- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In response to your editorial “A disaster for Defense” (Editorial, April 24), I would like to register great objection to your ad hominem attack on Rosa Brooks. As one of those “iron colonels” to whom you refer in your editorial, I can attest that Ms. Brooks conducts herself with the highest level of professionalism. She treats her military colleagues with great respect, and she holds her position as a public servant in defense of the nation with the utmost seriousness and honor.

In America, a person should be judged on the quality and manner of his public service, not by the opinions he may hold, or previously espoused as a private citizen. I could not tell you what Ms. Brooks thinks politically, because at the Pentagon it is not about party or ideology but duty and responsibility. I sit in almost every meeting that Ms. Brooks sits in, and no one discusses personal political opinions. The assertion that she would push a radical agenda is both unfounded and insulting to the Defense Department’s chain of command.

Just to be crystal clear, I am a registered Republican and I voted for Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, for president. None of this matters one bit to the new political appointees I serve. Ms. Brooks should get the same fair shake from the press as I get from my newly appointed leadership.

The commitment to nation over party is what Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michelle Flournoy embody. It is what all of us in Defense Policy - including Rosa Brooks - practice.

TOM COSENTINO

Colonel, U.S. Army

Senior military assistant

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy

Gaithersburg

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