25 July 2008

Obama skips visit to wounded Soldiers...

Politics is largely about priorities; so is life, for that matter. Barack Obama's priorities were put into sharp relief today when he canceled visits to two American military bases in Germany. He still has time, of course, to play the "rock star" in front of cheering multitudes of Germans. Ed Morrissey broke the story:

Der Spiegel’s blog reports on Obama’s priorities:
1:42 p.m.: SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. “Barack Obama will not be coming to us,” a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. “I don’t know why.” Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.

The message here is that thousands of screaming German fans at the Tiergarten take precedence over visiting Americans serving their country at Rammstein and Landstuhl. Maybe one of the networks following Obama could interview a few of the Soldiers about how they perceive that set of priorities from Obama.

Landstuhl, of course, is where Soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are sent for treatment. Obama's visit there no doubt would have included meeting some of them.
It turns out that Obama didn't stiff the servicemen because of a schedule conflict. Rather, as Jake Tapper pointed out, apparently without knowing that Obama had canceled planned visits to the two military installations, Obama is going sightseeing in Berlin tonight. I can't say it any better than Ed did:

Obama canceled a previously-planned stop to visit thousands of American service personnel, including troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan being treated at Landstuhl, so he could hold a political rally for Germans and go shopping in Berlin. Now that’s a nice set of priorities for a man who wants to become Commander in Chief.

The Obama camp's explanation was that since the Europe trip was funded by his presidential campaign, it wasn't right to schedule a visit with our injured soldiers (and I use that term to mean soldiers, sailors, marines, and members of the Coast Guard) and that the decision was made out of "respect" for the members of our armed forces.

Newsflash: the best way to show "respect" to our wounded is to visit them, spend time with them. Each and every one of them is a hero who volunteered to serve his or her country in uniform, and then shed their blood so that the rest of America's citizens could go about their daily lives in ignorant bliss.

I also heard that the reason he cancelled the trip was not because he did not want to use the soldiers as a campaign backdrop, it was because the military would not let him. No media would be allowed at the base, only military photographers, this is why he cancelled the trip.

I do not know if this is true, but I also have reports from Soldiers in Iraq that when Obama visited the area, several times he walked past lines of Soldiers without taking the time to shake one hand.


Frozen Turkey said...

Here is one account of him walking past Soldiers. Did you happen to see this account on the news? I sure didn't, which is no surprise. The media is in love with this guy and won't tarnish his image for any cost.

Hello everyone,
As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for about an hour on his visit to "The War Zone". I wanted to share with you what happened. He got off the plan and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram. As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service. So really he was just here to make a showing for the American's back home that he is their candidate for President. I think that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you. I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to be the President of the United States. I just don't understand how anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country.
If this is blunt and to the point I am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber of person he really is. What you see in the news is all fake.

In service,
CPT Jeffrey S. Porter
Battle Captain
TF Wasatch
American Soldier

Even if these types of comments were to be published, they would never hit the main stream media.

What would it take to create a media site where the truth was published?

George said...

Now the captain is dialing back, having signed the e-mail with his name, rank and unit - a possible violation of military regulations barring political statements. This morning, he sent The Mouth a new statement (punctuation corrected):

"I am writing this to ask that you delete my email and not forward it. After checking my sources, information that was put out in my email was wrong. This email was meant only for my family. Please respect my wishes and delete the email and if there are any blogs you have my email portrayed on I would ask if you would take it down too. Thanks for your understanding."


DeSelby said...

I do not know if this is true,

Is this representative of what the honor and judgment of the officer corps is now? I hope not.

If you don't know whether something is true, then you shouldn't publish it. In fact, the author, a Utah National Guardsman, has retracted his email and stated it was false in its details.

You not only published it here, but repeated it in other blogs.

Of course, such things had to be propagated in order to try to counter the video of soldiers shaking Obama's hand in Kuwait and his positive interaction with them in Iraq.

Obama did conduct a non-publicized visit to wounded soldiers at the CASH in Baghdad, the Landsthul cancellation was at the request of the Pentagon when Obama stated that a campaign staffer of his (a retired major general) would be accompanying him. Of course, Obama has to have witnesses, staffers and press with him at all times to provide witnesses to counter false stories from being promulgated by "political" officers within the military, like the Utah National Guardsman and yourself.

It's a bit nauseating and a bad portent for the future of the USA when active duty field grade officers become party propagandists of the most partisan and questionable kind - for any party. It seems the officer crisis you wrote about has led to a decline in the quality of officers in more ways than one.

Given your obviously strong feelings about the matter, you should resign if Obama is elected, as it is clear that you could not be loyal.

George said...


I am not sure if you noticed - but I did not post the letter from CPT Jeffrey S. Porter, but I did the research on the letter from the CPT and wrote that he has retracted it. I also included his letter and the link to "SNOPES.COM". I also did not repeat this on other blogs. I am not sure what point, if any, you are trying to make.

The issue of the shortage of officers is not related, but I'd be happy to have an intellectual discussion on this with you if you think you can refrain from cheap shots.

Additionally: I serve our nation and our Commander in Chief, no matter who is elected (but only when he or she is elected). That is not in question… never has been, and never will be. And for the record, I have not decided who I will vote for – all the candidates (there are more than two) have both positive and negative qualities.

Please continue to enjoy your freedom of speech.

TankBoy said...

It is clear that Mr. Deselby is incapable of understanding the requirements of a United States Military Officer. Upon commissioning, an officer swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. In the very same oath the officer states he will follow the orders of the President of the United States. It does not contain a clause which requires allegiance to any particular party's political candidate. As a citizen of this country the officer may vote for whomever he or she desires. Serving officers are forbidden by regulation from endorsing any candidate while in uniform or using their rank / title in any manner that could be perceived as such an endorsement.
The United States Military’s Officer Corps is a professional organization and its' members are willing to die for this great country of ours; regardless of who the president is. To recommend that an officer resign over the discussions that have taken place within this blog site amounts to nothing more than a recommendation for a political purge. How cowardly of DeSelby to even recommend such an action. I emphasize again that United States Military Officers serve whomever is elected! They are dedicated to this country and willingly place political ideology to the side in order to effectively defend this nation and its’ institutions. I recommend Mr. DeSelby that you return to your college dorm, campus, or political action committee and consider putting on a uniform. If you elect not to serve, then thank the men and women who do. They defend your rights and enable this country to remain free and independent.

Moose Farmer said...

i think your all gay

George said...

Moose Farmer: Are you not the same blogger that is asking for gays to serve openly? I support your cause: best of luck to you.

DeSelby said...

The point is that you repeated unsubstantiated rumors from highly partisan sources or spam emails, based on false premises or outright lies.

It is not that you are writing thoughtfully for or against one candidate, it is that you have descended into the cesspool of political smearing. This is beneath the dignity of a commissioned officer.

Your post reads like the breathless gossip of a mean middle school girl -

I also heard . . .

I do not know if this is true .

Did you have any "reports from Soldiers" other than the now-debunked email from CPT Porter? It's odd that all of the reporting and visual record of Obama engaging the troops, visiting them at the CASH in Baghdad, as well as the statements of Senators Hagel and Reed, contradict what these right-wing posters say, isn't it?

Slimy and unbecoming of an officer, in my opinion. What would Washington and Marshall think?

George said...

The email from the officer was not fake; there was a report from an officer on the actions of Obama. This is fact and was checked. When the report came later that this CPT pulled back on his story - that information was posted on this blog as well (within hours)... so I still do not see your point.

This blog is an open learned discussion on many topics - truth can change and opinions can change... but mean-spirited name calling is not going to change anything.

DeSelby said...

You still don't see the point? Let me see if I can spell this out for you real slow.

Yes, the email from CPT Porter was not "fake." CPT Porter did write an email. However, what CPT Porter wrote in the email was false, lies, BS, however you want to put it, and CPT Porter has said it was false, and the email was contradicted by a DOD PAO who was with Obama at Bagram.



You published a blog post with all of the repeated the false parts.

You have repeated and spread false rumors about a United States Senator running for office.

You have not acknowledged that what you wrote (or what Ed Morrissey wrote - tough to tell since you didn't use quotation marks in indents) - was false.

You did this while claiming to be an officer in the U.S. Army. If you are an officer, you should know that spreading false rumors about members of Congress and partisan propagandizing brings discredit upon the Armed Forces.

DeSelby said...

To spell it out slowly for you further, here's a Washington Post story which details how and why your post about Landstuhl is a lie:



Again, officers in the U.S. Army should not be promulgating dubious partisan stories. It is beneath the office.

unclejbgd said...


Talking down to a person in the manner you have repeated thru this blog regardless if it is a Soldier, an officer, the fry cook at McDonald's, or a Wall Street broker is extremely condescending. I believe that George was trying to correct an error in this reported story. It is absolutely unneccesary and pompous on your part to "spell it out slowly" for George to get your point across. To continue to beleaguer everyone about this point you are trying to make speaks volumes about your character and the type of ideas you represent. The world is an educational opportunity where we make mistakes and learn from them. The theme in your message is to demean and you lost the opportunity to truly educate us in your own words on your candidates ideas. I am sorry you did not seize this opportunity.

Moose Farmer said...

What any of you fail to comment on is how fake politicians are. Politicians change stances, change views, and change opinions depending on where the popular wind blows. Obama, McCain they are both guilty. So this undying loyalty to a canidate that can do no evil is as bad as false rumors. Open your eyes up all of you.