LETTER FROM REP. STARK TO SECRETARY GATES ABOUT POSSIBLE ABUSE OF MILITARY OFFICERS’ TIME
Below is the text of a letter sent today to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates by Representative Pete Stark (D-CA), regarding the possible abuse of military officers’ time.
May 16, 2008
The Honorable Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301
Dear Secretary Gates:
Yesterday, while voting on the war supplemental spending bill in the House of Representatives, I couldn’t help but notice a contingent of approximately 20 flag rank Army officers sitting in the House Gallery watching the debate and vote for a couple of hours. I was looking from below so I thought they were Army, but there could have been other branches present.
It’s possible they were on leave time or vacation. If so, I obviously have no concern. However, if they were doing this on military time, I want an explanation of why they were there.
At a time when our nation is at war, our troops are over-extended, and the Administration is literally asking for emergency military spending, what good to the “war on terror” is having US Generals and other top ranked officers - who were likely accompanied by staff and escorted by their chauffeurs - spending hours sitting in the gallery of the House of Representatives?
Please provide for me the name, rank, branch, and duties of each of these officers, as well as the number of additional staff and drivers that were used to facilitate their attendance yesterday. I would like this information by Monday, May 19th.
If they were here on official duty, this was an abhorrent misallocation of our military resources at a time of war.
CC: The Honorable Ike Skelton, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
CC: The Honorable Jack Murtha, Chairman, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense
I am aghast. I am stunned. And I am pissed off.
LC 0311 Crunchie has the contact info for the not-so-honorable Pete Stark:
The Hon. Pete Stark
239 Cannon Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Hon. Pete Stark
39300 Civic Center Dr.
Fremont, CA 94538