UPDATE-What is McConnell Hiding In His Military Records?

You’ll remember back in 3/31/2019, Yours Truly wrote a blog piece titled “What is McConnell hiding in his military records” that has elicited and continues to elicit a lot of reaction on Twitter and other social media platforms. There is no question that grassroots Democrats really want to know the real reason behind Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s military discharge in 1967.

In the blog piece, Yours Truly promised to dig into the real reason behind McConnell’s military discharge, an important election issue that mysteriously remains a mainstream media no-go-zone. Well, after months of pushing and prodding the Army for McConnell’s info via freedom of Information requests(FOIA), and being subjected to countless baits-and-switches by them, we have finally got some information.

FOIA On Mitch McConnell&#39… by Emolclause on Scribd

According to the FOIA response Yours Truly got from the Army on Jan 8 2020, Mitch McConnell served from March 21, 1967 to August 15, 1967(page 2). Virtually all of the personal information fields are populated by “N/A”, which I suspect is due to the Army’s privacy policy of requiring a signature before releasing such information. Specifically, the FOIA letter stipulates in part, “This record contains sensitive personal information which, if disclosed, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy to the veteran……..If additional information is needed, the Privacy Act of 1974 requires the written consent (signature) of the individual to whom the record pertains.”(see page 1 of attached document). In essence, one would need McConnell’s written consent before getting details about his salary, source of commission, military education etc, which is pretty understandable especially given the fact that Yours Truly is big on privacy.

The sticky point however is in regards to the “Transcript of Court-Martial Trial” field. As you can see from the FOIA response(page 2), it is not populated by “N/A” like the other fields. The field is instead populated by “Not on File”. This raises a whole host of questions because it does not address the dispositive question Yours Truly set out to address with the FOIA request–whether McConnell’s discharge was due to a Court Martial? Remember, allegations/rumors have been flying around for decades that McConnell’s discharge from the military had something to do with a sexual incident between him and another officer and that this incident was the subject of a court martial. To prove or disprove this rumor one has to ascertain whether McConnell was indeed the subject of a Court Martial. The FOIA response offers no answer whatsoever to this crucial question.

Yours Truly took up this burning question with the FOIA Public Liaison officer listed on page 3 of the document, one Kevin Pratt. Specifically, Yours Truly inquired as to whether the “Not on File” listed on the FOIA response meant a court martial was held but the information has been redacted, or whether there was none with respect to Mitch McConnell?

According to Army’s Kevin Pratt, a FOIA request cannot answer the question as to whether one was court-martialed or not. He instead directed me to file a request in writing to another Army office for such information. I then asked him whether the FOIA Ombudsman’s office listed on the FOIA response (page 3) would have information related to court martials to which he replied that they don’t. It’s not clear whether these complications are McConnell-specific or are the norm when it comes to FOIA requests regarding the military. Reasonable people will agree that it should not be this complicated for the military to either deny or confirm whether Mitch McConnell, one of the most powerful politicians in the country and who’s up for reelection, was ever the subject of a court martial. There can be reasonable disagreements however as to whether the details of such court martial proceedings should be kept private or be made available to the general public.

It cannot be left unsaid that the secrecy surrounding McConnell’s military record is patently unfair to his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, also a veteran . McGrath’s military record unlike McConnell’s, is an open book which allows McConnell’s campaign to dig for campaign dirt while robbing her campaign of a similar opportunity. This glaring political bias should be enough cause for the Army to forego all the procedural technicalities surrounding information requests for veterans and release McConnell’s full military record in the interest of Kentucky voters.

Bottom line folks, no politician should ever be allowed to serve consecutive terms in the U.S. Congress while hiding crucial information from the public. The circumstances surrounding Mitch McConnell’s military discharge have been a valid campaign ever since he first ran for the U.S. Senate. There is absolutely no excuse why the mainstream media, which readily digs into the backgrounds of Democrats, continues to allow McConnell’s military discharge to be a non-story, even as he runs for his 7th consecutive term in the U.S. Senate.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

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