Suit Filed to Investigate Kerry

Wow. Don’t know what to make of this yet, but its focus seems to be on Kerry’s meetings with the North Vietnamese. Judicial Watch has sued Cheney for release of the energy task-force meeting transcripts, so it’s tough to just dismiss them as “partisan hacks.”

This is the relevant part of the press release – the last paragraph – which could be really, really bad:

“Judicial Watch also is requesting an investigation of Kerry?s anti-war activities. After he was released from active duty but while he was a commissioned officer in the inactive Naval Reserve, Kerry joined the anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War and traveled to Paris to meet with delegations from North Vietnam and the Communist Viet Cong. He held a press conference in Washington, D.C., following the meeting and advocated the ?peace proposal,? which included war damage reparations, put forth by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.”

Anyway, here’s the blog reference where I saw this:

Judicial Watch calls on DoD to investigate Kerry and possibly revoke his medals

An alert reader emailed me this morning with this link to a press release from Judicial Watch yesterday entitled “Judicial Watch Calls For Investigation Into Kerry?s Medals, Anti-War Actions: Formal Complaint Filed Over Senator?s Vietnam Awards, Post-Service Activities”:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today filed a request with the U.S. Navy and the Defense Department for an investigation into the awards granted to Sen. John Kerry during his service with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. Judicial Watch also requested that military authorities investigate Kerry?s anti-war activities, including his meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris, while a member of the Naval Reserve....

"The allegations concerning Kerry?s conduct during the Vietnam War are credible, serious and shocking," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The sooner an investigation begins, the better."

The formal complaint filed by Judicial Watch can be viewed here in .html format, or here as a .pdf file.

Amazingly, although both the press release and complaint are dated yesterday, my quick Google News search on “‘Judicial Watch’ Kerry” turns up no media references to this complaint; nor have I seen it yet elsewhere in the blogosphere.

My emailer notes that Judicial Watch is “an equal-opportunity defender of the people’s rights. I happen to disagree with them about Cheney’s records ? but that insulates them to cries of partisanship.” “Insulate” may be too optimistic a word, but it’s certainly true that in the past, Judicial Watch has gored both red and blue oxen.

My quick skim of the complaint suggests that it doesn’t raise any revolutionary new factual allegations, and indeed, that it piggybacks extensively and without apology on the evidence and allegations gathered by the SwiftVets and by John O’Neill’s just-released book, Unfit for Command. Three things strike me as significant, however:

* Judicial Watch is a "player," and while its complaint is calling for an investigation ? rather than explicitly predicting what the results of that investigation will be ? the fact that it treats O'Neill's and the SwiftVets' allegations as being credible enough to warrant a formal DoD investigation may itself influence some folks who are still undecided about whether this whole controversy is a "thin partisan smear" or a "real deal."

* Although not based on new factual allegations, the Judicial Watch complaint swings a bigger spotlight onto young Kerry's post-war conduct ? in particular, his meeting with representatives of the North Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong while he was still a commissioned officer in the US Naval Reserve.

* I've commented before on the possibility that O'Neill and the SwiftVets might be employing a "tar baby" strategy, hoping that the Kerry campaign and/or the DNC would overreact and make good on their threats to sue for defamation in the hopes that (a) the SwiftVets could thereby gain access, through court-ordered pretrial discovery, to documents that Kerry has thus far refused to release (e.g., the diaries used by biographer Brinkley, his full medical records, the backup for his commendations, a full set of after-action reports), and (b) the debate might play out in court, with rules of evidence and orderly manners of proceeding that are missing in the political arena. The quasi-judicial proceedings in the DoD which Judicial Watch now seeks may offer at least some of those same benefits for Kerry's critics and risks for Kerry.

The Judicial Watch folks have polished up their complaint with references to the appropriate statutory and regulatory provisions that could authorize the investigation they seek. This is not an amateurish effort. I haven’t dug into those authorities, and as of now I can neither confirm that they create the authority that Judicial Watch claims, nor offer any predictions as to what the proceedings might be like (and in particular, how fast they might move and to what extent they might be able to compel disclosures of records or other evidence that Kerry would just as soon keep under wraps).

The one thing I am sure of, however, is that this can’t be welcome news for the Kerry camp.

Interesting. I’ll keep my eye on this one. As always, great work BB.


Great post!!!

Let me preempt my predictable liberal friends (RSU, lumpy, danh, tme):

  1. Somehow Haliburton is involved.
  2. George H.W. Bush paid for the investigation.
  3. Karl Rove knows the cousin of one of the investigators.
  4. Clarence Thomas once handled a case for them.
  5. George W. Bush and Enron’s Ken Lay once had lunch with a stepson of one of the investigators.
  6. Rumsfeld pulled troops from Afghanistan to staff this committee.

How did I do?

I was able to create this list using some mental imagery. I tried to imagine being completely cynical about government. I imagined my lean muscle mass was 1/10 of what it is. Then I imagined that I was always overlooked in any social situation.

Give me credit for the tough mental gymnastics that this entailed.

Have a great day!!!