Which admiral do you believe?


From the Associated Press:
Fri Sep 17, 7:13 PM ET
Navy Says Kerry's Service Awards OK'd
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON — The Navy's chief investigator concluded Friday that procedures were followed properly in the approval of Sen. John Kerry's Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, according to an internal Navy memo.

Vice Adm. R.A. Route, the Navy inspector general, conducted the review of Kerry's Vietnam—ear military service awards at the request of Judicial Watch, a public interest group. The group has also asked for the release of additional records documenting the Democratic presidential candidate's military service...

"Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed," [emphasis added] Route wrote in the memo sent Friday to Navy Secretary Gordon England.

In particular, the senior officers who awarded the medals were properly delegated authority to do so. In addition, we found that they correctly followed the procedures in place at the time for approving these awards.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

The Grand Deception:
'Kerry, War Hero,' Is a Myth
Sep 19, 2004
Roy F. Hoffman
The widely repeated myth of "John Kerry, the Vietnam Navy Hero" is one of the most dishonorable and dangerous deceptions ever perpetrated upon the American public...
Exactly two weeks after arrival in Vietnam, Kerry was involved in a scenario in which he was "wounded" by a small fragment, about the size of a rose thorn — a self—inflicted wound resulting from the careless use of his own M—79 grenade launcher. According to the testimony of the attending physician, Dr. Louis Letson, the fragment barely penetrated the skin of his right arm and was easily removed with tweezers and dressed with a Band—Aid. Despite the minor nature of the injury, Kerry still requested a Purple Heart from Division Commander Grant Hibbard. Commander Hibbard denied, noting that there was no hostile fire involved in the incident, no casualty report, and no after—action report — all requisites for a Purple Heart medal.

Still, somehow Kerry circumvented the system and somehow was awarded the Purple Heart some three months after Lt. Commander Hibbard denied the award. [emphasis added] Who initiated the award remains a mystery and will remain so until Kerry authorizes the full release of his military and medical records, complete and unaltered.

(Roy Hoffmann, a retired Navy Rear Admiral and the founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is a resident of Chesterfield. As the commander of the Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam in 1968—1969, Admiral Hoffman was the overall commander of U.S. Swift Boats during the period of Kerry's Vietnam coastal service.)


It doesn't sound like Admiral Hoffmann believes that "the awards approval process was properly followed." I wonder if the Navy Inspector General contacted him?

If not, why not? Was it an examination or a whitewash?

Steve Gilbert   9 19 04