I don't get why Rick Noriega Won't Release his Military RecordsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


I don't get why Rick Noriega Won't Release his Military Records

18 February 2008 at 8:56:03 AM

When George "The Lesser" Bush was running for office, I, along with a whole bunch of people, were very interested to see what his national guard record was actually like. And lo and behold, we found out that Bush had missed part of his required guard duty and had never apparently successfully completed his training according to rules. That's why a lot of people call him "AWOL". At least in his case, attempting to stonewall release of his records blew up what might otherwise have been a yawn without much scrutiny; but I thought that since he had fought to vigorously not to release his records, that there was a reason behind it... and there was.

Or let's take Kerry. I never understood, since he was running on his military record, why he didn't just release all of them. (I also recall that that spring or summer someone broke into a man's home that had boxes and boxes of Kerry records and memorabilita and STOLE them-what happened to that?) It isn't as if the Republicans weren't going to jump on anything they found, anyway, and is there anyone with a pristine background?

If someone runs for office and bases their reason on, say, being a great teacher and being pro-education, it seems logical to me that it would be completely fair game to want to see the teaching record, or at least what could be made publicly available. Right? Why should it be different for someone that wants to run for office and the strong card is because he was in the military?

I read this article this morning about John "Brown-Nose-Bush* Cornyn asking for Noriega to release his records. Now, Cornyn didn't serve in the military, so it isn't like he can claim one-up points for service; in my book that makes him a chickenhawk, but I'm far more interested in Cornyn's role with the Abramoff scandal, which I don't think has been paid enough attention to. Noriega's arguments against releasing them, though, are weak.

Texas Republican Party Communications Director Hans Klingler asked Noriega to sign a permission slip to release his records for his service in the Texas Army National Guard. Klingler requested unit records of Noriega's service in Afghanistan; awards, citations and medals; all payment records; and letters of commendation and/or reprimand.

Klingler said he thought the request was just usual campaign research on a candidate who is making military service the center of his run for office.

Noriega said he will release his military records to the public but not to "partisan Republican operatives." He said that in recent years the Republicans have launched "shameful" attacks on military veterans, citing efforts to link former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, a Vietnam triple amputee, to Osama bin Laden.

Okay. I can agree with that. Then immediately release them to the public. When will that happen?

"In the past, some Republicans have conducted dishonest and disreputable attacks on veterans," Noriega said in a letter to Klingler.

And it''s interesting that Noriega took money from one of those Republicans involved with the Swift Boat Veterans, Bob Perry. Once that came to light, he donated a like amount of money to charity, but he even in January he STILL said he would welcome Bob Perry's support. Huh???? From the Waco Trib

State Rep. Rick Noriega of Houston, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, says he donated $8,000 in political funds to charity last month to address heartburn in the Democratic establishment over a reported $9,500 in donations that his House campaigns accepted over the years from Houston home builder Bob Perry.

Perry, who gives to many causes but puts most of his political contributions into Republican coffers, is known nationally for helping pay for the so-called Swift Boat commercials that attacked Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004.

Still, Noriega, a fifth-term House member, said that he would welcome Perry's support in his current bid to unseat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. In the Democratic primary, Noriega faces Corpus Christi teacher Ray McMurrey, who has questioned Noriega's acceptance of donations from Perry, and perennial candidates Rhett Smith of San Antonio and Gene Kelly of Universal City.

"I'd hope to have Mr. Perry's help during the general election," Noriega said

Now, I ask you. Doesn't that make Noriega's comments about not releasing his records because of Swift Boat Veteran attacks... um... disingenuous?

Noriega's criticism of the state GOP coincided with an appeal sent to supporters asking them to oppose the use of military records as a campaign tactic: "Tell Cornyn and his cronies we will fight back against any distortions or smears on my service to our country."

Again, if you're going to make your military service a cornerstone of your campaign, then it's entirely fair to have anyone scrutinize your military record. So get with it and let's see it.

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