DERELICTION OF DUTY - ROBERT PATTERSON

Book Review

DERELICTION OF DUTY
   The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton
   Compromised America’s National Security

By Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, USAF (Ret.) © 2003

Regnery Publishing, Inc.
An Eagle Publishing Company, Washington, D.C.
216 pages
ISBN 0-89526-140-5

Reviewed for Keeping Apace by CDR Byron D. Varner U.S. Navy (Ret)

Other than through TV news bites and occasional newspaper or magazine features, the average American seldom is privileged to what actually occurs within their President’s day-to-day efforts, decisions, and demeanor with his White House staff, or to the actions of the First Lady. Usually such stories are politically driven, either for or against, and public reaction generally depends on who is telling the tale and why.

In this instance, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson uses an entirely different set of values for the judgments he states throughout his book about President William Jefferson Clinton - values based upon the authors own concepts of honor, dignity, integrity, high principles and service to his country, forged in his personal family upbringing and further embedded through his military experience.

Perhaps those of us with military backgrounds may appreciate this book more than the average citizen who has not had the benefit of such experience, but this story is one that every American should read with an open mind - political favoritism aside, if possible.

Unfortunately, the electorate does not always give a lot of credence to warning signs. Too often we vote “Party” instead of person. American voters elected Bill Clinton for two successive terms. The question is, “Would they have re-elected him after his first term had they known what Buzz Patterson knows?”

In retrospect to the media expose of Bill Clinton's sexual escapades and impeachment proceedings, however, (little or none of which was included in this story) readers can well take to heart what Patterson has to say in his book as reasonable truth, at the very least.

The following summary in the last chapter says it all:

“When the guard from the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service closed the gate behind me on my last day in the Clinton White House, all I could feel was tremendous relief. There was no sadness. There was only the sense that the man in the Oval Office had sown a whirlwind of destruction upon the integrity of our government, endangered our national security, and done enormous harm to the American military in which I served.

“He inherited a New World Order, where peace and opportunity were expected for the foreseeable future, but he left behind a world in disarray, where the symbol of America’s wealth and modern prosperity - the World Trade Center towers in New York - would be destroyed within months of his departure. His administration’s impact on the U. S. armed forces in terms of capability and readiness will truly be known only as this first decade of the new millennium concludes.

“He assumed command of the mightiest army the world has ever known, yet he left it eight years later as a significantly smaller force - significantly reduced in capability and decayed infrastructure. His impact on the military in terms of morale and discipline may never be known. Members of the armed forces, when left with no other choice, vote with their feet.

“During the Clinton administration we voted with our feet in record numbers, myself included. Events since then have only strengthened these beliefs in me. And now, after those years of destruction, there is so much work to be done. I pray that it will.”

After reading this book, two things come to mind that could be as bad or worse than the Clinton presidency:
1. Electing Hillary President.
2. Electing Kerry President.