McCain Demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Miffed that the Office of Secretary of Defense isn’t complying with provisions in this year’s defense authorization act, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday he’ll block the civilian nominations before the Senate Armed Services Committee to fill senior-level Pentagon positions. “I have found several incidences, which have been very troubling to me, of the Department of Defense not complying with the defense authorization act that we passed last December,” stated McCain, the committee’s ranking member, during the confirmation hearing for officials including Frank Kendall to be the Pentagon’s weapons czar, James Miller to oversee defense policy, and Erin Conaton to be undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. McCain added, “I will not vote to approve these or any other nominations until I am satisfied that there is the proper compliance with laws that are passed by the Congress.” For example, McCain noted, Congress asked DOD to commission an outside organization to study the proposed base realignment from Okinawa and Guam. Lawmakers wanted the study results in March, yet the Pentagon only let the study contract a few days ago, he said. “I share very much in that frustration,” said SASC Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)