Skip to comments.Obama restores rank of disgraced Vietnam general (John D. Lavelle)
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 ...
I think this is simply a case of Obama rubber stamping on a recommendation made from other levels.
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.
Perhaps a way reopen the case to rebash Nixon, because bashing Bush has worn thin?
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.
Don’t think so. The process to restore the General’s rank started in ‘08.
Perhaps but if Nixon allowed Lavelle to take the fall for Nixon’s decision then bashing is in order.
So why rehabilitate a military guy, and why now?
Just radically out of synch with the agitator’s usual MO.
“Consider the alternative...”
This makes sense.
Does he get his back pay restored to his heirs?
He reinstated the General now because that’s when the process sent the paperwork to his desk. Nothing sinister or out of synch.
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."
my thoughts exactly
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.
Any decency from BO is out of synch.
He is an agitator and critic by training and inclination.
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.
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.
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”!