Moseley Sought Options in Khobar Towers Case

Gen. Michael Moseley, USAF Chief of Staff, said Tuesday he had canvassed his “options” for re-opening the case of Terryl Schwalier, the retired brigadier who was scapegoated for the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing and has been waging a behind-the-scenes effort to clear his name. The matter was the subject of a recent Air Force Magazine article. Moseley said that, after reading the story, he asked the service’s General Counsel and Judge Advocate General to “tell me what options we have, as an Air Force” to seek a new review of Schwalier’s case. He added, “They’ve come back and said we don’t have any,” because of opposition from the OSD General Counsel office. Moseley said he then asked about Schwalier’s options and was told, “He has an option to sue, and, in suing, a lot of the information will come out, but that’s up to him.” Over the past four and a half years, Schwalier and some senior USAF leaders worked to retrieve a second star blocked by then-Defense Secretary William S. Cohen. An independent Air Force review board ruled Cohen’s action “null and void,” ordering promotion of Schwalier on the retired list. This move, however, was opposed by Pentagon lawyers, who raised legal questions and trumped the Air Force. The terrorist attack against the Air Force’s 4404th Wing (Provisional) killed 19 airmen and wounded hundreds more. Schwalier was the only person punished.