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Silver Star revoked for former Clinton defense official now in prison

July 28, 2011 | 10:47 am

Wade Sanders

Wade Sanders, a former official in the Clinton administration now in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, has had his Silver Star -- awarded for bravery as a swift-boat captain in Vietnam -- revoked by the secretary of the Navy.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus took the action in August but it was only revealed this week in a story in the Marine Corps Times.

A spokesman for Mabus said the unusual action was taken after a review of "both the incident for which the award was made and the processing of the award itself." The award was made in 1992.

No reference was made in the statement to Sanders' guilty plea in San Diego federal court in December 2008 to possession of child pornography. Sanders, now 70, is set to be released from prison in March.

A retired Navy captain, Sanders served as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for reserve affairs in the Clinton administration. Later he was an attorney in San Diego, a military adviser to then-Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and a frequent guest on national and local television on military issues.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Sanders was a spokesman for Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and defended him against criticism from other swift-boat sailors.

Federal prosecutors asserted that Sanders kept more than 600 images of child pornography on his computer, including a 21-minute video showing prepubescent girls having sex with an adult male. Sanders said he was keeping the images as research for a book on the exploitation of children.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Wade Sanders. Credit: Associated Press