My name is Buzz Patterson. I served as an Air Force officer and pilot for 20 years before retiring in 2001 to pursue a career in commercial aviation and, later, non-fiction political writing. During my service in uniform, I flew in U.S. combat operations under Presidents Reagan, Bush Senior, and Clinton in international hotspots including Grenada, Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, and Bosnia. Perhaps the most notable of my many military assignments, I served at the right hand of President William Jefferson Clinton from May of 1996 until May of 1998 as his Air Force Aide, senior military aide for most of those 24 months, and carrier of the ??¢â???¬?????Nuclear Football,??¢â???¬ the black leather bound briefcase that contains the nation??¢â???¬â???¢s nuclear weapons capability.
My assignment to the White House should have been the highlight of my career. Hand-picked by the Clinton Administration at the rank of major to hold a position that select few military officers have held since George Washington hired his first aide, I was thrilled at the opportunity and humbled by the prospect. Naturally, I had expectations when I made my first walk through the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and through the entrance of the East Wing to my office.
What I witnessed over my two years at the Clinton White House not only greatly disappointed me but left me thoroughly disgusted and disillusioned. I found no strategic vision other than egocentric ambition. I witnessed complete na???? ¯vet???? © toward emerging threats of radical Islamic terrorism. I experienced first-hand Clinton??¢â???¬â???¢s total abdication of moral authority in the leadership of our armed forces resulting from criminal sexual incidents involving Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Monica Lewinsky, and an Air Force One enlisted flight steward. I watched the systematic, thorough slashing of American military capabilities, morale, and international reputation. I first participated in, and then shockingly observed numerous inane, ill-conceived military deployments undertaken for purely political expediency.
As a result, I authored my first book for Regnery Publishing in 2003, Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America??¢â???¬â???¢s National Security. It was a story I was compelled to tell, not only due to a sense of loyalty I felt to myself and my country but because I was implored to by countless military peers, supervisors and subordinates to do so once I??¢â???¬â???¢d hung up my Air Force flight suit for the last time.
Now, our nation stands at a most critical juncture. To re-elect President George W. Bush and continue to fight what, in my opinion, is the next great World War, or to return to the tired, failed policies and vacuous leadership of liberal Democrats — the party that offered us Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now, John Kerry. To take the fight to our enemies no matter the cave or spider hole as is George Bush??¢â???¬â???¢s commitment or to transfer responsibility for America??¢â???¬â???¢s national security to impotent, ineffectual, sometimes corrupt international organizations such as the United Nations, as John Kerry would have us do.
My new book, Reckless Disregard: How Liberal Democrats Undercut Our Military, Endanger Our Soldiers, and Jeopardize Our Security, is being released by Regnery this week. This is a book the Kerry campaign and liberal Democrats do not want to come out now. I??¢â???¬â???¢m extremely excited about it, coming as it does in these hot, contentious months leading to what will be the most important presidential election in recent memory.
The good folks at Human Events Online have invited me to join their team as a national security correspondent and given me the opportunity to launch this web log, ??¢â???¬?????The Buzz Cut.??¢â???¬ I??¢â???¬â???¢m honored to be a part of this important conservative weekly and privileged to offer perspectives from the military and national security perspective.
This is the first of many daily offerings from a military angle set within the political fabric; from a career officer who served under the morally driven, decisive leadership of President Ronald Reagan; who experienced firsthand the proud reclamation of military pride from the hollow years of Jimmy Carter and the winning of the Cold War; who proudly participated in the greatest military victory in the history of the world in Desert Storm under President George H.W. Bush; and who then served under Bill Clinton directly as he emasculated our military, chose to ignore the growing insurgency of Al Qaeda, and left his successor the tragedy of 9-11.
I greatly look forward to working with the staff of Human Events and engaging in dialogue with you as we approach November and beyond. With our war on terror, our military needs a voice. I hope I can contribute to that. Our military is also deserving of a commander-in-chief with the fiber and backbone to lead in extremely difficult and trying times. That is the challenge for all Americans. Liberal Democrats have been tested and found lacking. 9-11 was my generation??¢â???¬â???¢s Pearl Harbor. Our men and women in uniform have answered the call. Will we?