Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Nothing that the Liar in Chief does is honest and unstaged. Nothing. Ever.

We've heard that the morale of troops in Iraq is low. There are rumors that the troops are asking the same questions that some of us unpatriotic liberals here at home are asking. Are they fighting for their country or for Halliburton? Are the orders they execute based on the needs of the mission or Karl Rove's polling?

And yet when Bush appeared in front of the troops, there was no mistaking their enthusiastic welcome. So surely the rumors were exaggerated.

Except that it turns out the troops who were allowed in for Thanksgiving dinner and Bush's photo op were pre-screened.

The newspaper, quoting two officials with the Army's 1st Armored Division in an article last week, reported that "for security reasons, only those preselected got into the facility during Bush's visit. . . . The soldiers who dined while the president visited were selected by their chain of command, and were notified a short time before the visit."

For those soldiers not fortunate enough to belong to a unit considered fit to meet the miserable failure, it was different:

Now that we’re stationed at Baghdad International Airport almost 10 months later, my soldiers believe that several comforts have finally arrived for them, like the post exchange and dining facility. But imagine their dismay when they walked 15 minutes to the Bob Hope Dining Facility, only to find that they were turned away from their evening meal because they were in the wrong unit.

The one thing that they find a requirement was denied to them. They understand that President Bush ate there and that upgraded security was required. But why were only certain units turned away? Why wasn’t there a special meal for President Bush and that unit in the new dance hall adjoining the 1st Armored Division’s band building? And all of this happened on Thanksgiving, the best meal of the year when soldiers get a taste of home cooking.

Were the local national servers also kept out of the building because of security reasons? Regardless, my soldiers chose to complain among themselves and eat MREs, even after the chow hall was reopened for “usual business” at 9 p.m. As a leader myself, I’d guess that other measures could have been taken to allow for proper security and still let the soldiers have their meal.

American servicemen, serving overseas in a combat zone, had MREs for Thanksgiving dinner so the Deserter in Chief could get his photo op just right. And the official reason is, just like when the Secet Service tramples on the First Amendment to keep domestic protesters safely away from the Royal Majesty, "security". What does that mean? Are there substantial numbers of soldiers now serving in Iraq who are considered threats to the President's security? Isn't it enough for the White House to deny our servicemen and servicewomen a Thanksgiving dinner without also slandering them?

And of course the SCLM isn't going to tell us about it. Even though the story appeared in the Post, a paper of record, I found no sign in Google that any other paper has picked the story up. It's been so obscure that even most lib bloggers haven't mentioned the story. I found out from Corrente and Maru caught it, along with a few others, including at least one arty Deaniac I've never heard of.