For months, the campaign has been hiding behind Freedom of Information Act requests and what it has said was an exclusivity contract with its paid historian, Douglas Brinkley.
But Brinkley late Friday said that there was nothing holding back the campaign from releasing documents.
By some counts, there are more than 100 pages of documents related to Kerry’s military service that may answer some of the many unanswered questions and mysteries about his time in Vietnam and the citations and awards he claims to have earned. For example:
Why are there three — THREE! — separate and differently worded citations for Kerry’s Silver Star award. On Saturday, former Navy Secretary John Lehman denied that he ever signed that third, generously worded citation, which Kerry has posted on his website.
Why has Kerry claimed that he was awarded a “Combat V” for his Silver Star, when such an award has never been awarded?
Why are there two separate, differently worded citations for Kerry’s Bronze Star? Again, with the second officially reworded by Lehman?
Why did Kerry seek a revision in 2001 to the number of campaign stars on his Vietnam service medal? Kerry’s website claims Kerry had four, when the Navy says that he deserves only two. These stars are critical, because they indicate the number of military campaigns a soldier served in.
All these are issues are unrelated to the ongoing Swift Boat Veterans for Truth controversy, and raise similar questions about Kerry’s apparent manipulation of his service record in recent years as he was seemingly positioning himself for a run at the presidency. Many of the changes appear to have occurred after 1986, when Kerry would have begun to mull his political future.
According to a former Kerry Senate staffer, Kerry made a request to the Pentagon sometime in mid-1986 for “new” copies of his medal citations, because his originals had been lost. “He wanted them suitable for framing,” says the former staffer. “I don’t think anyone went out of their way to ask for anything more. If anyone did, it would have been the Senator himself. Remember, in 1986, he was a junior senator two years into this first term. We’re not talking high-powered.”