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« Casey to Endorse Obama | Main | Bill Clinton Event Videos »

March 28, 2008

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peter

Way to go, General. Thank you for standing up.

Army Vet

General Stewart, I SALUTE you!

Tom Hayes

Knowing how challenging it is for military commanders to compartmentalize their political preferences from their duty, I am delighted to read General Stewart's insights and conclusions. Thanks for sharing this with us.

tyler

Not sure if General Stewart is available for follow up, but I would interested in knowing what his response is to the following, especially considering that he was responsible for those under his command...

Barrack has stated that he will 'slow the development of future combat systems' however, part of the inherent baseline of any new program are ways to reduce the casualty rate of our own war fighters. So in essence, he is putting our military in danger because he is not going to allow future combat systems to be developed...but those systems just may offer ways for our military to be safer...

For example, he may shut down a system that is completely automated...a robot system per se...which could revert us back to using personel...which would put the personel in danger that could have been avoided... see where I am going with this?

Hey we have a fully automated jeep that can be remotely driven into hostile areas...oh wait, Barrack just killed the funding...so lets get Sergeant Miller behind the wheel and send him into the hostile area...we wouldnt want to waste tax payers money keeping our troops safe, now would we?

After reading Barrack's mission to 'rid the world of nuclear weapons' (which China is just LOVING, along with Iran, North Korea, etc) and his other defense priorities...I was wondering why someone with the General's standing, experience (which I applaud) would support Barrack and his candidacy?


Totally fair question, no ulterior motives...I would really like to know his thoughts.

have a great day :)

Sarah

General,

Thank you for standing up and speaking the truth! Americans deserve the best and the truth from their candidates!!

Obama 2008!

YES WE CAN!!!

Change we can believe in!

Army Vet

Why this Vet supports Obama after seeing his concern for us first hand at Walter Reed:

He is committed to creating a 21st Century Department of Veterans' Affairs that provides the care and benefits our nation?s veterans deserve.

Reverse the 2003 ban on enrolling modest-income veterans, which has denied care to a million veterans.

He will make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible. He will improve care for polytrauma vision impairment, prosthetics, spinal cord injury, aging, and women's health.

Obama will establish a national "zero tolerance" policy for veterans falling into homelessness by expanding proven programs and launching innovative services to prevent veterans from falling into homelessness.

He will crack down on employers who commit job discrimination against guardsmen and reservists.

Obama will improve the quality of health care for veterans, rebuild the VA's broken benefits system, and combat homelessness among veterans.

An Obama Administration will demand that the military and the VA coordinate to provide a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life.

Barack Obama will fully fund the VA so it has all the resources it needs to serve the veterans who need it, when they need it. Obama will establish a world-class VA Planning Division to avoid future budget shortfalls.

He will hire additional claims workers, and improve training and accountability so that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently. He also will transform the paper benefit claims process to an electronic one to reduce errors and improve timeliness.


DEMS '08!!

Army Vet

Why this Vet supports Obama after seeing his concern for us first hand at Walter Reed:

He is committed to creating a 21st Century Department of Veterans' Affairs that provides the care and benefits our nation?s veterans deserve.

Reverse the 2003 ban on enrolling modest-income veterans, which has denied care to a million veterans.

He will make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible. He will improve care for polytrauma vision impairment, prosthetics, spinal cord injury, aging, and women's health.

Obama will establish a national "zero tolerance" policy for veterans falling into homelessness by expanding proven programs and launching innovative services to prevent veterans from falling into homelessness.

He will crack down on employers who commit job discrimination against guardsmen and reservists.

Obama will improve the quality of health care for veterans, rebuild the VA's broken benefits system, and combat homelessness among veterans.

An Obama Administration will demand that the military and the VA coordinate to provide a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life.

Barack Obama will fully fund the VA so it has all the resources it needs to serve the veterans who need it, when they need it. Obama will establish a world-class VA Planning Division to avoid future budget shortfalls.

He will hire additional claims workers, and improve training and accountability so that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently. He also will transform the paper benefit claims process to an electronic one to reduce errors and improve timeliness.


DEMS '08!!

Patrick

Hello Tyler,

It is a complex issue to cover in a blog comment but my quick response would be to say that the focus of American military action since the end of the Cold War is dominated not by high-kinetic combat scenarios against peer or near-peer military opponents but with more civil affairs, boots on the ground peace keeping,nation building and disaster relief type operations. The vast majority of operations since the end of the Cold War have been of this type. The miltary calls them MOOTW (Miltary Operations Other Than War)The problem is that MOOTW gets paid for with what is left over from everything else. They are considered "lesser includeds" in the budgetary process. When Donald Rumsfeld said you go to war with the army you've got he was wrong. He should have said you go to war with the army you've been planning for the last decade. This remark is from Thomas P.M. Barnett. An excellent introduction to Mr. Barnett's work is here. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/33
It a short video that you may find thought provoking. I think your concern that cutting programs risks lives is a critical one. I would argue that by fighting a war while funding for a different war has and continues to cost lives in Iraq and Afganistan.

Thank you.

Patrick O'Connor

Contrast General Stewart's outrage with the defense of HRC from Rep Sestak.

Transcript of MSNBC

MATTHEWS: .....Let's go to Congressman Sestak. Congressman, it seems to me all of us have memories that fail occasionally. We forget things that happen, but we rarely, I think, remember something that didn't happen. In fact, coming in under enemy fire, ducking and covering because you're under sniper attack is an event one either recalls correctly or imagines. How do you explain that Hillary Clinton imagined that incident?

REP. JOE SESTAK (D-PA), CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, Chris, you're a student of history. You remember when Teddy Roosevelt was running for president. He claimed he led the charge up San Juan Hill with the Rough Riders. Actually, he didn't. He went up Keaton (ph) Hill. And it turned out to be that was not true. You remember...

MATTHEWS: But he, in fact, faced enemy fire, and in fact, I read all about it, Admiral, and you did, too. He actually was in a firefight. Was Hillary Clinton ever under enemy fire? Did she ever duck and cover because of sniper fire ever in her life? That's the question.

SESTAK: Well...

MATTHEWS: Not where it happened.

SESTAK: No, and that's what's great about her. She said, Hey, I misspoke. I was mistaken. But let's take all the incidences because the important issue here, Chris, is the whole cloth (ph) of the woman. You had Franklin Roosevelt, who when he ran for vice president, actually claimed he was a Latin American expert, and here he was, saying he wrote the constitution for Haiti. Or John F. Kennedy--he claimed that there was a missile gap, and he had Addison's disease. The point is this, Chris. Would we have wanted them as president? You bet we would have. And so you look at...

MATTHEWS: Why are you defending...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Admiral, you amaze me! You are a loyalist! What are you actually defending here?

SESTAK: Well, let me tell you...

MATTHEWS: Are you defending lying? Is that what you're defending, or what are defending? Tell me what you consider fair ball in the game, if you will, of getting elected president. How big a fish can you claim to have caught, if you caught none? That's all I'm asking.

SESTAK: Well, Chris, you know, I went to the Naval Academy. There was an honor code there, but very few people read that honor code. That honor code says, Hey, you won't lie, steal or cheat. But it also says if you see someone who does, you don't, then report them. You have a choice. You report them or you counsel them because we recognize that we're humans. Whether it's Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy or Hillary Clinton or Senator Obama, we all have our faults. The question is this. Who's ready on day one because of what she learned in Bosnia...

MATTHEWS: Right.

EJ

SPC Jann (Tammi Hetherington) in TV interview - http://www.campaigncarolinas.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2248&Itemid=456

not4clinton

fyi my letter written today to Gen. Wesley Clark.

Dear Sir;

I actually thought you were a viable candidate in the 2004 election and rooted for you. I am now a Senator Obama supporter. I have worked with a number of ex-military personnel and always admired them for their high ethical and moral standards.

I also come from a family where during WWII my dad served at the same time as four of his brothers did. I have had three brothers serve in the military (Army, Navy and Marines). One of my brothers died in a noncombat accident shortly after leaving Navy bootcamp.

It concerns me that you and other military leaders haven't publically withdrawn your support from Senator Clinton after her multiple lies of facing "enemy fire" in Bosnia. She wants to be the Commander In Chief and frankly I believe what she did is unforgivable. Especially when we all know she supported this unnecessary war in Iraq where many people are dying and we have many troops coming home maimed.

She is supposed to be a leader? Her conduct doesn't constitute leadership to me.

I leave with you the response made to the female veteran from Bosnia who has accused Sen. Clinton of "Theft of Valor" and ask how you can condone and/or explain your continued support of her candidacy? You can find all of this at Pennsylvania Progressive if you haven't been copied already. I will be copying friends and family at the very least and I certainly look forward to your response.

Respectfully,

Angela Patterson

"General Stewart Responds to Tammi Hetherington's Letter

Retired General Walter Stewart has sent me the following letter about Tammi Hetherington's letter regarding Hillary Clinton's Bosnian visit. I published Tammi's letter Wednesday and it has received national attention. In that article I quoted General Stewart to provide context and background on the issue of valor theft. I added his letter to that article as an update but have been asked to publish it on its own for those who might miss it there.

Dear Mr. Morgan,

Thank you for providing a forum that is generating such meaningful discussion on the topic of Senator Clinton’s “valor theft.” I am particularly impressed with the letter sent to you by Bosnia veteran, Tammi K. Hetherington, a former specialist with the 22nd Signal Brigade, 1st Armored Division, United States Army. I commend Tammi for her service to the nation – service that continues in her courageous willingness to speak truth to power. I commanded thousands of fine soldiers during my almost four decades of active and reserve service, and I would have been honored to have had Tammi among them.

Before I go on, I want to correct misreporting about my service as a Guardsman and as an Army major general in Europe. I was never “leader” or “commander” of the Pennsylvania National Guard because that authority belongs to the Adjutant General. I did hold the same military rank as an adjutant general – major general – but did so as commander, 28th Infantry Division, and as the deputy commander of the State Area Readiness Command (figure that one out). In Europe, my service was at Headquarters, United States European Command (HQUSEUCOM), not at the Army command (USAREUR). EUCOM is the superior headquarters and USAREUR reported to us.

I know this minutia seems irrelevant, but in the military accurate representation of titles and performance are at the core of ethics. This is why fabrication of service or battle credentials – what we call “valor theft” - is so offensive to service members and veterans (or should be). Be you soldier or civilian, if you didn’t “earn it” in service to your country, for shame that you might be wearing it or talking about it - and it is equally shameful for those who have served with honor to defend the dishonor of others. Valor theft degrades every service member and veteran, and, as a point of honor, I call on the former admirals, generals, and service veterans who are publicly in support of Senator Clinton to renounce that support. Continue it, and her dishonor is your dishonor.

I proudly acknowledge that I changed voter registration so I could vote for Senator Obama in Pennsylvania’s presidential primary. With 4000 dead in the supra-strategic national tragedy that is Iraq I could not but do otherwise. As a leader of soldiers I had one rule for advocating others to higher rank: would I want that person commanding my children in combat. For me, Senator Obama - a rational thinker not dumbed-down by “years in Washington” - is the person for elevation to commander-in-chief. And as to Senator Clinton, were she a sergeant seeking promotion, her known fabrication of battle facts would disqualify her. I have been under fire many times, so much so that the incidents run together, but you can bet I remember the first time.

And let me put to rest the security situation at the Tuzla Airport during the March 1996 FLOTUS (first lady of the United States) visit. In the video clip, as she bends to caress the small girl, movement among those behind her reveals a stocky officer wearing four stars on a fatigue cap. I am certain that officer is Admiral “Snuffy” Smith, the senior commander of forces in the Bosnia operation. But Admiral Smith or no, top ranking officers in a war zone don’t wear soft caps unless the security situation warrants it.

Senator Clinton’s recollection of being under fire at Tuzla is an unarguable fabrication – a reprehensible act of valor theft, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Sincerely,

Major General (Retired) Walter L. Stewart, Jr.
Former commander, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
Former Director for Reserve Affairs (ECRA), HQUSEUCOM, Stuttgart, Germany

Ps. Tammi, this one is for you, and for all those who served with you

Sent to Wesley Clark, Sat., March 29, 2008

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