In a blitz of letters arriving the same day, top-notch attorney John “Bulldog” Wells hit four locations on Carlisle Barracks plus the Secretary of the Army’s office at the Pentagon with written demands the disputed Bradley commemorative .45 cal. handgun be returned “immediately” to it’s owner, longtime Bradley aide, Charles Honeycutt of Desert Hot Springs, California.
“They’re so stupid, they didn’t see this coming,” said a deep-cover source in Root Hall. “Gen. Huntoon has been getting some very bad advice from his flunkies, but he also bears much of the blame for not quietly settling this problem before it got into the media. Now, with legal action initiated, the JAG can’t ‘back and shuffle’ much more.
“This will be a terrible embarrassment to the Command when they have to give back the gun. The sneaky way they took it and the initial refusal to even acknowledge they had it, that won’t go over very well before a judge in federal court!”
“BULLDOG” ON THE CASE – BAD NEWS FOR THE BRASS
The fact that Honeycutt has hired one of the most skillful and tenacious military lawyers in the country – retired Navy Commander John “Bulldog” Wells – is the worst news yet for the embattled “leadership” at the central Pennsylvania Army installation.
“They don’t want to go into court with him coming at them,” said a fellow military attorney. “John’s mind is like a steel trap. He’ll go for the throat, and he’ll get them too. By taking this case, it shows me one thing. He’s knows he can win!
“I can’t believe Rumsfeld hasn’t picked up the phone and told Gen. Huntoon to ‘stop the insanity and just give back the gun.’ Taking it across state lines [a federal crime] without informing the owner looks pretty bad, but the “stonewalling” Honeycutt got when he tried to find out if Carlisle Barracks had it in their possession looks even more suspicious. If this case gets to a jury, the compensatory and punitive damages could be enormous!
EVIDENCE ACCUMULATES AS “P.I.” JOINS CASE
“Bulldog” Wells, the scrappy Louisiana lawyer who ranks up there with Charlie Gittins in winning tough court battles, also hires the best private investigators in the business.
MCC has been told by a third party that the “evidence” already obtained, will not only cinch the case, but several civilians and even a few military officers involved in the “gun grab” could find themselves in big trouble.
The Carlisle Barracks JAG can “bay at the moon” like a rabid dog, but that doesn’t change the law. Repeating the mantra of “probate court, probate court . . .” is like saying “don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind’s made up.”
Well, the facts are that Charles Honeycutt was given the gun by Kitty Bradley. In recognition of his many years of service to Gen. Bradley and his wife. Three years before her death. There is no way that the commemorative handgun can be considered part of Mrs. Bradley’s “estate.” Thus the “let probate court decide this” claptrap is yet another sign of desperation by the inept Carlisle Barracks legal office. It won’t stand up in court for even a minute.
HONEYCUTT VOWS “THOSE GUILTY WILL BE PUNISHED”
“I am not going to let them rip-off my property,” Charles Honeycutt, former aide to Gen. Omar Bradley and his wife Kitty, told MilitaryCorruption.com in an exclusive interview. “Those guilty will be punished.”
“Gen. Huntoon knows I have the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) documents that prove my ownership of that treasured weapon. The Command also knows Mrs. Bradley gave that gun to me back in 2001, three years before she died. So their lies that it is “part of the estate” [Mrs. Bradley passed away in Feb. 2004] she willed to the Army and the Omar Bradley foundation, won't hold up in federal court.
“It’s true I have been ill, and I’m getting on in years. But it eases the pain of this ordeal on my wife and I to know that so many people out there are praying for us. To all the folks that have sent messages of support through MilitaryCorruption.com, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! There are so many of you, I don’t know when I’ll be able to reply to each of you by e-mail, but know that Judy and I appreciate you all so very much!
“Gen. Bradley was the greatest and most beloved general in the history of the United States Army,” Honeycutt said. “The American people consider the disrespectful and deceitful treatment I have received at the hands of officials at Carlisle Barracks to be a stain on his memory. When this case is finally resolved, I think maybe the Omar Bradley Foundation exhibit should be moved elsewhere from Carlisle Barracks. They don’t deserve to have it.”
AN “OPEN LETTER” TO GEN. HUNTOON
Dear Gen. Huntoon,
An Army captain in World War I – a great American President – used to keep a sign on his desk. It read: “THE BUCK STOPS HERE.”
Harry Truman made many tough decisions in his years in the White House. He knew the lonely responsibility of top command. And he used that power appropriately, with honor and integrity.
But you, Gen. Huntoon, have failed miserably in your role as commandant at Carlisle Barracks.
You have let your arrogance and stubborn refusal to admit your mistakes cloud your judgement in the Gen. Bradley aide “gun grab” case.
Why do you listen to the likes of COL Mike “NO COMBAT” Colpo when you should be talking to the civilian workforce and members of the military garrison?
They are the ones who tell us you have “dropped the ball” in this matter and have exhibited a stunning lack of leadership. Sources tell us the recent “bad publicity” in the media over this incident has endangered Carlisle Barracks chances of surviving severe cuts in the upcoming BRAC reductions. When jobs are “on the line” and the economic health of a community like Carlisle, Pa., is put at risk, people have a right to get angry and contact MilitaryCorruption.com.
Last fall, when Charles Honeycutt officially asked your JAG if Carlisle Barracks had possession of his personal property – a gold-plated, limited-edition, commemorative .45 cal. handgun issued in Gen. Omar Bradley’s name – you could have directed the disputed weapon be quietly returned to it’s rightful owner, along with a letter of apology. But you did not!
On Dec. 7, 2004 – in a copyrighted exclusive news article – MCC revealed Carlisle Barracks officials had arbitrarily taken the valuable pistol across state lines out of California [a violation of federal law] without notifying its owner, Mr. Honeycutt, and despite their knowledge it was his property.
MilitaryCorruption.com investigators in California interviewed a Bradley family member who says – in a notarized statement – that Honeycutt told Gen. Huntoon’s “personal representative,” Mr. Conrad Crane, (a retired light colonel associated with the Army Heritage and Education Center) “not to inventory or remove” the weapon to Carlisle Barracks, as it was his possession, and that he had the ATF paperwork to prove it.
We have checked the ownership document – Form 4473 – with the ATF and find it to be “legal and binding.” Likewise, we have interviewed the gun shop owner where the weapon was initially sent by its manufacturer.
In fact, we have incontrovertible proof – in writing – that Mrs. Kitty Bradley not only wanted but directed Charles Honeycutt to receive the commemorative pistol as a gift “in recognition of his many years of faithful service” to her and the general.
Every day, Gen. Huntoon, that goes by that you fail to act – that you allow your minions to inflict further emotional distress on an ill and elderly man and his wife (whose only wish is to pass on a sentimental heirloom to their son) – just “adds up the tab.” It only hikes the “damages” the government will have to pay when Mr. Honeycutt wins his case in federal court.
We are going to give you one last chance, general, to follow the public advice published on these pages in February of two distinguished retired general officers – Arch Hamblen and George Vogel – and “return the gun to its rightful owner.” And you know who that is!
Your and our “favorite PAO,” LTC Merideth “Bumbling” Bucher, has failed to “put out the fire” in the media, and news stories of this festering scandal have now made the front pages of the Harrisburg PATRIOT-NEWS, Carlisle SENTINEL and most recently, in the mass-circulation ARMY TIMES. Can CBS NEWS and The ASSOCIATED PRESS be far behind?
Top-rated WHTM-TV (ABC) in Harrisburg, Pa. has already been on the story since late December. It was Channel 27 that broke a key element of this case, forcing “Bumbling” Bucher to admit the handgun was even at the Carlisle military base.
Gen. Huntoon, you have until 12 noon eastern time, Monday, March 28, 2004 to contact us and initiate plans to return Mr. Honeycutt his property without delay. If you refuse, you will face the consequences of your actions.
We can assure you, general, MilitaryCorruption.com – the first media outlet to report this offense against Gen. Omar Bradley’s former aide – will exercise our considerable influence with Mr. Honeycutt and strongly recommend he proceed with a multi-million dollar lawsuit against you and the Army, seeking damages for the harm inflicted upon him.
If the end result is certain civilians have their careers destroyed, so be it! No general officer has ever gone to the Leavenworth DB. After all, rank does have its “privileges.” And we know the old axiom “different spanks for different ranks” is alive and well at Carlisle Barracks. Always has been.
While we don’t think your inaction and incompetence justifies a prison cell, we do know one thing. Your meteoric career as a “boy-wonder” general will be adversely impacted. And you can kiss your “third-star” GOOD-BYE!
“ON THE HOT SEAT”
CARLISLE BARRACKS COMMANDANT
CRITICIZED FOR ROLE IN BRADLEY AIDE
“GUN GRAB” – IGNORES PLEA BY TWO
RETIRED GENERALS TO “DO THE RIGHT
THING” – CHANCE OF BARRACKS TO
SURVIVE “BRAC” CUT ENDANGERED,
SOURCE SAYS, BY HUNTOON’S
“ARROGANCE AND STUPIDITY” – JOB
LOSSES FEARED, BLOW TO LOCAL
ECONOMY – ARMY TIMES JOINS
PATRIOT-NEWS AND SENTINEL IN
COVERING THIS LATEST SCANDAL
ARMY GENERALS RALLY BEHIND
FORMER AIDE TO GEN. OMAR BRADLEY
IN DEMAND FOR RETURN OF DISPUTED
HANDGUN – CARLISLE BARRACKS
COMMANDANT GEN. DAVID HUNTOON
URGED TO DO “RIGHT THING” AND
CORRECT “A GRIEVOUS MISTAKE”
PRESSURE BUILDS TO RECOGNIZE
CHARLES HONEYCUTT AS RIGHTFUL
OWNER – “ATF DOCUMENTS PROVE THE
GUN IS HIS,” SAYS BARRACKS OFFICIAL
“ON CONDITION OF ANONYMITY”
IN A CRIME!
CARLISLE BARRACKS MAY FACE MULTI-
MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT IN “THEFT”
OF BRADLEY AIDE’S HANDGUN
EXECUTOR OF ESTATE FINGERS “JOHN
GIBLIN” AS OFFICIAL WHO OK’D .45
BEING SHIPPED TO ARMY POST – (ABC)
WHTM-TV FORCES “BUMBLING” PAO
TO ADMIT BARRACKS HAS MISSING
HANDGUN – ATF PAPERS, GUN DEALERS,
BACK UP HONEYCUTT CLAIM TO
OWNERSHIP – “THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE
DECENCY TO TELL THE MAN THEY’D
RIPPED OFF HIS PROPERTY,” SAYS
ONE SOURCE ON POST
BARRACKS IN “CROSSHAIRS”
OVER BRADLEY ESTATE CHARGES
FORMER GENERAL’S AIDE CLAIMS
OFFICIALS – “GREEDY FOR VALUABLE
HOLDINGS” – GRABBED PRIVATE
PROPERTY- BRADLEY FAMILY
MEMBERS DENOUNCE ACTIONS
DOD-IG INVESTIGATION ASKED
CONGRESSIONAL PROBE MAY BE NEXT