In an effort to push forward a Navy investigation, the public interest group Judicial Watch has made a supplemental filing to its complaint about John Kerry’s official record, pointing out two of the three citations successively issued with the senator’s Silver Star award were not signed by the secretary of the Navy, contrary to regulations.
John Kerry receving medal for Vietnam service.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Judicial Watch learned last week that the Defense Department informed Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England of the group’s formal request to investigate alleged military code violations in Kerry’s Silver Star.
Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch’s director of investigations and research, told WND he had a 20-minute phone conversation last week with a Navy inspector who had the complaint on his desk but said he was waiting for instructions from “someone with a much higher pay grade.”
The inspector did not return a call from WND seeking comment.
Judicial Watch filed the initial complaint Aug. 18 after news reports revealed Kerry’s campaign website displays a document listing a “Silver Star with combat ‘V’” even though the combat “V” device, for valor, is never given with the nation’s third highest award for heroism.
Also, there are three citations for the award, with the third, issued more than a decade after the event, bearing the signature of former Navy Secretary John Lehman, who told the Chicago Sun-Times he had nothing to do with it. Normally, subsequent citations are issued only to correct the record.
Judicial Watch’s supplemental filing points out Navy regulations state that only the secretary of the Navy can sign a Silver Star, on behalf of the president. But Kerry’s first citation is signed by Vice Adm. E.R. Zumwalt Jr., commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam, and Adm. John J. Hyland, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Farrell said today he thinks there is reason to believe Kerry has attempted to “paper over an unauthorized Silver Star.”
“It appears there was an attempt, by autopen, to ‘ratify’ what had been done in an unauthorized manner earlier,” he said.
“We don’t know this for sure, but that’s precisely why there should be an investigation,” Farrell added.
Judicial Watch plans additional supplemental filings to keep pressure on the Navy to act in a timely manner, before the Nov. 2 election, said Jerome Corsi, co-author of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth best-seller “Unfit For Command,” who is working closely with the legal watchdog group.
“They can try to slowplay it, but it’s not going to go away,” Corsi told WND. “There are provisions in the code which require action.”
Corsi said Judicial Watch’s complaint originally was prompted by questions raised by “Unit For Command,” and he later began assisting the legal group to help develop its materials.
One upcoming filing will be a Freedom of Information Act request regarding allegations Kerry was not discharged from the Navy until 1992.
“This would all be put to an end if Kerry would just sign the standard Form 180,” releasing his records, Corsi said. “What does he have to hide?”
Farrell pointed out that Kerry took the time to add two bronze stars to his Vietnam Service Medal but did not correct the “gross error” of a “Silver Star with Combat ‘V.’” The “V” is never issued with a Silver Star because it would be redundant, adding a valor designation to an award for gallantry.
In “Unfit for Command,” Corsi and co-author John O’Neill, a former swiftboat skipper, write Kerry was awarded his Silver Star “by killing a lone, fleeing, teenage Viet Cong in a loincloth.”
The Silver Star, they write, “would never have been awarded had his actions been reviewed through normal channels. In his case, he was awarded the medal two days after the incident with no review. The medal was arranged to boost the morale of Coastal Division 11, but it was based on false and incomplete information provided by Kerry himself.”