Saturday, July 26, 2008

Obama Ditches Military Hospital Visit

The Obama campaign still lacks a reason for not visiting wounded soldiers in Germany. They have decided to blame the Pentagon for their decision not to visit the military hospital. However, numerous sources confirm that Obama was never told that he could not visit the soldiers, just that bringing campaign staff and cameras was considered inappropriate. The Washington Post states that Obama knew about the rules.
"The senator's staff was informed of the limits on what the military can do with respect to a political campaign and how we could support a senator's visit to Landstuhl and, quite frankly, I expected them to have the visit," Whitman said.
Fox questions Robert Gibbs, a campaign spokesman, about whether they knew of these rules.
“Q: Did it not occur to anybody that this might be viewed as a political stop?

Gibbs: We had taken some of that into consideration, but we believed that it could be done in a way that would not create, it would not be created or seen as a campaign stop.”
However, the LA Times reports that Gibbs blamed the Pentagon not informing them of their restrictions until too late.
“Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs initially released a statement saying the senator had decided to cancel out of respect for the troops, because it would be inappropriate on "a trip funded by the campaign."

That statement said nothing about the Pentagon restriction. Gibbs later said it became apparent the Pentagon "would have tried to politicize this, and then others would try to politicize this."
The reasons for not visiting the troops have been universally weak. The desire not to use campagin funds to visit wounded soldiers smacks of an unbelievable level greed or cheapness. Blaming the Pentagon rings hollow since they never disallowed the trip. The only complaint that has a ring of truth to it is that the Obama campaign didn’t want to follow the rules of no cameras and limited staff. Why meet with service men and women who have sacraficed greatly for their country if Senator Obama can’t put on a show? Unfortunately, as MSNBC notes, the wounded soldiers were let down by Senator Obama’s decision to cancel,
Whatever the reason, Obama and the troops he would have visited have both missed a unique and historic opportunity. According to one Army lieutenant colonel, "Everyone was excited about Obama's visit. It's a shame."

Obama Searches for the Reason Why He Snubbed Wounded Soldiers

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