Sunday, June 10, 2007
Backroom Attack Sinks Gen. Pace [Elaine Donnelly]
Last Friday Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the premature replacement of Marine General Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. He appeared slightly sick; as if Tony Soprano had just given him an offer he could not refuse. Using words almost identical to those of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D., Mich.), Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed concern about a “divisive ordeal” that would have focused on the “past rather than the future.”
War always brings controversy and tough questions at confirmation hearings. Gen. Pace, who has been through the drill three times, is an articulate man. He would have stated his position on the war, and even his views on gays in the military, with conviction and poise. Chairman Pace will not have that opportunity, however, because partisan control of Congress has shifted to the Democrats.
Due to threatened rough water ahead, the military is losing not just one but two distinguished leaders. (Adm. Edmund G. Giambastiani cannot continue as Vice Chairman if a fellow Navy man, Adm. Mike Mullen, is confirmed as chairman.) Sen. Levin and colleagues on the SASC have effectively vetoed the president’s choice without a fight. The price of capitulation, which does not inspire confidence, could be higher than President Bush realizes today.
I have no inside information, but I see the fingerprints of SASC member Sen. Hillary Clinton all over this. To win in 2008, the New York Democrat and feminist must convince voters that she supports the troops and can be trusted as Commander in Chief. A vote on the re-nomination of Chairman Pace would have put her on the spot between her gay activist constituency and millions of voters who admire Peter Pace.
Sen. Clinton has a way of getting senior men of both parties to do her work for her. Pre-emptive removal of Gen. Pace excuses candidate Clinton of the responsibility to vote for or against re-confirmation. As a bonus, Hillary and other feminist senators get to vote for a liberal admiral, CNO Mike Mullen, an ardent advocate of “diversity” quotas and other controversial goals for the military.
Several commentators have suggested that Gen. Pace’s career was endangered last March when he expressed personal views regarding morality and gays in the military. A wave of name-calling and demands for an apology ensued, but as I explained in this article Gen. Pace had no reason to apologize for a law enacted by Congress. The 1993 statute banning homosexuals from the military reflects the views of people who see the issue in moral terms, but it uses secular language emphasizing military discipline.
Congressionally approved laws—including prohibitions against lying, stealing, and murder—should not be repealed just because they coincide with religious principles and moral codes such as the Ten Commandments.
Military people and voters who have supported administration policies on the war, or agree with Gen. Pace on traditional values, are receiving a demoralizing message. What’s worse, confirmation of Adm. Mike Mullen as chairman could advance the most liberal agenda for the military since Bill Clinton left office. In my next post, I will explain why.
06/10 10:05 AMShare