Monday, October 19, 2009

Newest Clean Energy Smear Tactic: Call Veterans "Traitors" For Supporting Bill

Do these men look like traitors to you?

More than 150 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, as well as retired generals and admirals, recently visited the White House and Congress to lobby for clean energy and climate legislation. Having seen firsthand the effects of America's dependence on foreign oil (and in some cases, bearing scars from their service), these members of the armed forces have clearly earned the right to have their opinion on national security issues heard.

Which is why even we were shocked (and shocking us takes a lot these days) to read about a line of attack that has been taken up by Big Oil and other drilling advocates against the veterans' clean energy campaign, Operation FREE. When Operation FREE's exceptionally well-received bus tour passed through Maine, the veterans invited local lawmakers to meet with veterans and hear their valuable perspective. One GOP state representative, Daryl Metcalfe, went on the attack:
Subject: Re: Veterans for American Power Bus Tour coming to your state

As a veteran,

I believe that any veteran lending their name, to promote the leftist propaganda of global warming and climate change, in an effort to control more of the wealth created in our economy, through cap and tax type policies, all in the name of national security, is a traitor to the oath he or she took defend the Constitution of our great nation!

Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda.

Drill Baby Drill!!!

For Liberty,
Daryl Metcalfe
State Representative
Veteran U.S. Army
So according to Metcalfe, everyone in the video above - as well as Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and retired Republican Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, both of whom served in the military and now call that service central to their support of clean energy and climate legislation - is a traitor.

A traitor.

Also of note is Daryl Metcalfe's own military experience. Now no one can attack him for his time in the armed forces, the major component of which was a stint as a Radar specialist in Germany during the 1980s, but his experience was in all likelihood quite different from what our men and women in uniform are seeing today on the ground fighting al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

More importantly, Metcalfe seems to be attacking veterans' use of their service as something that qualifies them to speak on clean energy. Doesn't that make his own use of the fact that he served to attack his fellow veterans a little awkward?

(And if there were any doubt about a major motivation behind Metcalfe's attack, the "Drill Baby Drill!" bit at the end really helped clear that up.)

In an editorial, Jonathan Powers - an Iraq War veteran who spent fifteen grueling months driving a tank in Baghdad and Najaf - calmly takes Metcalfe to task for his wild attack.

I think veterans who have fought in the Middle East and Afghanistan have unique perspective on the way our energy posture and climate change affect our national security.

That is what Operation FREE is about, American security. That is why hundreds are joining the fight.

I would like to ask Rep. Metcalfe if he thinks Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn or Republican Senator John Warner are traitors.

When I testified with these two leaders to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works about the threat that climate change poses to our national security were they disavowing their oath to the Constitution?
For more resources on the national security implications of climate change, check out Operation Free and the Truman National Security Project. Also follow Operation FREE's bus tour here.

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