Originally posted by @no1marauder
No US sailor received decorations or promotions for the shooting down of Flight 655. Having seen video of the USS Vincennes' CIC directly after the incident, I can attest that those on board were horrified when they realized they had shot down a civilian airliner.
The incident was partially a result of over-aggressiveness' by the Captain of the Vinc ...[text shortened]... iencies but I don't think it's fair to suggest the crew callously shot down a civilian airliner.
"No US sailor received decorations or promotions for the shooting down of Flight 655."
No1Marauder (who, if I recall correctly, served in the US Navy) apparently wants to
believe that only the US military's explicit admission could confirm it.
But the facts are more complicated, to say the least. Let's start with:
In fact, the USS Vincennes (commanded by William Rogers) shot down Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988.
"In 1990, Capt. Rogers was awarded the Legion of Merit decoration "for exceptionally
meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer ...
from April 1987 to May 1989" [this period includes shooting down the Iranian airliner]
"The award was given for his service as the Commanding Officer of the Vincennes,
and the citation made no mention of the downing of Iran Air 655."
So Captain Rogers received the Legion of Merit for his "exceptionally meritorious conduct
in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer ... from April 1987 to
May 1989". which included shooting down Iran Air 655. Now it's true that the citation
did NOT EXPLICITLY mention it, but that does not mean that the incident was NOT part
of Rogers's complete record from "April 1987 to May 1989". The fact that the citation
prefers to ignore it does NOT make it disappear from history.
I note that the Legion of Merit was awarded to Captain Rogers for "exceptionally meritorious conduct"
while ignoring the fact that he had command responsibility for shooting down Iran Air 655.
It's not unreasonable for Iranians to believe that he was being commended for it.
"I don't think it's fair to suggest the crew callously shot down a civilian airliner."
I don't suggest that everyone aboard the USS Vincennes was callous or happy about what it did.
Not every American buys the Pentagon's official story (cover-up) of what happened.
"Sea Of Lies" by John Barry and Roger Charles
"What's more, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters
at the time of the shoot-down--in clear violation of international law. The top Pentagon
brass understood from the beginning that if the whole truth about the Vincennes came out,
it would mean months of humiliating headlines. So the U.S. Navy did what all navies do
after terrible blunders at sea: IT TOLD LIES AND HANDED OUT MEDALS.
This is the story of a naval fiasco, of an overeager captain, panicked crewmen, and the
COVER-UP that followed.
But the Pentagon's official investigation into the incident, the Fogarty Report, is a
pastiche of omissions, half-truths and outright deceptions. It was a cover-up approved
at the top, by Adm. William Crowe, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Captain Rogers insisted to "Nightline" last week that he had made the "proper decision."
He opened fire only to protect his ship and crew, he said. But drawing on declassified
documents, video and audiotape from the ships involved in the incident, and well over 100 interviews,
NEWSWEEK has pieced together an account that belies the skipper's stoic defense."
"The vice president claimed that the Vincennes had rushed to defend a merchantman under attack by Iran.
By July 14, the day of Bush's speech, the Pentagon knew the truth but failed to share it
with the vice president. The tapes of the Vincennes's Aegis system, with its combat and
navigational data, reached the United States on July 5 and what they showed was reported
to the Pentagon on July 10. The Vincennes had been in territorial waters. The Iranian
airliner was well within the commercial air corridor and had been ascending, not descending.
There was no beleaguered merchant vessel.
The cover-up was compounded by the official report on the incident ...
The investigation was notable for the questions it failed to ask. The commanders on the
carrier Forrestal were never interviewed; nor was Captain McKenna, the surface-warfare
commander in Bahrain whose order Rogers ignored. McKenna's staff mailed a tape of
his tense exchange with Rogers before the sea battle, but never received a response.
The report released to the public did not include any chart or navigational data to show
the Vincennes's position at the time of the shoot-down."
"The navy might have gotten away with all these deceptions had it not been for the slow
grinding of international law. A lawsuit by the Iranian government has now forced Washington
to admit, grudgingly, that the Vincennes was actually in Iranian waters -although Justice
Department pleadings still claim the cruiser was forced there in self-defense. The admission
is contained in fine print in legal briefs; it has never received public attention until Crowe,
confronted with the evidence, conceded the truth last week on "Nightline." Crowe denies
any cover-up; if mistakes were made, he told NEWSWEEK, they were " below my paygrade."
Rogers continues to insist that his ship was in international waters."
""No US sailor received decorations or promotions for the shooting down of Flight 655."
FALSE, according to 'Newsweek'.
"The men of the Vincennes were all awarded combat-action ribbons. Commander Lustig,
the air-warfare coordinator, even won the navy's Commendation Medal for "heroic achievement,"
his "ability to maintain his poise and confidence under fire," enabling him to "quickly and
precisely complete the firing procedure."
--John Barry and Roger Charles for 'Newsweek'
According to 'Newsweek', the US Navy (including Admiral Crowe and Captain Rogers)
acted far from honestly and honorably in covering up and lying about what happened.
Of course, most 'patriotic' Americans prefer to believe an official US story that minimizes US guilt.