By Dave Patterson
Retired U.S. Air Force Pilot with over 180 combat missions in Vietnam
Former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense
The woke Pentagon tries to slip around the law, and one US senator says not so fast. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is trying to hold the Department of Defense accountable to the statutes that govern it.
The DOD wasn’t happy with the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which sent the issue of whether abortions should be legal back to the states. Following the ruling, the Department decided to use taxpayer dollars to thwart it.
The pro-abortion lobby, with the White House in tow, demanded the Pentagon subsidize military women in their quest for abortions.
The military leadership decided to take up the social justice cause. It established a policy at taxpayer expense to provide more than the accrued annual leave, “additional leave (up to 21 days) and travel expenses reimbursements in order to obtain abortions which fall outside the statutory limitations of 10 USC §1093,” Tuberville explained in a letter to Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin III.
As a consequence of the Pentagon’s unlawful policy, on December 5, 2022, the senator used his authority as a member of the US Senate and established rules to place a hold on all Pentagon general and flag officer promotions.
To discuss what this hold-up of senior officer promotions actually means, Senator Tuberville agreed to an exclusive interview with Liberty Nation.
LN: It would seem the DOD would want to resolve this issue since the Pentagon’s senior leadership prompted your action rather than be outside the statute and suffer what eventually would lead to gaps in general and flag officer leadership. What would Secretary Austin have to do right now to solve his problem?
Sen. Tuberville: Secretary Austin could end this today. If the Pentagon drops this illegal policy, I’ll drop my hold. It’s that simple. On the other hand, if Joe Biden signs a law that makes this legal, then I’ll accept that, too. But Democrats don’t want to do either one. This is a two-way street. I warned them ahead of time that if they did this, I would force a vote on these nominees. They did it anyway. They knew what they were doing. And
the fact that they won’t budge tells you that abortion is more important to them than these nominees.
LN: Has Secretary Austin reached out to you to address and resolve the problems the DOD policy has created?
Sen. Tuberville: Secretary Austin ignored my letters for about eight months. I warned him about this. It wasn’t until after I started slowing down his nominees that he finally called me. We talked for about 10 minutes back in March, and he made absolutely no offer of compromise. Then in early July, we talked again, twice, for about ten minutes each, with the same result.
There has been absolutely no offer of compromise or common ground from Democrats in the Senate or the Biden Administration.
LN: In a recent letter to Secretary Austin, you asked 13 questions, seven of which dealt directly with the Pentagon’s subsidized abortion services policy and six with the impact your hold might have on the succession of general and flag officer leadership. The Pentagon has until September 1 to answer. Have you had any response to this point?
Sen. Tuberville: No, I have not. When Elizabeth Warren sent Secretary Austin a letter in April, she got a response within a month. Maybe that’s a coincidence.
LN: You are on the Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Service Committee. You are responsible for assuring our forces are ready. What do you say to people who allege you are hurting readiness with your hold on senior officer promotions?
Sen. Tuberville: It’s not affecting readiness. None of these jobs are open—all of them are being performed by highly experienced acting officials. Time and again, our generals have assured me that our military is ready to fight and win.
The real threat to our readiness is Joe Biden’s woke agenda, which has destroyed our ability to recruit and even discharged 8,000 patriots over the vaccine mandate.
LN: We learned recently in the Military Times that Secretary Austin sent a memo to Defense Military Departments and agencies with guidance on reorganizing leadership roles to minimize the impact of your promotion holds. What is your reaction?
Sen. Tuberville: This just shows exactly what I just said: all of these jobs are being done.
LN: Recent surveys have indicated the American public has lost confidence in the US military. What does the Pentagon’s choosing a social justice-motivated pro-abortion policy do to Americans’ plummeting respect for military senior leadership?
Sen. Tuberville: This woke agenda just drives away anybody who isn’t woke—and that’s the vast majority of the recruiting pool in this country. There was a survey recently that showed one of the top reasons people don’t want to enlist is lack of trust in military leaders. That’s because of this widespread and justified perception that our military is becoming less friendly to conservatives or even moderates. We can’t have a politicized military—that’s what they have in third-world banana republics. Our military defends everyone, and it should be for everyone.
LN: Senator, Liberty Nation is grateful for your time.
Needless to say, the senator’s action has caused an uproar in the five-sided building. Critics from both sides of the aisle have leveled accusations at Senator Tuberville.
Lost in all the noise, however, is the fact that Defense Secretary Austin and Biden’s White House appear to have brought this problem on themselves by seeking exceptions to the Dobbs ruling.
As the senator believes, Secretary Austin elected a course of action, putting the Defense Department at odds with the law, choosing the way of the social justice advocate rather than being an advocate for national security imperatives.