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Sun Feb 10, 2019, 08:47 PM

I'm making a big political exception: I'm adding ex NC Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. to my list of heroes

Rep. Jones died today, and I've been reading a bit more about him. In many ways that I know of, and probably many many more that I'm unaware of, he was far from the type of politician who I would ordinarily honor. I have no doubt during his career that he cast hundreds of votes that would make me cringe to contemplate (some might remember he was the one who pushed to rename french fries "freedom fries" in the congressional cafeteria). Jones cast one vote in particular that infuriated me at the time, when his was a leading voice for invading Iraq under then President George W. Bush. The thing is, that vote soon came to make him cringe as well.

North Carolina's The News & Observer led off coverage of his death today with this:

"Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., an Eastern North Carolina congressman who made it his mission to atone for his vote sending U.S. troops into Iraq in the early 2000s, died Sunday on his 76th birthday. Jones, like his father, served his district for nearly a quarter-century."

It goes on to add this:

"I did not do what I should have done to read and find out whether Bush was telling us the truth about Saddam (Hussein) being responsible for 9/11 and having weapons of mass destruction,” Jones said in a 2015 radio interview. “Because I did not do my job then, I helped kill 4,000 Americans, and I will go to my grave regretting that.”

Jones signed more than 11,000 letters to families of dead troops since 2003, an act he told The Associated Press was “penance” for his vote. Jones began sending the letters after attending the 2003 funeral of Marine Sgt. Michael Bitz.

“I want them to know that my heart aches as their heart aches,” he told the AP.

Outside of his House office, Jones had the photos of “anybody that’s been sent and died from Camp Lejeune,” he told The News & Observer, in American wars since 2003. The memorial, which also included some members of the National Guard from North Carolina, had grown to roughly 580 in 2018."

There are other positive things that can be said about Jones, he opposed Citizens United for one, but for the most part he voted like the Republican he was. But this, "Jones signed more than 11,000 letters to families of dead troops since 2003, an act he told The Associated Press was “penance” for his vote." in my mind sets him apart as a human being. For tonight at least, that is what stands out for me about Rep. Walter Jones.

I will set aside my politics temporarily to honor the passing of a genuine human being who understood exactly what "accountability" means.

Here is the link to the story quoted above"
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article225147640.html

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Reply I'm making a big political exception: I'm adding ex NC Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. to my list of heroes (Original post)
Tom Rinaldo Sunday OP
elleng Sunday #1
Tom Rinaldo Sunday #3
elleng Sunday #4
MustLoveBeagles Sunday #2

Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 08:58 PM

1. Thanks, Tom.

From Wes Clark today:


Wes Clark
50 mins
'Rep. Walter Jones was an exceptional leader. A man of strong opinions, moral courage, great heart, and one who took care of our service members, families, and veterans. We will really miss him.'

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 09:16 PM

3. Wes has always resoected those who genuinely care about our troops

unlike some others who prefer to use them as props for their photo ops. Thanks for sharing that ellen.



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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 09:18 PM

4. Yes indeed.

And Cong. Jones learned about troops and arms at a hearing, where I observed Wes informing the members.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 09:03 PM

2. RIP Rep. Jones

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