Friday, April 23, 2010
Democratic US Senate candidate Joe Sestak is pushing back against an Arlen Specter ad claiming he was "relieved of duty" as a Navy Admiral. In what could be considered the first attack ad of the democratic primary the voice over says Joe Sestak was, “Relieved of duty in the Navy for creating a poor command climate.” Sestak says that isn't true. Sestak explains he was reassigned after a new chief naval officer took over, and the two butted heads, “I respect the new CNO… I proposed 260 ships, he believes it should be 315. I respected that. He wanted his own team.” Sestak, who had attained the rank of Three-Star Admiral, decided shortly thereafter to leave the Navy. He says it was only partially based on the stance taken by Admiral Michael Mullen. Right around the same time Sestak’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer and he says that played a major role. He served 31 years in the Navy, and commanded an aircraft carrier battle group during the early portion of the Afghanistan war. The ad notes that even though Sestak attained the rank of three-star admiral, he is listed as having just two stars in his retirement. Sestak says he was not demoted, “You need three years to retire as a three-star admiral. I don't even know if I'd had a year yet as a three-star.” Sestak says Senator Arlen Specter crossed the line by attacking his military record.