Scandals are not New to the U.S. Navy

“ADMIRALS AND GENERALS ARE INVOLVED”

by Sharon Rondeau

The rank of Fleet Admiral, which carries five stars, is designated only during wartime

(Oct. 24, 2013) — On Sunday, The Washington Post reported on a scandal within the U.S. Navy allegedly involving millions of taxpayer dollars paid to a contracting company, Glenn Defense Marine; bribery, misconduct and the possible jeopardizing of national security information on the part of at least one officer and an NCIS investigator.

While The Post reported that two people have been arrested, it ssaid that more will likely follow, including unnamed “senior uniformed commanders” in what The Post describes as possibly “the biggest fraud case in years for the Navy.”  Also on Sunday, Newsmax reported that four people have been arrested as a result of the probe.

For nearly four years, The Post & Email has reported on the court-martial of CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.), convened by his commanding admiral, John Bitoff, using his own staff to fabricate evidence for crimes which were never committed.  Using “ghost witnesses” and fabricated evidence, Fitzpatrick’s assigned defense attorney ultimately affixed a forgery of Fitzpatrick’s signature to a document he had never seen and without a paper trail, resulting in a cover-up which has been ongoing for 24 years.

The Post reported that “it is extremely rare for senior uniformed commanders to face corruption charges.”

Fitzpatrick has personally charged dozens of officers with corruption in the cover-up of his court-martial at his expense while Adm. John Bitoff, the accuser and convening authority, committed numerous crimes to retaliate against Fitzpatrick and his captain for having spoken out about certain command decisions.

Not one of the officers Fitzpatrick has accused has publicly refuted his claims, and no one will at the NCIS has ever completed the investigation launched in late 1997 but abandoned in 1998 when evidence pointed to the forger as Kevin Anderson, Fitzpatrick’s former defense attorney.

Anderson has been working as a deputy prosecutor in Kitsap County, WA for at least 15 years.

Bitoff’s staff JAG, Lt. Tim Zeller, was promoted despite his fabricated investigation of Fitzpatrick’s supposed misspending of Morale, Recreation and Welfare (MWR) funds.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura Duffy said that the current bribery case “involves huge sums of money, a wide range of players, a long period of time and a number of countries.”

As reported at The Post & Email, Fitzpatrick’s case involves an unknown number of years of pay, benefits and promotion which he would have earned, based on previous performance, had Bitoff not damaged his career with the trumped-up charges; an unknown but large number of complicit officers; and a continued wall of silence on the part of the Navy going back to 1990 when the court-martial record was finalized.

The Post & Email asked Fitzpatrick, who is currently without a computer, his reaction to the case reported on by The Washington Post.

It sounds to me as if there is a federal investigation going on, which would mean the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  From the sound of the article, it has been a sting operation by the Justice Department, which is to say that it is not an internal investigation carried out by the U.S. Navy.  This is not the NCIS doing an internal inquiry into its own members.  From the sound of it, it is not the product of the Office of the Naval Inspector General, which is chartered to look into defense contracting issues, to be sure, or for that matter, also, the Defense Department Inspector General‘s outfit, which is also chartered to take a look at this type of corruption and contracting fraud.

It looks as if the Justice Department is working with some trusted Naval officials.  I’d be interested to know the names of the NCIS agents, because there are easily 25 agents involved in my case.

Fitzpatrick then gathered some notes together and named a total of 31 NCIS agents to whom he had spoken about the forgery over the years.

How long has the Navy known about this and tried to cover it up?  This is not the first contracting scandal that they’ve dealt with.  There was another contracting scandal back in the ’90s.  In fact, it was over a contract issue that [Secretary of the Navy] John Lehman was able to see to the removal of a guy named Hyman Rickover from his position as a four-star admiral in the Navy Nuclear Submarine program.  This comes out of a book called Fall from Glory written by Gregory Vistica.  It was under Ronald Reagan, and the NCIS that looked into contracting fraud that Adm. Rickover was involved in.

He was the first commanding officer of the USS Nautilus, a nuclear-powered submarine.  If you do a Bing search on his name for “John Lehman Ronald Reagan contracting fraud,” the story will come up.  Nobody could figure out a way to remove Rickover from his position as a four-star admiral.  When I was a midshipman, each of the midshipmen in the Nuclear Navy had to go and interview with him personally.  They were put on a bus and driven into Washington, DC.  I could tell you how these interviews went.  Talk about eccentric…he was a very strange fellow.

“Did you interview with him?”

I had no interest in being part of the Nuclear Navy, but I know classmates who did go.  He would walk in and say, “What’s your major?” and the midshipman might say, “Engineering,” and Rickover would say, “That’s a useless major.  Go stand in the closet.”  And there would be a Navy captain there to enforce it.  These Rickover interviews were legend…are legend, still.  He would make you stand in a closet for four hours.  Rickover was the kind of guy where you either got in his face and told him to “Go to h***,” or he wanted somebody who was going to be completely obedient and a Boy Scout.  He wanted either of those two kinds of officers.  If you salted your food before you tasted it, you weren’t allowed into the Nuclear Navy.

When I say “Nuclear Navy,” in the beginning, the only nuclear vessels we had were submarines.  But we began to use nuclear power on some of our surface ships as well.  So if you were going into the Nuclear Navy in a submarine or in a surface ship, you had to interview with Hyman Rickover until he was removed from office by Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s over a contract.

General Dynamics had given Rickover all kinds of perks and gifts.  John Lehman was looking for a way to remove Rickover from office, so he got the NCIS – at that time the NIS – and they turned up some dirt.  It was Lehman – and I wrote about this in one of my articles – who described the NCIS as “an admiral’s Gestapo.”  Lehman brought the NIS to bring down Rickover.  In an interview with Reagan, he said to the admiral, very gently and delicately, because he was up there in age, “It’s time for you to go, and if you stick around, you’re going to be prosecuted.” So they let Adm. Rickover leave gracefully without any consequences even though there was a scandal afoot.

I’m sure they wanted to do the same thing with John Bitoff. Adm. Crowe, Bitoff’s mentor, had gone, and I think they saw that Bitoff’s rise in the Navy was over.

Contracting scandals are normally kept quiet, but we’re talking about a lot of money now.  How many times have we gone to the Department of Justice about my case, but they can’t investigate it?  What is the difference between the contracting case and mine?  My case was not important enough and wasn’t something that they thought would garner as much recognition as this one.  this is a federal prosecutor making a name for herself.  This is very upsetting.  And by the way, I think rigging courts-martial and locking up innocent men and women is far beyond any contract, no matter what the dollar amount.  This is a direct attack against the Constitution; it’s the operation of a government inside of a government, which is not allowed; it’s not found in our Constitution.  The feds pick and choose which cases they want to go after.  They said they didn’t have jurisdiction in my case; excuse me, but how do they have jurisdiction in this case?

The NCIS has been involved in protecting a number of admirals in the rigging of a court-martial, which has allowed a federal prosecution to dog me for a quarter of a century.  The NCIS has been every bit as criminally culpable and complicit in John Bitoff’s outlawry as any other organization I can think of today.  It has involved the Judge Advocate General for a quarter of a century.  The forgery is still there.  They said they walked away from my accusations after threatening me, “We’re going to find that forgery and call you back on active duty and prosecute you.” I said, “Knock yourself out.”…until they found the original.  And then they did nothing.  So now, reflect back upon the comments that you received from Defense Criminal Investigative Service Agent Jodi Crawford last week when you told her that I’d been approached by the NCIS and my life was threatened.  It takes on a whole new complexion, doesn’t it?

“And now there’s at least one NCIS agent who has been brought up on charges.”

This other agent who is named in the article, Beliveau, is the manager for the NCIS headquarters in Quantico, VA.  That’s their new headquarters.  They used to be headquartered at the Washington Navy Yard.  That means that Beliveau would have been a senior NCIS guy, a deputy director. There are senior officials involved in what’s been going on for a quarter of a century.  And over years and year, the NCIS has failed to pull the trigger on the misconduct.

Corruption within the U.S. Navy is not widely reported but has resulted in ruined careers, the crimes of forgery and fraud, and subsequent cover-up.

That brings another thought to mind, which is that about two weeks ago, a three-star vice admiral was relieved of his duties. He was the #2 teaching command in Omaha, NE because of gambling.  Then that story went away very quickly.  There’s a lot here.  Again, my letter, which I sent to Investigator XXXXXX, shows that I have every bit as much of a scandal going on in how they’ve been rigging courts-martial since Moby Dick was a minnow.  They’ve been covering it up. I have been reporting this stuff all along, and nobody’s done anything with it.  The Justice Department has been completely complicit by not looking into this.  At the same time, not a single one of the accusations that I’ve made over the many years has been found to be defective in any way.

If a court-martial can’t be relied upon to provide individuals with the protections that we should enjoy under the constitution, then a grand jury should decide whether or not to charge them.  The same thing with my case, which is bigger, because the Justice Department is involved in the cover-up.

The Post & Email has been all over this; you’ve owned this story for four years.

This is another indication of just exactly how bad the corruption in the U.S. Armed Forces is, and more particularly, within the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps.  And the NCIS is now called into this.  Does this not now put the NCIS under a huge question mark about its conduct in my case?

My investigation is done.  That forgery is still being maintained as an authentic document.  And again, by the way, the criminality extends into the civilian house because you have a guy like Kevin Anderson who was caught way back in 1998 lying to federal agents, covering up the forgery, and he’s a prosecutor in Kitsap County.  And he’s still allowed to be in that job?

This scandal that you’ve just read about is emerging and erupting.  We’ve been talking to the very agencies that they named in the article: the Department of Justice, NCIS, and not one of them has acted on what is very clearly a criminal enterprise that has run for a quarter of a century in a court-martial scam.  And this is every bit as big…

In the article that you read, I did not hear the name or the rank of anybody holding the rank of an admiral.  I’m telling you that there are admirals and possibly generals involved in this.  They had to know or should have known.

The case that we’re talking about has I don’t know how many admirals and generals…

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