Pete Hegseth

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Pete Hegseth replaced Wade Zirkle as Executive Director of the pro-war in Iraq Vets for Freedom in May 2007[1][2] and became its full-time Executive Director on July 9, 2007.[3]

Hegseth is a Policy Specialist[4] at the Center for the American University[5] at the conservative Manhattan Institute think tank. Hegseth will pursue a Masters in Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University[6] in fall 2008,[7] deferred a year from his previously announced plan to begin in 2007.[8]

Hegseth served "two overseas tours with the U.S. Army, serving as an infantry platoon leader in Iraq and Cuba. In between tours, Mr. Hegseth worked as an analyst" at Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc..[9]

Hegseth was a Family Research Council Witherspoon Fellow at Princeton University.[10]

On May 9, 2007, Hegseth, described as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. National Guard, appeared on Chris Matthews' MSNBC show Hardball as a spokesman for Republican Party front group Vets for Freedom.[11] At the time, Hegseth's name did not appear on the VFF website.[12]

Hegseth is an alumnus of Princeton University's James Madison Program.[13]

False claims?

On August 17, 2007, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council wrote:[10]

"Last year, Pete formed an organization called Vets for Freedom, whose growing influence is the feature of a lengthy article in today's Washington Times. Pete says he started the group because he felt the 'pro-mission vets' voice,' was not being heard in the debate."

In a July 17, 2007, article published by Military.com, Christian Lowe wrote that, in 2006, Pete Hegseth "was leading Soldiers in combat, tamping down the flames of the sectarian bloodletting that erupted after a massive explosion demolished the so-called 'Golden Mosque' on his home turf of Samarra, Iraq ... Despite the danger, he saw value in his mission of stabilizing Iraq and fighting terrorism. ... But his fight didn't stop upon his return to high-intensity civilian life in New York City - just the tools he'd use to wage it."[14]

Note: "In between tours" to Iraq, Hegseth "worked as an analyst" at the "leading global investment banking, securities trading and brokerage firm"[15] Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc..[16]

Lowe then wrote:[17]

"So Hegseth teamed with former Marine infantry leader Wade Zirkle and other Iraq and Afghanistan war vets to muster troops to their cause. They started Vets for Freedom in 2006 hoping to energize like-minded vets of recent combat deployments into a fifth column will help influence the war debate."

Although both accounts make a nice news story, story it may well be, since Hegseth's name was not associated with Vets for Freedom before May 9, 2007, when Hegseth, described as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. National Guard, appeared on Chris Matthews' MSNBC show Hardball as a VFF spokesman.[18] At the time, Hegseth's name did not appear on the VFF website.[19]

In a May 21, 2007, posting on Power Line Blog, Hegseth announced that he had became VFF's Executive Director[20], replacing VFF co-founder Wade Zirkle.[21]

Additionally, in January 2006, when VFF was founded, Hegseth's name is not found among or associated with VFF's founding members. Nor is it found on any official VFF (or VFF-AF) documents[22], news releases, or appearances by VFF members prior to May 2007.

As of July 9, 2007, Hegseth was "working full-time" as VFF's executive director.[23]

On abuse of detainees at Gitmo

"There is abuse at Gitmo, as our Witherspoon Fellowship Alumnus, 1/LT Pete Hegseth, has said: it's the detainees abusing their guards. They are the ones who throw bodily waste on the guards and hit their own Korans!"[24]

Profiles

Hegseth grew up in Forest Lake, Minnesota, and graduated from high school there. "Hegseth attended Princeton University on an ROTC scholarship[25] and graduated in 2003."[26][27]

At Princeton, Hegseth was a Witherspoon Fellow[28], played guard on the Princeton Tigers men's college basketball team[29], and was Publisher Editor-in-Chief of the conservative The Princeton Tory[30][31]

Military service

Hegseth served in Guantanamo Bay "on a security mission with his National Guard unit and, upon his return from Cuba, he volunteered to join the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division for their deployment to Iraq from 2005-2006. Serving as an infantry Platoon Leader and an assistant Civil-Military Operations officer in Baghdad as well as Samarra, Lt. Hegseth earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge and Bronze Star Medal for his time in Iraq."[32]

Note: Civil Military Operations "includes missions such as providing humanitarian assistance to communities when needed, or conducting an economic assessment of a district [such as] in Baghdad."[33]

On July 11, 2007, Hegseth, who was interviewed on Jim Vicevich's WTIC News/talk radio show in Connecticut "re: Keeping Soldiers Fighting in the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan",[34] was described as a "First Lieutenant for the 1-69 Infantry (New York Army National Guard)."

Articles and news releases by Pete Hegseth

Resources and articles

References

  1. "More time, please," Power Line Blog, May 21, 2007. Includes Hegseth quote from Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  2. "Reality Check for the Antiwar Crowd," Washington Post, June 25, 2007.
  3. "Vets for Freedom... Win the War?", SWAC Girl Blog, July 12, 2007.
  4. Staff, Manhattan Institute, accessed July 5, 2007.
  5. Manhattan Institute website.
  6. Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, website.
  7. Glen Strandberg, Sports Editor, "Hegseth takes center stage in war on terror," Forest Lake Times, November 20, 2007.
  8. Scheduled Speakers, July 12, 2007 Speakers Forum, NYYRC website.
  9. About Us, Minding the Campus, Manhattan Institute, accessed July 16, 2007.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Tony Perkins, "It's Now or Never," Family Research Council, August 16, 2007.
  11. Transcript: Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC, May 9, 2007.
  12. Verified May 9, 2007.
  13. Manhattan Institute website.
  14. Christian Lowe, "Vet Group Plans Pro-War Blitz," Military.com, July 17, 2007.
  15. Our Firm, BearStearns.com.
  16. About Us, Minding the Campus, Manhattan Institute, accessed July 16, 2007.
  17. Christian Lowe, "Vet Group Plans Pro-War Blitz," Military.com, July 17, 2007.
  18. Transcript: Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC, May 9, 2007.
  19. Verified May 9, 2007.
  20. "More time, please," Power Line Blog, May 21, 2007. Includes Hegseth quote from Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  21. About, Vets for Freedom, archived page from July 2006.
  22. IRS Form 8871 for Vets for Freedom Action Fund, July 25, 2006.
  23. "Vets for Freedom... Win the War?", SWAC Girl Blog, July 12, 2007.
  24. "Judicial Activism Endangers All," Family Research Council, January 12, 2007.
  25. Army ROTC. Your Commitment, GoArmy.com, accessed July 20, 2007. ROTC scholarship winners have a four-year military service commitment after graduation.
  26. Katherine Kersten, "A Guardsman's view of Guantanamo," Minneapolis Star Tribune (archived), June 27, 2005.
  27. "Congratulations Army Lieutenants of the Class of 2003," Princeton University Army ROTC.
  28. "Iraq: A Warrior's Perspective," Family Research Council, November 9, 2006.
  29. "Men College Basketball: Princeton Tigers: Pete Hegseth-G," Sports Illustrated/CNN, April 8, 2003.
  30. Max Blumenthal, "Princeton Tilts Right," The Nation, February 23, 2006 (March 13, 2006 issue).
  31. "ROTC Makes a Comeback on Campus," 2002 Year in Review, U.S. Department of Defense, December 31, 2002: "Cadet Pete Hegseth, a Princeton senior, will serve four years in the Army after graduating with a degree in political science. 'What drew me was basically a deep sense inside myself that there was a duty to fulfill,' says Hegseth."
  32. "Iraq: A Warrior's Perspective," Family Research Council, November 9, 2006.
  33. "Iraqi Army battle staff trains on Civil Military Operations," GlobalSecurity.org, August 18, 2005.
  34. "Jim Vicevich," WTIC.com, July 11, 2007.

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