RALEIGH, N.C. – The U.S. Army plans to prevent media from covering Sarah Palin's appearance at Fort Bragg, fearing the event will turn into political grandstanding against President Barack Obama, officials said Thursday.With all due respect to our military, you have got to be fracking kidding me here!
Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum told The Associated Press that Bragg's garrison commander and other Army officials had decided to keep media away from Palin's book promotion. He said the Army did not want the Monday event to become a platform to express political opinions "directed against the commander in chief."
"The main reason is to stop this from turning into a political platform," he said. "There are Army regulations that basically prohibit military reservations from becoming political platforms by politicians."
This tells us that Former President Numbskull journey to Fort Bragg to go all “Ooga Booga! Terra! Terra! Terra!” in May ’08, this tells us that he did the same thing in July ’06, and this tells us that he did the same thing yet again in June ’05.
And by the way, my issue isn’t with how Fort Bragg wants to handle the Palin book thing, since she has clearly learned one of Bushco’s PR lessons about using our military as props to promote their favored cause. My issue is with Fort Bragg pretending that it doesn’t serve as a political venue for the commander-in-chief now that a Democrat sits in the Oval Office.
Update 11/20/09: Sounds like Fort Bragg is trying to reach some sort of an accommodation here, but again, I believe the point I made above is still valid.
To which Hegseth replies…
It’s awful politics, but no longer unprecedented. Senator Thompson is doing his best Harry Reid impression.And in response, I give you this…
I'm disappointed in Senator Thompson, he knows better. His statements were political, and do nothing but undermine our troops in the field. We cannot afford to do onto President Obama on Afghanistan, that which the Left did to President Bush on Iraq.
"I don't know that there is any victory there. We're not going to be able to defeat all the crazies in Iraq."Now who do you think uttered those words?
Was it Reid? No. He said, “the war is lost,” and as far as I’m concerned, the jury ultimately is still out on that one.
Was it John Kerry? No.
Obama? No. Biden? No. Hillary Clinton? No.
Give up? I’ll tell you who.
It was Snarlin’ Arlen Specter of “the Left,” that’s who (here).
And when Reid spoke his words, the wingnutosphere leapt into a spitting, sputtering rage the likes of which I haven’t seen since a certain presidential candidate made a reference to “clinging” and “guns” about PA voters (and which we may yet see about the wise decision to try KSM and his pals in NYC before all is said and done; the latest to voice his disapproval is Richard Grasso on Bloomberg News…yes, this Richard Grasso).
So Hegseth and his pals should be careful about who they lump in with “the Left” next time.
And besides, Thompson can’t be a member. He doesn’t have an honorary ACORN membership card or a commemorate photograph of Ward Churchill (at least, not as far as I know).
Instead of facing questioners in public, Obama invited correspondents from each American television network to come to his hotel for a series of one-on-one interviews of about 10 minutes apiece.I’m a bit unsure as to how to respond to Milbank here, since he and his WaPo playmate Chris Cillizza have been practicing their version of “fluff” journalism for quite some time now (on display here…and referring to “Mad Bitch Beer” and showing a pic of Hillary Clinton, huh? Nice). So I suppose that’s why they recognize it when it’s practiced by others..??
For the president, this was a low-risk alternative. Each reporter had to cover multiple topics, and that, by the White House's design, left little room for probing beyond the superficial. Obama told Fox News's Major Garrett, for example, that the White House is "taking a look" at tax provisions to encourage businesses to hire, but he didn't offer any specifics. He told CBS News's Chip Reid that he is "fine-tuning" his Afghanistan strategy, but he didn't say what it is. He gave CNN's Ed Henry the news that he is "absolutely confident" that health-care legislation will pass, but he didn't say in what form.
Then there were the requisite human-interest questions that the TV morning-show hosts love. NBC News's Chuck Todd asked whether the president had lost weight. "I'm eating fine and I'm sleeping fine," Obama reported. "My hair is getting gray." Henry asked whether Obama would read Sarah Palin's book. "You know, I probably won't," the president answered.
In that sense, Obama's Asian tour continued a pattern he has developed at home. He had five full news conferences at the White House during his first six months in office but has had none since July. That puts him roughly on par with Bush, who had four full White House news conferences in the same time. For Obama, who pledged to bring a new level of transparency to the presidency, that's hardly an impressive record.
Journalistic malpractice is nothing new certainly for Milbank, though. As noted here, he was guilty of clipping quotes from then-candidate Obama during last year’s campaign, and despite statistical evidence to the contrary, he ridiculed those calling for Dubya’s impeachment, even though a majority of those polled in a survey called for it over his warrantless surveillance (here).
And it should also be noted that Milbank is sooo gracious to his fellow journalists, such as Nico Pitney, for whom Milbank accused the Obama White House of “staging” an opportunity to ask a question for Pitney’s benefit (here).
I’ll tell you what, Dana – if and when Pitney ever participates in a video supposedly poking fun at politicians but which inadvertently exposes his own sense of entitlement and chumminess with those upon whom he is supposed to report, then we’ll talk, OK?
And in other news pertaining to anti-Obama partisans, John Feehery of The Hill accuses Obama of “going out of his way to irritate women” (here).
Oh yes, I’m sure it was so “irritating” of Obama to initiate a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses (both an "x" and "y" benefit there, I realize), appoint the first Latina woman to the Supreme Court, sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, and expand SCHIP and child vaccination programs (good news for both moms and dads there also...you can read about that and more here).
And by the way, the so-called “bo-tax” on cosmetic surgery (so clever the wingnuts are sometimes) that Feehery refers to was proposed by Harry Reid, not Obama, and it would not apply to cosmetic surgery “to correct a congenital deformity or any disfigurement resulting from accident, injury or disease,” as noted here.
“Our congressional investigation is to learn what happened in this case and to prevent it from happening again,” Lieberman said. “Their investigation looks backward and is punitive. Ours looks backward and forward and is preventative. I am optimistic that we will work out a way for both investigations to proceed without compromising either.”Yeah well, says you, you traitor on health care reform, among many other issues.
And in response, I thought John Nichols of The Nation made some good points here…
So be it.Yes, Holy Joe, ask all the questions (sounds like you have your work cut out for you).
Let's call Joe Lieberman's bluff.
Let's have the Homeland Security Committee hearings.
While the Army and the FBI will conduct both criminal investigations and serious inquiries into why Major Hasan's breakdown was not adequately noted or addressed by his commanders, congressional oversight of the military is always appropriate.
So have the hearings. But make them real.
There's no need to downplay the fact that Major Hasan was a Muslim, or that he appears to have bought into some of the most extreme — and broadly rejected — variants on Islam.
There's nothing wrong with asking precise, detailed questions that offer as much explanation and detail as can be accumulated. There is no point in being politically correct — or in being politically incorrect. Embrace transparency and facts. Bring in experts and ask questions.
Ask all the questions.
What was the bigger factor motivating Major Hasan: stress or religion?
Was Major Hasan a cold, calculating Islamic extremist or a deeply troubled man who was about to be dispatched to a warzone (Afghanistan) on a mission that associates and family members said was his "worst nightmare"?
Was the stress Major Hasan was under the sort that might lead an otherwise responsible individual to get lost in a swirl of religious ranting and fundamentalist fantasy?
Could such stress lead other individuals to embrace fundamentalisms, be they Muslim, Jewish or Christian?
Might it be a good idea to strengthen the wall of separation between church and state in what is supposed to be a secular fighting force?
And don't hesitate to ask questions about Muslims in the military.
Was Major Hasan a typical American Muslim? or an outlier far removed from the mainstream values and practices of a religion that has been practiced in the United States since the founding of the republic?
Was Major Hasan typical in any way of the thousands of Muslims who currently serve in the U.S. military?
Isn't it true that the overwhelming majority of Muslim soldiers serve with distinction and that, overall, Muslim soldiers — like their Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu comrades — have historically been seen as less likely to get involved with fights and violence on military bases?
Isn't it true that Muslim soldiers are seen by military commanders as essential players in a diverse Army that does not merely reflect the whole of America but that presents the best face of America in a world where it is vital to assure that this country's military missions are not dismissed as the "crusades" of a western nation that does not understand Islam or Islamic states?
Was Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey right when he warned against actions that could "heighten the backlash" against Muslims in the military and argued that Muslim soldiers provide diversity "gives us ALL strength"?
Was General Casey even more right when he declared after the shootings, and after he had reviewed detailed reports about Major Hasan's background, motivations and actions, that: "As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well"?
If you think you can do a better job than the Army and the FBI, then have at it.
I’ll be watching.