Wednesday, June 08, 2005
That's it?: Back during the 2004 presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry, the Democrat nominee, refused to sign what is known as a "Form 180". A 180 waives privacy rights with regard to military records and allows others to see them. Bush signed a Form 180 long before the 2004 election cycle -- though he got flak from the press when the military kept "finding" records.
Kerry, on the other hand, refused to sign a Form 180, instead releasing all records that he deemed necessary through his own campaign. This refusal led to speculation that there would be something embarassing in the records should they become public.
About four months ago, appearing on "Meet the Press," Kerry promised to sign the Form 180 -- and now he has done so, allowing The Boston Globe access to all of his military records.
Now that we have access, what was Kerry hiding?
According to the Globe, Kerry was hiding the fact that President Bush had slightly better grades than Kerry at Yale.
When a candidate loses, there's always criticism that the person ran a crummy campaign. Kerry deserves a ton of criticism here, because if this is all that he was hiding, it was stupid not to sign the Form 180 last year. It becomes a one day story and you don't give your opponents the opportunity to attack you for "hiding" anything.
Now, there is some debate as to whether the Globe has all of Kerry's military records. That should become clear in the next few weeks. However, I would encourage the Globe to spend a few bucks on bandwidth and scan and post everything they've got online. If Kerry has only released his records to the Globe, they've got a duty to make them available to the public.