WHY NOT HONOR THE OSS?

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

The leg­is­la­tion seemed har­mo­nious and sure-footed. Mem­bers of the heroic Of­fice of Strate­gic Ser­vices — the World War II-era pre­de­ces­sor of both the CIA and U.S. spe­cial forces — had been nom­i­nated to re­ceive the Con­gres­sional Gold Medal for their in­trepid and pro­duc­tive ac­tiv­i­ties. The bill was passed by the Se­nate and ob­tained the req­ui­site num­ber of co-spon­sors to be passed by the House. Now the leg­is­la­tion has stalled, even as the pre­cious few liv­ing OSS mem­bers — all in their 90s — won­der if the recog­ni­tion will come their way. The medal has been awarded to such OSS peers as Na­tive Amer­i­can Code Talk­ers and the Doolit­tle Raiders.

“If the bill is not passed by the end of the 114th Congress, it will die and some of the great­est heroes of the great­est gen­er­a­tion will never be hon­ored for their ser­vice, which would be a trav­esty,” says a source.

“The House Repub­li­can Con­fer­ence en­acted a rule that pre­vents award­ing the Gold Medal to groups of peo­ple, un­less House lead­er­ship grants a waiver,” writes As­so­ci­ated Press cor­re­spon­dent Matthew Barakat, who notes that top GOP of­fi­cials would not com­ment.

Rep. Robert Latta, the Ohio Repub­li­can who spon­sored the leg­is­la­tion, is work­ing on a rule change that could bring the bill be­fore the House be­fore it’s too late. Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Demo­crat who shep­herded the OSS bill along in the Se­nate, told the AP: “It just shouldn’t be this hard.”

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