Gen. Peter Pace mouths off

AP: 9/26

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, caused a stir at a Senate hearing Wednesday when he said he believes homosexual activity is immoral and should not be condoned by the military. Pace, who retires next week, said he was seeking to clarify similar remarks he made in spring, which he said were misreported.

"Are there wonderful Americans who happen to be homosexual serving in the military? Yes," he told the Senate Appropriations Committee during a hearing focused on the Pentagon's 2008 war spending request.

"We need to be very precise then, about what I said wearing my stars and being very conscious of it," he added. "And that is, very simply, that we should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God's law."

This is out of line. I don't care where Peter Pace stands on Don't Ask, Don't Tell and homosexuality in general, he should keep it to himself. The fact that an acting Joint Chiefs chairman would say something more befitting the now-defunct Crossfire than a Senate hearing is mind-numbing. Aren't military leaders supposed to maintain apolitical positions?

I don't care that Pace espoused a conservative stance: he's entitled to his point-of-view. He could have said he wants all the troops out of Iraq tomorrow. It would have been equally inappropriate.

Traditionalists may complain about the lack of discipline in today's military, but who would've guessed that would be manifest in the soapbox preachings of an out-of-line General at a Senate hearing?

1 comment:

Jeff Hudecek said...

"Aren't military leaders supposed to maintain apolitical positions?"

No, they're supposed to conduct apolitical actions.

Pace was asked what he thought. He said what he thought. I completely disagree with him, but that absolutely doesn't mean I think he did something wrong by publically stating it. If anything, it displays a desirable level of transperancy. Now we know how he thinks, and in telling us he did not violate orders or dictate rules that were outside of his power (i.e. legislation).

Don't Ask Don't Tell was a politically implemented plan, and as far as I know he did not in any way violate it. If he had, then we would've had a problem merting the extremity of your statement.

Pace would also have every right to make statements about Iraq. He certainly has the authority to do so. In fact, if we'd listened to more people like Pace (i.e. Shinseki), maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.