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CORRUPTION AND CRONYISM HAVE INFECTED THE NAVY FOR AT LEAST 23 YEARS
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 12, 2013) — The following letter was sent to Sen. Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Rep. Buck McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee; and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Walter Francis Fitzpatrick’s congressman.
November 4, 2013
Sen. Carl Levin, Chairman
Senate Armed Services Committee
269 Russell Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2202
Dear Sen. Levin:
I own and operate an electronic newspaper, The Post & Email, which reports on corruption in government almost exclusively. I am writing to you on a matter of extreme importance and great urgency, as it has been affecting the entire military command structure and justice system for nearly a quarter-century.
For the past four years, I have carefully researched and reported on the court-martial of LCDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III which occurred in 1990. Through sheer persistence, Fitzpatrick has acquired an astounding document record over the more than two decades since the proceeding. CDR Fitzpatrick has demonstrated to me and others that the court-martial was a sham, undertaken by a political admiral who sought to end Fitzpatrick’s Navy career and that of his direct superior, Capt. Michael Nordeen.
In late 1989, Fitzpatrick was said to have committed a number of crimes, but no evidence was ever presented to substantiate the claims other than that of “ghost witnesses.” A log book which would have shown that no malfeasance took place disappeared before the trial and has never been seen again. A forgery of Fitzpatrick’s signature was then placed in his file to give the appearance that he had “confessed” to misconduct, but in truth, Fitzpatrick had never seen nor signed the letter. The lack of an endorsement trail proves that Fitzpatrick never received the document and therefore could not have signed it.
Other violations of the UCMJ committed by Adm. Bitoff include acting as both accuser and prosecutor; placing a compromised officer on the jury panel; misrepresenting the facts in a 1999 letter to then-Rep. Norman Dicks; and attempting to paint Fitzpatrick as mentally imbalanced after Fitzpatrick went to Bitoff’s superiors about the forgery.
We know who committed the forgery. We also know that scores of Navy officers and NCIS agents have participated in the biggest cover-up in U.S. military history.
Given the recent letter of complaint written by 27 former officers and military attorneys concerning Marine Corps Commandant James Amos, I am taking this opportunity to alert you to just how corrupt the military justice system can be and the egregious effects of that corruption on whistleblowers. In fact, Commandant Amos has, or should have, full knowledge of the Fitzpatrick court-martial, as Marine Corps attorneys participated in the crime and the fraudulent record remains undisturbed at the Washington Navy Yard. As you know, the Marine Corps is an arm of the U.S. Navy.
A “culture of corruption,” misconduct and dishonesty pervades the United States Armed Services and threatens to destroy good men and women every day.
Over the last month, CDR Fitzpatrick has recontacted the NCIS and the Naval Inspector General’s office about the crimes committed against him in 1990, submitting documentary proof of forgery and fraud. As of this writing, there has been no indication that either entity intends to reopen the investigation abandoned in 1998 after it became obvious that Fitzpatrick’s signature had been forged on the confession document.
I am presently in the process of finalizing a manuscript for a book on the Fitzpatrick court-martial to expose the endemic military corruption which American taxpayers are unknowingly funding. To further our due diligence, CDR Fitzpatrick and I have recontacted all of the principal players in the case as well as current and former Navy JAGs and other officers who overlooked Fitzpatrick’s several criminal complaints, thereby furthering the conspiracy which to this day has gone unpunished. Out of scores of people contacted, only one who was not directly involved would speak on the record. No one else even responded. They know what they did, and they continue to cower in the shadows in the hope that justice will never prevail.
More than 18 months ago, I contacted Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who was Fitzpatrick’s classmate at Annapolis, by formal letter, to no avail. Neither Army nor Navy public affairs officers have responded to my several queries about Fitzpatrick’s court-martial file and my claim of forgery and fraud against the Navy.
While we would like to publish the book with an ending indicating that justice was finally done and the federal conviction lifted off of CDR Fitzpatrick’s back, it does not appear that the Navy is willing to expose itself to the inevitable monumental shake-up which would ensue. As the Tailhook scandal unfolded followed by the suicide of then-Chief of Naval Operations Michael Boorda in 1996, the Navy did not want an even larger scandal on its hands. However, the cover-up of Fitzpatrick’s case continues to grow and promises never to go away until the criminals have been apprehended and punished.
We are confident that the American public will appreciate our efforts in producing the book to expose the largest crime in U.S. military history.
We have a copy of the forgery bearing Fitzpatrick’s misspelled name with the missing generation number, something he has always included when signing his name dating back to before 1990. Through dozens of FOIA requests, Fitzpatrick has obtained letters, memos, and confidential communications among members of Bitoff’s staff which are unassailable evidence of the conspiracy carried out against him. One of the principals in the crime told an interviewer in 2005, “If you think what we did to Fitzpatrick was bad, you haven’t seen anything.” The audio of that interview, along with hundreds of pages of documentation, will be provided to you upon your request.
The Navy cannot say it does not know about the injustice done to Fitzpatrick. We have learned recently from a knowledgeable source that Navy JAGS in training are prohibited from discussing his case. Everyone in the Navy and the Marine Corps knows about the court-martial of CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III.
CDR Fitzpatrick is the recipient of numerous awards and medals and was literally on his way to the Naval War College when he was informed by a member of Bitoff’s staff that he had been charged with “crimes.”
Fitzpatrick has become a victim of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which, when so easily abused as it was in his case, shows itself as the unconstitutional system that it is. Without Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendment protections, the UCMJ can easily become a tool of overzealous officers wishing to target certain servicemen under their command. Such was the case with Nordeen and Fitzpatrick. Commandant Amos has been accused by Maj. James Weirick of the same type of misconduct as that which Bitoff exercised against Fitzpatrick 23 years ago.
Because he is a whistleblower, Fitzpatrick has also been targeted by the IRS, with two-thirds of his military pension having been garnished without explanation since February 2012. He is literally living on pennies a day after the injustice meted out to him in 1990 which destroyed his career and personal life, depriving his young family of the support Fitzpatrick had earned over his 20 years of service.
I am asking for your assistance in unearthing the original Fitzpatrick record of court-martial to locate the forgery and expose this charade as the egregious miscarriage of justice that it is.
Enclosed please find business cards with both CDR Fitzpatrick’s and my contact information. I have taken the liberty of copying this letter to Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, in whose district Fitzpatrick resides, and Rep. Buck McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
I appreciate your assistance in advance on this matter.
Very truly yours,
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
P.O. Box 195
Stafford Springs, CT 06076