The Best Defense

George Patton's reading list

This is the note I sent yesterday to Fox's spokesman, who seems to be in charge of making stuff up:

Mr. Clemente,

To clarify my comments for you: I did not apologize.

As it happened, I ran into Bret Baier as I emerged from the interview. We know each other from working at the Pentagon. He asked if I was serious in saying that Fox had hyped Bengahzi, and I said I was. We discussed that. It was a cordial exchange. (I wouldn't mention this private conversation except that you apparently are quoting my hallway conversations as part of your attack.)

Later, as I was leaving, the booker or producer (I am not sure what her title was) said she thought I had been rude. I said I might have been a bit snappish because I am tired of book tour. This was in no way an apology but rather an explanation of why I jumped a bit when the anchor began the segment with the assertion that pressure on the White House was building -- which it most clearly was not.

Best,

Tom

Mr. Clemente has not responded, as is his right. While he stews, I'm looking forward to heading northward and diving back into my books. Which brings me to today's subject. I've read a lot about Patton, but had never come across his reading list before. My ex-boss Nate Fick sent it along.

It is a good one, even though it was compiled by Patton's wife after his death as a list of his favorites. It is as old school, as you'd expect, but reflects his deep study of war. Here 'tis:

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The Best Defense

Does the prospect of cushy retirement jobs in the defense industry bend active duty generals toward conformity?

That's the worry of a smart, friendly foreign observer, who tells me that:

Some, if not many, of those still serving see well-paid second employment as a consultant or DoD contractor as part of their retirement package, a perk if you like. They do not wish to rock the boat in case it sinks and they can't climb in when they retire. There will be individual exceptions that disprove the rule, but this arrangement is, in the round, not good value for your tax-payers' dollars.

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