FABRICATION, FALSEHOODS AND FORGERY by Sharon Rondeau – Post & Email
Friday, 22 November 2013
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Fitzpatrick: “Court-Martialed for Nothing”
Posted By Sharon Rondeau On Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 4:45 PM In National | No Comments
FABRICATION, FALSEHOODS AND FORGERY
by Sharon Rondeau
CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III has illustrated through his own experience at court-martial that commanding officers have virtually unlimited discretion in formulating charges against a subordinate, at times using the system to retaliate against whistleblowers and others for personal and political reasons.
(Nov. 19, 2013) — CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) and The Post & Email are preparing the manuscript for a book which will detail the numerous crimes involved in his Special Court-Martial of April 1990 which produced the largest criminal cover-up in U.S. military history. Dozens and perhaps hundreds of officers are aware of the injustice meted out to Fitzpatrick wherein a forged document continues to be maintained as authentic after more than 23 years.
From beginning to end, the process was fraught with procedural violations, dishonesty, fabrication, and finally, the forgery of Fitzpatrick’s name to a “confession” document dated 17 July 1990 which he never saw.
Fitzpatrick has described the complicity of Naval officers and the Judge Advocate General’s office as their having been “willing to destroy subordinates to protect the institution.” Having sought redress since the court-martial concluded, Fitzpatrick has named specific individuals as criminals, including his former defense attorney. None will speak on the record or have filed a lawsuit against Fitzpatrick for defamation. Had they done so, Fitzpatrick would be entitled to discovery in his own defense.
After having been missing for almost a year, Judge Advocate General Inspector General Capt. Rand Pixa reported that he discovered the original court-martial record. Capt. Pixa alerted the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the next day, NCIS Special Agent Richard Allen discovered the original of the criminal forgery. At that time, Allen discovered other documents in the original record of court-martial that matched the forgery. Because of the matching documents, defense counsel Kevin Martis “Andy” Anderson was named as the primary suspect in the forgery.
Three months prior, on September 5, 1997, Fitzpatrick had gone to the Pentagon to speak with TJAG John Hutson about the forgery in his file. Although blocked from speaking with Hutson directly, according to Fitzpatrick, Hutson called the NCIS director, who told NCIS Deputy Director Ernie Simon, “This forgery is real; we have a problem on our hands.” Simon then generated a memo to various parties reflecting that conversation which said that if the forgery could be proved, “it makes the Navy look really, really bad” (see memo below).
The American taxpayer continues to pay for corruption and abuse within the U.S. military as well as a system of “justice” which is not constitutionally-based, but rather, emerged from the British Articles of War.
Many segments of the Fitzpatrick saga which will be incorporated into the book have appeared at The Post & Email with supporting documents released by the Navy in response to dozens of FOIA requests submitted over more than a decade following the sham proceeding.
The forgery remains in both Fitzpatrick’s service record and Record of Court-Martial.
Fitzpatrick describes the military system of “justice” as a “function of command” and describes the proceedings against him as “a vendetta” conducted by a political admiral and his personal staff. Because there is no review by a grand jury before charges are leveled against a defendant, a subordinate can be convicted and his career ruined without the presentation of any evidence.
Emails and letters from The Post & Email to Navy personnel about the crimes committed have gone unanswered over the last 19 months. All of the principals involved or those who vouched for the authenticity of the forgery have been contacted over the last three months, with none responding.
The following segment describes how all of the “charges” except one against Fitzpatrick resulted in a “not guilty” verdict and that the only charge for which a “conviction” was pronounced was not a proper one.
Bitoff took action and decided what he was going to do with me on the 11th of April 1990, a week after my court-martial was over. At that time, John Bitoff did not have the court-martial record. His big initial “B” is at the top of a memo dated 18 April 1990, when he took action on my case. He didn’t formalize it in a letter that day, but that’s when he decided what he was going to do. He did not have the clemency request or the court-martial record at that time. All he had was Tim Zeller’s investigation report.
The thrust of the accusations that Zeller made against me, to include larceny, was for the funeral trip. There were three charges:
- Article 92, willful dereliction of duty;
- Violation of Article 108, wrongful disposition of MWR fund, and in the specification under charge 2, Zeller articulated misuse of MWR funds for the funeral trip;
- Violation of Article 121, was for larceny, in which Zeller accused me of stealing the money that was used for sending the females to accompany the female members of the Nordeen family. I was accused of stealing that money and using it for myself.
Those are the three charges.
Under Charge 1, they said that I was commuting with the MWR van, but that was all.
For Charge 2, the specification was for the money used for the funeral trip.
The government did not charge me; there was no specific information. Charge 1, Specification 1 was all that the panel found me guilty of. When you read specification 1, it does not lay out what it was that I did specifically to abuse MWR funds. Under that charge, Zeller did not lay out any specifics at all. He didn’t accuse me, for example, of using money to send people to Hawaii. He didn’t accuse me under Charge 1, specification 1 of misspending or stealing money for the electronic purchases; he didn’t charge me under Charge 1, specification 1 with any money that was spent for the funeral trip.
When you read the Letter of Reprimand, you see that the panel found me guilty of taking money for the electronics equipment and spending money for the trip to Hawaii. I’ve explained to you why those two findings are impossible to arrive at.
The government didn’t charge me with either of those events that are criminal in nature, so I’ve been found guilty of nothing. The government did not charge me with misusing, spending or stealing money for the electronics equipment or for misspending money for the trip to Hawaii, but these two things appear in the Letter of Reprimand, which is an impossibility because none of these things were discussed. So where there was specific information for every event, I was found “not guilty.” The government didn’t specify anything in Charge 1, Specification 1. They didn’t talk about any particular event. There was nothing there. They might as well have charged me in Charge 1, Specification 1 with dereliction of duty for the sun not rising in the East this morning. That’s not a crime. They didn’t even do that. “Fitzpatrick is being charged with dereliction of duty.” OK. In charging me with Dereliction of Duty, the government has to name the duty, and I had no assigned duties under the MWR program, so they didn’t do that. Then they have to name the actual event that represents the dereliction. They have to tell me what it was they say I did wrong; they didn’t do that, either. So what was I defending myself against?
Detail of Charge 1, Specification 1 of Special Court-Martial of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III in April 1990
Page 1 of court-martial charge and specification report
The military hearing officer, George Wells, during the court-martial on the 4th of April, said, “The government hasn’t charged Fitzpatrick with a crime under Charge 1, Specification 1. I have some ideas about how we can fix it” – that’s what he said on page 98 and 99 of the court-martial record, but the government never fixed the charge. Also, on block 17 of the Article 32 report, Quigley raised up a red flag and said that the charges were not in proper order. Block 17, which is right above Block 18, said that there is no reasonable grounds to believe that Fitzpatrick committed the events of which he was accused.
The government charged me with criminal acts, and they gave out specifics. In all of the places where specific information was given, I was found “not guilty.” That’s consistent with what Matt Bogoshian said when he said, “There’s little, if any, evidence to believe that Fitzpatrick committed these crimes of which he is accused.” Where a specific event was written down and said, “He did this…he used money for the funeral trip” I was found “not guilty.” I was found “not guilty” of stealing the money for the trip.
Charge 1, specification 1 doesn’t name the duty, and it doesn’t name the act which violates the duty. They found me guilty of nothing. And in doing so, nobody’s ever had to explain how they were able to achieve that result. Fitzpatrick had to know that he was doing something wrong to be accused of willful dereliction of duty. That means he had to know. But they didn’t name the duty that I was assigned. If you look at my fitness report under “Duties Assigned,” you won’t find “Morale, Welfare and Recreation.” I had other duties; the MWR program was assigned to other people to operate. So if Zeller wanted to include me in that, by necessity, he would have had to charge other people, and they never did that.
The government didn’t charge me, and that charge for which I was found guilty, according to the Specification, doesn’t name an act. They didn’t name a crime. Zeller also had his dates wrong; he said that between July 1988 through January 1989, Fitzpatrick was involved in all this bad stuff. Well, the electronics equipment was purchased in August; the funeral trip was in July; what was it that they said I did wrong in September?
So Zeller accused me of breaking regulations from July 1988 to January 1989. Our ship deployed on September 12, 1988. We were overseas; the first week in October, we were just making our approach into the Philippine Islands. We did a pit stop, then from there, we moved into the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean through the Straits of Malacca into the Northern Arabian Sea. So the ship was deployed. So they accused me of nothing and they convicted me of committing a crime of nothing. Under Charge 1, Specification 1, I’m not accused of a crime. And that’s what I’ve been found guilty of. They didn’t accuse a criminal act, and the military hearing officer said, “You haven’t accused him of anything here; you need to go back and fix this, and they didn’t, and that’s the only thing they found me guilty of.
Then you see the post-trial documents which Zeller and Anderson were exchanging which say, “Nobody knows what this guy did.” And Anderson put it right out there; he had it correct in what he was writing in the Response to the Letter of Reprimand which he forged; the information that he put in there is correct. He said what I’ve been telling you: that “there were no warnings issued to Fitzpatrick.” The word “warning” does not appear in the court-martial record. Doug Dolan did not testify. Anderson, maybe to protect himself in future days if they got caught, I don’t know – he told the admiral about the MWR trip to Hawaii, “Yes, there was a trip; it was scheduled; there’s evidence in the court-martial record in the Article 32 that says that there was a message that the ship received, and that it was seen by other people, and that people were sent to this meeting and they attended the meeting.” Chief Wagner said, “Yes, I met with MWR personnel when I was in Hawaii.” So the Letter of Reprimand bears no connection at all to the Record of Court-Martial or to the Article 32 report. The only thing it refers back to is Zeller’s investigation reports, which were from September/October 1989.
Bitoff never looked at the court-martial record, and he never looked at the clemency request. It was all a charade; it was a kibuki dance, to make it look as though what they were doing was legitimate. All the time, it was nothing but a house of cards, a smokescreen, lining up dominoes.
The bottom line is that I’ve been found guilty of nothing.
Every place you look at this court-martial, you find a crime committed by Zeller or Bitoff. Because of what they did, there never was a real Article 32. What was going on was going on behind the scenes, and the Article 32 that was done in public was nothing but showcasing. The same thing can be said for the court-martial. The public court-martial in April 1990 was showcasing. My real court-martial took place on the 12th of October, the day before the Navy birthday, in 1989, and Zeller pronounced me guilty of all these things. Isn’t it interesting that at the end of the day, I was found guilty? What was I found guilty of? Nothing.
If anybody stands behind the court-martial of Walt Fitzpatrick and says he was properly tried and convicted, and we can prove it, then the question becomes, “OK, what was it that Fitzpatrick did? What did he do?” If they point to the Letter of Reprimand and say, “This is what Bitoff’s (hand-picked) panel found: they found that Fitzpatrick misused the money that was spent for the trip to Hawaii, and he misused the money that was spent for the electronics equipment.” Then the next statement to whoever would be, “Where do you find that accusation made against CDR Fitzpatrick in the first place? Cite the page, the witness…” It wasn’t made. They talked about it at the court-martial, but again, nothing came of it.
Then you go back to Zeller’s reports and you find out exactly where this information comes from in the beginning. Who said that it was against regulations to buy the electronic equipment? Well, according to Zeller, it was Doug Dolan. Who is Doug Dolan? I never talked to Doug Dolan about this in the first place; Zeller never talked to Doug Dolan; Zeller made this up.
By the way, the assistant supply officer, Doug Dolan, was not part of the MWR organization. He wasn’t assigned any duties with the MWR.
Doug and I were good friends. I used to have something called the “XO Beat-Me-Up.” We used to go to a bar at the end of the pier called “Olive Oyl’s.” It was named after Popeye‘s girlfriend, Olive Oyl. It was very close to the China Basin. Before we moved across from Oakland to San Francisco for the overhaul, we did it somewhere else; I can’t remember where it was.
The XO Beat-Me-Up was off the ship. I would walk in, and it was all the chief petty officers and me. The first thing I did when I walked in was take off my collar devices and put them into a glass of beer. It meant, “Chiefs, beat me up. Take me to task. Take me downtown. If there’s a problem with the ship, if there’s a problem with me, please tell me. There’s no attribution here. You’re speaking to me as if I’m a nobody.” I was taking the authority that I held as an executive officer and throwing it into a glass of beer. “Anything that is said here stays here, and I will take action on any problems that you’ve found.”
The chief petty officers ran the ship. One of the highest honors I ever received when I was in the Navy was to be picked as an honorary chief petty officer by the chiefs. I told these guys, “I was an E-1 before I ever became an Ensign, and I’m here now, listening to you as chief petty officers, and you can consider me lower than an E-1. Talk to me.” That’s the way we ran the ship, and we did that regularly. If there was a complaint anywhere on the ship, it would have come to me through the chief petty officer grapevine. And they had free access to me; they could have come in to me at any time and said, “Can you take off your collar devices?” and I would have said, “Sure, chief, whaddya got?” That never happened.
Nobody came to me when we sent people on the funeral trip, and the feedback that I got from everybody – and I’m writing this in the book – was that this was something that they needed to do.
I never talked to Doug Dolan about this. If Doug had come to me, he would have been one of many who would have come to me and said, “Hey, XO, we have a problem here.” But it never happened.
The purchase of electronics equipment that was distributed throughout the entire ship was common fleet practice; it was not a criminal act. So Zeller accused me in this Letter of Reprimand of doing something that was done by every ship I was had ever been on on throughout my career. Every ship did it. There was nothing wrong with it. It was perfectly acceptable and accepted; we put it into our report, we sent our report off to the chain of command…so this nonsense about Doug Dolan is just that: nonsense. No one would have come to me and said, “We’re not supposed to do this” because everybody was doing it!
We had what we called Sight TV on board the ship. In the old days, you would go out on one of the weather decks – and you see this in some of the old World War II movies where the sailors are out on the weather deck watching a movie under the stars. When we were able to have video equipment on board the ship where we could pipe the movies into the compartments for the sailors and they had TVs to watch, they didn’t have to go out on the weather deck; they could watch a movie in their compartment or at their work center. You could do it 24 hours a day and didn’t have to wait for a film to come on. We did training on the TV system; it was an internal television network, if you will.
So purchasing TVs to support this internal television stations was common fleet practice. To this day, I’m sure it’s common fleet practice.
Zeller made up the conversation before and after about my talking to Dolan. I never had those conversations with Dolan, and Zeller accused me of something that was not a criminal act. You see this in Zeller’s investigation report. Zeller attributes the “warning” to Doug Dolan in his investigation report, but there is no sworn statement from Doug Dolan. That never happened. Not even Zeller itemized his interview of Doug Dolan in his investigation report; he doesn’t put it there. Doug Dolan didn’t testify at the Article 32; he didn’t testify at the court-martial. So how does this make it into the Letter of Reprimand? Because Zeller made it up.
The same thing with the trip to Hawaii. Where does that information come from? It says in the Letter of Reprimand that the meeting was never scheduled and it was never held. When you read Zeller’s investigation report, he attributes that position to himself. He made it up himself. When this meeting was discussed during the Article 32, it was 1) Yes, there was a message that it was scheduled, and 2) Yes, one of our chief petty officers attended.
I was never accused of misspending, mishandling or abusing the MWR funds for the trip to Hawaii; that was not an accusation I ever faced. The government never accused me of a crime of any type or kind with regard to monies that were expended for the electronics equipment. And that bears itself out when you take a look at the court-martial record and the Article 32. Then the hearing officer, Wells, said, “You haven’t accused Fitzpatrick of a crime here; fix this. You need to state that he had actual knowledge; you need to state exactly what it is that he did; you need to state the duty, and you haven’t done that. So get it fixed.” So today I stand convicted of…NOTHING.
This is why Zeller and Bitoff and the others said, “We’re not calling in the NIS because they’re not available; we’re going to do this ourselves.” That is nonsense and goes to their criminal intent. They were going to set me up, and the only way they could ensure that they could frame me was to handle the “investigation” by themselves.
Every time you see Bitoff’s signature, he’s involved in making a false official statement. He was told a couple times that there’s nothing in the court-martial where these things that I was reprimanded for were even discussed. Tim Zeller’s investigation reports were never considered at the Article 32 at all. They were kept secret, and everything else that happened in between was all for show. Then when the Letter of Reprimand came out, John Bitoff cited me for things that were never proven and were never brought up during the course of the court-martial.
Letter of Reprimand, page 1
Nobody came in to testify that the MWR meeting in Hawaii was never scheduled and that it never took place. Quite the contrary, people came in and said, “Yes, I saw a message on the meeting,” or “Yes, I attended the meeting.” In other words, Zeller’s accusation was disproved, but Bitoff ignored it.
After the court-martial was over and I started digging into the records to produce evidence of what I told them was going on when it was going on, people started to look at this and the response was “Oh, my gosh. We have a real problem here.” And the NCIS was told to back off by the Judge Advocate General of the Navy so the NCIS didn’t really take a hard look at it until 1997, and when they did, they said, “Oh, my gosh.” And this makes the Navy and the Marine Crops look really bad, and it “proves everything that Fitzpatrick has been talking about for a decade.”
Memo written to various parties from NCIS Deputy Director Ernie Simon stating that if the forgery were proved, it would make the Navy “look really bad.”
In those specific things I was charged with doing, I was found “not guilty.”
I do not know how the vote went. I don’t know why they voted as they did, but my speculation is if they had found me guilty of anything specific, they would have had to explain themselves, and upon appeal it would have all unraveled. If they said, for example, that they found me guilty of stealing the money that was used for the female escorts for the females in the Nordeen family, they would have had to answer for that. Did Fitzpatrick put any money into his pocket? No. What was this money used for? It was spent to send a contingent of females to escort the four females in the Nordeen family at a time of extraordinary crisis. If they had found me guilty of that, they would have had to explain…if the entire crew knew that this was going on and nobody said anything, why 14 months later did this start? What money did he steal? Was this for personal use? No. Did anything go into his pocket? No. And Bitoff even said that. So they would have had to explain themselves: How do you find larceny there?
I was there. This was our “9-11.” The ship was knocked to its knees. We had just taken a sucker-punch in the gut at a very critical time in our operational protocol. The ship had been laid low. The commanding officer’s brother had just been decapitated and dismembered in a car bomb attack by terrorists in Athens, Greece. We came together as a crew, and this is something that the entire crew could participate in. This was the beauty of using the MWR fund. I’m writing this in the book. Everybody could say, “I was part of honoring this man who has been taken down in this terrorist attack.” Everybody contributed to the MWR fund. Every time you bought a soda, a baseball cap, a bar of soap, a belt buckle, you contributed something to the MWR fund. So by using that fund, which was the crew’s money, everybody could say, “I was part of this.” I can’t tell you how uplifting it was for the crew, and the crew was appropriately applauded and recognized for this coming together in this crisis. None of this was addressed in MWR regulations. This wasn’t something that was prohibited. It was not foreseeable, a tragic event, and the crew did what they thought was the right thing to do. There was nothing untoward, nothing done under the table. The entire crew knew, and we took a vote.
The MWR committee is made up of one person from each of the divisions. They called an MWR meeting right after we began considering sending a contingent of people. Only six or eight people showed up, and that wasn’t enough, so I said, “OK. We don’t have time; we have to know from the crew now: thumbs up or thumbs down. So we called a meeting on the flight deck and the entire crew was there. The entire crew was told, and the only people who weren’t at that meeting were, for example, the engineering department. We were at anchor; the engineering plant was still working. We were operating the boilers and all the machinery to keep the ship running at sea. We had a team of watch standards up on the bridge, but not many. So it was everybody on the ship except those people who had to be on watch, and of course, they learned about it from their division mates. I explained the relationship I had with the chief petty officers: I told the crew, “If you have a problem with this, tell your chief petty officer, or slip a note under my door, or tell your division officer.” The chief petty officers were always accessible. There wasn’t any dissent. And of course, in the Article 32, J.J. Quigley wrote that his impression was that “99% of the crew was behind this.” I would have said it was 100%.
So Zeller made up the misuse of the MWR funds. Everything was invented. There was no problem with the MWR fund. There was no stealing of money; there was no misuse of money; there was nothing that was done under the table. Zeller made all of it up. None of the things that Zeller laid out specifically held any water, which means that Zeller and Adm. Bitoff were told at the 32 there were no grounds to bring these charges against me. “You don’t have any grounds.”
Why did they say that they offered me Article 15, non-judicial punishment…which they never did, by the way.
The offering and the declination of the acceptance of the non-judicial punishment is a written event. Bitoff and Zeller handled the Article 15 issue the same way that they handled the Letter of Reprimand. They made believe that I was placed on notice; they made believe that I came in and said “no;” they made believe that Article 15 was offered and declined, but they have nothing in writing from me to support that. When you take a look at the documents that are associated with the Mast package – I used to do this all the time; I did Executive Officer’s investigations and I dealt with Mast issues all the time. There are boxes to check on the preprinted form: “Does the accused accept Article 15 or not?” If you’re at shore, you can decline it; if you’re at sea, you can’t. So I was assigned to an ashore command, under John Bitoff, Combat Logistics Group 1. If Bitoff was going to offer this, he had to do it in writing. And then it had to be delivered to me, and then there’s a block and a signature line for “accept” or “decline.” If it had been offered, I wouldn’t have signed it. At that point in time, the Article 32 hearing officer said, “There is nothing to support these accusations.” If it had been offered, I would have said “no.” They would have pushed the piece of paper across the desk to me and said, “OK, we want you to sign here ‘decline.’” And I would have said “no.” Then somebody would have written in the words “Refused to sign,” and then there would have been a witness to that. So Zeller would have been there, and he would have written in, “Fitzpatrick refused to sign,” and he would have put his initials or his signature after that, and it would have been countersigned by somebody else on the staff, “In my witness, CDR Fitzpatrick refused Article 15.”
This is the point: for this to go to court-martial, Bitoff had to make sure that Article 15 was not an option. In other words, if it had been put in front of me, he knew I would have turned it down, and that would have been written and just more problematic. Later, he said it was offered and that I turned it down. In other words, Bitoff forced the court-martial. He didn’t want me to accept Article 15 if he put that piece of paper in front of me and I put “yes” in the box… By handling the Article 15 package in the same way that they handled the Letter of Reprimand, by pretending that I was a participant in the process and never being a participant in the process, they guaranteed a court-martial. And what was I court-martialed for? Well, nothing. There were no charges to bring against me. There was no substantiation. That was borne out at the court-martial, because everything that they accused me of specifically I was found “not guilty.” In Charge 1, Violation of Article 92, willful dereliction of duty, and the Spec said that I used MWR funds…well, what duty was assigned to you? How did you misuse the funds? That needs to appear in the charge, and it didn’t.
There are two episodes in the Letter of Reprimand: one with the electronics equipment and the other with the MWR meeting in Hawaii. These comparisons show that Bitoff took excerpts from Zeller’s investigation reports and included them in his Letter of Reprimand, but they were never part of the Article 32 or court-martial. In each of the two episodes described in the Letter of Reprimand, we have comments that Zeller made in his investigation reports that track from those reports to the Letter of Reprimand but have no connection to the court-martial record or Article 32. They are directly taken from Zeller’s reports and put into the Letter of Reprimand.
Citations from Zeller’s investigation reports which appeared in Bitoff’s 7 June 1990 Letter of Reprimand but did not come from the Article 32 or the court-martial
Zeller states emphatically that there was no MWR scheduled in Pearl Harbor, HI and no meeting held. Then, parenthetically, Zeller wrote that “evidence used is investigating officer’s only.” This is where we find Zeller identifying himself as the source of this claim, which he made up.
The only testimony and evidence that John Bitoff relied upon was that which was taken from Zeller’s investigation reports. He didn’t have anything from the court-martial or Article 32. Zeller created a fiction which was not repeated at the Article 32 and the court-martial. But it was repeated in Bitoff’s Letter of Reprimand. That’s the only other place where you find these comments.
The references in Bitoff’s Letter of Reprimand which he says came from the court-martial record actually came from Zeller’s investigation reports
Zeller wrote these things in his reports, and then he kept the reports secret. There were three versions of them dated 5 October 1989, 10 October 1989 and 23 October 1989. We have the latter two. I’m sure that if we had the 5 October report, we would have another sentence that we could compare to Bitoff’s Letter of Reprimand.
The second set of comparisons is another example of Zeller having made up the accusation. In the case of the electronics equipment, he made it up by creating a phantom witness with whom he never spoke. In the second episode that deals with the Pearl Harbor trip, Zeller didn’t talk to anybody. He made it up himself!
For each of the two episodes that appear in the Letter of Reprimand – the electronics equipment and the Hawaii trip – the only other place where we find that language is in Zeller’s reports. It did not come from any transcript of the Article 32 or the court-martial. Zeller’s reports are the only other place where this language appears.
Zeller did not present himself or his investigation reports for examination at the Article 32 or at the court-martial. Nobody else came to the Article 32 or to the court-martial and repeated the information that came from Tim Zeller’s reports which was repeated in the Letter of Reprimand. Zeller made it up, so he made sure it didn’t get talked about at the Article 32 or at the court-martial. When push came to shove, he had nothing else; they didn’t find me guilty of anything specific, so Bitoff took it from Zeller’s investigation reports. Very few people knew about those investigation reports. I certainly wasn’t one who knew about them.
Remove the Article 32 transcript and the court-martial transcript. Those transcripts are not used in the Letter of Reprimand. It was as if they never existed. This was never examined; it was never brought up; it was kept secret. Bitoff’s Letter of Reprimand is a false official statement, as are Tim Zeller’s investigation reports. Bitoff didn’t need the Article 32, and he didn’t need the court-martial. He already knew he was going to find me guilty, and he had already determined what he was going to find me guilty of. None of it was ever proven in any of the intervening exercises, one of which was the Article 32 and the other was the court-martial. These things never came out in the transcripts. Instead, Bitoff went back to Tim Zeller’s reports.
Because they rigged everything between the 32 investigation and the court-martial, it was all for show. On the civilian side of the fence, what I’ve just described to you could never have happened. In the circumstance where I was falsely accused in the military system, where it would never have made it through civilian protocols, John Bitoff got it through the Article 32, and then he got it through his own court-martial because he controlled it all. The Article 32 came out and said that there was no reasonable grounds to believe that I had committed the offenses. Well, John Bitoff didn’t care about that; he took it to the court-martial anyway. Then who did he pick? He picked his own people, and he told them, “You’re to find Fitzpatrick guilty, no matter what; end of story.” And so they did. In the civilian world, this is simply impossible.
Tim Zeller put together reports that could not be substantiated in any way at all. He made them up, and we know this because they weren’t substantiated at the 32 or at the court-martial. So all the in-between part was nothing but a demonstration to the public, an illusion, that these accusation were actually considered. They never were.
This post was updated on November 20, 2013.
Second update on November 21, 2013.
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