For a guy who manages to refer to his military service in approximately every third word of his public speeches, John Kerry is awfully protective of his military records. After suggesting that the records would be made available unconditionally — at least to his good buddy Tim Russert, who apparently was to serve a role similar to the proposed role of John Stennis vetting Nixon’s White House tapes — the Boston Globe reports: “Kerry refuses to release more records.”
The lead paragraph of the story does not pull any punches:
The day after John F. Kerry said he would make all of his military records available for inspection at his campaign headquarters, a spokesman said the senator would not release any new documents, leaving undisclosed many of Kerry’s evaluations by his Navy commanding officers, some medical records, and possibly other material.
Then comes the close encounter with Tim Russert:
Kerry, in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” was asked whether he would follow President Bush’s example and release all of his military records. “I have,” Kerry said. “I’ve shown them — they’re available for you to come and look at.” He added that “people can come and see them at headquarters.”
Those familiar with Senator Kerry’s modus operandi might see the flip-flop coming, but its audicity is a little shocking:
[W]hen a reporter showed up yesterday morning to review the documents, the campaign staff declined, saying all requests must go through the press spokesman, Michael Meehan. Late yesterday, Meehan said the only records available would be those already released to this newspaper.
“He is releasing all military records he has released to The Boston Globe,” Meehan said in a telephone interview. In a follow-up e-mail, Meehan said it was those particular records to which Kerry was referring on “Meet the Press.”
Those familiar with Senator Kerry’s sense of humor will find that it extends to his staff and won’t be disappointed by the knee-slapper buried at the end of the story:
Asked whether Kerry would release his evaluations, as Clark did during the primaries, Meehan responded: “We don’t have Wesley Clark’s evaluations.” Asked directly whether Kerry would release all of his own evaluations, Meehan repeated that the campaign would release only the records already made available.