Iraq Vet Condemns ‘Despicable’ Exploitation Of The ‘Good Name Of Our Veterans’ By Opponents Of Climate Action

Our guest blogger is Bryan R. Lentz (D-PA), a state representative from Pennsylvania’s 161st district and an Iraq war veteran.

Operation FreeLast week, congressional investigators uncovered a forged letter sent to the office of Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), criticizing the House’s climate change bill. According to the Washington Post, this letter was forged to appear as if it had come from an American Legion post in Virginia when in fact it was drafted by a lobbyist for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity opposing clean energy legislation.

As an Iraq war veteran and a state legislator, I object to the exploitation of the good name of our veterans and one of our nations’ most distinguished veterans organizations to serve the interest of for profit special interest groups.

On Thursday, the very same day this falsified letter came to light, I joined with a real group of veterans, over 150 from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and others. As part of Operation Free, we came from across the country to join former Senator John Warner to call on the United States to end its dependence on dirty fossil fuels, and take action to combat the national security threat of climate change. As Senator Warner, a veteran of WWII and Korea, said:

Terrorism and insurgency are fed by famine, poverty and failing states. There is a direct link between famine, poverty and failing states and climate change.

That is why we as veterans care about the energy policy – it impacts our national security.

I traveled to DC because I believe the Senate needs act on the Waxman-Markey bill quickly, and pass serious climate change legislation this year. The dishonest tactics of special interest groups are despicable at all times. But when our nation’s security and the good name of real soldiers are put on the line in the name of greed and profiteering, it’s a whole new level of unacceptable.

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