Council for a Livable World Endorses Sestak at AM Press Conference

Aug 20, 2009

Washington, D.C. -- At a 10AM press conference this morning in Philadelphia, the nation's leading arms control advocacy organization, Council for a Livable World, announced its endorsement of Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

Council for a Livable World is a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization dedicated to reducing the danger of nuclear weapons and increasing national security. The Council raised $1.4 million for its endorsed candidates in the 2008 election cycle.

Representing the Council at the endorsement press conference was Brigadier General John Johns, a retired Army officer and Council board member. Johns served as a combat arms officer in the Army for over 26 years, retiring in 1978. He taught leadership and ethics at the U.S. Military Academy and has lectured on ethics at the Air War College, Army War College, U.S. Military Academy, and the Naval Academy.

Below is the transcript of Johns's prepared remarks.

Prepared Remarks of Brig. Gen. John Johns (USA, ret.)
August 20, 2009

Good morning. I am honored to have the opportunity to introduce a person who I hope will become the junior Senator from Pennsylvania in January 2011.

I am on the board of directors of the Council for a Livable World and represent that organization in endorsing Congressman Sestak. But I am more than that; I am a citizen who has devoted his entire professional life to the nation's national security. I believe we are now at a critical juncture that requires adaptation to new realities if we are to maintain that security. Much of our leadership does not seem to realize that past policies and over reliance on military power will not work.

It is ironic that one of the people who fully understands the new paradigm of national power is a man who has dedicated most of his life to the military; a person who rose to the top of that profession. Joe Sestak knows how to use military force, but he also knows the limits of that element of power and knows how to use it appropriately. This perspective stems from a combination of his native intellect, his academic studies, and his experience as a staff member of the National Security Council.

I started following his career when he ran for office in 2006, when we endorsed him. I have watched his record in Congress in terms of the issues we at the Council have supported, especially on Middle East policy, arms control, and missile defense. I have watched him work across the aisle with people like Congressman Walter Jones from North Carolina. He is a pragmatist, not a partisan ideologue!

I will not dwell on his opponent in the upcoming primary; his record is well known. If voters compare this 57 year-old candidate to Senator Specter, I believe they will send Joe Sestak to the Senate.

On a personal note, I compare Joe Sestak with another Senator I once introduced, Jack Reed, who has a comparable record and background. In that introduction, I said that Jack Reed should be at the other end of Pennsylvania Ave. I will say the same about Joe Sestak: he is the kind of person who should occupy the Oval Office in the future.