Panetta rules new evidence insufficient in rejecting upgrade to Medal of Honor
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
SAN DIEGO — The secretary of Defense has denied a request to upgrade a fallen Marine's Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor, a San Diego congressman's office said Wednesday.
The Pentagon told Rep. Duncan Hunter it supports the decision of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who honored Sgt. Rafael Peralta with the Navy Cross instead of the military's highest honor.
Peralta was not conscious when his body smothered a grenade in Iraq in 2004, saving the lives of other Marines, Gates ruled in 2008.
The case was reopened this year after Hunter obtained a video of the battle action and a new forensics report. The lawmaker said the new evidence proved Peralta's actions were intentional.
But Defense officials found the new evidence was not sufficient to change the decision, said Joe Kasper, Hunter's spokesman.
Lt. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, said he could not discuss the case, citing policy to not comment on Medal of Honor nominations under consideration.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told reporters during a visit to Camp Pendleton last week that he had recommended Peralta be honored with the Medal of Honor.
Peralta's family was informed of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's decision on Wednesday, Kasper said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Court upholds EPA emissions restrictions
- Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead, audit finds
- Obama administration delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline
- Colorado deaths stoke marijuana worries
- SpaceX supply ship makes Easter cargo delivery to space station
- Iranian envoy officially blocked by law
- Android systems running 4.1.1 softward carry Heartbleed bug
- Judge strikes down Minnesota’s anti-coal law as unconstitutional
- Social Security drops debts older than 10 years
- Records exonerate ‘X-Men’ director, attorney says
- 50 years later, ‘flying housewife’ Mock recalls fun of becoming first woman pilot to fly around the world