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Obama restores rank of disgraced Vietnam general (John D. Lavelle)
Miami Herald ^ | 08.05.10 | PAULINE JELINEK and ROBERT BURNS

Posted on 08/05/2010 3:36:05 AM PDT by tlb

WASHINGTON -- More than 30 years after his death, an Air Force general has been exonerated of charges that he violated presidential restrictions on aerial bombing during the Vietnam War and ordered the falsification of records to conceal the missions.

John D. Lavelle was forced to retire in April 1972 at the rank of major general - two stars below the rank he held as commander of air operations in Vietnam.

He died in 1979.

The story took a new twist in 2007 with the publication in Air Force Magazine of an article by a retired Air Force general, Aloysius Casey, and his son, Patrick Casey. They used declassified documents and transcripts of President Richard Nixon's Oval Office audio tapes to show that Nixon had secretly authorized more aggressive bombing in North Vietnam in February 1972.

The Caseys also wrote that such attacks had been authorized in late 1971 and early 1972 by top U.S. officers, including Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army Gen. Creighton T. Abrams, the overall U.S. military commander in South Vietnam.

Lavelle's family petitioned the Air Force to correct his record and restore his rank. It said the decision in 1972 to relieve him of duty was based on "woefully incomplete" evidence.

The family's legal petition to the Air Force said the Nixon tapes show that "he was a 'scapegoat' and in fact had acted within the authority expressly granted to him by the president and communicated to him through classified communications between the chief of Pacific Command, the secretary of defense and others."

In 2008 the Air Force Board for the Correction of Military Records found no evidence that Lavelle caused, directly or indirectly, the falsification of records or that he was even aware of their existence.

(Excerpt) Read more at miamiherald.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: lavelle; nixon; usaf; vietnam
Might also be an oblique Obama apology to the military after throwing his Afghanistan commander under the bus.
1 posted on 08/05/2010 3:36:09 AM PDT by tlb
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To: tlb

I think this is simply a case of Obama rubber stamping on a recommendation made from other levels.


2 posted on 08/05/2010 3:54:59 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (DeMint 2012)
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To: tlb

Certainly out of character, unless this guy was tight with the LBJ machine or something.

Odd. BO just doesn’t do positive things for decent people.


3 posted on 08/05/2010 3:56:17 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. - Samuel Adams)
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To: Artemis Webb

Perhaps a way reopen the case to rebash Nixon, because bashing Bush has worn thin?


4 posted on 08/05/2010 3:58:14 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. - Samuel Adams)
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To: tlb

Consider the alternative. If Obama denied the request with all the evidence in hand and the recommendation of the Air Force and the Defense Depts. to restore Lavelle to his previous rank it would have hit the headlines and Obama would endure even more heat for being antagonistic towards the military. Signing off on the reinstatement was the easy (and right) thing to do.


5 posted on 08/05/2010 3:59:44 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: Psalm 144

Don’t think so. The process to restore the General’s rank started in ‘08.


6 posted on 08/05/2010 4:01:25 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: Psalm 144

Perhaps but if Nixon allowed Lavelle to take the fall for Nixon’s decision then bashing is in order.


7 posted on 08/05/2010 4:02:10 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (DeMint 2012)
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Nixon’s fault.


8 posted on 08/05/2010 4:02:25 AM PDT by ChuteTheMall (Tagline: If you're reading this, I'm influencing your mind.)
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To: saganite

So why rehabilitate a military guy, and why now?

Just radically out of synch with the agitator’s usual MO.


9 posted on 08/05/2010 4:03:07 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. - Samuel Adams)
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To: saganite

“Consider the alternative...”

This makes sense.


10 posted on 08/05/2010 4:04:54 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. - Samuel Adams)
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To: tlb

Does he get his back pay restored to his heirs?


11 posted on 08/05/2010 4:13:55 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Southeast Wisconsin)
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To: Psalm 144

He reinstated the General now because that’s when the process sent the paperwork to his desk. Nothing sinister or out of synch.


12 posted on 08/05/2010 4:15:01 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: Artemis Webb
Perhaps but if Nixon allowed Lavelle to take the fall for Nixon’s decision then bashing is in order.

According to the article, that's apparently what happened:

[The Air Force Board for the Correction of Military Records] added: "It is clear the White House, the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff all possessed evidence which, if released, would have exonerated him."

13 posted on 08/05/2010 4:15:23 AM PDT by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Does he get his back pay restored to his heirs?

my thoughts exactly

14 posted on 08/05/2010 4:22:30 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: justlurking

Sure the General took the fall for his Presidents decision. How is that any different than the marine or soldier who got killed for some political reason.


15 posted on 08/05/2010 4:22:42 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: saganite

Any decency from BO is out of synch.

He is an agitator and critic by training and inclination.


16 posted on 08/05/2010 4:23:41 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. - Samuel Adams)
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To: tlb

17 posted on 08/05/2010 4:25:35 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Artemis Webb

Well, as everybody knows, Nixon was no saint. If Nixon really made this General a scapegoat to cover his a$$, then he deserves to be bashed.


18 posted on 08/05/2010 4:30:35 AM PDT by rbg81 (When you see Obama, shout: "DO YOUR JOB!!")
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To: tlb
Might also be an oblique Obama apology to the military...

Nope...obama is too damned stupid to do something of that nature.

He simply signed something that was put in front of him, while being told that it was a good thing.

On an aside, though...this is something that should rest directly on the shoulders of Nixon.

He scapegoated this officer and the officer took it, because he was an excellent officer.

The shame of the action rests with the Nixon White House, like it or not.

Obama gets no credit, one way or the other...he simply put his "X" on a piece of paper.

19 posted on 08/05/2010 4:48:09 AM PDT by OldSmaj (I am an avowed enemy of islam and Obama is a damned fool and traitor. Questions?)
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To: tlb

Interesting...I met General Lavelle back in the 71-72 timeframe in Hawaii. I think he was PACAF Commander at the time. I was a young Lieutenant of Marines and dated his daughter a few times. One time I had dinner at their quarters at Hickam AFB - I remember feeling a bit weird being attended by Air Force stewards. Anyway, I didn’t embarrass the Marine Corps by asking Mrs. Lavelle to “please pass the f#cking potatoes”!


20 posted on 08/05/2010 4:53:15 AM PDT by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar (All sweat, no equity)
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To: 2nd Bn, 11th Mar
Anyway, I didn’t embarrass the Marine Corps by asking Mrs. Lavelle to “please pass the f#cking potatoes”!

You remembered to omit the "please"? ;)

21 posted on 08/05/2010 4:59:05 AM PDT by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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To: 2nd Bn, 11th Mar

LOLOL,good one, MARINE!


22 posted on 08/05/2010 5:24:56 AM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: 2nd Bn, 11th Mar

“Anyway, I didn’t embarrass the Marine Corps by asking Mrs. Lavelle to “please pass the f#cking potatoes”!”

DANG! You MUST have really liked this girl! LOL!


23 posted on 08/05/2010 7:27:57 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (Hey Congress: Go Conservative or Go home!)
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To: 2nd Bn, 11th Mar
Of course you didn't.

As would any well mannered Marine, you simply grabbed a glob of mashed potatoes, dipped your hand in the gravy and deposited the combination on your plate.

24 posted on 08/05/2010 7:35:33 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: tlb
Whatever the political reasons behind this action are/were I am glad for the family that they succeeded. According to another story I read, the General’s retirement pay was never affected and he got his full retirement. However, that can't begin to compensate for the honor and dignity the government stole from him. Poor man, I imagine his heart was heavy with sadness and dismay over this and that he died feeling crushed about how his country did not recognize him rightfully. So glad the family kept up the fight for him and his name.
25 posted on 08/06/2010 5:38:35 AM PDT by CitizenM ("Do you miss me yet?" Yes, George, we do.)
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