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“THERE ARE GAPING HOLES”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 10, 2013) — In its previous article, The Post & Email detailed how Admiral John Bitoff, who court-martialed CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) in 1990, also took an active part in the “review” process performed in 1992, even though he had retired from the U.S. Navy several months prior.
Fitzpatrick has never seen the documents relating to his requested review of the unjust conviction, which included the forgery of his name to a “Response to Letter of Reprimand” issued by Bitoff in June 1990. Fitzpatrick learned of the withheld documents from an Index sent to him by LCDR J.L. Roth in March 2001. Bitoff’s three-page letter, written after Bitoff retired, has not been released, nor have those indicating that gag orders were imposed on purported witnesses by Bitoff’s investigator, Lt. Tim Zeller.
Bitoff did not properly contact the NCIS about the allegations of theft against Fitzpatrick, claiming that an NCIS investigator “was not available,” and rather than removing himself from the process, “brought the charges and convened the court-martial” in a clear conflict of interest.
Some documents relating to the events leading up to the court-martial in April 1990, whose outcome was predetermined, also have not been released by the Navy.
The endorsement record showing how the letter bearing Fitzpatrick’s forged signature purportedly made its way from Bitoff to Kevin Anderson, Fitzpatrick’s defense attorney, and then to Fitzpatrick is missing or nonexistent. Moreover, Fitzpatrick knew nothing of the letter’s existence until it was released in response to one of his many FOIA requests for his court-martial record.
Following the court-martial, Zeller was promoted; Bitoff retired with a pension; Anderson left the Marine Corps before serving 20 years, and Fitzpatrick was “cashiered” in September 1994 after having been passed over for promotion, almost assuredly because of the Letter of Reprimand resulting from the kangaroo court-martial.
When The Post & Email first began reporting on the cover-up of the Fitzpatrick court-martial, Fitzpatrick told us, “They rig court-martials [sic] all the time.” The military justice system does not utilize a Fifth Amendment grand jury process to review evidence prior to charges being filed against a service member, but rather, each commanding officer exercises virtually unlimited power over those serving under him.
The Navy maintains its silence over Fitzpatrick’s accusations and numerous requests for a new investigation.
Fitzpatrick further explained:
In going through the 28-page raw Index, there are a number of other memorandums Zeller wrote which are still missing. We don’t have a complete set of the Zeller memos.
I told you at one time that there was very bad blood between Adm. Bitoff’s staff and our ship. Before Bitoff, the admiral was Robert Toney. There is a rumor that there was an altercation between a member of the USS MARS and a member of Bitoff’s staff resulting in fisticuffs. There was a memo from Zeller to Bitoff dated 29 March 1990 with the subject “Capt. Nordeen” consisting of two pages. There is apparently another document from Zeller to Bitoff with “Subject: Capt. Nordeen” dated 11 April 1990. There are missing memos which are noted in the Index I have. Those two and others are missing.
I think part of what Bitoff did to me was because there was very bad blood between Mike Nordeen and Bitoff’s staff, and they wanted Nordeen very badly.
Karen Denise Hill and Adm. Merrill Ruck know what John Bitoff wrote in those three pages which have been kept secret from me. Despite the missing pages, I have thousands of pages in storage which are a powerful distilled product.
There are various iterations of Zeller’s investigation report. The preliminary report of 10 October 1989 was formalized on October 23, and it was endorsed by Bitoff with a false official statement after Zeller told Romanski to take out the sentence. We’ve also talked about an earlier version of the report dated 5 October 1989. It was 17 pages long and is being kept from me.
Tim Zeller came back home and Romanski said, “Go write up the report,” which Zeller did. As of 5 October, he came back to Paul Romanski, and these two guys sat down over a cup of coffee or a cigarette and figured out what they were going to say. They edited it together. That document exists. I know that in the 5 October report, we would find a sentence matching those I showed you in Bitoff’s Letter of Reprimand. I showed you three comparisons. I can’t show you the fourth sentence which matches because I don’t have that report, but I know it exists. They’re keeping that from me as well.
So I was pronounced guilty as early as 5 October 1989. This tells us just exactly what was going on in the early days. That’s the importance of the 5 October report.
Zeller went to the ship on September 18, 1989 and three weeks later, he was putting together the investigation report where he finds me guilty and went to General Court-Martial. He has all kinds of conclusionary and dispositive statements about what should happen to me, and it’s very clear that this whole thing was nothing but a setup and that I was the target of it.
These endorsements should be in my possession as a matter of standard operating procedure. I shouldn’t have to go asking for them. So when I asked CDR Roth to show me everything, he could have shown me a lot. Other things he might have wanted to keep from me because of Privacy Act concerns. But the endorsement packages that we’ve talked about could have been delivered to me at the time that they existed as a matter of standard operating procedure. Bitoff should have shown me what he said about why he denied my request; he does not enjoy any kind of protections form the Privacy Act or otherwise. The fact that Bitoff has his signature on a statement and has admitted to the fact that he denied my request is a criminal act carried out in conjunction with Adm. Merrill Ruck and Karen Hill.
Both of those officers were no longer part of the process, and to take that information to him and allow him to do what he did with it, again, protecting Bitoff from the kind of things we’re reporting today.
Another thing that I found in the Index is a report from Rand Pixa, Inspector General for the Office of the Judge Advocate General dated March 9, 1998, and we don’t have it. Pixa’s report had 17 tabs attached to his report that went to JAG John Hutson. They’re tabulated alphabetically, and as you go through those tabs, the forgery is not in there. It’s very clear that they’re trying to keep their distance from the forgery of my name, which of course, in 1998, was a huge part of my complaint.
Some of the tabs include the endorsements.
There’s another investigational report done in 1992. In 1990, 1991 and 1992, Adm. Ruck’s boss was a man named David M. Bennett. Bennett was commander, Naval Surface Force Pacific Fleet headquartered in San Diego from some part of 1990 to some part of 1992. He would have been Bitoff’s boss until Bitoff retired, and then boss to Merrill Ruck afterward.
Bennett was tasked with doing an investigation into all these matters. There is an investigation report which exists that was done by one of Adm. Bennett’s subordinates, a deputy judge advocate named Glenn N. Gonzalez. It was in the course of Gonzalez’s investigation that he called Tim Zeller in response to the phone call which Tim Zeller made from the USS Independence on 16 April 1992. Zeller was under investigation under Vice Adm. Bennett. Gonzalez was the investigating officer.
Gonzalez was the same officer who was part of the endorsement procedure. He was reviewing my court-martial record as it came in to Adm. Bennett’s office. This command is as complicit with the criminal activities of Adm. Bitoff as is every other command. I named David Bennett in 1993 as a criminal.
This index was a very powerful document. In it, my letter to Adm. Chang is dated 13 February 1990. I wrote to the Secretary of the Navy six days after I was notified that my orders to go to the Naval War College were canceled, on 19 October 1989. I went to him and got no response.
Remember in Bitoff’s letter where he said, “I wish Fitzpatrick had come to me…I’m a very approachable guy.” Well, I did, on 14 February 1990, and got no response. Instead of replying to my letter to him, Bitoff had Zeller turn me in to the NCIS for “compromising a classified document,” which was false.
On 13 February 1990, I wrote to the Navy Military Personnel Command.
I went to Adm. Chang in 1990. He was the Inspector General of the Navy at that time and said he could not do anything for me. I went through all of the nonsense in 1991 and 1992. At that point, it was pointless for me to go back to the Naval Inspector General’s office for any kind of relief because by this time, Adm. Bennett had moved from his San Diego job as Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific to the Inspector General for the Navy, a job he held until 1994 or 1995. So the Inspector General of the Navy then became a participant in this whole thing.
Tim Zeller recorded one of his telephone conversations with me, which is a criminal act. There was a recording referenced in the index. I’m sure the recording has been destroyed. I don’t care what the recording says; Zeller was recording me without my permission.
When Tim Zeller would finish with an interview, he placed the interviewee under a gag order and said, “You can’t talk to anybody about this; be quiet and keep your mouth shut. And by the way, I’m placing you under a gag order. Please sign this acknowledgement indicating your understanding that you are now under a gag order.” Those gag-order acknowledgements are part of the record I haven’t seen, and these gag order acknowledgements would list the names of people that Zeller had spoken to.
Is there a gag order acknowledgement, for example, in the case of LCDR Doug Dolan? Is there some document that indicates that Tim Zeller spoke with him?
More significantly, Tim has a record of the people he spoke to because of the gag-order acknowledgements. Should he not also have a package of written statements from these individuals? I don’t find statements from these people in the index that CDR Roth gave me. In other words, Zeller should have had written statements from every one of the individuals with whom he spoke so that they would be in the record, either prosecution or defense, but there are no written statements. Instead, he issued these gag-order acknowledgements.
We’ve hit a vein. The big picture is that every part of this court-martial is defective. The more deeply we go into it, the more we find, and the detail of the corruption is rather impressive. Nobody can defend any part of this court-martial, because everywhere you look there is a criminal act on behalf of one senior military officer or another.
They knew what they were doing, and this is how big this court-martial is. That is why we can’t get anybody to step in at this point and take action. I told Jody Crawford of the DOD Inspector General‘s office that I was threatened by the NCIS, and what she told us is that “It’s radioactive; I’m not going to go there.” I repeated words from the incident that I don’t use; then she backed away from it. I gave her the names of the FBI agents and NCIS agents to whom I reported it, then she walked away after she said, “You did the right thing.” But that was it.
[Editor’s Note: The Post & Email also spoke with Crawford in October and told that if we publish anything with false information, we open ourselves up to lawsuits. She indicated disbelief when we described the death threat Fitzpatrick received from NCIS Special Agent James Connolly, stating over and over, “To kill him…they threatened to kill him????” and raising her voice. Following that, Fitzpatrick recontacted Crawford and verified the story, which resulted in the above-noted exchange between Fitzpatrick and Crawford.]
I told Crawford that at the time, I wanted the identification of the other three agents, and they refused to give me ID.
There are two investigation reports missing. There have been two investigations done already: the one by Adm. Bennett in 1992 and the one by Rand Pixa in 1998. What has to happen now is public pressure. Nobody is going to blow the whistle on any of this because it’s just so big.
If any of my reports had been defective, I would have been doing time in a federal prison right now.
In mid-October, I sent a mailing to John Bitoff which included your business card, my business card, and a letter on formal stationery. At the top I put the date using my fountain pen, and at the bottom, I signed my name. I folded it up and put the business cards inside. I then included in the envelope my signature as it appears today and a copy of the forgery, Response to Letter of Reprimand, and I sent a copy of the NCIS internal memorandum which said, “If you prove forgery in this case, it makes the Navy and the Marine Corps look really, really bad.”
The next day, I sent another mailing to him which contained a copy of the two memorandums sent to XXXXXX at the Naval Inspector General‘s office. I was telling him, “You’re caught.”
What’s left to us is a grand jury and the book. I told Jody Crawford about the book. I read to her the comments from Adm. Grant and Lt. Alice B. Lustre which said, “Your appeal rights have been exhausted.” When I read that to her, she said, “Oh, OK, that’s the statute.” And I asked, “When does the law work for me?”
[Editor’s Note: Crawford told The Post & Email that “writing books” was not the solution to Fitzpatrick’s claim of fraud, forgery and criminality on the part of dozens of Naval officers. She recommended sending a FOIA request “to obtain information from the government.” We responded that we were not seeking “information” from the government, but rather, an admission of the forgery in Fitzpatrick’s court-martial and service records or a new investigation.]
If people in this country don’t get behind this and work to the extermination of the military discipline system based upon the information that we have presented to them, OK. It’s certainly not going to happen because the military took and did the right thing with the information that we gave them. All Crawford told me to do was to keep going around as I have, in circles, doing the same thing I’ve done for years. “No, thanks; if you’re not going to take it up as a criminal investigation, OK.”
This court-martial should have been tossed out years and years ago, but it’s still being maintained undisturbed because of what it represents. There are people on their knees at night praying that this doesn’t go any further.
We’ve been through the investigation process. The military is not going to admit the wrongdoing.
We have so much more information than we would ever need, and there are gaping holes, there are documents that are still being blocked; there are investigation reports being blocked from our review; the three-page endorsement that Bitoff wrote is still being blocked from our view. None of the endorsements came from any of the submissions that I made are available; why not? They should be in my hands as a matter of routine. For example, “John, if what you did was proper and correct, then please show us what you wrote in your three-page endorsement back on 29 April 1992. Can we see what you wrote to Adm. Boorda back in 1994? We’d like to read that as well.” These documents are being withheld, and the reason is that Bitoff signed them using his own name.
Gerry Nance warned me in March 1997. He said, “We’re going to find this ‘forgery’ and then we’re going to do all these bad things to you,” and I said, “Knock yourself out; go for it.” If any of this was false, they could hang me from the highest yardarm in the Navy. Instead, what’s happened is they’ve gone out into the field and discovered for themselves that I’m telling the truth. The truth is what they are now so frightened about, and that’s why we cannot expect anything from Special Agent Crawford out of Seattle, WA or her boss, Jennifer Wallace, or from Inspector XXXX from the Naval Inspector General’s office. These people are not going to act. It’s going to have to be an outreach from the people, from other veterans, from other people who are seeing this.
That’s all we have left.
I promise you that this is all over the Defense Department. This is everyplace. And John Bitoff is taking a beating in this. And Maureen Bitoff asked me, “Why are you doing this to us?”
The Post & Email observes that the cover-up of the Fitzpatrick court-martial continues to be exposed at the same time that the cover-up of Obama’s illegal ascension to the White House is also about to be fully revealed. Fitzpatrick was the first person to file a criminal complaint of treason against Obama for having “broken in and entered the White House by force of contrivance, concealment, conceit, dissembling, and deceit. Posing as an impostor president and commander in chief you have stripped civilian command and control over the military establishment. Known military criminal actors—command racketeers—are now free in the exercise of military government intent upon destruction of America’s constitutional government.”
A researcher into the forgery of the Obama long-form birth certificate has asked that a grand jury review the evidence to determine if criminal charges are in order. Fitzpatrick has stated that “The grand jury is what makes us a constitutional republic.”
Just prior to press time, Fitzpatrick observed that had the criminality of those involved in ending his Navy career and damaging that of Capt. Nordeen been addressed when it occurred, the U.S. military would not have deteriorated to the point where it has retained commanders who have chosen to follow Obama’s orders over defending the U.S. Constitution.