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The Augusta Chronicle

Republican Rampage Against Gordon England

By Robert Novak

February 18, 2002
Copyright © 2002
The Augusta Chronicle. All Rights Reserved.

REPUBLICAN MEMBERS of the Senate Armed Services Committee are on the rampage against Gordon England, secretary of the Navy, for ruling against continued live ammunition training at Vieques Island in Puerto Rico.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is furious that England, an aerospace executive who is new to the Navy and lacks military service, overruled Naval officers' recommendation of retaining the Vieques range. Inhofe contended in an open hearing that England had promised him that he would follow the advice of the uniformed Navy. Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky added that if he had known in advance the position that England took, he would have voted against his confirmation by the Senate.

England's verdict appears final, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld saying that this is strictly a Navy matter. Inhofe was so upset that he explored ways of removing England from office.

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