October 17, 2002 Action Alert: Ask Armed Services Committee for Open Hearing on Clark Nomination
Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee met in a closed door session to consider the nomination of Major General Robert T. Clark for promotion to Lieutenant General. Patricia Kutteles, mother of PFC Barry Winchell, was not allowed to appear before the Committee, but stood vigil outside the hearing room yesterday afternoon. “Many of the Senators inside this room are parents,” said Mrs. Kutteles. “I am here for my son, and for every mother’s child. Our children’s tomorrows depend on this Committee’s leadership today.” (For more information on Winchell’s murder, visit www.sldn.org). MG Clark testified at the hearing, and was the only person allowed to do so. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has learned that the Committee voted out several other nomination to the full Senate for consideration, but did not vote out Clark’s nomination.
Though it is unclear what the Committee’s decision to not vote yesterday will ultimately mean, it IS clear that members of the Committee need to hear from all concerned parties regarding MG Clark’s nomination. Senators have heard MG Clark’s defense of his nomination. They deserve an opportunity to hear and consider testimony from Mrs. Kutteles, SLDN and other experts.
Contact Senator Feinstein ((619) 231-9712, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Senator Boxer ((619) 239-3884, email@example.com) and urge them to vote against this nomination.
SLDN also urges you to contact Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the Committee’s chairman, and Senator John Warner (R-VA), the Committee’s ranking Republican, to request an open hearing on the nomination that includes Mrs. Kutteles and SLDN.
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) Phone: (202) 224-6221 Fax: (202) 224-1388
Senator John Warner (R-VA) Phone: (202) 224-2023 Fax: (202) 224-6295
Email Online: http://warner.senate.gov/contact/contactme.htm
Also contact Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. You can post your comments to Secretary Rumsfeld online at http://www.defenselink.mil/faq/comment.html#Form.
For background information on Major General Clark, please visit SLDN online, at www.sldn.org. A synopsis of Clark’s tenure at Fort Campbell is available for download in PDF format. Please remember to contact Senator Levin, or other members of the Armed Services Committee, as early as possible. MG Clark’s promotion would place a former commanding general, with a documented history of allowing anti-gay harassment, threats and intimidation among his troops among the Army’s highest ranking officers.
Other groups opposing the nomination include People for the American Way (www.pfaw.org), the National Organization for Women (www.now.org), the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (www.ngltf.org), the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org) and Michigan’s Triangle Foundation (www.tri.org).
Our nation, and PFC Winchell’s legacy, deserve better.