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.

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Decorated Veteran Amy Or MoscowMitch?

As the 2020 U.S. Senate campaigns are heating up all over the country, Kentucky voters are confronted with one of the starkest choices we’ve ever seen in modern political history–whether to send to the U.S. Senate a relatively young decorated military vet Amy McGrath, or stick with their 5 term Senator Mitch McConnell who’s not only associated with everything that is broken in Washington, but whose very loyalty to the United States is up for debate (hence the name MoscowMitch).

The battle between McGrath and McConnell for the Kentucky U.S. Senate seat is arguably the biggest 2020 senate fight. A lot of mainstream media coverage has already been dedicated to this great political battle so it will be an exercise in redundancy to relitigate the strengths and weaknesses of either candidate. Yours Truly will however reiterate what he has said all along that even with Kentucky’s long history of voting for Republicans statewide and the benefits of incumbency that accrue to McConnell, Democrat Amy McGrath is an excellent candidate who has a real shot at taking down Mitch McConnell–Kentucky’s Beto if you will. Remember folks, Yours Truly was a believer in Beto way back when he was trailing Ted Cruz by 20 points and the media was calling the race a lost cause.

There is no doubt in my mind that given the excellent campaign TeamMcGrath is running and the general fatigue people have with MoscowMitch’s hyperpartisan style of politics, Kentuckians in 2020 will settle for Dem Amy McGrath as their Senator.

It cannot also be left unsaid that there is an outside chance that Amy McGrath will end up winning by default–Yes, that McConnell will stare at the prospect of a defeat and decide to call it a career before the 2020 elections. Simply put folks, the MoscowMitch tag has really rattled McConnell and he’s very worried about losing because of that because that would become his legacy. He’d be better off bowing out thus giving himself room to reshape his legacy.

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Dems Recruiting Marine Veteran For KY Senate Seat

If there is one thing that drives grassroots Democrats wild with excitement, other than Trump’s possible impeachment or defeat, it is the prospect of defeating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020. This issue is so hot in Twitter circles that it has spawned the popular #DitchMitch hashtag among many others

Well it turns out according to a Politico piece, that there is indeed a major plan spearheaded by Senator Chuck Schumer(D-NY) to have Marine veteran and Fighter Pilot Amy McGrath go after Mitch McConnell’s senate seat in 2020. Sen Schumer has apparently been talking to McGrath about the possible senate run since December 2018 and according to the Politico piece, top Democratic Party officials attended their latest meeting last month. This suggests that there is a major party push (not just Sen Schumer) to have McGrath run for the KY senate seat

By all accounts Amy McGrath appears to be a solid candidate. She apparently lost a congressional race in 2018 to GOP’s Andy Barr in a very red district. Dem strategists however think she may fare better statewide against Mitch McConnell given McConnell’s low approval ratings.

According to the Politico piece, McGrath remains undecided about running but given the major push by the Democratic party establishment, smart money is she will end up running. A popular Kentucky sports radio host Matt Jones has also expressed an interest in vying for McConnell’s Senate seat as a Democrat. It will be interesting to see who Democrats ultimately pick to go up against Mitch McConnell.

Bottom line Kentucky is a reliably Republican state and it is fair to say it will be an uphill battle for any Democrat going up against veteran GOP Senator Mitch McConnell. But if there is any lesson Democrats have learnt out of the recently concluded 2018 elections, it is that fighting makes all the difference. By choosing to fight tooth and nail Democrats almost flipped Ted Cruz’s senate seat, something political pundits had previously thought impossible. Therefore going into 2020 whether Dems settle on McGrath or Jones, they must likewise fight tooth and nail for McConnell’s seat. There’s good reason to believe that there are many Independent Kentuckians fed up with McConnell/GOP just like they were in Texas with Cruz. Simply put, with a proper fight, Dems have a good chance of flipping Mitch McConnell’s senate seat in 2020

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