A special section on John F. Kerry and his Swift Boat complex, including some psychiatric diagnoses.
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BR>Fort Lee, New Jersey
p>I find Senator Kerry's actions against the Swift Boat veterans to be highly curious, considering most of the actual records concerning his service are still “because I said so, so trust me.”
p>I served 21 and a half years on active duty as an NCO and then Chief Warrant Officer in the Army, and over the years processed a number of discharges for personnel. Most of them were honorable and automatic, but there were a few that were not or were required by law.
p>The Army lumps its discharges together under AR 635-200 for enlisted men, and there are a number of them for special cases. Chapter 5 is hardship due to family situation (normally Honorable); Chapters 9 and 10 deal with drug and alcohol abuse, and vary according to abuse and reason for discharge. Chapter 13 is for unsuitable for military service under honorable conditions — some people just cannot adapt to military life. Chapter 14 covers being unsuitable for military service due to criminal activity — this varies but usually comes with a civil felony conviction.
p>Chapter 10 is the most interesting one. If you commit a crime or break the bonds of good discipline, you may be considered for a General Court Martial. But, if no one is injured and you basically plead
, you may be offered a chapter 10. This discharge usually comes with a Bad Conduct Discharge but you do not stand trial and do not get placed in confinement. While in Berlin, we had a soldier do this — he basically ruined the engine in his first sergeant's van and stripped the paint from his commander's brand new car. He took the chapter ten and thought he beat the system — until he got back to the states and found he no longer had GI Bill privileges. One of the dirty little secrets with a BCD is you lose nearly all veterans' benefits and also all awards and decorations.
p>Looking over Senator Kerry's records, there are large holes in them between 1970 and 1978 — the points where Mr. Kerry was released from active duty into the reserve and when he was awarded an Honorable Discharge from the USNR.
p>In a 2004 article in the
New York Sun
(“Mystery Surrounds Kerry's Navy Discharge,” Thomas Lipscomb, Special to the Sun, October 13, 2004) the author notes the very curious use of Title 10, US Code, Sections 1162 and 1163 to cover a discharge awarded by board of officers. This is more than a bit odd, as normally discharges are automatic and covered by various military regulations. Mr. Kerry SHOULD have been discharged on February 17, 1972, pursuant to a normal six year period of service. He was also supposed to be providing training to other Naval Reserve personnel between 1970 and 1972. But as is well known, Mr. Kerry was cavorting around Washington with Jane Fonda and hobnobbing with North Vietnamese dignitaries at the time, wearing non-regulation length hair (even for the Zumwalt Navy) and a SP5's jacket.
p>Also, there is the matter of the certificates for his awards, all dated 1978 as well.
p>What I would like to see is the following: