Wednesday, November 14, 2012


                                   THE TRIPOLI GRAVES – EMERGENCY UPDATE

The Department of Defense study on the feasibility of repatriation of the remains of American Navy personnel in Tripoli, as ordered by the 2012 Defense Authorization Act,  was due in October, but has yet to be completed and released, most likely because of the assassination of the American Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

[NOTE - The DOD study was completed and released in October 2012 and apparently did not recommend  repatriation, as expected, but has been intentionally kept from me. It would be greatly appreciated if anyone would supply me with a copy of this non-classified report.]

The September 11th murder of the Ambassador in Benghazi by radical Islamist and al Qaeda associates has been followed by the replacement of Gen. Ham at Africa Command, the relief of a fleet admiral at sea, the demotion of another general and resignation of the director of the CIA in a growing scandal in Washington that has put the military-intelligence administration in a state of turmoil.

The office of Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Navy do not have the time or inclination to deal with this issue at the moment, yet it is one that needs to be addressed and acted on as soon as possible.

Because the same radical Islamists who killed Ambassador Stevens have also desecrated the graves of British soldiers in Benghazi, attacked Mosques in Tripoli and made off with the remains of Sufi Saints and have threatened to do the same to American relics, it is imperative that the remains of the American sailors be exhumed and repatriated to safety as soon as possible.

While the exact location of the graves should be kept from those radical extremists who would damage them if they knew where they were, the cemetery walls will not deter someone committed to desecrating them.

The Secretary of Defense, with the agreement of the Secretary of the Navy and with the approval of the Libyan authorities, should order the POW/MP Office responsible for the repatriation of the remains of American servicemen abroad, to send a team to Tripoli to secure and retrieve the remains in the Intrepid graves at the cemetery. They should be taken to a military forensics lab to see if they can be positively identified as any of the officers or seamen of the Intrepid and then given a proper burial with full military honors.

The original purpose of maintaining the graves in Tripoli – to develop a working relationship with the Libyan government and secure the grave stones as a memorial, has been accomplished, the cemetery has been restored and its history documented. Now that the clearly identified graves of the Americans are seriously threatened by Islamic extremists, it is imperative that the remains in the crypts should be exhumed, examined, identified and properly reburied by Americans, rather than exhumed and desecrated by the radical Islamic extremists, if they haven’t done so already.


1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000
CC: All interested parties.

November, 2012

To: Secretary of Defense
From: William E. Kelly, Jr.
Re: Disposition of Tripoli Graves

Dear Secretary of Defense Panetta,

As you have honored them yourself while visiting Tripoli, you are familiar with the graves of the men of the USS Intrepid at Old Protestant Cemetery. Thanks to the efforts of the American government and military in Tripoli, the previously neglected graves of these American heroes have been restored and can remain a memorial monument to America’s stake in the new Tripoli.

It is not secure however, and because of the desecration of the graves of British veterans in Benghazi, the assassination of the Ambassador Stevens and the theft of the remains of Sufi Muslim saints in Tripoli, there is a serious threat from radical fundamental Islamists who will desecrate and destroy the American graves if they could.

The officers and men of the Intrepid died for the same ideals that Ambassador Stevens and Americans soldiers and sailors fight and die for today, so they should be treated with the same honor and respect.

The Gadhafi government and former US Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz had previously reached an agreement to permit the exhumation and repatriation of these remains and the new government should not oppose the move today. So with their approval, the POW/MP Office should be ordered to take the necessary measures to quietly exhume the remains of all Americans from the graves at Old Protestant Cemetery and deliver them to an official US military forensic laboratory to determine if they can be positively identified as any of the officers and men of the Intrepid. They should then properly reburied with full military honors. This is a mission that the POW/MP Office can and should be able to do quickly, secretly and efficiently.

At a time when America is under attack and the US military could use some positive public relations, the emergency repatriation of the American heroes from Tripoli and their reburial at home with full military honors will shine a brief but positive spotlight on America and the US military, refresh memories of our mutual history with Libya, and reaffirm our commitment to the ideals Americans die for in foreign lands.
William E. Kelly, Jr.
20 Columbine Ave.
Browns Mills, NJ 08015
(609) 425-6297

No comments: