Sunday, January 05, 2003

Freaking Lovely


UPDATE: Let me just add this is a total outrage and a big extended middle finger to the victims of 9/11, their families, the country, truth, justice, the American way, and everything else one can think of.

Lehman was Navy secretary from 1981 to 1987 and presided over Ronald Reagan's buildup to a 600-ship Navy. But Lehman also presided over one of the worst cover-ups in the Navy's entire 227-year history.

Long before the Roman Catholic Church pedophile scandal, the U.S. Navy experienced one of its own. It involved at least one U.S. Naval Academy graduate, P-3 Orion naval pilots with access to nuclear weapons (the P-3 Orion is an anti-submarine warfare aircraft), personnel with top-secret clearances, and officers in leadership positions of trust akin to those of clergymen.

The Navy's pedophilia scandal broke in the quiet and serene Oregon coastal town of Coos Bay on Sept. 11, 1982, when the commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Facility, a classified submarine tracking station, was arrested by local police for involvement in child pornography and lascivious acts with minors, including sodomy. The arrest followed a 2-month-long investigation involving the FBI and the Naval Investigative Service.


A team of Navy counselors, chaplains, and child psychiatrists from Bethesda Naval Hospital, who were alerted to fly to Oregon to treat and offer assistance to the young victims and their families, was abruptly ordered to stand down.

And before long, the Navy acted as if the incident never even occurred. The potential for damage to the Navy's reputation was evident as reports surfaced of other Navy pedophile rings at Moffett Field Naval Air Station near San Jose, Calif., and U.S. naval bases in the Philippines and at San Diego.

Some senior naval officers, allegedly including one flag rank officer, were quietly and quickly retired. According to one NIS investigator, the Coos Bay arrest opened up a Pandora's box of pedophile cases in the Navy and, according to a number of federal law enforcement officials in Portland, Seattle, and Washington, the cover-up of the incidents "went right to the top" - and the top at the time was John Lehman.

The Navy also pressured the state of Oregon and Coos County not to investigate independently the Coos Bay incident any further, saying that its investigation never turned up any evidence that civilian children in Oregon were victimized. Throughout the next few years, Navy public affairs officers were ordered to stonewall reporters.

In many respects, John Lehman was no different than Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law in covering up an incident later described by a senior naval officer as among the top 10 most damaging incidents in the history of the U.S. Navy. However, unlike John Lehman, Cardinal Law had the decency to acknowledge the scandal and ultimately resign his office over the church's pedophilia scandal.

Rewarding an arch-cover up artist like John Lehman with a seat on the Sept. 11 investigation commission is a disservice to the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks who are seeking answers to why it happened and closure to their horrific tragedies.

More on this hideous excuse for a human.