Notes on Lt. Cotton

We continue to receive messages regarding Lt. Tom Cotton. Lt. Cotton is serving hazardous duty in Baghdad, but took time out to draft the notable letter to the editor of the New York Times that we posted here last week. In response to messages questioning the existence of Lt. Cotton and the authenticity of his letter to the editor, United States Navy Commander (ret.) and Vietnam veteran Stuart Settle writes:

After reading your “Derangement and Credulity” piece, I got down my copy of the Harvard Alumni Directory 2005 edition. I assume the man you refer to is the gent listed as Thomas Cotton, Harvard College, magna cum laude 1999, and Harvard Law School, cum laude 2002. They show a home address in [redacted].

All the best,
Stuart W. Settle, Jr.
Harvard Law 1972

We have also heard from two of Lt. Cotton’s teachers. Michael Uhlmann writes:

Let me hasten to assure one and all that Lt. Tom Cotton is not only real but a superlative example of the virtues that have made this nation what it is. After taking his bachelor’s degree at Harvard, he came to Claremont as a doctoral candidate in Political Philosophy and American Government. Along the way, the lure of the law proved stronger, so he stopped at the master’s level and then returned to Cambridge. (In addition to his master’s thesis, he wrote a superb paper for me on the law and politics of presidential impeachment.) He performed admirably at law school, took a turn clerking with A-1 firms in Washington, then an Eighth Circuit clerkship. In a word, the world was his oyster. But after 9/11, duty called. Tom volunteered, led his OCS class and, I believe, his Ranger class as well. He is indeed an officer and a gentleman, well schooled in the virtues of the ancients, and even more so in the principles of the Declaration and the thought of Abraham Lincoln. On this Fourth of July, let us particularly salute, and give thanks for, his exemplary courage and patriotism. And Happy Independence Day to all of you.

Mike Uhlmann

George Mason University Law Professor and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Peter Berkowitz writes:

I am proud to say that I had the honor of teaching Tom Cotton when he was an undergraduate at Harvard College. As a citizen, I admire and am grateful for his decision to serve his country by joining the U.S. armed forces. But as a former professor of Tom’s I cannot say I am surprised that he would conclude that, during a time of war, it was both an honor and his duty to share the burden of defending his nation through military service.

Happy Fourth of July.


PAUL adds: Patriotism and self-sacrifice are such alien concepts to some on the left that when they hear about someone like Lt. Cotton they assume he doesn’t exist.


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