Would Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., rather deny the U.S. Army a leader in a time of war than risk seeing the Obama administration move detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Fort Leavenworth? Apparently, as Roberts has placed a hold on the nomination of Eric Fanning to become Army secretary “until we can get past this year,” he told the Topeka Capital-Journal. Fanning, who recently breezed through a Senate confirmation hearing, would succeed Army Secretary John McHugh, who retired Nov. 1. As Fanning would be the first openly gay American to lead a military branch, the oft-used maneuver sends a troubling new signal. Roberts has stressed that his hold is “nothing personal,” that “it isn’t about sexuality or gender or anything like that,” and that he thinks Fanning is “a pretty good nominee.” – Rhonda Holman
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