J.W.V. Questions Navy on the Schwartz Case

December 13, 1995 - PR Newswire Association

The Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JMV) raises serious questions about the United States Navy's decision to grant a "less than honorable" discharge to a high-ranking officer accused of revealing highly classified information to Saudi Arabia.

Lieutenant Commander Michael Schwartz was charged by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service with "mishandling classified documents and may have passed information to officials within a foreign government."

Washington, December 13. At the time of his misconduct, Schwartz was assigned to the U.S. Military Training Mission in Saudi Arabia.

Schwartz, a fifteen-year veteran of naval service, acknowledged his guilt and agreed to cooperate with government investigators assigned to the case.

After a court marital date was set, LCDR Schwartz, who is not Jewish, was allowed to accept a decision which allows Schwartz to leave the Navy with an "other than honorable" discharge. By avoiding the court martial, Schwartz will be precluded from any retirement benefits, all rank, pay and all military privileges.

"JWV finds the decision in this case to be troubling," JWV National Commander Neil Goldman said. "We believe that compared to other crimes of espionage by Navy personnel, both to enemy and friendly governments, the punishment is a farce. In each of the other cases, harsh prison sentences, including life-time sentences, were meted out."

JMV believes that further investigation of this matter must be initiated. "Questions such as what information was passed to the Saudis, who in the Saudi Royal family knew of this espionage and what was the level of classified material provided to Saudi Arabia, must be addressed," Commander Goldman stated.

Founded in 1896, JWV is the oldest, national veterans' organization in America and is known as the "Patriotic Voice of American Jewry". JWV will celebrate its centennial in 1996. CONTACT: Howard Metzger, national director of public relations of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, - 202-265-6280.

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