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Friday, June 19, 2009

What Obama Said About the Murder of Pvt. Long

The answer, despite the AP, seems to be ... nothing.

Why do we care?

There are several reasons.

First, it would be nice if the Commander in chief of the Armed forces said something when one of his troops is murdered in Little Rock, Arkansas. Obama is on TV more often than any other President in history, spending more time in front of the cameras than most network anchors. Some of his supporters are complaining of his overexposure.

Second, it would be nice if we could trust the media to report the facts, instead of having to doubt their veracity on this issue along with everything else.

Third, the sounds of silence on this issue says something. It says that the murder of an Army Private by a follower of Islam in the United states is much less important to Mr. Obama than the murder of an abortion doctor by an anti-abortion activist. One conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the anti-abortion foes are seen by this administration as a bigger threat to Americans than Islamic terrorists. In view of 9/11 that is certainly an interesting view; one that may not be shared by most Americans.

Via the Mudville Gazette -which cares more about the military than the MSM - we find someone who has done a little digging (go to the story for links)

CJ Grisham has been going where the media fears to tread - and he's got a hell of a good story for his efforts. To bring you up to speed quickly, other than an AP claim to the contrary there's actually no evidence available that the White House (or President Obama himself) has issued a statement regarding the murder of Private William Long in Little Rock earlier this month. (See C.J.'s post here, previous Mudville entry here.) The White House maintains a comprehensive collection of presidential statements, speeches, and press releases and there's no mention of Private William Long to be found there.

I can't say whether or not the AP appreciates being the sole source of presidential decrees, but while some might be content to accept an independent news outlet's role as Presidential Press Office C.J. has been combing that White House archive (where my follow up search for "Private Long" yielded only documents related to private long-term health insurance) for an actual statement from the President - and found no such document. In hopes that that omission was merely an oversight by an over-worked staffer he's been talking and emailing with them, too - more on that shortly.

From CJ at "A Soldier's Perspective" ...

CJ gives us a quote from a press briefing by Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary to the White House press corps:

Q This is really just out of curiosity more than anything — how do you guys decide which acts of violence prompt a White House response and which ones won't? There was a statement that went out about Dr. Tiller. How was the decision made that that would get a presidential statement whereas the military recruiter in Arkansas shooting would not?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I believe a statement did go to many stations in Arkansas regarding that.

Q Oh, okay, it did? Okay.

For some reason, I get flashbacks to the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update skits, "Really?!" I mean, really! A REAL reporter would follow up with, "Oh okay, it did? Can you provide that please?" Or, "why wasn't it provided nationally like all the other statements?" Or, "Why wasn't the Dr. Tiller statement only released in Kansas like the Arkansas shooting statement?"

The facts are this: there was no statement. The White House has yet to release one and is embarrassed that they screwed this up. That has to be the reason.

When I wrote my last post, I mentioned another part of the email that I was withholding pending more information. That information never came. Therefore, I think it's important that the rest of my correspondence be made public now because it really speaks volumes about this administrations treatment of our troops.

On June 11th, I received an email from a Senior Administration official in response to my query about the absence of an official statement. In that communication, the official made the following comment that I initially refrained from publishing: "… the President is attempting to call the family of Army Pvt Long."

Ladies and gentlemen, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES does not ATTEMPT to call any families of murdered troops. Within 24 hours of the shooting, the media was already interviewing Mr. Daris Long, father of PVT William Long who was killed in the shooting. 11 days after the shooting the President was still "attempting to call" the family?! Really?!

This smacks of disrespect for our troops. This smacks of a cover-up by the media, incompetence from the White House staff, and lack of follow-through from the most senior people in the administration. We can't get a simple statement about the murder of our troops on American soil by a sworn enemy of the United States, but we'll get a statement from the President regarding New Zealand tax protocol. We got a statement on the Holocaust Museum shooting. But, when I asked for a statement, I'm directed to a fake excerpt of a statement provided in a link by the AP instead of the actual statement. To add insult to injury, after 11 days the President is still "attempting" to contact the family. The leader of the most powerful nation on earth (well, it used to be) can't get in a phone call in nearly two weeks? Come on. Really?!

Just to make sure I was not being taken in by unsubstantiated Internet rumors, I went to the official White House website in which you too can search for Private Long and come up empty on the young man who was murdered on Obama's watch. The White House lies, and moves on.

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