Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: DOD

July
19th

FURLOUGHS: Disrespect isn’t limited to DOD employees

Re: “Defense personnel stripped of trust, faith and confidence” (TNT, 7-18).

The article by Mike Penland, a civilian employee at the Pentagon, illustrates the best and worst of the Defense Department in just a few paragraphs.

He cites some of the military’s core values and how most people work overtime to carry out the mission. Then he bemoans the discovery that those who work for the DOD are “nothing more than employees” because they face furloughs along with other federal workers.

In his mind, apparently, the people who collect the taxes to fund the military, the diplomats who save

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March
6th

SEQUESTER: Media fall for Pentagon scare tactics

Re: “15,000 teachers at military schools will get furloughs” (TNT, 3-5).

The Associated Press is once again playing into the hands of political forces that would manipulate it. The sequester spending cuts are less than 3 percent. In the business world, a 3 percent midyear spending adjustment is not uncommon and not particularly difficult to accomplish by trimming nonessential items and/or deferring routine costs like furniture and equipment replacement.

The Pentagon makes headlines claiming it must furlough teachers and cut back commissary hours as the result of a minor spending reduction. Delaying the delivery of a few aircraft would

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Feb.
28th

MILITARY: Put veterans ahead of unneeded weapons systems

Re: “Younger veterans struggle to find jobs” (TNT, 2-24).

As they face challenges finding a job, many young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with disabilities; nearly half have filed some kind of claim. Yet the budget cuts now being proposed in Congress could actually make it harder for veterans to get the care they need.

The federal government has threatened to triple veterans’ health care premiums to help pay down the deficit while discharging more than 100,000 troops, effectively sending them straight to the unemployment line.

Veterans understand just as well as anyone that the government needs to

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Jan.
25th

MILITARY: Selective Service discrimination should end, too

Now that the Department of Defense has ended the discrimination against women in combat, it is time to end the discriminatory practice of requiring only 18-year-old males to register for Selective Service.

The United States must either have universal registration for all 18-year-olds or eliminate the requirement altogether. Currently a male’s failure to register is penalized by loss of participation in federal financial aid programs for higher education. Equal opportunity for all.

March
9th

DEFENSE: Samuelson uses fear-mongering

Re: “The dagger of ‘budget sequestration’ dangles over the throat of defense’ (Robert J. Samuelson column, 3-6).

Digesting Samuelson’s weekly morsels requires much attrition; they constitute a biopsy of the neo-con soul for us to inspect.

His backdrop is sound; $2.1 trillion in budgetary reductions for 2012-2021 were passed in debt-ceiling negotiations. Of those reductions, $1.2 trillion were considered “painful” and renegotiable by congressional “super-committee” until a 2013 “sequestration mechanism.”

But Samuelson cannot resist the tried-and-true propaganda of fear-mongering, blaming our president for “devastating cuts” which “dangle over the throat of defense.”

Defense spending consumes roughly $700 billion of

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Sep.
28th

MILITARY: Defense cuts will hurt state economy

Re: “Specter of big defense cuts prompts big worries” (TNT, 9-25).

Federal Transfer Funds (FTF) – monies entering the state to pay for federal commitments – represent a good portion of the economy of Washington state due to its several military installations and large military retiree population.

In the 2010 fiscal year, $3.737 billion was paid to fulfill commitments to 70,983 military retirees, their dependents and 8,373 retiree widows in this state. More than $1 billion of this is retiree retention pay. With most of this spent in the state boosting businesses, creating new jobs and reducing unemployment, it

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