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Hooray and hallelujah. Daryl Jones, Bill Clinton’s nominee for
secretary
of the Air Force, got shot down in flames by a brave Senate committee
last
week.

John Warner, R.-Va, spearheaded this maneuver, ably backed up by
Charles
Robb, D.-Va, and Robert Byrd, D.-W.Va. They and other panel members put
America ahead of partisan politics and stopped Jones from further
zapping
an Air Force already under siege.

Senate panel members — where a majority put conscience over cronyism

will catch a lot of flack from politically correct hand-wringers who
think
affirmative action and quotas are more important than putting the right
person in the right job when it comes to defending America.

Jones’ nomination was by far the worst of a long string of bad
Clinton
Pentagon appointments: Les Aspin, William Cohen, John Dalton, Sheila
Widnall and Togo West — none of whom could lead a frog to a puddle on a
hot day.

Jones would have clobbered an Air Force already on the mat because of
bad
senior leadership, an Air Force trying to do too much with too little
and
weakened by an exodus of good people walking out the front gate.

Jones’ former commander, Col. Thomas A. Dyches, told the panel, “I
believe
there are serious questions about Daryl Jones’ personal integrity.”
Trust
is something Jones doesn’t exactly inspire. People who have served with
him
openly call him a liar.

To pump fresh air into a deeply troubled Air Force it needs a strong
leader who can take charge, kick butt and clean house. The extraordinary
fine young folks who serve in our Air Force deserve no less. Warner says
Jones was unable to even “inspire those who serve under him.”

My computer almost burned up with Jones’ horror stories:

An Air Force Colonel: “We’re in a steep decline both in operational
capability and morale. Putting that self-serving nitwit in charge would
have put us into the proverbial ‘smoking hole.’”

An Air Force Major: “How did he draw four years flight pay when he
wasn’t on flight status? If a grunt tried this stunt he’d be making
license
plates at Leavenworth prison.”

A senior Air Force sergeant: “The USAF is in far worse shape than
even
you write about. Jones would’ve made it worse. I served with him. His
judgment stinks. He’d probably put Amway products in the BX (Base
Exchange)
and march us there to buy them.”

It’s pathetic that a person with so flawed a character could even be
considered for such an important national security assignment. But then,
as
one colonel said, “Look who nominated him?”

And this is the nub of the problem. How could Clinton pick someone so
manifestly unqualified for the job? Either Clinton’s judgment is fried
or
he’s flat doing his best to set up our military for failure!

On the surface Clinton seems always to defer to our military. He
visits
the troops often, wears military gear and talks a caring game. But when
it
comes to appointing true-grit leadership that could pull the services
out
of a six-year nose dive, he constantly comes up with fumblers and
losers.

Equally troubling, Clinton remained silent over CNN’s false nerve gas
charges which dishonored every serving American soldier, past and
present.
Loyalty to pals Jane and Ted Turner and CNN President Richard Kaplan won
out over loyalty to the troops.

I suspect Clinton, who wrote he “loathed” our military in 1969, wants
it
to fail, whether consciously or unconsciously. And that he’s managed to
accomplish! When he took over as commander in chief in 1992 our forces
were
Desert Storm strong. Now they’re a thin shell of that once mighty war
machine, sputtering and barely fit to fight.

Strong secretaries would never have allowed this to happen. Can you
imagine two-fisted former Secretary of the Navy James Webb, who
resigned in protest because Ronald Reagan cut his fleet, saying this
about
Jones: “He is a man of proven ability who understands the challenges of
public service.”

But weak Clinton clones never groan. And Republican Secretary of
Defense
Cohen said just that! Clinton and Cohen are the two guys ultimately
responsible for the security of America.

Sadly, never have our defenses been so badly undercut from within.

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