Stop po­lit­i­cal nepo­tism in mil­i­tary

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor -

In May 2013, Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den’s son, Hunter Bi­den, was given a di­rect com­mis­sion as an of­fi­cer in the U.S. Navy Re­serves (USNR). Hunter Bi­den was 43 at the time and needed two waivers to do this — one be­cause of his age and another be­cause of a prior il­le­gal-drug-re­lated in­ci­dent. Within one month of be­com­ing an of­fi­cer, he tested pos­i­tive for co­caine and was dis­charged in Fe­bru­ary 2014. This only came to light in the past month (“Hunter Bi­den dis­charged from Navy Re­serve for pos­i­tive co­caine test,” Web, Oct. 16). So much for trans­parency in gov­ern­ment.

Some­one needs to in­ves­ti­gate how Hunter Bi­den and oth­ers with po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions have been able to join the U.S. Navy and other branches of ser­vice in this way. Then some­one ought to re­lease the re­sults to the me­dia, see­ing as how the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion cam­paign ran on a prom­ise of trans­parency. This has been go­ing on for decades. For­mer Sen. Gary Hart, Colorado Demo­crat, re­ceived a di­rect com­mis­sion into the USNR Judge Ad­vo­cate Gen­eral’s Corps (JAGC) while in Congress and was said not to have spent any time on ac­tive duty or drilling. The se­nior of­fi­cers of the mil­i­tary per­mit this sort of thing to hap­pen in or­der to curry fa­vor with politi­cians to help their mil­i­tary and post-mil­i­tary ca­reers.

The di­rect of­fi­cer com­mis­sion process into the drilling re­serves was in­tended only for those who are highly qual­i­fied in a field the mil­i­tary is desperately in need of, which usu­ally means doc­tors and nurses. There is no short­age of pub­lic af­fairs or JAGC of­fi­cers want­ing to be in the drilling re­serves, and Hunter Bi­den did not have the ex­pe­ri­ence to war­rant such an ap­point­ment. Most pub­lic af­fairs and JAGC of­fi­cers given di­rect com­mis­sions are re­quired to serve on ac­tive duty for sev­eral years as part of their ap­point­ment. They can then go into the drilling re­serves, but only with sev­eral years of mil­i­tary ex­pe­ri­ence un­der their belts. In Hunter Bi­den’s case, this is nepo­tism at its finest.

Congress needs to pass leg­is­la­tion to bar White House of­fi­cials, po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees and mem­bers of Congress from join­ing the mil­i­tary, with a sim­i­lar bar for mem­bers of those in­di­vid­u­als’ im­me­di­ate fam­i­lies. If th­ese peo­ple are al­ready in the mil­i­tary, they should have to be placed on in­ac­tive sta­tus so long as they or their fam­ily mem­ber hold of­fice.

WAYNE L. JOHN­SON Judge Ad­vo­cate Gen­eral’s Corps, U.S. Navy (re­tired) Alexan­dria, Vir­ginia

Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den and son Hunter Bi­den

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