Panetta rules new evidence insufficient in rejecting upgrade to Medal of Honor
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
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Presley’s planes will remain at Graceland
- Corinthian Colleges to shut down more than two dozen remaining schools
- Severe storm with tornado roars into north Texas
- At New York City rally, United States urged to acknowledge slaughter of Armenians as genocide
- Supreme Court leans toward legalizing gay marriage nationally
- Mourners attend Baltimore man’s wake
- McCain renews push to have military, not CIA, manage drone strikes
- Study a surprise: Commercial bees unfazed by pesticides
- Magma chamber spied under Yellowstone volcano
- High morale linked to longer survival among elderly
- GOP presidential candidates decry potential nuke deal with Iran to Republican Jewish Coalition