Letters to the Secretary of the Navy
in Support of
Midshipman Lamar Owens
5 March 2007
The following letters, one of hundreds more, have been sent to the Secretary of Defense in support of Midshipman Lamar Owens.
Letter from Lt. Gen. Charles G. Cooper, USMC (ret.)
18 February 2007
Secretary of the Navy
The Honorable Donald C. Winter
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-1000
Dear Dr. Winter,
I’m writing you to ask a few moments of your time to hear my comments and requests in Midshipman Lamar Owens case, soon to arrive on your desk. Who am I and whom do I represent? I’m a Naval Academy 1950 graduate, a ‘recruited’ varsity football player, a retired USMC Lt. General, 35+ years, and a Distinguished USNA Graduate of 2004. I have a son who graduated from the Academy, retired Capt. USN, class of ‘73, a son-in law, also ‘73, and a grandson, class of 2005, 1st in his class, Captain of the baseball team and now a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, England. He will soon become a Navy SEAL. I dearly love the Naval Academy, am involved in its many affairs, was formerly a guest lecturer on leadership, and am expressing to you the heartfelt feelings of 100’s of my classmates and other associates on this matter. Basically, I feel that Vice Admiral Rempt, a very capable man, has fostered a tragic situation that is about to destroy the life, the entire future of a fine young athlete and Midshipman leader.
I will not say that Lamar Owens didn’t make a mistake. He made two, for which he was found guilty, although without any punishment tendered. This entire tragic episode was preceded by Admiral Rempt’s justifiable goal of stamping out any vestige of sexual harassment or misconduct. The timing of the incident gave him and his over zealous Chief of Staff the occasion to make an example of a well known and greatly admired member of the Brigade of Midshipman. Within days after the news had reported the incident, his Chief of Staff, with his blessings I’m sure, published a totally inappropriate and vitriolic e-mail to all alumni condemning the accused in the most exasperating manner. Many of us were totally offended by the pointedly biased start of this episode. I wrote Admiral Rempt, who I know well, to express my concern. I have learned that Admiral Rempt was chastised by the judge for this unseemly and unfair beginning of a sad situation.
The accuser in this case was exposed during the trial as a binge drinker, probably an alcoholic, and a very promiscuous young woman. She also had violated Academy regulations, come in totally intoxicated from an evening of drinking, had sent an e-mail to Lamar Owens inviting him to her room, in the early morning hours, and climbed into her bed after he arrived. He should have stopped there and left, but he was human, and he had been invited. He ceased any amorous attempts when she totally passed out. He immediately regretted what he had done and was charged with another offense when he attempted to apologize for his actions.
Sir, we have a young man who has suffered more than anyone can ever appreciate since he was charged, investigated, and tried. He still is hanging on to his life’s thread. You know what all he had done at the Academy athletically, a team Captain that took Navy to one of its finest football seasons ever. He was religiously motivated and headed up a prayer-bible study group. For almost four years he gave the Academy every bit he had to offer without any problems. Then this occasion has placed him in a position of total ruin, no diploma, no commission, no further opportunity to serve his country as he was trained to do.
As a concerned alumnus, experienced leader, and supporter of our school and its traditions, I say to you that some intelligent mercy and reinstatement would make the entire Alumni Association cheer your good judgment and compassion. He has already paid a heavy price. I ask of you, don’t take his life, his future away from him. Give him the diploma he has earned, and give him the chance to serve his country as an officer in the US Navy.
If you do not see fit to honor my request and the many others you’ve received, I’m going to feel that the system has failed all of us and I will never again feel the love and enthusiasm I have always had for my Alma Mater. Conversely, you can show the courage and compassion to correct this wrong and let Lamar Owens move on. You will become a hero to those of us awaiting your decision. I pray you will also ask God’s guidance and give this fine lad his life and future back.
I appreciate your reading my letter. God Bless and Semper Fi,
Charles G. Cooper, (Class of 1950)
Lt. General, U.S. Marine Corps
End of Lt. Gen. Cooper letter.
Begin letter by Ken Moore:
2 March 2007
Honorable Donald C. Winter
Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-1000
Dear Honorable Secretary Winter
The United States Naval Academy has been a pillar of honor and has more than fulfilled its mission statement since its inception in 1845. The graduates of that institution have contributed in remarkable fashion in all of this nation’s wars, while the outcome of World War II would have been doubtful without the unique and heroic contributions of those graduates.
We are fighting another battle in 2007, more serious than those in the past; this battle is internal against a cancer bent on destroying that institution, and thus its product. The time and war-tested values and virtues that have served this country so well and ensured its growth from a minor corn and fish colony to the mightiest country in the world in a brief 150 years, is unparalleled in history. Those virtues are under siege today.
This country is now aware of the lack of creditability of the Superintendent, and his senior staff (JAG, Chief of Staff, Commandant of Midshipmen, Battalion Officer, and Company Officer) in the Midshipman Lamar Owens Case. Their testimony has been void of truth and malleable to their agenda. Exposure of their actions now resembles the premeditated Duke Lacrosse Case, wherein truth was buried for political gain. Political agendas have replaced truth at the United States Naval Academy; daily exposure increases each day as this mess drags on.
You sir, have that issue before you today. The United States Naval Academy has conducted one General Courts Martial already, and is beginning another based on evidence that the Military Judges (your JAG officers) have already called perjury in both cases! Five female witnesses have sworn under oath to fact, that, when examined, have proven to be lies (intended to alleviate their own actions). National press, TV, columnists, thousands of Alumni, blog sites and now the Navy Times are gravely concerned about how we got into this mess. Each day the mounting exposure uncovers more untruths. The Naval Academy leadership is poisoned, biased and agenda driven. USNA recruiting is down, image is tarnished, and Mothers across America are concerned about their Midshipmen.
You sir, Are in that seat of leadership, responsible to the Commander in Chief for the state of the Navy and Marine Corps. You are charged with another issue: “How to clean up this case and restore honor.” The entire senior staff officers at the academy covered up the truth, compromised for promotion, and in general lied. They all must go. Take action immediately, before it is too late to recover the terrible damage already done. Commission and graduate Lamar Owens. Conduct a “clean sweep” of senior leadership at the Academy; set the course and promote a new, righteous, and true course for the United States Naval Academy and the United States Navy.
Kenneth W. Moore,
Alumnus, USNA 1966
End Moore letter.