Former CIA Analyst Speculates Libby Letter Was Last Straw for General Who Had No Idea How Many Were Killed in Either Iraq or on 9/11...
By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2007, 11:35am PT  

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace --- who recently revealed he hadn't a clue about how many of his own U.S. troops were killed in Iraq or how many had died on 9/11 --- is being replaced by order of Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, according to news reports this morning.

Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson speculates the final straw was Pace's letter of support sent to the Judge in the Scooter Libby case:

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.

Pace's letter, sent to Judge Reggie Walton on Libby's behalf, notes that "He impressed me as a team player." The letter is posted in full here by The Smoking Gun.

Jon Soltz, an Iraq war vet and Chairman of VoteVets.org, the largest political group of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, concurs with Johnson's assessment. "General Pace grossly overstepped his bounds and poorly represented the military with his political actions and misguided statements," according to a Soltz in a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG. "The straw that broke the camel's back, for us, was his defense of a convicted felon, Scooter Libby, when it was entirely improper for him to do so, as a top leader in the military, who must remain non-partisan."

Johnson concludes: "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....Peter has been more willing than others to sell his soul for political expediency. He leaves in September. Good riddance."