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Bobby Ray Inman

January 25, 1994

It was with a huge sense of disappointment and relief that I watched retired Navy Adm. Bobby Ray Inman withdraw his name from President Clinton's secretary of defense post (Jan. 19). I was profoundly disappointed because I know firsthand what a capable defense secretary he would be. I worked directly for Inman twice in my career and I know of no other person who approaches, much less rivals, his integrity, leadership and vision--qualities sorely needed in formulating today's national security strategy.

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My relief stems from my belief that both he and his lovely family have paid their public service dues many times over. The fact that within minutes of his withdrawal announcement many journalists, pundits and political hacks were whispering darkly about the probability of "other unspoken problems" with his confirmation only serves to emphasize Inman's point: We're in a new age of McCarthyism, where anyone can say anything with little or no accountability. Accept him at his word--he didn't want the job! And who would?

NINA STEWART

Cambria

Has Washington sunk so deep that no one saw from the very first day of Inman's nomination that this man is inordinately insecure and far too neurotic for any public office? No matter what his credentials (all of which are tarnished by consistently irresponsible behavior), has Washington become so effete that no one from Senate or House would point out Inman's imbalance? Is it not clear from interviews and press conferences that this man is aggressive, ineffectual and insolent?

Thank God that his own paranoia forced him to withdraw from nomination to this potentially sensitive position.

ROXANNE D. ROGERS

Los Angeles

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