WRITING OF TELL-ALL BOOK ON “THE MOST REVIEWED COURT-MARTIAL IN U.S. HISTORY” UNDER WAY
by Sharon Rondeau
October 13 is also the day in 1989 on which CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III received a telephone call stating that his orders to attend the Naval War College had been canceled as a result of charges leveled against him by his commanding officer, Adm. John Bitoff and his staff judge advocate, Lt. Timothy Zeller.
October 12 was the 24th anniversary of the contrived court-martial which was held “behind closed doors” whose outcome was predetermined. On Saturday, Fitzpatrick placed a call to Bitoff to offer him another opportunity to participate in the special project in which Fitzpatrick has been deeply involved for the last several months.
Over the last 24 years, Fitzpatrick has acquired a massive and comprehensive compilation of documents from the Department of the Navy proving the collusion between Bitoff and members of his staff beginning in 1989 and continuing to this day. An unknown number of senior officers have participated in the ensuing cover-up, including former Chief of Naval Operations Mike Boorda, who committed suicide in 1996 after several scandals had rocked the Navy, including the 1991 Tailhook affair.
An original document with Fitzpatrick’s forged signature which he never saw or signed following the court-martial is believed to be maintained in the court-martial file by the Department of the Navy, which has refused to respond to requests to reopen the investigation which found the criminal and then abruptly stopped because it would make the Navy “look really bad.”
Through the amassing of the extensive document record, Fitzpatrick has shown that Bitoff conspired with his staff to frame Fitzpatrick for a crime he did not commit, thereby destroying his chances for promotion and eventually retiring him in 1994 after 20 years of service. Fitzpatrick had planned on serving longer, and his immediate supervisor, Capt. Michael Nordeen, had given him outstanding reviews, the last of which was in 1988.
Fitzpatrick related that Bitoff’s wife answered the phone and told him that her husband didn’t want to speak with him. “He’s standing right here,” Maureen Bitoff added.
I told her that today is the 24th anniversary of the day that John Bitoff, with Capt. Edwards and Paul Romanski and the others…and she cut me off. “I know about this,” she said. “You’re obsessive-compulsive.”
And I said, “Look, I’m calling to let John Bitoff to know that I’m extending an invitation to participate in the book,” and I said that three times, and she said, “Well, we know all about it. We know everything about the book.”
This is all through the Defense Department. It’s certainly throughout the Department of the Navy. You and I have both been calling some very high-profile people. I can sense that there has been a groundswell of email exchanges back and forth.
Maureen Bitoff worked hard to hide her panic. Of course, he didn’t have to hide his panic, because the coward that he is, he refused to come to the phone. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and he knows it.
She attacked my mental health. And she kept asking me, “Why are you doing this?” She asked me over and over.
I was thinking to myself, “Excuse me…”
One of the sections in the book will be my answer to Maureen Bitoff. She has opened up the door, and I will take that question downtown.
This is the attack: it’s an attack against my mental health. She said, “You have a lovely and distinguished name, Walter. Have you done anything with your life?” She said, “You need treatment; there are treatments available out there for you. Have you accomplished anything?” And then I got, “Why are you doing this?” over and over again.”
I told her, “I have contact information for Ms. Rondeau,” but she said, “Oh, no, we don’t need any of that.”
This writer spoke with John Bitoff approximately two years ago, but he refused to go on the record.
Since leaving the Navy, Fitzpatrick has held elected office in Washington State, where he exposed corruption; assisted several members of the military to defend themselves successfully against courts-martial; exposed the corrupt military “justice” system which denies constitutional protections to those serving; exposed systemic corruption and grand jury tampering in the Tenth Judicial District of Tennessee; been jailed on five occasions for exposing said corruption; been robbed of more than $10,000-worth of cash, furnishings, food, and household goods without redress; and had his military pension inexplicably garnished by two-thirds for nearly two years.
Fitzpatrick is the recipient of numerous awards and medals for his naval service.
Marine Corps whistleblower Maj. James Weirick was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation after he exposed manipulation by Commandant James Amos of disciplinary actions taken against eight Marines in a case of alleged abuse of Taliban corpses in Afghanistan in 2011. Weirick’s emails were even said by Amos’ attorney to have “triggered safety concerns” as “a red flag” because Weirick referred to himself in the third person rather than in the first person.
Weirick’s attorney, with whom Fitzpatrick has spoken on the topic of military corruption, told the press that her client was retaliated against for exposing the commandant’s interference with the prosecution in the cases against the Marines.
Both Fitzpatrick and this writer have contacted dozens of Navy officers, past and present, to seek input for the book which Fitzpatrick is writing on the court-martial. Out of those, only one granted an interview, which shed light on where the court-martial record may or may not have been found, according to Capt. Rand Pixa, the Navy JAG Inspector General tasked with locating it in 1997 to commence an investigation.
No one else has been willing to speak on the record, if at all, and only a few have responded to numerous communications. The U.S. Navy therefore continues to knowingly maintain a fraudulent document as authentic and a wrongful federal conviction against Fitzpatrick.
The U.S. military has attempted to sue some of its former members who have written books about their experiences in the service. However, it cannot prevent Fitzpatrick from releasing the documents which prove the charges against him were fraudulent because they were unclassified years ago and he has already notified the Navy of his intentions without response.
Some documents relating to the court-martial have never been released in the nearly quarter-century since the court-martial was carried out with ghost witnesses and a key “missing” piece of evidence which has never resurfaced.
Scores, if not hundreds, of Navy personnel will be exposed as criminal co-conspirators when the book is published.
Editor’s Note: CDR Fitzpatrick is in desperate need of funds to complete the manuscript of the book and for personal needs. If anyone is able to assist, please send donations to:
CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III
P.O. Box 293
Athens, TN 37371-0293