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August 23, 2004

Joshua Mellencamp Marshall: Military Records Are Presumptively Accurate

Joshy says:

The military records all back up Kerry. Back in the old days -- i.e., last month --official military records used to be considered at least presumptively accurate. Now, everyone knows or should know that every after-action report or medal citation isn't necessarily the product of an exhaustive investigation. Yet, they're not meaningless. At a minimum one would assume that the burden of proof would lie with those who dispute their veracity.

This is Chris Matthews' take as well.

But is it true that military records were considered -- up until last month -- presumptively accurate?

I don't remember George W. Bush having the benefit of such a presumption.

His records say he fulfilled all obligations and was therefore honorably discharged. He has pay records from the disputed "AWOL" period showing he was in fact paid. He has records of a dental visit in Alabama to show that he was on the base when he said he was. Sure, he could have just popped in to have his teeth checked, but that record indicates he was "in the system" at the time. You don't blow off military duty, hoping not be noticed, and then remind them that you're supposed to be performing military duty by showing up for a nice fluoridization.

In that situation, the liberals did not afford the official records any presumption of accuracy whatsoever. They were, and remain, quite eager to "look beyond the records" to get to the "truth" (hopefully, a Bush-damaging truth) that the papers don't show.

But now Chris Matthews, Joshy Marshall, and the rest of the sissy squad are claiming that military records supporting John Kerry settle the issue, no matter if dozens of eyewitnesses to the events in question swear that those records are inaccurate and based on Kerry's own self-serving self-reporting.

QandO beats me to the punch on this point (you snooze, you lose):

In order to move the presidential campaign away from what happened or didn't happen in Vietnam 35 years ago, I offer a suggestion. Since the Kerry camp wishes to argue that official Navy records are conclusive proof that Kerry served honorably and with distinction, I suggest that those of us opposed to Kerry offer to accept that argument, as long as the Kerry people accept the logical corollary: the official Air Force records indicating George W. Bush was honorably discharged from his service is conclusive proof that he properly met his obligations as well.

Thanks to Instapundit for the QandO link.


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posted by Ace at 03:55 PM

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