- Video Gallery
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- America's top gay activist blogger,Mike Rogers, went public today with his investigation into Senate MinorityLeader Mitch McConnell (KY). Rogers called on the Senator to release hismilitary records -- including documentation of the reason McConnell wasdischarged from the Army in the midst of the Vietnam War -- one day after theLexington Herald-Leader reported that Kentucky's former Attorney General GregStumbo came forward with questions of his own for McConnell.
Rogers has made a career of investigating suspected, closeted, anti-gaypublic officials, including Senator Larry Craig (ID) and Reps. Mark Foley (FL)and Ed Schrock (VA). He is the founder of Proud of Who We Are, anorganization that encourages closeted, anti-gay politicians to serve proudlyas gay Americans, regardless of their political party.
Rogers has taken six trips to Kentucky in the last several months toinvestigate long-standing questions about McConnell's military service.Rogers has visited numerous towns, spoken with dozens of people, and spenthours pouring over archived public records.
Rogers has discovered inconsistencies in McConnell's public Army recordsand is the first investigative reporter to note the differing answer to asection of the records titled "Transcript of Court Martial." While everyother section of McConnell's records without information states "n/a," thisparticular section uniquely states, "not on file." "Alone," said Rogers,"this court martial information may be insignificant, but it warrants furtherinvestigation when coupled with my other research."
"I've investigated enough to conclude that there are serious questionssurrounding Senator McConnell's military service, and I think Kentuckiansdeserve answers," Rogers continued. "It's worth noting that next monthSenator McConnell could become the highest-ranking Republican at the federallevel. To have an anti-gay politician as the standard bearer of his partywhen there are unanswered questions about his military service is something Ithink the American people simply will not tolerate. After all, this is thesame man who threw Larry Craig under the bus while supporting confessedadulterer David Vitter. Suspicions about McConnell were raised then, and he'syet to answer them."
The records Rogers has been able to obtain indicate that McConnellenlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 1967 and was abruptly discharged fourmonths later for a minor medical condition. His discharge was expedited bythe claim that he needed to be released quickly to attend New York University.NYU records indicate that McConnell never applied to the school, and at thetime of his discharge he had already earned a law degree from the Universityof Kentucky.
Rogers has also reviewed phone records showing a flurry of calls from theoffice of McConnell's patron in the U.S. Senate at the time, Senator JohnSherman Cooper, in the days immediately preceding McConnell's discharge. Thecalls abruptly stopped shortly before McConnell was discharged.
In addition to repeatedly refusing to publicly address his militaryrecord, Senator McConnell makes no mention of his time in the service oneither his Senate or campaign websites.
"Senator McConnell's story just doesn't add up," said Rogers. "Iencourage him to consider facts and the truth his allies, not a problem. Aspeedy release of his records and openness with the public is the only thingthat will help clear this matter up once and for all."
The Human Rights Campaign has given McConnell a zero rating for hisanti-gay rights voting agenda in the Senate. His uneven treatment of the sexscandals of Republican Senators Larry Craig and David Vitter received a greatdeal of attention last year. The New York Times reported that McConnellthreatened Craig with a far-reaching ethics committee investigation andembarrassing public hearings about his sexual encounters if Craig refused toresign. McConnell also stripped Craig of his positions on powerful Senatecommittees. Vitter, who paid for services from a female prostitute, faced nosimilar reprimands from the Senate Minority Leader.