American Patriot, Cap Weinberger, Dies

On a day when the nation is mourning the loss of former Reagan adviser Lyn Nofziger, now comes news that former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger died early this morning near his home in Maine.

Americans of all political stripes should take a moment to remember these two great citizens who devoted many years of their life to public service. For that, we should all be grateful.

Weinberger will perhaps best be remembered for overseeing the military buildup as secretary of Defense. It was under his leadership, starting in 1981, that he successfully persuaded Congress to “spend over $1 trillion on arms in Reagan’s first term and billions more after that,” according a Reuters obituary.

The obituary goes on:

He also steadfastly opposed concessions to Moscow in arms control negotiations advocated by Secretary of State George Shultz and other more moderate members of the Cabinet.

He made himself unpopular with many lawmakers by his unbending, often contentious push for funds for arms and for Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative — a program, commonly known as "Star Wars," to develop a land- and space-based shield against incoming ballistic missiles.

Weinberger wrote In the Arena: A Twentieth Century Memoir (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company). A biography on Regnery’s website lists a few of his many accomplishments:

During the Second World War, he served with the Forty-first Infantry Division and later as a member of General Douglas MacArthur’s intelligence staff. He has been awarded the Medal of Freedom with Distinction, been named an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, and received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan.

Weinberger was a close ally of Reagan’s, dating back to their time in California together. He was a California state assemblyman and later federal budget director.

He had his highs (being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II) and lows (indicted for Iran-Contra, but later pardoned).

Reaction to Weinberger’s death poured in quickly.

Former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan (AP): “I think he was just about one of the best Cabinet officers that I’ve known in a lifetime.”

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (AP): “I was deeply disturbed to learn of the death of a great American and a dear friend. Cap Weinberger was an indefatigable fighter for peace through strength. He served his nation in war and peace in so many ways.”

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl: “I am deeply saddened by the news of Caspar Weinberger’s passing. He was a good friend and a dedicated public servant. Through four decades in government, from the California State Assembly to the Pentagon, Caspar Weinberger applied his considerable intellect to many of this nation’s most critical problems. America has lost a true patriot, and our prayers are with his family today.”