WASHINGTON — Before William C. Bradford was named head of the Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy in the Trump Administration, he tweeted a series of disparaging remarks about President Obama, Japanese Americans and others, The Washington Post reported on June 22.
On Feb. 19, 2016, the 74th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, Christine Rousselle of townhall.com tweeted, “Today is the anniversary of the order to create Japanese internment camps.” Bradford responded from his now-deleted Twitter account, “It was necessary.”
In a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry on June 26, five members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources — Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — called for Bradford’s firing. They wrote:
“Among his many offensive tweets, Dr. Bradford wrote that the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II was ‘necessary.’ The internment was not ‘necessary,’ it was ‘wrong.’
“A blue-ribbon commission established by Congress in 1980, after exhaustive study, found that the internment ‘was not justified by military necessity.’ To the contrary, it was driven by ‘race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership,’ which resulted in a ‘grave injustice.’
“The commission’s findings have been echoed and implemented by Congress … and the courts, e.g., Korematsu v. United States … Even many of those who aided and condoned the internment came to see that it was ‘an inhuman mistake’ and ‘ill-advised, unnecessary and unnecessarily cruel.’
“The internment of Japanese Americans was deeply immoral and serves as a reminder of what can happen when our country succumbs to fear. It is a shameful chapter that many people have dedicated themselves to ensuring never happens again.
“Public officials in leadership positions have the responsibility to serve all Americans regardless of race, gender, and religion. These officials must be held to the highest standards of conduct.
“While he has since apologized for his deeply offensive and hurtful statements, we are concerned that Dr. Bradford’s character, as demonstrated by his past statements and writings, make him unfit to lead an important program like the department’s Office of Indian Energy. For this reason, we ask that you remove Dr. Bradford from his position of leadership immediately.
“The fact that Dr. Bradford was able to clear the vetting process despite his documented history of offensive public statements is disturbing. What were the procedures and criteria for selecting and vetting Dr. Bradford and the other political appointees? If Dr. Bradford was vetted through the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House, what role did the Department of Energy play in the vetting process? What is the department’s protocol for handling reports of inappropriate communications or behavior from staff?”
More Offensive Tweets
The trove of tweets from last year also included the following:
“Women have no business in combat. Period. Republicans pandering on this issue. Disgusting. I’ll shoot anyone who comes for my daughters.”
“If Obama won’t leave office in January 2017, what will we do? Is a military coup the only answer? Need to think NOW.”
“I think Obama was given his mission in Tehran long ago, and it suits him just fine. How else can a Kenyan creampuff get ahead?”
“No one listens to the Tehran Candidate any more. He should slink away …”
(Regarding Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s alleged anti-Trump statements) “Who is this little arrogant self-hating Jew to tell anyone for whom to vote? I hope someday he gets what he deserves for stealin FB.”
“Soon, ‘climate change’ cultists will be pitied as the nuts they always were.”
“Transgenderism is a mental illness and any man who goes into a bathroom after my daughters will quickly change his mind about where to pee.”
In an email to The Post, Bradford acknowledged the tweets and apologized for his comments: “As a minority and member of the Jewish faith, I sincerely apologize for my disrespectful and offensive comments. These comments are inexcusable and I do not stand by them. Now, as a public servant, I hold myself to a higher standard, and I will work every day to better the lives of all Americans.”
In his DOE post — which does not require Senate confirmation — Bradford, a member and former attorney general of the Chiricahua Apache Nation, oversees energy development initiatives that assist American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages.
In 2015, Bradford resigned as an assistant law professor at West Point after writing a lengthy law journal article arguing that the U.S. should threaten to destroy Muslim holy sites in war “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage.”
Hw also called for legal scholars “sympathetic to Islamist aims” to be imprisoned or “attacked,” and suggested journalists with whom such scholars speak could also be targeted.
Bradford told The Post at the time that he left “because I did not want the cadets or U.S. Military Academy to be exposed to any increased risk as a result of the backlash over my article,” but defended the article, stating that it “indicates that only true propagandists inciting attacks could be subjected to the sanctions I mention, and this parallels existing case law I reference as well as emerging customary international law.”