BY DAVID H. HACKWORTH
30 November 1999
A SAILOR REFUSES TO GIVE UP THE SHIP -- OR HIS HONOR
If America runs out of Jack Dalys, it'll run out of freedom.
Daly, a U.S. Navy sailor, initially almost single-handedly took
on the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon. And
eventually, with a little augmented firepower here and there,
he whipped them.
As a naval intelligence officer, Lt. Daly was wounded two years
ago by enemy fire while checking out a Russian ship as it was
spying on our nuclear subs in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in U.S.
west coast waters off Puget Sound.
To shut down his mission, the Russian ship blasted his aircraft
with a laser shot, partially blinding Daly and his Canadian pilot.
Then the Clinton administration tried to cover up the incident.
Having smooth relations with yesterday's Evil Empire was far more
important to those who manipulate our government than looking
after an American warrior wounded in the line of duty.
As part of the cover-up, Madeleine Albright's gang of expedients
at State delayed a U.S. military inspection of the Russian ship
while they tipped off the Russian Embassy. And the Pentagon went
along with the drill.
When the Russian ship was finally searched, as Freddy the Frog
could have told you, there was absolutely no sign of any laser
weapon. Then the spy ship was allowed to leave U.S. waters, and
the State Department did its crooked best to keep the incident
from the American public.
Daly was told to shut up by Washington, and his Navy chain of
command was ordered to keep him quiet. The medics were instructed
by Navy brass to ignore his very real medical complaints and treat
him as a malingerer.
The next step was to kill his unblemished career with an unsatisfactory
fitness report and start one of those whispering campaigns about
loose marbles rolling across Daly's upper deck.
But Clinton, Albright, Secretary of Defense Cohen and a few dozen
fellow rats in the State Department and the senior ranks of our
Navy didn't understand what tough stuff Daly was made of.
When he fought back, they of the bigger cannons tried to mute
his trumpet permanently by passing him over for promotion -- based
on that phony efficiency report -- and giving him his walking
papers when he was only three years short of retirement.
But Daly stayed the course, and soon good reporters in the media
and politicians from both major parties rushed to the rescue.
Together, they exposed the lies and toasted the bad guys until
the truth won out.
The inspector general ruled the Pentagon colluded in the cover-up
and that the Navy had zapped Daly for reporting the incident and
then for sticking to his guns.
Now Daly's been promoted to lieutenant commander.
But complete justice will only be done when everyone involved
in this attempt to destroy a good man's life is identified and
held responsible. Certainly there's a paper trail from the White
House to the State Department to the Pentagon. Congress needs
to get these documents and then fry those responsible.
The Navy should be forced to conduct a similar investigation,
starting with the brass at Daly's San Diego base who played the
dirty game with his fitness report and the smear campaign. The
secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations and the
president and all the officers of Daly's promotion board who found
him not fit for promotion need to be interviewed and all their
records looked at under the provisions of the Freedom of Information
Lt. Cmdr. Daly should be awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received
by enemy fire and reimbursed for the thousands of dollars in family
savings spent in his fight for justice and the truth. The fines
imposed on the guilty responsible for the cover-up and the attempt
to take Daly down could be used to pay back this fine sailor.
Lt. Cmdr. Daly should be transferred immediately to the U.S. Naval
Academy at Annapolis, Md., and placed in charge of all ethical
training. Our Navy's senior leadership has been in moral meltdown
for decades, and Daly could well become the 21st century's John
Paul Jones for returning values to an institution now drowning
in its own sleaze.