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Won't give up the ship

Posted By David Hackworth On 11/30/1999 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

If America runs out of Jack Dalys, it’ll run out of freedom.

Daly, a U.S. Navy sailor, initially almost single-handedly took on
the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon. And eventually,
with a little augmented firepower here and there, he whipped them.

As a naval intelligence officer, Lt. Daly was wounded two years ago
by enemy fire while checking out a Russian ship as it was spying on our
nuclear subs in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in U.S. west-coast waters off
Puget Sound.

To shut down his mission, the Russian ship blasted his aircraft with
a laser shot, partially blinding Daly and his Canadian pilot.

Then the Clinton administration tried to cover up the incident.
Having smooth relations with yesterday’s Evil Empire was far more
important to those who manipulate our government than looking after an
American warrior wounded in the line of duty.

As part of the cover-up, Madeleine Albright’s gang of expedients at
State delayed a U.S. military inspection of the Russian ship while they
tipped off the Russian Embassy. And the Pentagon went along with the
drill.

When the Russian ship was finally searched, as Freddy the Frog could
have told you, there was absolutely no sign of any laser weapon. Then
the spy ship was allowed to leave U.S. waters, and the State Department
did its crooked best to keep the incident from the American public.

Daly was told to shut up by Washington, and his Navy chain of command
was ordered to keep him quiet. The medics were instructed by Navy brass
to ignore his very real medical complaints and treat him as a
malingerer.

The next step was to kill his unblemished career with an
unsatisfactory fitness report and start one of those whispering
campaigns about loose marbles rolling across Daly’s upper deck.

But Clinton, Albright, Secretary of Defense Cohen and a few dozen
fellow rats in the State Department and the senior ranks of our Navy
didn’t understand what tough stuff Daly was made of.

When he fought back, they of the bigger cannons tried to mute his
trumpet permanently by passing him over for promotion — based on that
phony efficiency report — and giving him his walking papers when he was
only three years short of retirement.

But Daly stayed the course, and soon good reporters in the media and
politicians from both major parties rushed to the rescue. Together, they
exposed the lies and toasted the bad guys until the truth won out.

The inspector general ruled the Pentagon colluded in the cover-up and
that the Navy had zapped Daly for reporting the incident and then for
sticking to his guns.

Now Daly’s been promoted to lieutenant commander.

But complete justice will only be done when everyone involved in this
attempt to destroy a good man’s life is identified and held responsible.

Certainly there’s a paper trail from the White House to the State
Department to the Pentagon. Congress needs to get these documents and
then fry those responsible.

The Navy should be forced to conduct a similar investigation,
starting with the brass at Daly’s San Diego base who played the dirty
game with his fitness report and the smear campaign. The secretary of
the Navy and the chief of naval operations and the president and all the
officers of Daly’s promotion board who found him not fit for promotion
need to be interviewed and all their records looked at under the
provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Lt. Cmdr. Daly should be awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received
by enemy fire and reimbursed for the thousands of dollars in family
savings spent in his fight for justice and the truth. The fines imposed
on the guilty responsible for the cover-up and the attempt to take Daly
down could be used to pay back this fine sailor.

Lt. Cmdr. Daly should be transferred immediately to the U.S. Naval
Academy at Annapolis, Md., and placed in charge of all ethical training.
Our Navy’s senior leadership has been in moral meltdown for decades, and
Daly could well become the 21st century’s John Paul Jones for returning
values to an institution now drowning in its own sleaze.


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