WASHINGTON - Gen. Peter Pace, who was denied a second term as
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a year ago because of the
war in Iraq, will receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the
nation�s highest civilian award, the White House announced on
General Pace, a retired marine, is one of six medal recipients
who will be honored by President Bush on June 19, the White House
said. Two Democrats are among the six. Donna E. Shalala,
president of the University of Miami in Florida and a former
president of Hunter College who was secretary of health and human
services under President Bill Clinton, is one. The other is the
late Representative Tom Lantos of California, a Hungarian-born
Jew who was the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress and
was widely known as a human rights champion. Mr. Lantos died on
Two doctors will be honored: Benjamin S. Carson Sr., a
world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins, and
Anthony S. Fauci, a leader in AIDS research as the director of
the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The sixth recipient is Laurence H. Silberman, a senior federal
appeals court judge who was co-chairman of a commission appointed
by President Bush in 2004 to study failures in intelligence
before the Iraq war. The commission�s report was highly critical
of the American intelligence bureaucracy.
The White House announcement praised General Pace as "one of our
nation�s most accomplished and respected military officers," one
whose "selfless service and visionary leadership have helped keep
our nation safe."
General Pace was the first marine to serve as chairman of the
Joint Chiefs. Associates said he was deeply disappointed when
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced on June 8, 2007, that
the general would not be recommended for a second two-year term
because of the possibility of bitter confirmation hearings on
Capitol Hill over the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
General Pace is not the first Medal of Freedom recipient to be
associated with the war in Iraq. On Dec. 14, 2004, the president
bestowed medals on George J. Tenet, the longtime director of
central intelligence who built the case for going to war based in
part on assessments that Iraq possessed deadly unconventional
weapons; Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the overall commander of the
invasion of Iraq; and L. Paul Bremer III, the chief civilian
administrator of the American occupation of the country.