Posted by guest blogger Locutisprime
The last time I checked, awarding the Medal of Honor was not hinged upon some courtroom standard of reasonable doubt. Witnesses testify to the acts of the individual cited and the medal is awarded for cause based upon eye witness testimony.
In this case a young Marine died saving his comrades from a grenade attack in Iraq eight years ago, yet the secretary of defense and his predecessor don't believe that what he did that day is good enough to receive the nation's highest honor. This fallen Marine was observed scooping a live grenade underneath his body to save his comrades, but that isn't good enough. Serious questions have been raised. Questions like......which hand did he use to grab and scoop the grenade with?
Seriously? In the fog of war, one man's recollection of which hand was used differs from another? And that is cause to inject reasonable doubt and deny this medal? Other questions linger and suggest the autopsy report reflects that Sgt. Rafael Peralta suffered a mortal head wound before the incident and therefore, he couldn't have done that which others witnessed him perform? Really? A mortally wounded Marine saved his comrades, but that couldn't have happened as it has been reported? So what the hell did the witnesses see that day? Was it a dead man that reached out and scooped up a grenade and saved his comrades? Or was Sgt. Rafael Peralta shot in the head after the act? Or did his fellow Marines simply place his body on top of a live grenade after his death for shits and giggles?
Leon Panetta and Robert Gates are both POS in my opinion. Neither of them have provided anything other than yes man stone walling for this cardboard cutout presidency of Barack Obama. Both have been responsible for the countless deaths of our service men in Afghanistan since Obama took office via their complicit issuance of absurd rules of engagement. Rules specifically aimed at furthering the liberal agenda and perception, while sacrificing our troops on the alter of political correct egalitarianism. Panetta and Gates are personally responsible because they have implemented Obama's political policies to the detriment and the death of young men and women who deserved more from their leaders than political correctness and egalitarian lies.
This young Marine deserves the honor that he earned. This medal was paid for in full in Fallujah Iraq eight years ago. It was paid for with the last full measure of love and devotion that Sgt. Rafael Peralta could offer to his friends as he was dying in a despicable place for a despicable cause.
Shame on all who have sought to deny this hero the honor and respect that he earned
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has denied the request to give Sgt. Rafael Peralta the Medal of Honor, saying there are still too many questions to accept that he knowingly scooped a grenade beneath himself to absorb its blast and save his fellow Marines.
The Pentagon informed Peralta’s family Wednesday morning of the denial, eight years after he was killed in Fallujah, Iraq, and four years after then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates denied an initial bid to award Peralta the military’s top honor despite eyewitness reports from his platoon that he saved their lives.
Icela Donald, Peralta’s sister, said the decision was a disappointment — compounded by the lack of a good reason. She said the family was told that one overriding factor was Mr. Panetta's reluctance to overturn the decision of Mr. Gates.
“That right there just truly made it even worse,” she said. “It’s not that they don’t want to do the right thing, it’s that they don’t want to turn over someone else’s decision.”
A Pentagon spokesman said the Defense Department wouldn’t comment “on Medal of Honor nominations under consideration.”
Peralta has been awarded the Navy Cross, the second-highest honor a Marine can earn, but his family has not accepted it. Ms. Donald said her mother feels that if she accepted it, she would be settling.
The quest to upgrade to the Medal of Honor seemed to get a big boost last week when Navy Secretary Ray Mabus backed the move, and Peralta has had a key ally in Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine officer.
Peralta was under consideration for the Medal of Honor four years ago, but the Pentagon questioned the reliability of eyewitnesses, who said Peralta scooped the grenade under him but disagreed about details such as which hand he used.
The Pentagon also pointed to autopsy data that suggested he was likely dead, and probably blinded, from a friendly-fire gunshot wound to the head and thus could not have voluntarily scooped the grenade toward himself.
“There is no way to reconcile differences in forensic evidence and conflicting testimony of Marines involved,” the Pentagon report said, but it concluded that the forensic evidence created enough “margin of doubt” that the medal could not be issued.Read the rest.