Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama: Pentagon "Hints," BO "Distracts," HuffPuff "Deceives"

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Does anyone think the Pentagon issues "hints" to a Presidential candidate? In an interview with Fox News' Bill Hemmer, Hemmer asked Obama to clarify why he did not visit a U.S. Military hospital when in Germany. Obama said the following:

There was a hint [from the Pentagon] that it might end up being perceived as a political issue, because of some blowback we've received...
And he says:
...we had never intended to take cameras in. Our intention was not to publicize this at all.
The Huffington Post, however, offers a direct quote with a named Pentagon spokesperson:
We told him he could visit Landstuhl (Regional Medical Center in western Germany) with his Senate staff, but not with his campaign staff," said Army Lt. Col. Elizabeth Hibner.
How embarrassing for Senator Obama.

Then here's a version from TMP Central, Greg Sargent speaking:
I've just gotten clarification from the Pentagon on what really happened with regard to Barack Obama's canceled visit to an Army base in Germany,...

A Pentagon spokesperson confirms to me [Sargent] that because of longstanding Department of Defense regulations, Pentagon officials told Obama aides that he couldn't visit the base with campaign staff. This left Obama with little choice but to cancel the trip, since the plan to visit with campaign aides had been in the works for weeks.
Obama the Presumptive was "left with little choice...? The campaign aides couldn't cool their heels long enough to get Obama to the hospital?

So which is it? Did the Pentagon say:
(1) you can go with your Senate staff, but not your campaign staff and you cannot take cameras?
(2) you can't go because it is a campaign event
(3) well, it might be perceived as political, so...

The clear answer is No. 1.

NOTE: Among The Huffington Post's coverage, they helpfully provide a link to a Pentagon ruling (or so it would seem):
When Obama cancelled his military base visit, he was responding to a Pentagon ruling:
Click it and see where it takes you. It's a perfect example of the fine art of deception.

Here's another example of deception: Senator Obama speaks of "distracting" the troops.
The last thing I want to do is in anyway distract the terrific work that's being done in terms of treating our troops by getting it fouled up by a bunch of politics, so since I had a chance to visit the folks in Walter Reed, we had a chance to visit folks in Iraq, I didn't want it to be a distraction.
Remember this slap-in-the-face from the would-be Commander-in-Chief while standing in front of a crowd of Berliners?
Will we [America or "we" the World???] reject torture and stand for the rule of law?
Can he think those lying wounded in military hospital beds, and those wounded and bravely moving on with their lives, were not "distracted" by his indictment of them as torturers, because that's exactly what he said, not what he hinted.

More deception: CBS News, Fox News, The AP and many more reported on Obama's "quiet" trip to Walter Reed Hospital a few weeks ago
CBS News: Obama Quietly Visits Wounded War Vets
Fox News: Obama Quietly Visits Veterans at Walter Reed
The AP Obama quietly visits wounded vets at Walter Reed

You can view the video of the Hemmer-Obama interview here

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