Networks Dance Around Political, Ideological Motives for Blocking Pace Renomination
Citing unnamed sources, CNN and The Washington Post reported that Congressional leaders opposed the renomination of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace in part because of his publicly expressed moral opposition to homosexual behavior, and also because of a character reference he provided to convicted White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
In contrast, NBC, CBS, ABC and The New York Times mentioned no reasons for opposition to Pace apart from military matters.
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced at a June 8 Pentagon press conference that he would not re-nominate Pace because of fears that the Senate confirmation process “would be quite contentious”:
“I have decided that at this moment in our history, the nation, our men and women in uniform, and General Pace himself would not be well served by a divisive ordeal in selecting the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
In a June 8 story, The New York Times calls Pace “the highest-ranking officer to be a political casualty of the fight over
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr delivered a June 8 special report that drops some clues:
“…sources tell CNN that General Pace was also, in addition to the war, facing two significant problems on Capitol Hill. His recent statements that he believes homosexual behavior is immoral, and a letter he wrote to the judge in the Scooter Libby case attesting to Mr. Libby's character.”
"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the
On May 21, Pace wrote a letter to District Court Judge Reggie Walton supporting “Scooter” Libby. ”I was always very impressed with Mr. Libby's professionalism and his focus and attention to the matters at hand.”
“But congressional staffers said there was concern from both parties that Pace's confirmation hearing could evoke bitter debate about
A homosexual activist organization attributed opposition to Pace to his moral stand. “Congressional leaders, in warning Secretary of Defense Gates that Pace's remarks would be an obstacle to his confirmation, have sent a clear message that anti-gay prejudice has no place in public policy debates,” declared Sharra E. Greer, director of law and policy for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
“Those who held General Pace responsible for his irresponsible remarks should be commended for taking a courageous stand in favor of our military personnel.”
By stating his moral views publicly, General Pace is the person who demonstrated true courage. How “courageous” is it for members of Congress to “take a stand” behind a cloak of anonymity?