“A MASSIVE CRIMINAL ADVENTURE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 31, 2013) — The following is the second part of our interview with Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III regarding how a forgery which became part of his court-martial record was discovered along with the remainder of the missing file in a box in the back of a closet at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC in late 1997.
In 1989, several military officers, including Fitzpatrick’s commanding Navy admiral, participated in a conspiracy to ruin Fitzpatrick’s career by concocting a narrative stating that he had stolen funds from the U.S.S. Mars’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) fund to buy entertainment equipment for his stateroom.
The proof of Fitzpatrick’s contentions is a “confession letter” placed into the file bearing his forged and misspelled signature, which is missing the generation number he has always used to sign his name. Fitzpatrick has told numerous media outlets and investigators that he “has never been in the same room” with the original of the forgery.
Fitzpatrick retired from the Navy in 1994, although he had intended to serve longer. Orders had been issued for him to attend the Naval War College in Newport, RI, which produces high-level officers and achievers, but Fitzpatrick’s plans were canceled following a phone call he received on Friday, October 13, 1989 stating that an accusation of theft had been made against him. Fitzpatrick said that as the second-in-command of the Mars, he kept detailed, accurate logs of all expenditures and that the charge levied against him was completely false. During the process of the court-martial, the records of the ship’s expenditures disappeared and have never resurfaced to anyone’s knowledge.
October 13 is the official birthday of the United States Navy.
In a previous interview, Fitzpatrick stated that the NCIS was never called to investigate the crime he was alleged to have committed, and the verdict was already decided before any hearing took place, and references to “ghost witnesses” remain in the record despite their never having testified.
After years of attempting to convince the Navy to open a criminal investigation into the forgery and underlying court-martial, the JAG officer agreed but threatened Fitzpatrick with a second court-martial if he were found to be lying about the forgery. Fitzpatrick’s response had been, “Knock yourself out.”
After concurrent formal investigations were launched by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the JAG Office’s Inspector General in late 1997, the box containing Fitzpatrick’s court-martial record was unexpectedly found by Capt. Rand Pixa, who was investigating on behalf of the JAG Office. The contents were shared with NCIS investigator Richard Allen, who arranged for participants in the court-martial to be questioned.
On January 26, 1998, Fitzpatrick’s former defense counsel, Kevin M. Anderson, was questioned in his office as Assistant District Attorney in Kitsap County, WA, where he refused to provide a handwriting sample when asked and insisted he remembered nothing about the document in question which bore Fitzpatrick’s misspelled name.
The story involves further intrigue and conspiracy on the part of the NCIS, the Navy, and the JAG investigator, which resulted in the forgery having been sealed despite a handwriting expert’s request of the Navy to examine it.
To this day, no one within Public Affairs will communicate with The Post & Email about the case or even acknowledge the existence of corruption within the military. Despite a pledge of “enhanced bons” and improved relations with the media by Defense Department spokesman George Little, The Post & Email’s initial contacts this week with two public affairs officers have resulted in a wall of silence. The Navy has also refused to respond to The Post & Email’s communications on three previous occasions.
Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email that “forgeries are used all the time” to obfuscate the truth and fix the results of courts-martial when it pleases commanding officers to do so. While Fitzpatrick does not believe that the military was involved in creating the image posted on the White House website identified as Obama’s long-form birth certificate but declared a forgery by a law enforcement investigation more than a year ago, he sees similarities between how his fraudulent court-martial record was kept from public scrutiny for many years and the circumstances which have allowed Barack Hussein Obama to present a fraudulent birth record to the public without having to explain the crime.
Like Adm. John Bitoff, it has been speculated that Obama, once confronted about the forgery of his birth certificate, will claim “plausible deniability,” something Fitzpatrick said occurs “frequently” within the U.S. military.
Fitzpatrick believes that his case illustrates the depth of corruption, conspiracy and found within the U.S. government and specifically, in the U.S. military operational command. He has called for the military discipline system, which does not use grand jury reviews or jury trials by a panel of one’s peers, to be abolished in favor of the civilian justice system, which was designed to employ constitutional protections for all citizens.
Continuing from Part 1, Fitzpatrick told us:
I’m a whistleblower; that’s what this is all about. I am looking for and finding real-world government corruption. I’m not bragging. That’s the danger that I represent to the federal government today, both military and civilian.
Special Agent Allen then seized other matching documents, because the one that I sent to you yesterday isn’t the only one. All of that time, I was thinking that Zeller was going to be hung out to dry. Then nothing happened. Later I found out that Richard Allen contacted the NCIS at its Pacific Northwest field office. In that time, it was not in Silverdale; they had one office on a Naval submarine base and another office at the Puget Sound Naval shipyard. So Allen contacted the NCIS because they had now tracked this document to Marine Corps Captain Kevin M. “Andy” Anderson. Anderson at that time was working as a civilian in the district attorney’s office for Kitsap County.
It was happenstance that Kevin Anderson, who was my Marine Corps counsel, moved his family up to Kitsap County, where I lived.
So now we had the NCIS looking at Kevin Anderson. Capt. Rand Pixa called Kevin Anderson to alert him: “Heads up, the NCIS is coming to talk to you.” Rand Pixa and Kevin Anderson had worked together in San Francisco at the time of my court-martial at Treasure Island. Pixa was in the Navy Legal Service Office in Treasure Island, San Francisco. There was another JAG there a lieutenant commander named Diane Carr. In fact, Diane Carr at one point was still on active duty; she was in the Reserves and was a drilling reservist and had come back to work for Rand Pixa. They knew each other from their San Francisco days. The reason I bring up Diane Carr is that she and Kevin Anderson eventually married.
So Rand Pixa knew the Anderson family, and he understood what kind of danger that Kevin Anderson was then in. So he called Kevin Anderson and warned him that the NCIS was coming. In January 1998, about three weeks after the original forgery was discovered and tracked to Kevin Anderson, the NCIS went to his office in Port Orchard, WA, which is the county seat for Kitsap County. They questioned him about the forgery, and he dummied up: “I don’t know anything about that document. I know about it; I know it exists, but I had nothing to do with it. Now go away and don’t bother me.”
This was out of the Bremerton, WA office of the NCIS, and one of the people working there at that time was an NCIS agent named James H. Connolly. It could have been Connolly who was one of the NCIS agents who went to Kevin Anderson to investigate Anderson’s participation in the forgery, although I don’t know for sure.
I ran into Connolly later in the office of the NCIS that was in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard; it was in a medical building underneath a dentist’s office. I have reason to believe that Connolly was in some way involved in the investigation of Kevin Anderson which was under way in December 1997 through January 1998.
Up until the moment on 5 December 1997, three months after the memo had been put out, they found the original document. On December 4, 1997, the day before the forgery was discovered, I thought personally that the guy who had done this was Tim Zeller. I did not trace it to Kevin Anderson. Going backwards in the chain of custody, I knew that it had been in the possession of John Bitoff, the admiral, and his staff JAG, Tim Zeller, and I had every reason to believe that the guy who had forged my name was Tim Zeller.
As of the 4th of December, while I was pointing to Tim Zeller, the NCIS was pointing at me. They were looking for the original document so they could use it to bring me back on active duty and prosecute me again because they were of the mindset that it was an original writing that bore my original signature. So depending on who you were on December 4, your theory of the case differed.
It goes back to the 5th of September 1997 when Gerry Nance called me in his office. “We are going to find that document, Fitzpatrick, and when we do, we’re going to hang you. Do you understand that? Is this where you want us to go, because we are going to go and find that document. So the NCIS thought they were going after me, and all the time I was saying that the last two people to have that document in their possession before it was filed into the record were Adm. Bitoff and his staff JAG, Tim Zeller.
Everything changed when they found the original on the 5th of December and then matched the original document to the other documents that were traceable to Kevin Martis “Andy” Anderson.
So then a month later, agents from the NCIS went to Anderson’s office. One of them could have been James H. Connolly. There are records that military can provide us about who interviewed Anderson in January 1998. You can ask for them but they’re not going to give them up. The people who still work in the Silverdale/Bremerton area at the NCIS who would not only be able to produce the documents, but the people who interviewed Anderson are still around. One of them could be Connolly, and he is still around.
Anderson refused to cooperate with what was at that point a criminal investigation. He refused to give a handwriting sample to the NCIS. He refused to participate in their investigation.
The NCIS walked away from Anderson in January 1998. They did a handwriting sample and said that their analysis of the handwriting of the forgery was “inconclusive.” They refused to declare the document a forgery.
At this point, they knew without any question at all. They knew that Anderson was the person who forged my name, and the cover-up was in full swing. Oh, my gosh…not only is it forged; it was forged by Fitzpatrick’s defense attorney. This was much, much, much worse than they ever thought. And there was a Navy admiral involved. At this point, it had been a decade, from 1989 to 1998, it was a decade full of officers including Grant, DeRenzi, Hutson, Guder – all the people who were involved in this event were now tied to this very massive criminal adventure. So the NCIS knew they had to keep the lid on this thing.
The question that the NCIS should have been pursuing aggressively, if it had been doing a credible, upright investigation is “Where did this document come from at first? Where did it originate?” They had just found a couple of clues about where the original document came from: it came from Kevin Anderson’s printer. Oh, my goodness. They originated from Kevin Anderson’s printer, and Anderson refused to explain how that might have happened.
He was interviewed; I have a record of the interview. The interview reports said that Anderson “had no recollection” and could not help them in their investigation at all. He refused to provide a handwriting sample.
If you look at the forgery of my name and you look at how Kevin Anderson signs his real name, there are similarities, even on the copies.
Richard Allen told me during one of our telephone conversations that once Kevin Anderson was identified as the primary suspect, Anderson was asked to supply a sample of his original handwriting and refused.
It’s most likely Anderson was asked for the handwriting sample on 26 January 1998 during the NCIS interview in his Port Orchard, WA government office.
EIGHT DAYS after the NCIS interview of Anderson, recognizing Anderson as the prime suspect because of the matching documents, Investigation Field Agent Allen found and retrieved from the original RECORD OF COURT-MARTIAL that the NCIS closed the investigation (because as you know, admitting the existence of the forgery and admitting that Kevin Anderson was the man who put pen to paper, perpetrating the crime working with Bitoff and Zeller, made the Navy and Marine Corps look “really bad“).
The NCIS interviewed Anderson on 26 January 1998, and the NCIS closed their investigation on 3 February 1998. As is said: EIGHT DAYS!
The NCIS never said they attempted to compare Anderson’s handwriting to the “questioned document.”
I might add here that the NCIS had hundreds of original handwriting samples available to them of Anderson signing his own name. It was unnecessary for Anderson to give them another.
One handwriting sample in Anderson’s original hand appears next to mine on the stipulation document from April 1990.
Said differently: The NCIS could have analyzed Anderson’s handwriting to the forgery, but admit that they did.
This was a basic investigative step. And a next step after Anderson refused to cooperate with them in January 1998.
It remains a basic investigative step even today as the documents that can be used in the comparison and analysis still exist (so far as I know).
Then this: Two other handwriting specialists declared the NCIS position regarding “the poor line quality in the questioned signature” as mendacious. Pure casuistry. Not able to come up with any better evasive excuse, the NCIS held out “poor line quality” as their subtle, tricky, beguiling and fallacious method of reasoning. Sophism!
Lastly: Anderson connects himself to the origination of the document that bears my forged and misspelled name. Anderson lied to federal agents when question on Anderson’s knowledge regarding his connection to the “questioned document.”
We’re talking about documents that should never have come to light. The government was well-served to secret these documents. In one of the memos that Tim Zeller wrote, it said at the bottom that he “does not believe in keeping a file in case questions come up later on.” It was a Tim Zeller memo to Adm. Bitoff in a “personal for” Adm. Bitoff, and Bitoff’s “B” initial js at the top. At the bottom is Zeller’s signature. You have these two men working together in this criminal event, and Zeller admitted to his boss, “I don’t keep records. I’m destroying records.” And Bitoff acknowledges that and endorses it. “Good job, Lieutenant, well-done.”
It is nothing short of a miracle that we have these documents to talk about. Their effort was to destroy everything that might come up later that would be embarrassing should “questions” be advanced. This is one thing that the NCIS and the Department of Defense are very good at: controlling documents, forging them, destroying them. this is how a court-martial works. This is how it really works.
So coming back to Col. Lakin‘s case or to Ray Girouard‘s case or Sgt. Hutchins‘s case, they control every aspect of the process using the kinds of criminal techniques which are evident as we’ve discussed them today. There is no investigative agency with the authority or the power to go in to actually enforce regulations or laws. We see the complete complicity on the part of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which should be that one government agency with jurisdiction and authority to advance a criminal complaint against senior military officers such as Adm. John Bitoff, Kevin Anderson, and all of the others we have talked about. They should be able to work with federal agents on the civilian side to prosecute people like Kevin Anderson.
[Editor’s Note: Part 3 will detail how Kevin Anderson unwittingly revealed his role in creating and signing the fraudulent confession letter used to frame Fitzpatrick.]