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"I invented the term 'protective reaction.' Prior to my order, there was no authorization (under [prior Secretary of Defense Robert] Mc Namara or [Clark] Clifford) to destroy dangerous targets except when fired upon without special permission." Laird went on to say that then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. "You tell them I don't want to beat around any more.
Tell 'em," Nixon said, according a taped discussion published in The Washington Post in 2010. Levin and Mc Cain were encouraged to see the Lavelle resurface but ultimately the two men couldn't rule in his favor in part because of the differing language for the rules of engagement during the Vietnam War and inconsistencies in Nixon's conversations.
The panel -- mainly Senators John Mc Cain and Carl Levin -- rejected it due to "inconsistencies" in information provided at the time. Mark Clodfelter, a former Air Force officer and professor of military strategy at the National War College, part of the National Defense University in Washington, D.
The service has begun a review process that could lead to the posthumous restoration of two ranks to Maj. Lavelle, who was demoted and fired over alleged unauthorized airstrikes over North Vietnam, has exclusively learned.But supplemental information -- for example, Lavelle's commitment to preserving the safety of his aircrews -- through Clodfelter's research may shed new light on the case.Clodfelter said he plans in coming weeks to send his petition -- signed by former Air Force secretaries James G.Furthermore, "the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records had not yet reached a conclusion on the Lavelle's family request, re-submitted in late 2015," Clodfelter said."It depends how quickly" officials such as Wilson, Mattis and President Trump "react to this restoration," Clodfelter said.
"Do it, but don't say anything." Nixon, according to other conversations with Kissinger, backed Lavelle's actions at first. " The president said, "I don't want to hurt an innocent man." Three days later however, Nixon publicly told reporters, "It wasn't authorized." According to the Post, he said, "It was proper for him to be relieved and retired," Nixon said. The Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records "relies heavily on the Oval Office conversation of February 3, 1972; however it does not address inconsistencies these conversations create or the possibility that they had no effect," Mc Cain and Levin wrote in their 2010 letter addressed to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates.