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Vietnam War air force general exonerated
Posted on December 29, 2010

Danny "Greasy" Belcher, Executive Director
Task Force Omega of KY Inc.
Vietnam Infantry Sgt. 68-69
"D" Troop 7th Sqdn. 1st Air Cav.

Nixon and Kissinger lied about our live American prisoners of war (POW/MIAs) and abandoned them like the general. There are no lower scum on the earth than those who do not protect those who serve under their command. Nixon and Kissinger deserve the hottest place in hell and General John D "Smiling Jack" Lavelle needs to have the honor of throwing in more coal. God bless General Lavelle. He sure did not deserve the way Nixon, Kissinger and others turned their back on him in order to cover their dishonorable asses. Vietnam-War-air-force-general-posthumously-exonerated.html

Vietnam War air force general posthumously exonerated

The disgraced commander of US air operations during the Vietnam War has been posthumously exonerated after secret files reveal the Nixon administration ordered him to carry out "rogue" air strikes.

By Nick Allen, Los Angeles 5:00PM GMT 22 Dec 2010

More than 30 years after his death, Lavelle has been exonerated of charges that he violated presidential restrictions on aerial bombing.

John D Lavelle was demoted and forced to retire in April 1972 after being relieved of duty for violating presidential restrictions on aerial bombing during the Vietnam War.

He maintained his innocence during congressional hearings held after his dismissal and died in 1979.

Declassified documents and transcripts of President Richard Nixon's Oval Office audio tapes now show that more aggressive bombing in North Vietnam had been secretly authorised in early 1972. In public Nixon said it was right for Lavelle to be relieved, but on the tapes he said: "I don't want to hurt an innocent man" and "I just don't want him to be made a (scape) goat."

The president described the demotion as "a bad rap" for Lavelle and added: "All he did was hit the goddamn SAM (surface-to-air missile) sites and military targets." Lavelle's family petitioned the Air Force claiming the Nixon tapes showed that he "was a scapegoat and in fact had acted within the authority expressly granted to him by the president."

They said the attacks in North Vietnam had also been authorised by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the overall military commander in South Vietnam.

An Air Force board concluded that "the White House, the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff all possessed evidence which, if released, would have exonerated him." It also cleared Lavelle, known as "Smiling Jack," of ordering falsification of records designed to suggest the bombing missions were in response by hostile fire from North Vietnamese forces.

Lavelle's family are now pushing for him to be restored to the rank of four star general, after he was demoted to major general before his retirement.

The move has been endorsed by President Barack Obama but has to be confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee to take effect.

However, that is not a foregone conclusion and Henry Kissinger, Nixon's National Security Adviser, has said that the former president did not order the bombing raids in North Vietnam.

He has accused the Obama administration of unfairly blaming Nixon for Lavelle's actions.

Lavelle's family now hope he will be exonerated by the Senate committee while his 92-year-old widow Mary Jo Lavelle is alive to see it.

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