SEPTEMBER 02, 2004
Reacts to Investigation Request by Judicial Watch
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, announced today that the Inspector General (“IG”) of the Department of Defense has informed the Secretary of the Navy ofJudicial Watch’s “formal complaint and request for investigation, determination and final disposition of the awards granted to Lieutenant (junior grade) John Forbes Kerry, U.S. Naval Reserve.”
The Defense Department IG cited Section 8(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, which states: “. . . the IG of the Department of Defense shall expeditiously report suspected or alleged violations of chapter 47 of title 10, United States Code (Uniform Code of Military Justice), to the Secretary of the military department concerned or the Secretary of Defense.”
On August 18, 2004, Judicial Watchfiled a complaint and request for investigation and final disposition of awards granted to Kerry with the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy, as well as the Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy’s Board of Decorations and Medals. See the complaint and the Department of Defense IG letter at: http://www.JudicialWatch.org.
On Tuesday, August 31, 2004, Judicial Watch called upon Senator Kerry to remove the Silver Star citation from his political campaign Internet site pending a review of the granting of the award by the U.S. Navy. Senator Kerry’s political Internet site displays a document listing a “Silver Star with Combat ‘V.’” The Combat “V” device is never awarded with the nation’s third highest award for heroism. A U.S. Navy spokesperson has reportedly stated: “The Navy has never issued a ‘Combat V’ to anyone for a Silver Star.” Additionally, former Navy Secretary John Lehman was quoted with respect to the Silver Star citation as saying: “It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me.”
“We hope this is the beginning of an actual investigation of the legitimacy of Senator Kerry’s awards by the Navy and the Pentagon,” statedJudicial WatchPresidentTom Fitton.