Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 17, 2004
POLITICS: Swift Dodge?

Has the Navy determined that John Kerry was entitled to his medals? An AP report seems at first glance to say so:

The Navy's chief investigator concluded Friday that procedures were followed properly in the approval of Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites)'s Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, according to an internal Navy memo.

Vice Adm. R.A. Route, the Navy inspector general, conducted the review of Kerry's Vietnam-ear [sic] military service awards at the request of Judicial Watch, a public interest group.

Hmm, "procedures followed properly"?

Judicial Watch had requested in August that the Navy open an investigation of the matter, but Route said in an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press that he saw no reason for a full-scale probe.

"Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed," Route wrote in the memo sent Friday to Navy Secretary Gordon England.

"In particular, the senior officers who awarded the medals were properly delegated authority to do so. In addition, we found that they correctly followed the procedures in place at the time for approving these awards."

[snip]

"Conducting any additional review regarding events that took place over 30 years ago would not be productive," he wrote. "The passage of time would make reconstruction of the facts and circumstances unreliable, and would not allow the information gathered to be considered in the context of the time in which the events took place.

This is almost certainly the right decision as far as the Navy is concerned, but it does nothing to resolve the public question, which is dumped back on the voters to decide whether the facts matter and, if so, what they are. Not the reference, however, to "existing documentation" - I'm sure Judicial Watch will be hot to pursue whether everything available to Route has been made public.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire thinks this proves that the Navy has documents we don't, since there isn't sufficient public information to conclude that the proper procedures were followed with regard to Kerry's first Purple Heart.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:52 PM | Politics 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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