Five years after the Navy's top leaders concluded he had done all that could be expected to protect his ship and crew from a devastating attack, the former skipper of the Norfolk-based destroyer Cole is challenging the Senate and the service to revive his career.It seems that one of the senators from this here Commonwealth may be holding up confirmation of the Commander's promotion.
"I've waited long enough, " Cmdr. Kirk S. Lippold said in an interview. "My life has been on hold long enough."
Lippold's leadership after suicide bombers blew a 40-foot hole in the side of his ship, killing 17 sailors, during a refueling stop in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000, was widely credited as critical to saving the Cole. Navy leaders, who have said the attack marks the real beginning of America's war with al-Qaida, welcomed Lippold and other survivors home as heroes.
However, after a Navy investigator said Lippold failed to take precautions that might have stopped or minimized the attack, his nomination for promotion to captain has been stalled in the Senate. It has remained in limbo for nearly four years despite the support of Navy leaders and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the senior officers of each of the service branches.
Lippold said all he wants is an up-or-down vote on his nomination, the same treatment Warner and other Senate Republicans have demanded for Bush's judicial nominees, treatment he says is required by the Constitution.I love that some people want it one way one time and another way another.
Up or down, that's all he asks for: a fair shake.
Commander Lippold deserves nothing less... and certainly not the fid he's getting now.