By Fax & FedEx
Inspector General Chief of Naval Operations
Department of Defense U.S. Navy
1000 Defense Pentagon 2000 Navy Pentagon
VADM Albert T. Church III, USN Navy Department Board of Decorations
Office of the Naval Inspector General and Medals
N Street SE,
Re: Request for Investigation, Determination and Final Disposition of Awards Granted to Lieutenant (junior grade) John Forbes Kerry, USNR.
SECNAV Instruction 1650.1G (Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual) dated
b. 10 U.S.C. ' 6249 (“Limitation of honorable service.”)
The recent publication of the book, Unfit for Command by John E. O’Neill and
Jerome R. Corsi, PhD (Exhibit 2), as well as a number of news media interviews of former U.S. Navy officers and sailors who served with Senator Kerry in Vietnam, raise extremely grave questions concerning the legitimacy and propriety of the awards Senator Kerry received for heroism and wounds received from enemy fire in combat.
Eyewitness accounts of officers,
sailors and one medical doctor (who treated a “wound” Senator Kerry allegedly
suffered from enemy fire) refute Senator Kerry’s version of events in a number
of instances. Questions of fraud, false
official statements and abuse by Senator Kerry must be answered. Specifically, the Silver Star, Bronze Star
and three Purple Hearts awarded to Senator Kerry during the period
A second and equally important matter concerns Senator Kerry’s actions while serving as a commissioned officer in the inactive Naval Reserve. Dishonorable and possibly unlawful actions by Senator Kerry during the early 1970s – actions that manifestly benefited a foreign power with which the U.S. was at war – are so grievously damaging to the dignity, honor and traditions of the U.S. Navy and the American republic that the Secretary of the Navy may be compelled to revoke Senator Kerry’s awards.
This complaint and request for investigation is based on the public statements of U.S. Navy flag officers, commissioned officers and sailors. Combat veterans and career naval professionals have staked their personal honor and lives to correct the record and reveal the full, complete and accurate history of the events Senator Kerry has repeatedly leveraged for personal political gain since 1970. In the least, the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense owe a full investigation to all those who fought and died for this country.
Authority & Scope
These are matters of fraud, waste and abuse that bear directly on the resources, policies, procedures, efficiency, good order and honor of both the Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy. The, as yet, unresolved allegations include: false official reports and statements; dishonorable conduct; aiding the enemy; dereliction of duty; misuse and abuse of U.S. government equipment and property; war crimes; and multiple violations of U.S. Navy regulations and directives, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and U.S. Code.
As noted in the operative instruction: “Any award for a distinguished act, achievement or service may be revoked . . . after presentation by SECNAV, if facts subsequently determined, would have prevented the original approval of the award, or if the awardee’s service after the distinguishing act, achievement or service has not been honorable.” [Emphasis added] (See Paragraph 116.2 of Exhibit 1) Further, 10 U.S.C. ' 6249 states: “No medal, cross, or bar, or associated emblem or insignia may be awarded or presented to any person or to his representative if his service after he distinguished himself has not been honorable.” [Emphasis added] Based upon the facts contained, inter alia, within Exhibit 2 we believe an investigation is warranted at this time.
accordance with Paragraph 116.3 of Exhibit 1,
With respect to Senator Kerry’s justifications for award of the Purple Heart (on three occasions) for wounds suffered at the hands of the enemy in combat, and for award of both the Silver Star and Bronze Star for heroism, your particular attention is called to Exhibit 2, Chapter 3, “The Purple Heart Hunter,” pages 29 - 49; as well as Chapter 5, “More Fraudulent Medals,” pages 71 – 95.
For example, Senator Kerry’s
commanding officer in
Former Navy physician Louis Letson has reportedly executed a notarized statement that states the injury Dr. Letson treated Kerry for occurred when Kerry and two others (a fellow lieutenant and a crewman), seeing movement from an unknown source, opened fire. Kerry’s rifle jammed, and in the absence of return fire, he resumed firing with a grenade launcher, spraying his own boat and causing a tiny piece of shrapnel to be embedded in his arm. The lieutenant and crewman, parties to the incident, accompanied Kerry to sick call, where they disputed Kerry’s claim that he’d been wounded by hostile fire and provided an account of the actual episode to Dr. Letson—after which Letson removed the tiny fragment with tweezers and covered Kerry’s scratch with a band aid.
Another Swift Boat veteran, William Franke, from Coastal Division 11 (Senator Kerry’s unit) stated the following concerning the legitimacy of Senator Kerry’s Purple Hearts:
“Many took exception to the Purple Hearts awarded Kerry. His ‘wounds’ were suspect, so insignificant as to not be worthy of the award of such a medal. That Kerry would seek the Purple Heart for such ‘wounds’ is a mockery of the intent of the Purple Heart and an abridgement of the valor of those to whom the Purple Heart had been awarded with justification.”
Serious questions have also been raised about the awarding of the Silver Star to Senator Kerry. Commander George Elliott, who wrote the initial draft citation, confirmed that neither he nor anyone else involved in preparing the recommendation were aware, prior to 1996, that Senator Kerry was facing a single, wounded, young Viet Cong fleeing the area of the engagement in a loin cloth. Commander Elliott indicates that he would not have drafted a Silver Star recommendation had he been aware of the actual facts. Senator Kerry’s official reports supporting the award of a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart contain similar exaggerations and distortions (See Exhibit 2, page 85).
Odell served in the
U.S. Navy from October 1966 to October 1972. He was assigned to Coastal
Squadron 1 on Swift Boats as a Gunners Mate in
the month of March our crew was given a river patrol mission along with several
other boat crews on the
As we exited the river PCF 3 was the lead boat, we were second in the line, PCF 51 was astern of our craft. The other boats were lined up beside us including Kerry's boat PCF 94. During the transit we encountered a fishing weir (gill net) stretched across the middle of the river with just enough room on either side to allow a Swift boat to pass. We passed the fishing weir river left. As the 3 boat passed the weir on the narrowest part of the river it was hit by a mine, which lifted it completely out of the water.
I immediately began firing my twin 50's towards river left to suppress any fire. I fired a couple of hundred rounds and realized we were not receiving any return fire from either bank. The other boats quit firing and we commenced rescue operations for the PCF 3 crew and boat. WE DID NOT RECEIVE ANY FIRE FROM EITHER BANK. [Emphasis in original] Our boat picked up members of the disabled PCF-3. I continued to watch all the area for any VC activity and witnessed the majority of the events of the day.
John Kerry received a Bronze Star for this incident, claiming that he saved Jim Rassman's life, at the risk of his own, while receiving hostile fire. That simply did not happen.”
As there was no hostile fire, Senator Kerry’s Purple Heart for this incident must be investigated as well. Indeed, the evidence suggests the wound for which Senator Kery received the Purple Heart was self-inflicted (See Exhibit 2, page 78).
Dishonorable Commissioned Service:
According to publicly available
records, Senator Kerry was released from Active Duty and transferred to the
Naval Reserve (inactive) on
These acts are clear violations of the legal prohibitions on individual citizens negotiating with foreign powers (18 U.S.C. ' 953) and the constitutional prohibition against giving support to our nation’s enemies in wartime (Article III, Section 3). Additionally, as a commissioned officer of the Naval Reserve, Senator Kerry was subject to the UCMJ, and likely violated Article 104 (“Aiding the Enemy”) through his actions with the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong delegation.
Kerry returned from his private negotiations with the Vietnamese Communists to
detailed treatment of Senator Kerry’s dishonorable service during the period
example, Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman, the former Commander of Coastal Surveillance
do not believe John Kerry is fit to be Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces
Captain Charles Plumly, USN (retired) (under whose command Senator Kerry served during a Swift Boat operation from 5 – 7 March 1969) found Senator Kerry to be “like a child with an attention problem,” who simply would not obey orders. Captain Plumly reported Senator Kerry’s poor performance to Admiral Roy Hoffman (quoted above). Captain Plumly assesses Senator Kerry as follows:
"During Lt.(jg) Kerry's tour, he was under my command for two or three specific operations, before his rapid exit. Trust, loyalty and judgment are the key, operative words. His turncoat performance in 1971 in his grubby shirt and his medal-tossing escapade, coupled with his slanderous lines in the recent book portraying us that served, including all POWs and MIAs, as murderous war criminals, I believe, will have a lasting effect on all military veterans and their families. Kerry would be described as devious, self-absorbing, manipulative, [having] disdain for authority, disruptive, but the most common phrase that you'd hear is 'requires constant supervision.’"
Serious, credible reports of dishonorable conduct; false official reports and statements; aiding the enemy; dereliction of duty; misuse and abuse of U.S. government equipment and property; war crimes; and multiple violations of U.S. Navy regulations and directives, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and U.S. Code by Lieutenant (jg) John Forbes Kerry, USNR (Senator Kerry) are now before you.
These reports are specific as to the nature of the wrongdoing, the timeframe and location. There are corroborating witnesses. These witnesses have made public statements detailing their specific knowledge of wrongdoing by Senator Kerry. The claims against Senator Kerry – both concerning his fraudulently obtained awards for valor and combat wounds, as well as his dishonorable and potentially illegal conduct as a commissioned officer of the Naval Reserve – are gravely serious matters that demand your immediate and direct action.
This formal complaint and request for investigation, determination and final disposition is consistent with and satisfies the reporting requirements of Paragraph 116.3 of SECNAVINST 1650.1G. It is also in accordance with specific reporting guidelines and subject matters enumerated on the Department of Defense Inspector General Internet site and the Naval Inspector General’s Internet site. Therefore, we urge you to take action based on this complaint and investigate these allegations concerning Senator Kerry immediately.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
CC: Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld