Edition: Thu, February 02, 2006
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Washington Post
February 2, 2006
Pg. 20

A Reprehensible Cartoon

We were extremely disappointed to see the Jan. 29 editorial cartoon by Tom Toles.

Using the likeness of a service member who has lost his arms and legs in war as the central theme of a cartoon was beyond tasteless. Editorial cartoons are often designed to exaggerate issues, and The Post is obviously free to address any topic, including the state of readiness of the armed forces. However, The Post and Mr. Toles have done a disservice to readers and to The Post's reputation by using such a callous depiction of those who volunteered to defend this nation and, as a result, suffered traumatic and life-altering wounds.

Those who visit wounded veterans in hospitals have found lives profoundly changed by pain and loss. They also have found brave men and women with a sense of purpose and selfless commitment that causes battle-hardened warriors to pause.

While The Post and some of its readers may not agree with the war or its conduct, these men and women and their families are owed the decency of not having a cartoon make light of their tremendous physical sacrifices.

As the joint chiefs, we rarely put our hand to one letter, but we cannot let this reprehensible cartoon go unanswered.

PETER PACE, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

EDMUND P. GIAMBASTIANI JR., Admiral, U.S. Navy, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

MICHAEL W. HAGEE, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps

PETER J. SCHOOMAKER, General, U.S. Army, Chief of Staff

MICHAEL G. MULLEN, Admiral, U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Operations

T. MICHAEL MOSELEY, General, U.S. Air Force, Chief of Staff


PDF of the actual letter with signatures


Black Hawk: Night Stalker on The History Channel, Monday, February 6 at 6pm ET/PT

For over 20 years, the Black Hawk has been the US Army's frontline utility helicopter for air assault, air cavalry, and medical evacuation. Today, the Black Hawk remains the world's most advanced twin-turbine military helicopter and flies wherever duty calls, from hot deserts to the icy Arctic. This is the dramatic story of how post-Vietnam, in the 1970s, the America designed and built a new generation of sophisticated helicopters.