Baucus, Tester condemn personal attacks on “America’s Heroes”

Senators support legislation denouncing personal attacks for political gain

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today supported legislation which strongly condemned attacks on the honor, integrity and patriotism of anyone serving or anyone who has served in the United States Armed Forces.

Baucus and Tester voted for the legislation, which received 51 votes, condemning an ad by MoveOn that ran September 10.  MoveOn, a public policy organization, attacked General David Petraeus, the military commander in Iraq who testified before Congress last week.

The amendment also denounced any attacks on the patriotism of those serving honorably, or those who have served admirably, in the U.S. military.  The measure condemned a 2002 TV ad visually linking Georgia Senator Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and assailing his courage and patriotism.  Cleland lost both of his legs and an arm in the Vietnam War.  He is also the recipient of the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.

The senators said that personal attacks on distinguished soldiers and veterans have become too frequent in American politics.

"Montana men and women who fight for freedom and democracy across the globe shouldn't have to fight for their dignity once they return," Baucus said.

Tester, a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, said with so many weighty issues facing the country, there is no room to waste time on such attacks.

"The men and women that wear the uniform and put themselves in harm's way deserve nothing less than our thanks and gratitude," said Tester.  "Personal attacks on America's heroes for political gain have no place in the discussion and debate on the serious issues that face this nation."