WHAT YOUR Jan. 13 editorial on the Naval Academy's independent review panel does not comment upon is the time taken for Academy Superintendent Charles Larson to finally support its creation or the respected people who are not members of this panel.
Admiral Larson's resistance to a review dates back to Prof. James F. Barry's recommendations in May that Admiral Larson said contained little of value. Its first recommendations was the formation of the panel just formed.
Eight precious months have been lost, during which time Admiral Larson personally caused further undue negative attention to be drawn to the Naval Academy by his inept handling of the tragic Zamora and Della Barba matters.
Navy Secretary John H. Dalton should overturn Admiral Larson's decision in the Della Barba matter because of the sexual discrimination exhibited by academy officials and the performance of one officer who furnished untrue information regarding Midshipman Jennifer N. Della Barba's character to the honor board.
Admiral Larson should have insisted that the review panel include former Navy Secretary James Webb, former vice presidential candidate Adm. William Stockdale and most particularly Professor Barry, who first brought many serious matters to light, costing him his job.
With all due respect to the nine Academy graduates of the 18-person panel, none a known critic of how the academy is being managed, it is difficult to imagine how independent they can be.
How objective can any of us be when it comes to criticizing our family, our alma mater or other intensely personal matters?
The panel's responsibility must be to recommend how the academy can improve. Let's hope the panel's recommendations are not a referendum on Admiral Larson or his leadership. The academy survived his first tour as superintendent. It will survive his second as well.
Peter C. Schon
Pub Date: 1/21/97