Sen. Michael Goldfarb (R-Weekly Standard)

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Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I haven’t really followed the aftermath of Weekly Standard blogger Michael Goldfarb, a veteran of the McCain/Palin campaign, claiming that the White House was “threatening to put Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base on the BRAC list” if Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) didn’t vote for health care reform. Not only did Goldfarb attribute the story to a single anonymous source, and not only did everyone involved deny it, but Goldfarb subtly changed the details of the story in two interviews. So I’m surprised to see 20 Republican senators — half of the conference! — sign onto a letter that out-and-out-accuses the White House of doing this without a shred of evidence.


“It has been reported that the Obama Administration threatened the closure of a U.S. military installation for political purposes,” the senators write, demanding hearings. “Specifically, various media reports have stated that the Obama Administration would put Offutt AFB in southeastern Nebraska on a future BRAC list because of a vote on healthcare reform.”

What media reports? Also, who exactly should testify? I put in a call on that question, and I’ll update if I get an answer, because it’s a serious question–do Republicans believe that the White House should send, say, Rahm Emanuel to testify on an unsourced rumor printed by a conservative blogger?

The whole letter:

Dear Senator Levin and Senator McCain:

It has been reported that the Obama Administration threatened the closure of a U.S. military installation for political purposes, thereby bringing into question the integrity of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.  The BRAC process was established to remove political influence so that the decision to close or not to close a military installation could be based upon military utility.

Specifically, various media reports have stated that the Obama Administration would put Offutt AFB in southeastern Nebraska on a future BRAC list because of a vote on healthcare reform.  While we recognize the importance of Offutt AFB as the headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command and the approximately 10,000 individuals that work there, we feel that this installation should remain open or be closed on its own merits.

Therefore, we respectfully ask that a hearing be held as to whether the BRAC process has been compromised.  We do not want to see the name of a base from our state on a BRAC list and think it has been put there to settle partisan scores.  We also do not want our bases to be more vulnerable to closure because political arm-twisting has taken another installation off the table.  National security not partisanship should determine how BRAC decisions are made.

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Comments

12 Comments

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Pingback posted December 17, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

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Name
Comment posted December 17, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

Ummmm… WHAT 'future BRAC'??????

No legislation has been authorized and the earliest a BRAC process could begin would be after the next QDR is issued in September 2013.

The Pentagon's projected timeline looks at possibly starting a BRAC process in Spring, 2014 with the commission report due in June 2015.


Jambo86
Comment posted December 17, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

The Democrats are so weak! I wasted my vote on them in the last several elections. I won't do that again. Even with a majority in both houses of Congress and a Democrat in the White House they cannot do anything significant. I would rather not vote than vote for a Democrat again. I definitley will not vote Republican, the party of dunces and people who can only say no to change and yes to the big corporations. The US is in real trouble with a government that cannot govern.


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Pingback posted December 17, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

[...] Sen. Michael Goldfarb (R-Weekly Standard) « The Washington Independent [...]


monkey99
Comment posted December 17, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

Just like Fox noise and the Right-wing nutcase extremists…..If you can't find facts, who cares about those pesky things…..Just make stuff up!
More attempts to bring congress to a halt. It's not the Dems who can't legislate, it's Repubs who don't want the old, tired, and now proven failed ways to die. Nevermind the change that is absolutely required now, the GOP would rather see this country fail than see ANY program that would be beneficial to the American people, pass.


PSP
Comment posted December 20, 2009 @ 10:17 am

If they didn't. They should have.

And a certain senator from Connecticut should have been informed that Electric Boat was bye bye and every union official in Connecticut would know why.

And a certain senator from Maine should have been told that if she voted right, Electric Boat's work was going to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The White House has to start playing hardball.


PSP
Comment posted December 20, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

If they didn't. They should have.

And a certain senator from Connecticut should have been informed that Electric Boat was bye bye and every union official in Connecticut would know why.

And a certain senator from Maine should have been told that if she voted right, Electric Boat's work was going to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The White House has to start playing hardball.


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