James Lyons (admiral)

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James Lyons
James A Lyons Jr.jpg
Birth nameJames Aloysius Lyons Jr.
Born(1927-09-28)September 28, 1927
New Jersey, U.S.
DiedDecember 12, 2018(2018-12-12) (aged 91)
Warrenton, Virginia, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands heldCommander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Battles/warsCold War
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Commendation Medal (2)

James Aloysius "Ace" Lyons Jr. (September 28, 1927 – December 12, 2018) was an admiral in the United States Navy who served as Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet from 1985 to 1987 and who wrote a column about Seth Rich that was printed, but later retracted by The Washington Times.[1]


Admiral Lyons enlisted in the Navy Reserve shortly after the end of World War II and was appointed to the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1952. He served in the U.S. Navy for over 35 years as a Surface Warfare Officer. He commanded the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD 967) and USS Richmond K. Turner (DLG 20). His shore assignments included wide and significant experience in strategic planning and national security affairs, leading to higher commands including Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Senior U.S. Military Representative to the United Nations and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.[2]

He earned post-graduate degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and the U.S. National Defense University.

After retiring from the Navy in 1987, he became the chief executive officer of LION Associates, LLC.[3]


On February 19, 2010, Andrew Sullivan quoted Lyons at the CPAC conference in Washington as saying:[citation needed]

You know in the Navy in the late nineteen hundreds, homosexuality was rampant ... It was so bad that mothers would not let their sons enlist in the Navy until the Navy cleaned its act up. ... On board ship the Navy found that there are three things unacceptable to good order and discipline and its impact on readiness. You cannot have a thief aboard, you cannot have a drug-user or a drug-pusher and we found out you could not have a homosexual.

Lyons wrote that the Zumwalt-class destroyer would be a way to preempt the threat of China's Anti-ship ballistic missile;

"Mr. Gates should consider eliminating the LCS program as a failed experiment, and the Navy should join with the Coast Guard in a common hull. The money saved ($3-plus billion) should be reinvested in providing an anti-ship ballistic-missile defense for the Zumwalt-class destroyer at an estimated cost of $500 million per ship. The Zumwalt was built from the keel up to be stealthy, have sufficient power and cooling, and have space to accommodate the latest dual-band radars and current and future weapon systems. An anti-ballistic-missile-equipped Zumwalt would be capable of pre-empting the Chinese and Iranian ASBM threat, thereby ensuring our capability to operate in any contested area and carry out our strategic objectives."[4]

In the same article he also addressed the continuing cost overruns and the limitations of the close-in weapon system on the Littoral combat ship, which had switched to the more advanced SeaRAM system five years beforehand.[5]

On November 14, 2012, Lyons speculated that the death of Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi was the result of a bungled attempt to have Stevens kidnapped by Ansar al-Sharia to facilitate a prisoner exchange resulting in the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman.[6]

On February 7, 2015, Lyons controversially claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood had succeeded in infiltrating every United States security agency under the Obama presidency during a National Press Club conference. He also alleged that John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was a Muslim convert. In addition, Lyons alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood was planning to start up a political party to influence American domestic politics.[7]

On February 11, 2015, Lyons fingered United States Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger as the single person responsible for twice preventing a joint France-America takedown of the Khomeini regime in Iran in August 1987. He went on to state "Islam is a political movement masquerading as a religion."[8]

On September 30, 2018, The Washington Times retracted a column by Lyons published online March 1, 2018, and apologized to Aaron Rich, brother of Seth Rich, for the column as part of a lawsuit settlement. The Washington Times said the column contained statements about Aaron Rich that it believed to be false. The unsolved murder of Aaron Rich's brother, Seth, had become the basis for widespread speculation.[9]

Lyons died on December 12, 2018 at the age of 91.[10][11]


  1. ^ "Retraction: Aaron Rich and the murder of Seth Rich"
  2. ^ https://www.usna.com/find-an-obituary?story=5460
  3. ^ LION Associates LLC
  4. ^ Lyons, James A. "Defense budget reductions." The Washington Times, 17 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Why SeaRAM is Superior to Phalanx."
  6. ^ Lyons, James A "Is The Petraeus Scandal A Smoke Screen For A Larger Cover-Up in Benghazi?" Lou Dobbs Show, November 14, 2012.
  7. ^ Ahmed, Rida (February 7, 2015). "Muslim Brotherhood Has Penetrated All U.S. National Security Agencies Under Obama's Guidance, High-Ranking Admiral Claims". Headlines & Global News. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  8. ^ http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=51fe948515b4
  9. ^ "The Washington Times settles lawsuit with Seth Rich's brother, issues retraction and apology for its coverage"
  10. ^ "ace"-lyons-usn-ret In Memoriam: Admiral James "Ace" Lyons (USN Ret.)
  11. ^ https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2018/12/13/rest-in-peace-admiral-ace-lyons/