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September 22, 2004

Kerry's Top Secret

Beldar has a long brief up on the material covered by the sixth Swift Veterans for Truth ad: "SwiftVets' sixth ad focuses on Kerry's Paris meeting (or meetings) with America's enemies Did he "betray his country"?" This one addresses Kerry's trips to Paris to meet with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese while yet an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and while his country remained in a state of war with those parties. I've mentioned these events several times, before, but Beldar's brief is a well-considered look at the actual evidence (Kerry's own on-the-record statements, mostly) and the applicable laws. His conclusion is that while there is not enough evidence available to actually conclude that Kerry betrayed his country, there is enough to show that his judgment was very poor in the matter:

I have no hesitation, however, in agreeing that even in what Sen. Kerry has admitted, his actions in meeting even once with our nation's enemies during wartime, while the uniform of a Naval Reserve officer still hung in his closet, showed a profound foolishness not a casual or trivial mistake in judgment by a callow youth, but a reprehensible misjudgment by a young man then already in his late 20s who ought to have known far better.
Kerry and his team haven't said much, if anything, about these meetings. Considering how he has touted his anti-war activities in other ways, it would seem strange that this has been quietly ignored were it not so obvious that it's a real problem. I've already mentioned how these meetings are not mentioned, much less analysed, in Tour of Duty.

But one angle on this that I haven't seen mentioned, and that just occurred to me as I read Beldar's brief, is that Kerry held a Top Secret clearance. I'm uncertain of the regulation in the early 1970s, but I believe that under current regulations all holders of clearances are prohibited from unauthorized communications or contact with enemies of the U.S., and if any such occur the holder of the clearance is required to report such contacts as soon as possible to his security officer.

I'm uncertain that Kerry's clearance was active once he transferred into the Reserve. It's possible it had lapsed. But I haven't seen any discussion of this topic. That he held a Top Secret clearance, however, demonstrates that he was not ignorant of regulations surrounding trusted citizens (and, in this case, officers) of the United States and their contacts with foreign nationals, and most especially with enemy agents. He knew, from the time he received his first security training, that meetings of the sort he was party to in Paris are inappropriate and possibly worse. Even if his clearance was not active, that he had held a clearance, and thus was fully apprised the regulations concerning contacts with enemies of our nation, shows just how bad was, and probably still is, his judgment.

What has he done since to demonstrate his judgment has significantly improved?

To put this episode in proper context, John O'Neill said this of these meetings:

It would be like an American today meeting with the heads of al Qaeda.
The Kerry Spot's take on this quote is:
Team Kerry better have a good defense to refute that talking point, because if that one sentence comparison breaks through the media static and gets into voter's heads, Kerry will make Walter Mondale look like Bill Clinton.

Posted by dan at September 22, 2004 09:37 AM | TrackBack

Remember that John Kerry's father Richard Kerry was a US Dept of State political officer in Berlin during this time period. Also his first wife's father (I think I remember this correctly) was a Naval Attache in Washington. He was well-connected and they may all have helped him improve his station in the Navy. Notice that the security clearance was sent to the USS Gridley, Kerry's first duty posting. These people all think of themselves as the best and brightest, just a little bit superior. . .

Posted by: Dr. Dre at September 25, 2004 07:30 AM

Beldar does not mention Lt. Kerry, as a commissioned officer in the US Naval Reserve, testifying before the Fulbright Senate Committee, meeting in Paris with N. Vietnam government and Vietcong officials (aka the enemy) and being a leader of VVFW versus Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. I believe this should be a major issue of blogs in order to try Kerry in the court of public opinion with the verdict delivered 2 Nov 2004. MSM will never mention this so the blogs must.

Section 3: "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."

Posted by: John at September 27, 2004 04:34 PM
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