Mitch McConnell's dirty little secret
Mitch McConnell was classified 2-S ("Registrant deferred due to activity in study") on August 8th, 1962, and remained as such until May 4th, 1967. Source, through HillBilly Reports
He enlisted in either March 1967 or in July 1967 and served at Fort Knox in the 100th Division (Training) of the U.S. Army Reserve until August 15, 1967. He was assigned Selective Service number 15-131-42-44.
His Wikipedia entry backs this up:
He graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a B.A. in political science in 1964. McConnell was student body president and a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. He has maintained strong ties to his alma mater and "remains a rabid fan of its sports teams." Three years later, McConnell graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was president of the Student Bar Association.Addison M. McConnell, Jr., reported for duty as instructed, possibly in April or May, 1967. After that, though, things get murky. Convoluted explanations, obfuscations, outright denials, ("Senator McConnell had polio as a child and he never served in armed services.” said Robert Steurer, press secretary for McConnell in Washington. “I am not aware of him ever serving.”) and a strange little bombshell--maybe--below the arabesque.
Hillbilly Report tried to dig into McConnell's military record as best they could. They requested his Selective Service records, and basically ran into a brick wall.
December, 2007 we submitted a request for the Selective Service Classification Records for Senator Saxby Chambliss, Rep Tom Tancredo and Senator Mitch McConnell. When we received the Selective Service Classification Records from the Selective Service System all of the records were included with the exception of Senator Mitch McConnell's and his was an extract put together by Richard Flahavan, Associate Director for Intergovernmental Affairs. When Richard Flahavan was questioned about sending us an extract of Senator Mitch McConnell's Selective Service Classification Record, he responded in writing that " Selective Service no longer has access to Selective Service records for men born prior to 1960." Knowing that we had already received the full Selective Service Classification Records for Senator Saxby Chambliss, Rep Tom Tancredo born in 1943 and 1945 respectively we felt that Richard Flahavan was possibly covering for Senator Mitch McConnell. In Richard Flahavan's extract he writes "the U.S. Army ordered him to undergo an Armed Forces Physical Examination which he did July 9, 1967. Apparently, he did not pass because he was released from the U.S. Army Reserve August 15, 1967." I just love that word apparently!But as they reported, Mitch McConnell "apparently" never HAD an Armed Forces Physical Examination: Photo from Mitch McConnell's service record
According to Wikipedia,
In 1967, to gain experience on Capitol Hill, during his final semester of law school, McConnell was an intern for Senator John Sherman Cooper (R-KY).Not coincidentally, Senator Cooper possibly created or was used as a diversion regarding McConnell's military service.
Hillbilly Report Feb. 13, 2007 Kentucky Kernel Article, dated November 1, 1996. Senator’s Discharge Questioned By Chris Padgett News Editor
A letter found in the UK Library Department of Special Collections of a request from a former U.S. Senator to the then commanding general of Fort Knox created conflicting stories Thursday about the military record of Republican U. S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. The letter was found in the personal letters of U. S. Sen. John Sherman Cooper, a Republican from Kentucky. it was written to Maj. Gen. A. D. Surles, commanding general of Fort Knox. McConnell served as an intern in Coopers Washington, DC. office in summer of 1964. He was in boot camp at Ft. Knox and a member of the 100th Division of the U.S. Army Reserve.
The letter was dated August 10, 1967, during a time when U.S. troops were being sent to Vietnam for combat duty.
In the letter, Cooper advises the major general that ‘Mitchell anxious to clear post in order to enroll NYU. Please advise when final action can he expected.”
According to the Registrar’s Office at New York University, no record exists that McConnell ever applied or enrolled for classes at that university. McConnell attended UK and earned a law degree in 1967 before he enlisted in the Army reserve.Senator Cooper died in 1991, at the age of 89. Here's a more complete note on the letter:
While waiting for the release from active military duty McConnell's Army Reserve Unit was serving it's summer active duty at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Instead of following military procedure that would transfer McConnell from the training unit back to the Army Reserve Unit, McConnell was released from military service directly from the training unit by the Commanding General of Ft. Knox. This is a direct violation of military procedure and would only occur in the most critical circumstances. What raises questions is a copy of a telegram sent from the office of Senator John Sherman Cooper to Commanding General A.D. Surles of Ft. Knox to speed the release of Private McConnell.
A computer replica of the document follows on the next page. You can obtain a copy of the document at the University of Kentucky, Margaret I. King Library, Special Collections, Lexington, Kentucky 40506.
The reference for the document is as follows:
John Sherman Cooper Papers Senatorial Series II 1956-72 Office Copy File from 1967 Box 792 Army (hold) McConnell,Mitchell COPY AUGUST 10, 1967 MAJOR GENERAL A. D. SURLES COMMANDING GENERAL FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY PVT MITCHELL MCCONNELL, ER 15 767 802, BEING MEDICALLY DISCHARGED YOUR STATION OPTIC NEURITIS. PAPERS IN OFFICE SPECIALIST HUMMER, COLONEL FLETCHER BATTALION CO. MITCHELL ANXIOUS TO CLEAR POST IN ORDER TO ENROLL NYU. PLEASE ADVISE WHEN FINAL ACTION CAN BE EXPECTED. JOHN SHERMAN COOPER, USS OFFICIAL DAY LETTER KSF
The official story for McConnell's discharge--in spite of "apparently" not having an actual physical exam--is a diagnosis of optic neuritis, a condition easily cured by steroids in 1967.
According to Allen, optic neuritis by itself is not a reason for an individual to be discharged from the military. McConnell, who also held a position in the UK College of Law in 1994, would not be interviewed and would not comment on Cooper’s letter or his discharge. “Senator McConnell will not be available to discuss this,” Simmons said. “We have not and will not release Senator McConnell’s medical records.”
And now for the possibly sordid part, sourced here:
The missing part of the story-? Alan Lynch, a Lexington Postal Clerk, served in the 100th Army Reserve Unit, Louisville, Kentucky. He was in another unit in 1964 but the Army did a consolidation of units and he was transferred to the 100th in 1965 or 1966. He performed several duties while he served in the military as a postal clerk and personnel officer. Mr. Lynch has a remarkable story about the summer of 1967.The summary of the story is as follows:
In the summer of 1967 Lynch reported for his summer active duty in the 100th Training Unit Army Reserve. The Unit did their summer active duty at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Lynch worked for S-1, the administrative arm of any army unit. Lynch worked for a Major, who was the assistant Adjutant and new to the unit. During his active duty in August of 1967 Lynch remembers coming into the office and noticed that the Major was upset. He asked him what was going on and the Major told him the following:
A new member of the 100th Army Reserve Unit in Basic Training at Ft. Knox was arrested in the barracks for sodomy. The guy is getting out of the military and the excuse will be due to an illness, an eye disorder. The Major then told a joke about it saying, "I guess the guy couldn't see the difference between guys and girls."
Lynch asked him how this guy could accomplish this and get a release from the army. The Major told him that the soldier had served as an intern to Senator John Sherman Cooper and Senator Cooper called the Commanding General of Ft. Knox to arrange the discharge.
At the time the Major told Lynch the name of the soldier but the name didn't stick to his brain. Lynch said frankly it was not important at the time because the name McConnell meant nothing to him. It was not until the issue was raised in McConnell's senate race of 1990 that he remembered the incident. Lynch provided the information to reporters with the Courier Journal and Herald Leader but they did nothing with it because they didn't have any real evidence. They only have the story of Lynch.
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McConnell has been able to brush this whole thing off as a tempest in a teapot.
It's entirely possible, of course, that McConnell was simply a namby-pamby wimpy-pants who really, really didn't WANT to go to war and serve his country. So he begged his former boss to pull strings and lie to get him the hell out of the Army Reserves. In other words, a typical chickenhawk who wants YOUR children to fight and possibly die, while he wears a suit and tie and pontificates.
I didn't find anything regarding a court martial until I stumbled upon this.
Like when I investigated and reported on Larry Craig after 26 years of rumors, I’ve turned fresh eyes on this case and recently noticed an interesting inconsistency with McConnell’s public Army record. In particular, there is a differing answer to a section of his records titled, “Transcript of Court Martial.” While every other section of McConnell’s records without information simply “n/a,” this particular section uniquely states, “not on file.” Does that mean a McConnell court martial file exists? Only the Senator knows.Further digging turned up the original source for the above: Link
o: Uma Guerilla (#0) This story has been around a long time...closet queens have kids and a submissive wife as cover.
A couple of far right loons attacked DWT last week for making public what so many people in Washington already know, that homophobic Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell lives the secret life of a closet queen. I had to laugh since their indignation and outrage wasn't unlike the indignation and outrage directed towards us when we exposed other closeted Republican hypocrites like Mark Foley (R-FL), David Dreier (R-CA) and Jim West (R-WA Hell). And the "proof" McConnell is straight? He's married and has kids. I don't know if these guys are naive or just liars but they need a little lesson about what a closet queen is (especially since so many of the elite in their hate-filled-- and rapidly shrinking-- little party seem to reside in the closet).
John McCain was a prisoner in Vietnam. So was Gary Glitter, and I'm not voting for him either.
Mekons5 posted on 2008-11-01 20:49:31 ET Reply Trace Private Reply From The People's Forum
Personally, I don't care if McConnell is a closet queen. I see him more as a cross-dresser in frilly pink underwear, but I don't care about that either. I DO care about whether he's a hypocrite and a liar, and whether he has a sordid past that can possibly get his obstructionist ass out of Congress.
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Mitch McConnell’s Freighted Ties to a Shadowy Shipping Company
Before the Ping May, a rusty cargo vessel, could disembark from the port of Santa Marta en route to the Netherlands in late August, Colombian inspectors boarded the boat and made a discovery. Hidden in the ship’s chain locker, amidst its load of coal bound for Europe, were approximately 40 kilograms, or about ninety pounds, of cocaine. A Colombian Coast Guard official told The Nation that there is an ongoing investigation.
The seizure of the narcotics shipment in the Caribbean port occurred far away from Kentucky, the state in which Senator Mitch McConnell is now facing a career-defining election. But the Republican Senate minority leader has the closest of ties to the owner of the Ping May, the vessel containing the illicit materials: the Foremost Maritime Corporation, a firm founded and owned by McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family.
Though Foremost has played a pivotal role in McConnell’s life, bestowing the senator with most of his personal wealth and generating thousands in donations to his campaign committees, the drug bust went unnoticed in Kentucky, where every bit of McConnell-related news has generated fodder for the campaign trail. That’s because, like many international shipping companies, Chao’s firm is shrouded from public view, concealing its identity and limiting its legal liability through an array of tax shelters and foreign registrations. Registered through a limited liability company in the Marshall Islands, the Ping May flies the Liberian flag.
McConnell’s ties to the Chaos go back to the late 1980s, when James Chao began donating to the senator. In 1993, McConnell married James’s daughter, Elaine Chao, a Republican activist and former Reagan administration official who would later serve as secretary of labor in the George W. Bush cabinet. James Chao emigrated to the United States from Taiwan, and founded the Foremost Maritime Corporation upon settling in New York. The company has grown significantly over the years, from acting as maritime agent during the Vietnam War to controlling a fleet of approximately sixteen dry-bulk cargo ships in operation today.
Foremost acts as a shipping agent, purchasing vessels made primarily in China and coordinating shipment of commodities. Records reviewed by The Nation reveal that Foremost transports corn, chemicals and other goods to cities throughout the world. The company has offices in New York and Hong Kong.
Some of the goods shipped by Foremost echo themes of the McConnell campaign. At a Young Professionals Association of Louisville event this month, McConnell stressed his opposition to carbon dioxide limits imposed by the federal government that would impact the domestic coal market. He argued that such efforts would be fruitless given the role of coal in developing countries and the rising coal trade. Foremost ships routinely transport coal from ports in Australia and Colombia, countries with cheap coal, for export to Asia and Europe.
The firm, however, leaves a faint online trace. Foremost’s website FMCNY.com is blank. Records and court documents obtained by The Nation show that the ownership of the company’s vessels—with names such as Ping May, Soya May, Fu May and Grain May—is obscured through a byzantine structure of tax entities. Most of Foremost’s vessels are flagged in Liberia, which ensures that crew members of Foremost’s ships work under Liberia’s maritime labor laws, which critics note allow for intimidation in the workplace and few protections for labor unions. In addition, a Liberian “flag of convenience” allows ship owners to pay lower tonnage taxes than ships that fly the US flag. Maritime companies have increasingly used the Marshall Islands to register their vessels. The jurisdiction boasts of “no taxation, lax regulation, and no requirements for disclosure of many corporate details—even to the United States government,” according to a report in World Policy Journal.
The recent seizure of cocaine on a Foremost coal ship came as authorities in Colombia have stepped up anti-drug trafficking enforcement in the region. The Nation spoke to Luis Gonzales, an official with the Colombian Coast Guard in Santa Marta, who told us that the Ping May’s crew were questioned as part of an ongoing investigation, but that no charges have yet been filed. His team found the cocaine in forty separate packages.
Contacted by telephone, a representative of Foremost said he is “obviously going to have no comment on this one.”
McConnell has benefitted in many ways from his relationship with his in-laws.
The Republican Senate minority leader’s personal wealth grew seven-fold over the last ten years thanks in large part to a gift given to him and his wife in 2008 from James Chao worth between $5 million and $25 million (Senate ethics forms require personal finance disclosures in ranges of amounts, rather than specific figures). The gift helped the McConnells after their stock portfolio dipped in the wake of the financial crisis that year, and ensured they could pay off more than $100,000 in mortgage debt on their Washington home.
The generous gift made McConnell one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, with a net worth averaging around $22.8 million, according to The Washington Post’s review of his financial disclosures.
Following the gift, McConnell sent a letter of congratulations to an auditorium of Chinese officials in Shanghai who were gathered for an event honoring James Chao’s wife (McConnell’s mother-in-law, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, who passed away in 2007). The Shanghai Mulan Education Foundation, created in her honor, regularly hosts students from the University of Louisville, where McConnell has a leadership academy bearing his name that sends students on trips to China.
The ties between McConnell and his in-laws have come under scrutiny before. In 2001, they were probed in depth by The New Republic in an article that charged that McConnell led an effort to soften his party’s criticism of China. Through James Chao, who was a classmate of Jiang Zemin, the president of China in the ’90s, McConnell and his wife met with Jiang several times, both in Beijing and in Washington. McConnell subsequently tempered his criticism of Chinese human rights abuses, and broke with hawks like Senator Jesse Helms to support Most Favored Nation trading status with China. As Foremost established closer ties with mainland China, McConnell endorsed the position that the United States should remain “ambiguous” about coming to the defense of Taiwan. In 1999, McConnell and his wife appeared at the University of Louisville with Chinese Ambassador Li Zhaoxing. Li used the opportunity to bash congressional leaders for rebuking China over its repression of the Falun Gong religious sect. “Any responsible government will not foster evil propensities of cults by being over-lenient,” Li reportedly said at the event with McConnell and Chao. Rather than distance himself from the remarks, McConnell reportedly spoke about his “good working relationship” with Li.
Last Friday, McConnell dipped into his personal fortune to lend his own campaign $1.8 million for the final week before the election. Members of the Chao family and employees of Foremost have also given over $90,000 in contributions to McConnell over the years.
Requests for comment to the McConnell team about the Ping May cocaine incident have gone unanswered.
McConnell has positioned himself over the years as a tough on drugs politician. In 1996, McConnell was the sole sponsor of the Enhanced Marijuana Penalties Act, a bill to increase the mandatory minimum sentencing for those caught with certain amounts of marijuana. A press release noted that his bill would make “penalties for selling marijuana comparable to those for selling heroin and cocaine.”
In recent weeks, McConnell has touted his role in calling for more federal money to be used for drug enforcement.