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As the flagship for the Navy’s 7th Fleet, the USS Blue Ridge plays a critical role in national security by overseeing all U.S. maritime operations in Asia and the western Pacific. The venerable warship is the Navy’s second-oldest active-duty vessel and has survived the Vietnam War, the Cold War and tensions with China and North Korea.
But there is one foreign threat against which the Blue Ridge proved utterly defenseless for many years: a 6-foot-3, 350-pound tugboat owner known as “Fat Leonard.”
In a case that ranks as the worst corruption scandal in Navy history, the Justice Department has charged 15 officers and one enlisted sailor who served on the Blue Ridge with taking bribes from or lying about their ties to Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based tycoon who held lucrative contracts to service Navy ships and submarines in Asian ports.
Prosecutors say nine sailors from the 7th Fleet flagship leaked classified information about ship movements and other secrets to Francis, a Malaysian citizen, making the Blue Ridge perhaps the most widely compromised U.S. military headquarters of the modern era.
Between 2006 and 2013, Francis doled out illicit gifts, hosted epicurean feasts and sponsored sex parties for Blue Ridge personnel on at least 45 occasions, according to federal court records and Navy documents obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
The USS Blue Ridge, flagship of the 7th Fleet, is pictured during a
port visit in Jakarta, Indonesia, in April 2010. ( U.S. Navy)
Capt. David Newland, the 7th Fleet chief of staff, left, with Francis, right,
and an unidentified hotel sommelier, holding a bottle of Cristal Champagne,
appear on the roof of the 73-story Swissôtel the Stamford in Singapore on
March 9, 2006 (Obtained by The Washington Post)
Officers from the Blue Ridge consumed or pocketed about $1 million in gourmet meals, liquor, cash, vacations, airline tickets, tailored suits, Cuban cigars, luxury watches, cases of beef, designer handbags, antique furniture and concert tickets — and reveled in the attention of an armada of prostitutes, records show.
originally posted by: pheonix358
Many on ATS get upset with China and others for 'Theft of Military Secrets.'
This is eye opening in showing how easy it is to get hold of classified material. All you need is champagne and hookers and the military just give it to you. Nice and easy!
originally posted by: carewemust
a reply to: OrionHunterX
Cutting to the chase. Yes. 7th fleet is ready.
originally posted by: Woodcarver
i spent time on the USS coronado as a contractor for some time. It was basically a floating orgy with guns.
Mostly operated by 18-25 year olds. At no point were they ready for combat.