Friday :: Dec 12, 2003

Troops Used In Baghdad Turkey Day Stunt Were PreSelected


by Steve

The Baghdad Thanksgiving Trip scam gets worse. The troops attending the event (you guessed it) were screened beforehand. According to Dana Milbankís piece in the Post today, (which they buried back on Page 35, unlike the event itself when they covered it on Page One above the fold with pictures ad nauseum):

Stars and Stripes is blowing the whistle on President Bush's Thanksgiving visit to Baghdad, saying the cheering soldiers who met him were pre-screened and others showing up for a turkey dinner were turned away.

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."

The paper also published a letter to the editor from Sgt. Loren Russell, who wrote of the heroism of his soldiers and then added: "[I]magine 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. . . . They understand that President Bush ate there and that upgraded security was required. But why were only certain units turned away?"

Russell added that his soldiers "chose to complain amongst 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."

Outrage upon outrage. Scam upon scam. All you can do is write your local paperís ombudsman and ask why they wonít be covering this story with the same level of enthusiasm as they covered the stunt in the first place.

Steve :: 12:39 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!