Senate conservatives proudly call themselves “Reagan Republicans” because of Reagan’s “Peace Through Strength” military policies. But in Leon Panetta, whose nomination comes up for a full Senate vote for Secretary of Defense on Tuesday, they are being asked to endorse a man whose Congressional career was dedicated to fighting Reagan’s defense build-up and anti-communist policies. That is why the unanimous vote in favor of Panetta in the Senate Armed Services Committee is so mystifying.
Based on the facts about Panetta’s record and curious connections to a major figure in the Communist Party, which are only lately starting to get the attention of the conservative media, a vote for Panetta can only be viewed as trashing the Reagan legacy.
At a time when Reagan had said, “In virtually every measure of military power the Soviet Union enjoys a decided advantage,” Panetta sought to undermine Reagan’s pro-defense policies at every turn:
Panetta in 1983 endorsed the nuclear weapons freeze, a concept backed by the Soviet Union which would have frozen in place a Soviet nuclear advantage in Europe.
Panetta supported a ban on the testing and deployment of new nuclear ballistic missiles.
Panetta opposed CIA covert operations to undermine the Communist Sandinista regime, calling Reagan’s support for the Nicaraguan freedom fighters a “dirty war.”
Panetta opposed the neutron bomb, an enhanced radiation weapon designed to counter a Soviet tank build-up in Europe.
Panetta opposed the B-1 bomber, which was funded under Reagan and is today a key part of the fleet.
While most members of Congress were saluting Reagan and our troops for liberating Grenada, Panetta criticized the Reagan action and warned against the dispatch of a U.S. naval task force to the vicinity of Cuba. “This is not a time to seek out new targets to flex our military muscle,” Panetta said.
Panetta opposed the MX “Peacekeeper” missile, arguing it would jeopardize arms negotiations with the Soviets.Reagan had warned that defunding the system would “weaken our ability to deter war…”
When the Senate approved Panetta’s nomination as CIA director, Senators were denied important information about his relationship with Communist Party figure Hugh DeLacy and DeLacy’s ties to Soviet and Chinese intelligence operatives. It is not clear if Senate investigators or the FBI, or both, failed to investigate Panetta’s background. However, Diana West writes about this sensitive topic in The Washington Examiner. Regarding the lack of attention to this critical matter, she writes, “Our legislative branch is falling asleep on the job over stories that should be giving them—and us—night sweats.”
DeLacy, one of only two congressmen exposed as a member of the Moscow-funded Communist Party, was under suspicion when he was in the Congress (January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1947), having been elected as a Democrat who gave outspoken pro-communist speeches on the House floor. At the time, in response to his remarks in favor of the Chinese Communists, Republican Rep. Clare Boothe Luce had called him “Communist-fed,” one of the “Moscow-tuned voices,” a darling of the Communist Party publication The Daily Worker, and source of “Communist propaganda.” DeLacy, she said, had “a definite Communist bias,” after citing several cases of him belonging to Communist Party fronts. For his part, DeLacy would sing the praises in the Congressional Record of Harry Bridges, the “west coast labor leader” who was in fact a member of the Communist Party. He also attacked the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which exposed communists.
Read More at Accuracy in Media By Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media