Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Challenging Sestak

Retired Rear Admiral (that is 2-stars Joe), now Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) looks like he has a challenger.
So, it’s going to be the Admiral vs. the Lieutenant Colonel.

Joe Sestak vs. W. Craig Williams.

No, that W doesn’t stand for Who? But it may as well.

However, if the voters care to find out just who Wendell Craig Williams is, they might be pleasantly surprised.

The affable 43-year-old Glen Mills resident, is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who is stepping down to take on the rookie congressman.

He is also a decorated U.S. Marine lieutenant colonel who flew 56 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm.

After that war, Williams, a graduate of Duke University, went to Columbia law school (where I’m told he graduated with a 3.8 grade-point average).

He put his law degree to work for the Marine Corps as a prosecutor in California, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Colorado and Philadelphia, then as deputy legal counsel for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A military brat, Williams grew up mostly in Alaska where his stepfather was stationed. Both his dad and stepdad were Vietnam vets.

After leaving active duty in 2000, Williams was working in a New York City law firm on Sept. 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North tower of the World Trade Center.

What struck him most was the eerie calm that settled over the city the next day.

“I imagined more chaos and panic than I saw,” he said.

The question foremost in Williams’ mind was “So what are we going to do now?”

Instead of getting back into an F-18, Williams eventually ended up in Washington working on legal issues concerning the handling of captured terrorists and detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

When he mentioned that he had worked for Admiral Mike Mullen (now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) I pointed out that it was Mullen who fired Joe Sestak citing “poor command climate.”

Williams was quick and emphatic.

“I got nothing to say about that. I don’t know anything about it and I’m not going to go find out.”

But Williams does have something to say about Sestak’s seemingly shifting position on the war in Iraq.

“I see a great softening of his position,” Williams says. “During the (2006) campaign it was ‘get out and get out now.’ His first piece of legislation was ‘get out, get out’ and that died in committee. And since then there has been a softening of his position.”

This has been true of many Democrats and no less true of Sestak.

But with the tide turning on the ground in Iraq, the surge working, and violence down significantly, now is not the time to talk about cutting our losses and leaving, says Williams.

“This is predominately a Republican district. And I don’t think the district believes or will accept a cut-and-run policy, especially right now.”
Where is my checkbook? More here and here.

Hat tip RR.

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