They say that one has an effective voice in society when the only recourse the opposition has is to lie about you. Today, the International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF) has received its first hate mail. As expected, the article was unsigned and floating anonymously on the world wide web. The accuser states I am a "first generation American." In reality, I am a third generation Italian- American whose uncle landed at Omaha Beach at Normandy in World War II; another uncle was an aircraft carrier pilot in the Pacific, and a cousin who was in the O.S.S. during World War II. My step-father won the Purple Heart while invading southern France in 1944. For myself, I volunteered to serve in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps in the Vietnam War and although I did not have the distinction to serve in the conflict, I considered it a priviledge to serve.
The anonymous accuser goes on to say that our goal is to "break" the chain of custody by creating a public-private venture...this is exactly what the USFWS had with Midway Phoenix Corporation (MPC) when their cooperative agreement was intact—and co-incidently the operations at that time were AT NO TAX-PAYERS EXPENSE.
The author/authoress goes on to state that the IMMF, in its Winter 2003/2004 newsletter, accuses "the American people of near criminal acts and a treasonous lack of empathy toward the IMMF purpose".
What the Foundation did say was: "This unfettered federal agency's actions on Midway go unchallenged by this Congress, the national press, the active duty Navy and the nation. DOES THIS COUNTRY REALLY CARE ABOUT MIDWAY TODAY? The question is yours to answer!" The truth is the truth.
The accuser states that I am old and aging at age 67. I might inform the accuser that I founded the IMMF in 1992 at the OLD age of 54 years. The article incorrectly states that my main goal is to place my name on a plaque since I have suddenly become aware of my own mortality. Could it be that I really care? To date there are numerous plaques to the Battle of Midway, none of which bear my name. There is not or has there ever been a plan to place my name on any plaque.
The article goes on to say we are lobbying for a "no bid" contract be awarded to the Midway Phoenix Corporation (MPC). The reality is that there is no other corporation that is willing to take on a program that ENSURES public access to Midway Atoll—including those who love the fish and wildlife living there. We have repeatedly requested that the Department of Interior (DOI) give us the names of other corporations who would be competetive with a plan of eco-tourism; to date, there are none.
In this same statement MPC is accused of milking the tax-payer while operating Midway. The truth again is that the MPC not only did not receive federal funding, but its president, Marc Thompson invested almost 20 million of his own money into Midway. To date there has not been nor do I feel there will ever be another private sector entity willing to invest any funds of its own into Midway.
The article goes on to say that the Foundation is seeking to be underwritten by U.S. tax dollars. The IMMF has never—and will never—have any interest in receiving U.S. tax dollars for any reason whatsoever. The Foundation has never requested nor has it received any such dollars. Quite the opposite, all the proposals by the Foundation have been to free the taxpayer of the cost of operating Midway. One need only go to the DOI to read our proposal, if one is seeking the truth.
The accusation has been made that the IMMF has not contributed or pledged any funds toward the issues "about which we speak." Funds for Midway's historic structures were discussed between the IMMF and the USFWS. In 2000 the Secterary of Interior, Burce Babbitt, directed the USFWS to hold a Midway Planning Committee meeting. However, nearly two years later, this meeting had not yet been held. The IMMF HAD AND HAS no intention of ever pledging funds to an agency with this kind of commitment to the Midway National Memorial.
NOW FOR THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS LIE!! The accuser claims that the Board of Trustees receive lucrative salaries. NOT ONE MEMBER OF THE FOUNDATION, ITS STAFF, ITS TRUSTEES OR ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS EVER RECEIVED ANY SALARY LET ALONE A LUCRATIVE SALARY. Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Vice Admiral William D. Houser, USN, (Ret.); Rear Admiral Edward "Whitey" Feightner, USN (Ret.); former Secretary of the Navy, William Middendorf; Midway veterans and others are not to be dishonored by such lies.
Some persons can only deal with TRUTH with lies. Sound familar? In spite of today's culture of relativism (truth is in the eye of the beholder), absolute truth does exist. The IMMF will make every effort within its power to present the absolute truth. For without truth, their can never be trust.
*** For those who are interested: a copy of this article is included within the bulletin.***
James M. D'Angelo, M.D.