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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Panetta’s carbon-footprint hypocrisy

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Victor Davis Hanson wrote a wonderful Op-Ed pillorying a number of this administration's Cabinet secretaries, calling into question the competence of Timothy F. Geithner, Kenneth L. Salazar, Steven Chu, Eric H. Holder Jr. and Hilda L. Solis ("Cabinet gone wild," May 3).

I am curious, though, why Mr. Hanson didn't include Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta in his pantheon of ideologues. Mr. Panetta has pushed for vast increases in what military members will be forced to pay for their medical care, has advocated wrecking the military's retirement system through a comprehensive "modernization" based on a 2011 Defense Business Board recommendation that focused on "fairness," and appears to be standing idly by while disastrous cuts to the Defense Department loom on the horizon.

I guess these are but minor issues. After all, Mr. Panetta can't possibly be concerned with such pedestrian matters when he has to refocus the entire Pentagon on climate change. Notwithstanding peer-reviewed studies showing a decade of cooling, an increase in polar-ice volume and the flourishing of the polar bear population (the alleged decline of which has been a key metric used by leftist hand-wringers around the world as a clear sign of impending doom) Mr. Panetta announced to the world on May 1, "[T]he area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security." He then rattled off the usual concerns: rising sea levels, drought, etc.

But isn't it interesting that Mr. Panetta's concerns about climate change end when he climbs aboard his taxpayer-funded Gulfstream jet for his frequent junkets home to California? With carbon dioxide being belched into the atmosphere and all, you'd think he would be a bit more concerned. Actually, Mr. Panetta's actions closely mirror those of the rest of the leftist crowd that comprises Team Obama.

DAN WILSON

Stafford, Va.

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