Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has apparently moved on from blocking Supreme Court nominees now that Republicans are in charge. At a press conference Wednesday, McConnell scoffed at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) suggestion that Democrats would oppose the GOP’s nominee “tooth and nail” if they “don’t appoint someone who’s really good.” “I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate,” McConnell said, noting that while it’s okay to block a nominee for the entirety of a president’s last year in office — effectively forcing his nominee out of the running — it’s step too far to not confirm a nominee “at all.”
Since early 2016, McConnell has refused to schedule Senate hearings for Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. Garland’s nomination has remained before the Senate for 295 days, more than double the time of any other Supreme Court nomination
GAY JEOPARDY BONUS POINTS!
While watching As the Turtle Turns here’s a Blasto From El Pasto
saw a tweet today that startled me:
Ohio Citizen @OhioCitizen
I don’t know if Judd is running but McConnell is going to have a hard time. His court martial for sodomy in 67 will be huge.
Naturally, I asked for clarification, and got this. Before seeing this tweet, I had had no idea that McConnell had ever served in the military.
The OP’s speculations were summarily dismissed, but I was sufficiently intrigued to dig a little deeper. Most of the information that I found is from 2007/2008. I’m really surprised that it didn’t get more press. But as a result, the information that I did find was fairly thin.
Here are the basic, very skimpy facts: 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.
Feb. 13, 2007
Kentucky Kernel Article, dated November 1, 1996.
Senator’s Discharge Questioned
By Chris Padgett
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 McConnells Army Reserve Unit was serving its 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
AUGUST 10, 1967
MAJOR GENERAL A. D. SURLES
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
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.
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:
o: Uma Guerilla (#0)
Beard wife. 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.”
Don’t worry Mitch. Channing Tatum understands