"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I hope I am not a virulent partisan in my comments on this blog about President Obama.   I am a conservative; he is a liberal or even radical.   We disagree.   But I hope I am fair in my criticisms and not mean-spirited.    Presidents can make mistakes, can misspeak, and they deserve to be cut some slack.   They're not perfect; they're human beings.  They have wives and children and the first rule of dissent ought to be that you try to remember the humanity of the people you criticize.  

That being said, there are some things that I think that any President should hold absolutely sacred.   Period.   There are some things a President simply can't get wrong.   The memory of soldiers who have died in their nation's service while performing acts of heroism and bravery so far above the call of duty that they receive the Medal of Honor is sacred.   You.   Can't.   Screw.   With.   The.  Medal.  Of.  Honor.

The Medal of Honor is sacred in America.  Don't believe me?  Go read the citations.   If you can read more than two or three without crying, and thanking God that we had these great men to defend our nation, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.       

So this story from the Ace of Spades blog drives me absolutely insane.  
The Commander in Chief addressed the 10th Mountain Division today:
First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.
In case you missed it, President Obama has been to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also awarded the Medal of Honor.
Of course, there was one little detail he got wrong in his speech. Something so small ... trivial, really ... that I hate to even bring it up.
Jared Monti, who was in 10th Mountain, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. His eternal resting place is about 50 miles from where I sit typing this.
As all readers of this Smart Military Blog™ know, Salvatore Giunta, who was not in 10th Mountain but instead the 173rd Airborne, was the first living Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
And, given that he was also the first living recipient since the Vietnam War, you'd think this might leave a lasting impression on the Commander in Chief. You'd be wrong.
It's a shame whoever loaded TOTUS with that speech didn't care half as much about this very simple detail as he did making sure his boss took credit for something. And it's doubly shameful that Obama didn't catch it, but we all know he just reads whatever is on the 'prompter anyway.
There's no excuse for it.   President Teleprompter has done the memory of Jared Monti, and the Monti family, a grave disservice.   He can't apologize profusely enough, and quickly enough.  Maybe he will; I doubt it; but who knows?   We'll see if he has the same understanding of "Honor" as the rest of us do.

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