NAVY TELLS JUDICIAL WATCH IT WILL NOT RELEASE ADDITIONAL KERRY DOCUMENTS
Date: 9/16/2004 2:02:30 PM Pacific Standard Time
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For Immediate Release
Sep 16, 2004 Contact: Press Office
202-646-5172

NAVY TELLS JUDICIAL WATCH IT WILL NOT RELEASE ADDITIONAL KERRY DOCUMENTS

Navy Personnel Command Confirms Additional Unreleased Kerry Service Records Exist

“No comment” from Navy on FOIA Legal Review of Kerry Records

No Record of Kerry’s Discharge Certificate Maintained by Navy

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, said today that the U.S. Navy Personnel Command, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request, has refused to release additional documents on the naval service of Senator John Kerry. The Navy’s response the Judicial Watch’s FOIA request contained a biographical data sheet on Kerry, two citations and one certificate for the Silver Star medal, two citations and one certificate for the Bronze Star medal, and three sets of orders and certificates for the Purple Heart. In an irregular response to a government records request, the Navy’s letter referred Judicial Watch to the Kerry campaign Internet site for “Numerous responsive U.S. Navy service record documents, as well as service record documents not subject to disclosure requirements under the FOIA . . .”

Questions concerning when the Navy conducted a FOIA review and legal review of Kerry’s records were answered “No comment” by Navy Personnel Command FOIA Officer Dave German, during a telephone interview today with Judicial Watch Director of Investigations and Research Chris Farrell. Navy Public Affairs Officer Mike McClellan monitored the telephone interview. In a subsequent e-mail to Mr. Farrell, Mr. German wrote, “We have withheld thirty-one (31) pages of documents from the responsive military personnel service record as we were not provided a release authorization.”

Judicial Watch also sought Senator Kerry’s Discharge Certificate (DD Form 256N) from the U.S. Navy under the provisions of the FOIA. Mr. German stated that the U.S. Navy issues the DD Form 256N to the discharged service member, but does not maintain an official copy of the certificate in the service member’s record. A copy of Senator Kerry’s DD Form 256N discharge certificate was not available on his campaign Internet site as of this writing.

“It will be difficult to obtain these hidden documents if John Kerry continues to refuse to authorize their release. In the hundreds of open records FOIA requests Judicial Watch has made to the government, I can point to no instance where we were referred to a political campaign Internet site in the response,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

The Navy’s FOIA response is available on the Internet by clicking here.

 

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