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Panetta denies Medal of Honor for Marine who dived on grenade

Home - by - December 12, 2012 - 21:00 America/New_York - 34 Comments

Sgt. Rafael Peralta


WA Times

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has denied the Navy’s request to give Sgt. Rafael Peralta the Medal of Honor, with the Pentagon telling the Marine hero’s family they were reluctant to overturn a previous secretary’s decision.

Peralta died in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004 while smothering a grenade, saving the lives of the other marines in his squad. Those Marines said Peralta, who’d been shot in the head, scooped the grenade into himself to absorb the blast.

Icela Donald, Peralta’s sister, said the decision was a disappointment — compounded by the lack of a good reason. She said they were told one overriding factor was Mr. Panetta’s reluctance to overturn the decision of former Secretary Robert M. Gates, who had denied the request for the Medal of Honor four years ago.

“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 spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

In denying the medal before, the Pentagon had questioned the reliability of eyewitnesses, who said Peralta scooped the grenade to him, but disagreed on details such as which hand he had used.

The Pentagon had also pointed to autopsy data that suggested he was likely dead, and probably blinded, from the gunshot to his head, which meant he could not have voluntarily scooped the grenade to him.

“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.

But Peralta’s combat comrades from the firefight, when he took the point as they tried to clear a house of insurgents, say there is no question he deserves the Medal of Honor, given what happened.

As they entered one room, they encountered insurgents lying in wait who opened fire. In the firefight, Peralta was shot in the head and fell, even as one of the insurgents tossed a grenade. Seven witnesses say Peralta, lying on the ground, scooped the grenade underneath himself, absorbing the blast and saving the lives of the men with him.

more

SNIP: Mr. Panetta- So you’re telling me 7 witnesses  lied?  Or were hysterical?
Are you arguing over the DEGREE of heroism here?

Fuck you.

» 34 Comments

  1. Jerry Manderin

    December 12th, 2012

    I’d love to punch Pinata in the nose. It’s bigger than Michelle Obama’s ass!

    Thumb up +7

     
  2. Maudie N Mandeville

    December 12th, 2012

    So Peralta is receiving the Navy Cross and having a battleship named after him for what reason, getting shot in the head?

    Thumb up +9

     
  3. Menderman

    December 12th, 2012

    I am glad he gets a destroyer named after him, but just wtf does it take to get the Medal of Honor Leon? Does he have to dive on a nuke?

    Thumb up +3

     
  4. Left Coast Dan

    December 12th, 2012

    I have a hard time seeing fault in Panetta’s decision. The full investigation was done years ago and a decision reached. Deserving or not, this emotional plea is just the sort of thing we are usually disparaging.

    Thumb up +1

     
  5. RANDO

    December 12th, 2012

    Pho the fuck is panetta to deny a U.S Marine ANYTHING ??!

    Thumb up +7

     
  6. Chalupa

    December 12th, 2012

    It’s going to take a hazmat team to clean up the mess that the libs/progs have made of this country.

    Thumb up +8

     
  7. RANDO

    December 12th, 2012

    *Who*
    I’m so pissed I can’t even type!

    Thumb up +2

     
  8. Moe tom

    December 12th, 2012

    It is impossible to describe a 6 or 7 second action, in the fog of battle, to a bunch of fucking lawyers in the sterile athmosphere of a hearing room or a courthouse. I just wish the hearing officers were as strict when they awarded the asshole Kerry his medals. Shot with dried rice?gimmeafuckinbreak!

    Thumb up +8

     
  9. Mr. Happy

    December 12th, 2012

    http://www.homeofheroes.com/valor/08_WOT/ss_GWOT/01_main.html

    The DOD has intentionally held down the numbers of awards since 2001 of anything beyond the Bronze Star.

    Vietnam era Silver Stars could damn near be bought with a case of beer if you were an officer and the right people liked you. Sure, some were earned, but a lot were not.
    Now take a look at how many have been awarded for USMC action in Afghanistan.

    Only FOUR SILVER STARS for ALL Marines in Afghanistan since the GWOT began.
    WTF!?

    Thumb up 0

     
  10. Four .45's

    December 12th, 2012

    @ Moe Tom– You can’t kill rice with a hand grenade!

    Thumb up 0

     
  11. Rick

    December 12th, 2012

    “There is no way to reconcile differences in forensic evidence and conflicting testimony of Marines involved,”

    Then I suggest you take the testimony of the Marines you poltroon.

    Thumb up +9

     
  12. Ricky

    December 12th, 2012

    I think Leon needs to bend over and have a live grenade jammed up his ass..minus the pin.

    Thumb up +7

     
  13. Weldor

    December 12th, 2012

    Is this the same Panetta who stood down the guys that could have rescued an American ambassador?

    He can lick the pair.

    Thumb up +9

     
  14. apple pie

    December 12th, 2012

    The most important video I have watched about the gutting of the US military. Note that at 18:56 Loudon discusses Panetta’s ties to Communism.

    http://www.trevorloudon.com/2012/10/an-urgent-message-for-america-please-help-this-go-viral/

    When our military is destroyed this nation is ripe for invasion.

    Thumb up +6

     
  15. grayscape

    December 12th, 2012

    Leon is racist. Probably have the family arrested and deported for not worshipping Dear Leader.

    Thumb up +2

     
  16. Metprof

    December 12th, 2012

    What did you expect from a radical leftist SecDef who once brilliantly proclaimed that “you don’t send in troops if you don’t have a clear understanding of the situation”…..bwahhhhh.

    A real fucking hard-core military genius.

    Thumb up +6

     
  17. Moe tom

    December 12th, 2012

    Apple pie great link. Scary now.

    Thumb up +2

     
  18. serfer62

    December 12th, 2012

    Paralta died saving his fellow Marines & for that he will live forever. He has done what others have done, its part of being The Corps. His MoH will be in the eyes of Marines not the pussies in DC.

    SF

    Thumb up +2

     
  19. LyleLovett666

    December 12th, 2012

    So this bag of shit kenyan can illegally assume the presidency but this soldier can’t get the Medal Of Honor he earned.

    Thumb up +6

     
  20. conservative cowgirl

    December 12th, 2012

    I don’t give a durn what the “experts” say about autopsy “evidence”. They are NOT taking into consideration the fact that he was a highly trained Marine who already had the mindset that he would sacrifice his own life for his fellow Marines AND in a high stress situation like that, his adrenaline WOULD enable him to continue his actions even with a wound that would prove fatal.

    Thumb up +5

     
  21. judgeroybean

    December 12th, 2012

    Nearly impossible standards for a true MARINE HERO. Zero standards for Kerry.

    Thumb up +4

     
  22. Nutjob

    December 13th, 2012

    This admin hates soldiers and heroes because its killing their friends and heroes.

    Thumb up +6

     
  23. Facts About the Investigation

    December 13th, 2012

    According to the investigation, Peralta was unconscious when it happened. Thus, according to the regulations, he didn’t earn the Medal of Honor. You have to be conscious when you take the action. You can’t just give the Medal of Honor to anyone even if they didn’t fulfill the requirement. If you think it’s a stupid requirement, you should try to CHANGE the requirement rather than trying to not abide by it. There was already an investigation into the matter, and you, the blogger, are in no place to say the investigation reached the wrong conclusion, being that you weren’t part of the investigation and also weren’t a witness to the original act.

    7 People said he saved their lives. THEY were there. And you, the commenter, are in no place to say the 7 witnesses were lying, being that you weren’t part of what happened and also weren’t a witness to the original act. – Cardigan

    Thumb up +2

     
  24. tripseven

    December 13th, 2012

    FU says Cardigan. Yes, it’s starting to take hold now! Get pissed and show it people. Rolling your eyes and simply agreeing isn’t gonna cut it. Stand and fight or take the beating you deserve!

    Thumb up +4

     
  25. Snowball the Sourpuss

    December 13th, 2012

    Well said Cardigan. Give me goosebumps.

    Thumb up +1

     
  26. Claude Balcz

    December 13th, 2012

    Why does Panetta hate Latinos?

    Thumb up +3

     
  27. The Dolfer

    December 13th, 2012

    Where is the criticism of Gates initial decision? The closest I see here is Left Coast Dan. I see criticism of Panetta (deserved) but none directed toward the Previous SECDEF.

    BOTH of the Secretaries should be criticized for this.

    Thumb up +2

     
  28. AvgDude

    December 13th, 2012

    The Bush administration denied legitimate MOH recommendations for years because they wanted to play politics with the war. They’ve had a long standing rule that officers don’t get if they live through their ordeal. And feats that would be awarded silver stars or DSCs or Navy Crosses at the beginning of the war were being awarded MOHs as the war dragged on in order to improve morale in the combat arms units.

    Panetta is more concerned about not countermanding an earlier SoD’s edict. Gates fucked up, mainly because he was following the edict of the times in 2004 to never give out an MoH; so the administration could downplay the ferocity of the war for political convenience.

    Thumb up +1

     
  29. cato

    December 13th, 2012

    Earthly rewards and honors are for the living.

    Sgt. Rafael Peralta is standing guard at the gates of heaven with John “Manila Jonn” BASILONE,Pappy Boyington and all other Marine heros who serve in God’s Battalion. No greater reward or honor exists.

    Thumb up +8

     
  30. Stirrin the B.S.

    December 13th, 2012

    @Claude Balcz – “….Why does Panetta hate Latinos?…”

    It’s nothing against latinos, Panetta hates the military – almost as much as he hates America. He’s a commie sympathizer.

    Thumb up +4

     
  31. Callmelennie

    December 13th, 2012

    I personally witnessed some of Pannetta’s handiwork. In the mid-80′s, I studied Arabic at the Defense Language Institute, which was located in Monterey, California; part of Leon Pannetta’s District

    The DLI is located in the Presidio of Monterrey, one of the prettiest, most picturesque military bases anywhere; it ranks right up there with West Point for scenic beauty. The barracks were also the nicest of the four military barracks that I bunked in, by far. Indeed the DLI was so nice it actually created a serious morale problem for first time language students when they entered the “real” Army. The contrast was so great it sometimes shocked language students into washing out of the Army.

    So what was Panetta’s leadership role in solving this problems? About the time I was leaving DLI, I witnessed a large new construction project for new barracks so palatial it made the old barracks look like Baghdad tenements in comparison. In other words, this was an expenditure of millions of tax dollars that was aggravating an already serious morale problem. But I’m sure it lined the pockets of some of Leon’s campaign contributors

    Thumb up +3

     
  32. jus sayin

    December 13th, 2012

    “the Presidio of Monterrey, one of the prettiest, most picturesque military bases anywhere”

    been there, drove that

    Thumb up 0

     
  33. Stranded in Sonoma

    December 13th, 2012

    Find a copy of the book Strong Men Armed by Robert Leckie. It is a narrative of The Marines in WWII. The author served with the First Marine Division and made landings on Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, and Peleliu and wrote Helmet For My Pillow, his personal story of WWII service.

    At the back of Strong Men Armed is a list of all Marines that were awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII. In the text of the book, he names every Marine that jumped on a grenade to save his buddies. Every one was awarded the Medal of Honor. Gates and Panetta should be ashamed.

    It’s called Honor, Mr. Panetta, for a reason.

    Thumb up +2

     
  34. Stranded in Sonoma

    December 13th, 2012

    @cato –

    ♪♫ If the Army and the Navy,
    Ever look on Heaven’s scenes.
    They will find the streets are guarded,
    By United States Marines.
    ♪♫

    Thumb up +1