Remains of American Naval Heroes Threatened by Radical Islamist Grave-Robbers
Tripoli Gravestone: Here Lies An American Sailor Who Gave His Life In The Explosion of the United States Ship INTREPID in Tripoli Harbor September 4, 1804.
Secretary of Defense
Dear Secretary Charles Hagel
As you prepare to leave office your legacy will include the withdraw of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, but you will also be remembered for responding to the complaints of the families of MIA/POWs and combining and revamping the process of repatriating the remains of Americans who died in combat abroad..
You also instituted a new policy of combined partnerships between the government, the military and private efforts by the families to repatriate the remains of Americans abroad, one of which is the oldest on record – the remains of the US Navy heroes from Tripoli.
As I mentioned in my open letter to you a few months ago [Remember the Intrepid: Dear Secretary Hagel], that may have escaped your attention, the danger is imminent and it is imperative that action be taken as soon as possible.
The friends and families of the officers of the first USS Intrepid (Lts. Somers, Wadsworth) have been seeking the repatriation of the remains of all of the men of the Intrepid since they perished in the explosion of the Intrepid in Tripoli harbor on September 4, 1804.
Entombed in well marked above ground crypts in a small walled cemetery near the harbor the remains of these men are easily accessible and can be easily retrieved and safely repatriated, if only the effort is made. This cemetery at the moment is under the control of radical Islamic militias, extremists who despise democracy, hate Western ideals, Christians, Jews and especially Americans, who they behead just for being American.
These radical Islamists are also grave robbers who destroy ancient relics and historic sites, including those ostensibly protected as UN World Heritage Sites, as the Tripoli cemetery has been nominated to be.
As grave robbers, these extremists believe in a strict orthodox version of Islam that does not include the veneration of the dead, so they dig up the bones and ancient relics of Islamic saints and holy men from the floors of mosques and destroy them.
So when they learn or discover the identity of the clearly marked graves of American Naval heroes at Tripoli they will surely and immediately desecrate and destroy them. This mission will cost less than the half million dollar 2012 study that didn’t even mention the threat posed to the graves by the radical Islamists.
The biggest threat to our national security today is also the biggest threat to the remains of the American Naval heroes, so a mission must be mounted to save them, a mission that will save the relics from destruction, save the graves from desecration, save the nation from embarrassment, enhance military moral, increase public patriotism and reaffirm the commitment these men made with their lives that we Americans will fight Islamic piracy, terrorism and tyranny, now as we did then.
Thank you for your time and interest in this matter,
William E. Kelly, Jr.