Did Kerry Violate UCMJ In 1971?

A new meme is taking hold in the world of Bush blogs. It's being fueled by Instapundit, but I found out about it over at Baldilocks, the blog of an ex-Air Force reservist who's been very critical of the AWOL Bush "thing", as she puts it.

Here's the scoop: In 1971, John Kerry met with North Vietnamese officials, something he reported to a Congressional committee. At the time of the meeting, he was in the Naval Reserves (his service continued until 1978). Was this a punishable offense under UCMJ, namely, meeting with the enemy?

According to the UCMJ, members of a reserve component are under the UCMJ's jurisdiction only when attending inactive-duty training. The UCMJ doesn't apply, then. It doesn't make this meeting a wise thing to do, but it wasn't illegal, and it certainly wasn't giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

I linked to Baldilock's initial post, but you can follow through to the next post where she says she was wrong. But then she updates that post to say she was wrong about being wrong. I think she'll get it right soon, though. She's hung up right now on a distinction between regular Reserves and Standby Reserves.

From what I gather, it's harder to call Standby Reserves into active duty. Congress has to have declared war before Standbys are called. Regular reservists can be flipped into active duty on the President's go-ahead. Kerry transferred from active duty to the Reserves as an inactive member (he was planning on running for Congress). Two and a half years later, he transferred to Standby Reserves when his regular Reserve time expired, where he stayed for six years. In both classifications, Kerry was an inactive member.

So another smear about Kerry's service is proven to be untrue. I guess that surprises no one on this side of the aisle...