Able Danger Blog

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sestak making Able Danger a campaign issue?

I was doing my usual search at Google for news on Able Danger, when I realized Weldon's Democratic challenger Joe Sestak had used some of his new John Kerry fundraising money to purchase internet advertising on the keyword "Able Danger":

Sponsored Links

Sestak for Congress
Retired Admiral Joe Sestak
running against Curt Weldon, PA 07

Good grief. If Sestak thinks anyone interested in Able Danger is not going to support Weldon as a result, he is mistaken. He is also making a mistake by claiming on his web site to be an "Iraq war veteran" when the truth is that he returned home to the US three months before the invasion began:

Support Murphy, Sestak and other Iraq war veterans running for Congress

Joe Sestak has served America in the White House and on the battlefield. He worked for President Clinton as Director of Defense Policy. And, as a Vice Admiral, he led an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group of 30 ships and 15,000 men and women in combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Joe wants to bring the accountability he learned in the military to Congress where it is sorely lacking. You can help him do it by acting right now.

UPDATE: Another article on his own website makes it clear that Sestak was not actually in theater during the Iraq War:

Sestak later took control of the George Washington Battle Group, conducting air-combat operations over Afghanistan. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, the group participated in Operation Southern Watch, monitoring the no-fly zone.

You can confirm that here and here.

Commanding a Battle Group for six months with missions in Afghanistan and Iraq is something Sestak should be proud to talk about. Why embellish the story and claim to be an Iraq War veteran if he is not? The answer is that they think an Iraq War veteran running for Congress makes a better candidate. Of course, if you ask Sestak what he thinks of the war that he is now saying he fought in, you don't get a clear answer there either:

Joe Sestak's argument with the Iraq war is standard John Kerry fare: The Iraq war was not wrong per se, it was just undertaken at "the wrong time," according to Sestak's campaign website. The United States should have finished the job in Afghanistan -- "win the peace" -- and then turned its attention to Iraq.

And that's not all. If the United States had finished its objective in Afghanistan first, Sestak says, "we could have later brought, if needed, an undivided U.S. force to Iraq within a large Arab-led regional coalition."

Huh? At what point in time does Sestak think that the United States could have cobbled together a "large Arab-led regional coalition" to undertake preemptive war against Iraq?