Friday, May 21, 2004


Over at A Small Victory, Michele is shocked and disgusted that the parent who has lost a child in a combat theatre would blame the sitting president. She states that "grieving parents should be given a bit of leeway in situations like this," but goes on to load the sentence with enough qualifiers to sink a ship; thereby allowing her to really tear into the father of Nick Berg.

As I've said before, at things fall apart we reserve the right to simultaneously denounce "gotcha politics" while engaging in them. So without further ado, this from a January 2002 story in WorldNetDaily:

The author also noted that James Smith, a former Ranger captain and father of Cpl. Jamie Smith – who bled to death after he was shot in the leg during the battle, because he could not be evacuated – returned a letter of condolence from President Clinton. In rejecting it, he sent a letter of his own, blaming Clinton for the Mogadishu debacle.

Also not in the movie was an after-action incident between Clinton and the parents of two Rangers – MSgt. Gary Gordon, 33, and SFC Randy Shughart, 35 – who were killed in action but posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions.

McKenny said that family members were invited to the White House to receive the medals. Clinton reportedly invited the parents of Gordon and Shughart into the Oval Office for a private meeting.

When he did, "he stuck his hand out to shake the hands of the parents, but Randy Shughart's father refused to take Clinton's hand."

Then, McKenny said, "he looked Clinton in the face, told him he was responsible for his son's death, that it was for no purpose and that he wasn't fit to be president or commander in chief."

Smith, who had his left leg amputated after being wounded in Vietnam in the mid-60s, later said Clinton also didn't take responsibility for the decisions that left the Rangers without heavy armored support.

This was not just confined to the internet either. Around the same time (Jan./Feb. 2002) Fox News ran a special on Black Hawk Down which included an interview with either Smith, Gordon or Shughart. The interviewee in question went so far as to say that Clinton felt no sorrow over his son's death. If anyone can find the transcript, let me know.

Incidentally, I browsed through Michele's archives from Jan./Feb. 2002, back before her Dennis Miller-esque political switcheroo, and found nothing condemning these fathers for politicizing the deaths of their sons.

As Michele herself would say: