Let me first start off by making absolutely clear that this is not intended in any way to be a "swift boat"-style attack on John McCain and his service. Despite what you may think of him as a Senator or Presidential candidate, there is no denying the fact that he served his country in ways that most of us could never even imagine. For that he deserves our utmost respect and appreciation. But that doesn't mean, however, that all claims about his service should be blindly accepted without scrutiny.
Indeed, investigative reporter Jeffrey Klein has uncovered what appear to be serious gaps in Senator McCain's military records. What Klein has discovered strongly suggests that the McCain campaign is deliberately trying to exaggerate the circumstances surrounding a promotion McCain turned down in order to serve in public life. As Klein notes, the timing -- along with McCain's lackluster academics and poor piloting skills, among other things-- would seem to disqualify him for the promotion in which the campaign now claims he rejected. What's more, McCain's refusal to publicly release his entire Navy record -- something John Kerry did after his record came under scrutiny -- only fuels speculation that he is tying to hide something.
Is McCain now getting away with more by hiding his official history and by having his national security adviser inflate McCain's resume with a bogus promotion to admiral humbly declined? If so, McCain may be attempting to hide why the Navy was in fact slow to promote him upwards despite his suffering as a POW and his distinguished naval heritage.
The entire article is worth the read, as it meticulously documents the serious gaps in question. Again, this is in no way intended to impugn McCain's military service or the years of torture he endured at the hands of his barbaric captors. Instead, the point is to evaluate the veracity of the claims his campaign is now making in order to help him get elected, and to also challenge him to live up to his promise of open government by fully disclosing his service record.
Just like we are all obligated to honor his heroic service, I think the American people deserve the right to evaluate the official record.