MBK Successfully Appeals Air Force General Case to White House

Latest Lavelle News:

Senators Levin and McCain Comment on Major General Lavelle’s Restoration of Rank

“The Armed Services Committee has received the president’s request to restore retired Air Force Major General John D. Lavelle to the rank of General, upholding the decision by the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records. We are sympathetic to the request and plan to act expeditiously on the matter. After their decades-long fight to restore General Lavelle’s honor, his wife Mary Josephine and her family deserve prompt action.” Click here for the original Press Release

Latest Lavelle Documents

ADDITIONAL LAVELLE EVIDENCE: 1972 DISMISSAL OF COURT-MARTIAL CHARGES; OPINIONS OF R. JAMES WOOLSEY AND OTIS G. PIKE

Secretary of the Air Force’s 1972 Dismissal of Court-Martial Charges

In mid-1972, a junior officer and a group of enlisted men separately preferred court-martial charges against General Lavelle. The Air Force Judge Advocate General reviewed the charges and recommended that they be dismissed. That advice was contained in a memorandum prepared for the Secretary of the Air Force, who accepted the Judge Advocate General’s recommendation. The Secretary’s decision was announced by a press release dated October 24, 1972. The Judge Advocate General’s memorandum was discovered years after the Lavelle hearings and was submitted as newly discovered evidence related to the issue of false reports. The memorandum indicates that all Senate and House of Representatives Lavelle hearing transcripts were reviewed in its preparation. Additionally, the Inspector General Report on the Lavelle investigation, containing first-hand witness testimony from the entire chain of command below General Lavelle, was scrutinized. In coming to the conclusion that criminal charges against General Lavelle would ultimately fail, the Judge Advocate General stated, “[T]here was no evidence that this type of falsification was caused, directly or indirectly, by anything General Lavelle said, and although he was shown the accurate ‘specat’ reports, there is no evidence that he was shown or was personally aware of the false reports in the OPREP-4.” Download the full memorandum here (PDF)

The Honorable Otis G. Pike

Former New York Congressman, Otis G. Pike, was primarily responsible for initiating an investigation into the events surrounding General Lavelle’s relief of command. Congressman Pike pushed the House Armed Services Committee to hold a hearing and take testimony to determine the real reasons behind General Lavelle’s retirement. Congressman Pike’s April 19, 2008 letter was relied upon by the Air Force Board in deciding to recommend that General Lavelle have his four stars restored. Congressman Pike said, “If I had had the White House tapes at the time I would been even angrier at President Nixon and Secretary Kissinger for turning General Lavelle loose and then hanging him out to dry by denying they had done so.” Download the original letter (PDF)

The Honorable R. James Woolsey

In a August 28,2010 letter to the New York Times, R. James Woolsey publicly reiterated his support of the rehabilitation of General Lavelle. In the Lavelle Application to the Air Force Board of Correction of Military Records, former Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey, offered first-hand evidence of the Senate investigation and an opinion based upon the recently released exculpatory material. Mr. Woolsey was, at the time of the Lavelle hearings, the general counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was charged by the Committee with the responsibility for investigating, taking testimony and producing evidence in the Lavelle hearings. Mr. Woolsey took deposition testimony from witnesses in Vietnam and up through the chain of command to Washington. In a letter dated June 11, 2008, Mr. Woolsey explained his role in the 1972 Senate investigation and reviewed the newly disclosed evidence. He closed his letter with the following: “Had I understood this in 1972 I would have recommended to the Committee that General Lavelle should have been advanced on the retired list to his full rank. I feel confident that such a recommendation would have been approved by the Committee.” The Air Force Board of Correction of Military Records took great consideration of these comments, referencing them and their weight in their findings.

Download the original Woolsey letter (PDF)
Download the Record of Proceedings Air Force Board of Correction of Military Records, 10/30/2009 (PDF)

Lavelle USAF Oral History Document

Following his retirement, General John D. Lavelle participated in an official U.S. Air Force Oral History interview. The interview was conducted 17-24 July 1978 by Lt Col John N. Dick, Jr.
This document is now available for download (PDF, 726 Pages, ~20MB)

Lavelle Documents

Video and Transcript package available on request.

Lavelle Press Kit (PDF ~8MB) Contains the following in one convenient package:

Inspector General Report

Inspector General Report, March 20, 1972 [with attachments] (PDF)

Transcripts of  House and Senate Armed Services Committee Testimony

(download all testimony – PDF 150MB)

Additional Information

“Lavelle, Nixon and the White House Tapes” Air Force Magazine, Feb 2007 (PDF)

Velocity: Speed with Direction, Full Text (PDF)

Velocity: Speed with Direction, Chapter 10: Lavelle (PDF)

Lavelle: USAF Oral History (PDF, 726 Pages, ~20MB)

Letter to Secretary Robert Gates from John McCain and Carl Levin 12-20-10 (00218716xBF28F)

Selected Declassified Documents Related to the Lavelle Affair

Extraction. [LAV 209-212] (00224830xBF28F)

Extraction. [LAV 266] (00224831xBF28F)

Extraction. [LAV 51-54] (00224829xBF28F)

Extraction. [LAV 285-286] (00224841xBF28F)

Extraction. [LAV 8607] (00224844xBF28F)

Extraction. [LAV 8570-8572] (00224843xBF28F)

Extraction. [LAV 269-270] (00224840xBF28F)

Extraction. [8613] (00225960xBF28F)

The Legal Team

MBK Law attorneys Patrick A. Casey, John B. Dempsey and Daniel T. Brier had primary responsibility for the advocacy of this matter on behalf of Mrs. Mary Jo Lavelle.  Pat and his father, Lt. Gen. Aloysius G. Casey, USAF (Ret.) discovered the Nixon White House conversations and the top secret messages while researching a book, Velocity: Speed with DirectionJack investigated the availability of existing witnesses and secured the statement of Congressman Otis G. Pike.  Dan, a founding partner of the Firm, lead the strategy of the litigation.

Edward F. (“Ed”) Rodriguez, Jr., is a member of the Virginia Bar, a former McGuireWoods, LLP, partner and former general counsel of Mitretek Systems, Inc.  He served on active duty in the Air Force as a judge advocate for four years (1970 – 1974) and then for 25 years in the Air Force Reserve retiring in 1999 as a brigadier general.  In March 1972, when General Lavelle was relieved of command, Ed was a captain in the 7th Air Force Staff Judge Advocate’s Office on Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon.  The late Colonel Donald W. Brewer was Deputy Staff Judge Advocate.  Upon returning from Vietnam in July 1972, Colonel Brewer was legal counsel to General Lavelle as he prepared to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in September of that year.  After General Lavelle passed away in 1979, and until his own death in 2005, Colonel Brewer intensely researched the Lavelle case in the hope of clearing his former commander’s name.  By assisting Colonel Brewer with his research efforts, Ed became knowledgeable about the Lavelle case and through Colonel Brewer he had an opportunity to meet Mrs. Lavelle.  After Colonel Brewer’s death, Mrs. Brewer gave her husband’s extensive research materials and manuscript to Ed.  In 2008, John D. Lavelle, Jr., asked Ed to assist with the effort to correct his father’s record.  Ed and his wife, Alicia, live in Fairfax, Virginia.  CLICK HERE for a biography

Colonel H. Gordon Wilder (retired) is a former Air Force Judge Advocate and a retired member of the Air Force Senior Executive Service, serving as Director of Administrative Law for 12 years until his retirement in 2007.  He met General Lavelle at Ramstein AFB, Germany in the early 1960s and attended Kaiserslautern American High School with John Lavelle Jr.  He was familiar with General Lavelle’s reputation in the military community as an outstanding officer and leader and closely followed the hearings regarding General Lavelle’s retirement in 1972.  With the disclosure of the Nixon White House tapes, he volunteered to assist in the effort to restore General Lavelle’s retirement grade and honor.  He has extensive experience with the correction of military records, operations law, promotions, and military procedures and policy.  He currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife Carolyn. CLICK HERE for the Official Air Force Biography

All contacts may be directed to:
Patrick A. Casey
Myers, Brier & Kelly, LLP
425 Spruce Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 551
Scranton, PA 18501-551
(Telephone) 570-342-6100
(Facsimile) 570-342-6147
(E-mail) pcasey@mbklaw.com