Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Air Force for one: Massive military transport plane that usually carries 100 troops picks up US Secretary of State John Kerry to bring him home after he breaks his leg cycling
Thanks to Bud Norman (Break a Leg, John) we had an opportunity to read about how the spindly-legged, 71 year-old John Kerry, was taken back to the US in a C-17 designed to carry 100 troops.
From press reports it seems that the elderly Kerry was accompanied on his ill-fated bike ride by an entourage that included his personal staff, a motorcade, paramedics as well as photographers when he fell on a flat part of his short ride.
After Kerry's Sunday morning accident, paramedics who were on the scene with his motorcade provided him immediate attention.
They quickly decided to order the ten-minute-long helicopter transport to Geneva.
Kerry's cycling rides have become a regular occurrence on his trips and he often takes his bike with him,During discussions in late March and early April between world powers and Iran, he took several bike trips during breaks.Those talks were in Lausanne, Switzerland, and led to a framework agreement.
Sunday's accident came as the secretary wanted to ride along a small part of the Tour de France that would have taken him into an Alpine pass.
At the time of the crash he was riding on flat ground near the town, officials told AFP.
I would love to seen the American media cover this kind of wretched excess from a larger perspective. Pull the camera back and show the small army of personal assistants that surround the boy wonder. Who goes for bike rides followed by a train of SUVs, motorcycles, paramedics, personal guards and a horde of press and photographers? It's a damn photo-op that costs a ton of money and is designed to show an artificial image of a member of the Ruling Class being "just one of the people." Bullshit!
It’s the sort of thing the American press is politely incurious about, but the cheekier Fleet Street fellows at Britain’s Daily Mail had the admirable lese majeste to report that Kerry was helicoptered from the hospital where he received initial treatment to the Geneva airport and then flown to Boston for further care on a massive C-17 military transport plane intended for deploying up to 100 troops to war zones. A full medical team accompanied Kerry on his bike ride, the care he received at the Geneva hospital was by his own account first-rate, that full medical team also flew along with him on the plane ride home, presumably with plenty of room to administer whatever additional medical magic a broken leg might require along the way, one can expect that the attention currently being paid in that Boston hospital will surpass what the typical Obamacare health plan provides, and a broken leg, even such a spindly one as Kerry’s, isn’t really that big of a deal, so we expect he will soon be up and limping about and back at the hard work of letting Iran’s mad mullahs acquire a nuclear weapon and railing about those dastardly Republicans’ niggardly budget cuts. We suppose it’s our patriotic duty and Christian obligation to hope so, and we’ll try to do our best in that regard as well, but still, everything about it seems gallingly excessive.Most organizations finding themselves $18 trillion in debt would start looking over their employees’ expense account reports with a meticulously stingy eye, but the federal government is apparently an exception to this rule. We clearly remember how a major national newspaper chain once scrutinized every turnpike toll and other slight line item from our occasional trips to Topeka to cover some stupefyingly boring legislative hearing, even in the cash-flush days before the internet, and how the shrinking profit margins of the modern age eventually subjected even the executive editors and publishers to the same corporate parsimony, so we are amused to think of the apoplexy that would have resulted down in accounting if we’d ever handed over the kind of bill that Kerry will turn in from his bike ride. One can reasonably argue that a Secretary of State, even such a spindly one as Kerry, deserves greater consideration than any ink-stained scribe, or even executive editors and publishers and other white-collar big-wigs, but the difference between a personal C-17 and a coach seat on a crowded commercial flight, complete with the indignities that an average wheelchair-bound executive would surely endure at the security gate, seems shockingly wide. Kerry is a prominent member of the party that is constantly going on about economic inequality and carbon footprints, and claiming to be the champions of the common coach-flying folk, so surely the public has a right to expect something slightly less ostentatious and expensive.
The reason that questions about the regal life of high government officials will not get noted by the Washington press corps is that they have become utterly accustomed to the style to which our rulers live. What would shock them is if Kerry actually took a commercial ride home or took a bike ride by himself or with a few friends. But, we are told that "going commercial" is not allowed by the Secret Service, to which we repeat "bullshit." The answer should be obvious, who works for whom? But the SS is trotted out whenever anyone wonders about the way American royalty goes out and about.