Update (11/19/09): more than two months with no response. Time to ramp it up a notch:
The Honorable Gabrielle Giffords November 19, 2009
U.S. House of Representatives
1728 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congresswoman Giffords,
I mailed the attached letter to the US Air Force Chief of Staff on September 16, 2009 (with copies to your office and to Senators McCain and Kyl).
To date I’ve received no response from anyone in the USAF. It’s been more than two months. I expected at the very least an acknowledgement of my concerns. Since the USAF has not seen fit to respond, I’m elevating my concerns to your attention.
I feel very strongly about the issues described in the attached letter. The military, whether passively or actively, is sowing disrespect and disdain for the commander in chief by allowing individual installation commanders to air anti-administration Fox News propaganda to troops under their command. Armed Forces Radio overseas is actively broadcasting sedition to American troops by airing Rush Limbaugh.
Please help me get some action on my request. For your information, I’m sending copies of this letter (with attachment) to Senators McCain and Kyl.
Thank You, Paul Woodford, Lt Col, USAF (ret)
cc: Senator John McCain
Senator John Kyl
Original post (9/16/09):
The other day I posted a rant about right-wing reaction to President Obama’s recent address to the nation’s schoolchildren, and vowed to write to some people who matter about my opposition to military commanders allowing the airing of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to military men and women.
This morning I did just that:
Air Force Chief of Staff September 16, 2009
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670
Dear General Schwartz,
I request your support in directing USAF installation commanders to stop allowing Fox News to be aired on public area televisions under their control, and in removing the Rush Limbaugh Show from Armed Forces Radio Network.
When I visit my local USAF installation, Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona, almost all public area televisions are tuned to Fox News. I believe there is a DoD regulation or AF instruction mandating that public area televisions be set to neutral news channels, not politically partisan ones.
Fox News by any objective measure has gone beyond political partisanship. The thrust of Fox News commentary today is relentlessly directed at undermining President Obama in all aspects of his administration.
In a related and potentially more serious issue, Armed Forces Radio Network broadcasts the Rush Limbaugh Show to USAF members stationed overseas. Mr. Limbaugh has publicly and repeatedly expressed his wish that President Obama fail, and has dedicated his show to sabotaging the policies, efforts, and goals of our Commander in Chief. I’m a moderate and in no way an activist, but I find his remarks seditious, even treasonous, and many Americans feel the same way. I cannot understand why this man is allowed to voice his seditious opinions to our forces overseas.
Fox News, along with Mr. Limbaugh, sows disrespect and disdain for the Commander in Chief among military men and women. Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh in particular, is actively working against our President and Commander in Chief.
During my USAF career, I served under Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. Regardless of my personal political opinions, I always respected the office of the President of the United States, and served each Commander in Chief to the best of my abilities. My understanding of my oath of office was that, should I ever feel myself unable to serve any particular President and Commander in Chief, I would have been obliged to resign my commission.
There is a clear conflict between the military’s embrace of seditious radio commentary and partisan television programming, and our constitutional obligation to support the Commander in Chief in peace and war, as well as to respect the office of the President of the United States.
Please take an active role in directing USAF installation commanders to stop allowing the airing of Fox News on public area televisions, and work with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to get Rush Limbaugh off the Armed Forces Network.
Paul Woodford, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (retired)
cc: Senator John McCain
Senator John Kyl
Representative Gabrielle Giffords
For some reason, the USAF has taken to hiding the postal and email addresses of senior leaders, and I had to diligently search the net to find them. I thought it would be more effective to send my comments via signed letter, so I used snail mail rather than email.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.
© 2009, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.