Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Ongoing Adventures of Tempestuous Tom (Cotton)

In June, 2006, while serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in Iraq, Tom Cotton wrote an open letter to the New York Times criticizing the fact that the paper had published an article detailing a secret Bush administration program monitoring terrorist’s finances. Cotton demanded that three journalists—including NYT editor Bill Keller—be imprisoned for espionage. His letter inevitably gained wide circulation, but after several days Cotton had begun to worry about losing his position—or potentially facing court martial. Not only had his letter angered his immediate superiors, it had reached the desk of Gen. Peter Schoomaker, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, who had forwarded it via email to all his generals—sarcastically prefacing it by stating “attached for your information are words of wisdom from one of our great lieutenants in Iraq…” Cotton was subsequently reprimanded for his lack of discipline, lack of adherence to protocol, and refusal to respect his chain of command.
Recent events have made it painfully clear that while Cotton is allegedly “book smart” (a B.A. and law degree from Harvard), he’s completely lacking in common sense and self-restraint. It’s clear that the world must function as Tom Cotton sees fit, or there’s bound to be hell to pay. In fact, over time his impetuous actions only appear to have escalated in . In 2006 his targets were three NY Times reporters; in 2015 his target is the duly elected President of the United States—and Commander-in-Chief of its armed forces. Since Cotton doesn’t approve of the negotiations with Iran undertaken by France, Germany, Russia, China, Great Britain and the United States, he has taken the outrageous step of attempting to undermine and subvert the President’s bargaining position by means of a petulant and threatening letter allegedly aimed at the government of Iran, but one can more accurately assume it’s directed at the President of the United States. One might also reasonably question Cotton’s loyalties (and those of his fellow 46 signatories) at this point. After all, these negotiations have not been deeply controversial in France, Germany, Russia, China or Great Britain. What’s really at the root of the “mad dog” Republican reaction?
Meanwhile, Tom Cotton has gone merrily on his way, content to ignore the furor he’s ignited though oddly choosing to briefly address the “the gays of America”—noting that “at least you’re not living in Iran”. He’s left a lot of people shaking their heads. Thanks, Arkansas. It wasn’t enough that Texas foisted Ted Cruz onto the national stage, you had to counter with Tom Cotton?

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