Let there be no doubt--Perfect Peter Pace has been shown the door because of his letter to Judge Walton pleading on behalf of Scooter Libby. That letter was the final straw demonstrating his incompetence and political tin ear as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. How can you call call upon troops to conduct themselves with honor and integrity when you make lame excuses for the conduct of a convicted perjurer and obstructer of justice like Scooter Libby? Pace's Libby letter was the tipping point. His status, already shaky with the debacle of Iraq and a six year record of failure, became toxic with that letter.
"Perfect" Peter Pace and I share one thing in common. We both worked, at one time in our separate careers, for a crusty old Marine Colonel, Dominick (Dick) R. Gannon. Dick Gannon is like a second father to me and has been a critical mentor in my life. Dick is a warrior 's warrior, not afraid to fight, but would not put troops in harm's way unless there is a good reason and clear objective. During the invasion of Grenada in 1983, Dick reported to Senior State Department officials that a team of Navy SEALS, who had been dropped into the ocean to infiltrate the island, had drowned and that a new mission was being organized. The State Department officials said, "never mind, it is not that important".
When Dick recounted this incident to me in 1989 he still boiled with anger. How dare U.S. officials send military personnel on a mission where their lives were at risk that was not important or critical? I learned from Dick that a leader--military or political--should not ever do such a thing. Unfortunately, Peter Pace did not listen closely enough to Dick.
I believe that Perfect Peter has dishonored himself and dishonored the Marine Corps by his conduct--his weak, vacillating leadership and his craven pandering to political masters. Pace's nickname, "Perfect Peter", is not a term of endearment. It is an acknowledgment that Peter has been more willing than others to sell his soul for political expediency. He leaves in September. Good riddance.
(Cross-posted at NoQuarter).