#RejectRex: Meet the Veterans Who Just Made a Statement the Senate Can’t Ignore
by Jill Pape
January 19, 2017
"I took an oath to defend my beautiful country from all threats foreign and domestic — and Rex Tillerson is a threat to both."
From the moment Donald Trump nominated him for the position, Rex Tillerson has only made it increasingly clear that he is unfit to serve as Secretary of State.
For one, he’s spent the past ten years as the CEO of Exxon — a company facing fraud investigations for its role in funding and promoting climate denial for roughly four decades. Then there are the relationships he’s built with authoritarian regimes around the world, all in pursuit of oil drill and profits for his company. And more recently, there’s his thoroughly unimpressive testimony in front of the U.S. Senate last week, in which he dodged questions on everything from national security to human rights.
For all of these reasons and more, the resistance to Rex’s nomination for Secretary of State has been swift and powerful. Already, thousands of people have called their senators and shown up in person urging them to vote no on Rex’s confirmation in just a few days.
And now they have a powerful ally in U.S. military veterans.
Today, a group of U.S. veterans visited Senator John McCain — who claims to still be “undecided” on how he’ll vote on Tillerson — at his Washington, DC office. There, they made it explicitly clear that they did not risk their safety serving the country so that Donald Trump could nominate a CEO from a dying industry with no public service experience for one of the highest positions in government.
Here’s why these veterans stand with the movement to #RejectRex.
“I spent 20 years in the military, both deployed to a war zone and working in the military drone program. My experiences taught me that wherever we seek oil there is instability, exploitation, and war.
“I do not believe that a man who spent 30 years in the oil industry has the necessary experience to hold the highest diplomatic office in the land. Having only that limited experience gives him an extremely narrow vantage point from which to see the world.”
“I’m a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces and I believe that Rex Tillerson’s connections to Putin and Russia are conflicts of interest. It is time for elected officials and political appointees to work for public benefit, which includes protecting the environment and developing sound foreign policy.
“As the former CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson has proven loyal to his company’s bottom line over the safety of the American people. His company’s dealings in Iraq in 2011 contributed to the current state of destructive chaos. I’m asking Senator McCain act in the public interest with courage and vote NO for Rex Tillerson.”
Rev. Shawna Foster
“Public service is about placing yourself above your personal interest and towards the greater good. That’s why I enlisted. Rex Tillerson, whose former company has $500 billion wrapped up in sanctions, cannot be expected to place the greater good over his and his company’s profit.”
“Rex Tillerson has no concept of public service, let alone experience. His corporate lobbying helped to invite and prolong wars that I was then made to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Beth Ann Chambers
“I am a Marine who took an oath to defend my beautiful country from all threats foreign and domestic — and Rex Tillerson is a threat to both. He has spent his career keeping us dependent on a dying industry, bringing chaos wherever he has gone.”