from Kerry’s record, Lipscomb reported.
Asked by WorldNetDaily to address Sullivan’s findings, Middendorf cited the Privacy Act.
“I shouldn’t comment other than to say I respect Mark Sullivan as one of the finest Navy officers we had.”
The Kerry campaign has insisted that all of the senator’s Navy records have been released, with the exception of medical papers, but the Washington Post and others have reported at least 100 pages are still under wraps. Kerry would need to file a Standard Form 180 to grant permission for full release of his records.
If Kerry received something other than an honorable discharge, it likely was related to his anti-war activities while a member of the Navy reserve, says Jerome Corsi, a specialist on the anti-war movement and co-author of best-seller “Unfit for Command.”
“We’ve been arguing that Kerry’s cooperation with the enemy throughout the Vietnam War was widely known by the intelligence community,” Corsi told WND.
Corsi believes this is the reason the discharge is not on the campaign website.
“If he didn’t have reason to hide anything, he would have released it,” Corsi said.
As WorldNetDaily reported last week, two newly unearthed documents captured by U.S. troops during the Vietnam War provide the first concrete evidence that Hanoi’s communist regime directed Kerry’s group Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
A third document provides more context, showing that Kerry’s 1971 press conference calling on President Nixon to accept the seven-point plan presented by Viet Cong leader Madame Binh aligned with Hanoi’s carefully crafted agenda.