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October 30, 2009

Liz Cheney Spins Dover

Obama Dover 1.jpg

“I think that what President Bush used to do is do it without the cameras. And I don’t understand sort of showing up with the White House Press Pool with photographers and asking family members if you can take pictures. That’s really hard for me to get my head around…It was a surprising way for the president to choose to do this.”

Is Liz Cheney freaking kidding?

Bush made a presidency (and, frankly, helped make this site) out of his military photo ops — co-opting the living, the injured and family members of the dead. And now, Cheney wants to spin his black-out on Dover and coffins as some kind of modesty or respect — rather than a cynical, stonewalling, reality-denying strategy to prevent Americans from intimately feeling the ultimate cost of his elective war?

You can fault Obama for his foreign policy but what his presence at Dover demonstrates clearly, in striking counterpoint to Dubya, is taking responsibility.

I’m interested in your take on the photo — a direct examination I sidestepped in the last post. Clearly though, Cheney has not interest in dealing with the dynamics of the scene from Delaware.

A few choice links:

>> What made this so stunning was how, during the Bush era, the coffins were invisible.

>> I paired this with this (though some people didn’t appreciate it).

>> Folks, what do you think sent Cindy Sheehan?

>> An Arbus-Like End To George Bush, Comforter Of Man – link

(photo: Saul Loeb/AFP. caption: US President Barack Obama walks off a C-17 airplane during the dignified transfer of Sergeant Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Indiana, at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, October 29, 2009. Obama traveled to the base to meet the plane carrying the bodies of 18 US personnel killed in Afghanistan on October 26, including Griffin.)

  • Spaniard

    Why is anybody publishing what Liz Cheney has to say?. Is being the daughter of Darth Vader enough to give you headlines now?

  • mad_nVT

    Great photo of Obama, death, the military machine, boys, the older men that send the boys to death.
    During this moment is Obama still thinking about what to do next in Afghanistan? Without a doubt.
    Most of all, this is Obama taking responsibility, as BagMan indicates.
    Taking responsibility is something that Bush never did, and that is why we are beset by so many Bush nightmares.

  • bystander

    Ya know, I don’t care what Liz, Lynn, Mary or Dick Cheney thinks. About anything. I’ve begun answering, Liz who?. If we aren’t going to try Dick Cheney for war crimes, I’m happy to shun him. My message to a Cheney is the same one Dick offered to Patrick Leahy.
    That said, I agree. I see this as Obama taking responsibility. I expect, given the way this was organized (last minute notice to the pool, etc) this was deeply, deeply personal for him. As it should be. It’s all his now. The decisions made from this point forward are his to make, and his to own. I would wish him inspiration, insight, and wisdom as he grapples with what is before him.

  • Brian L.

    Don’t you think it’s a bit more honorable to do something like this *without* the cameras present?
    You know… “What a man does in private is a testament to how he truly is,” versus the dudes who only do charity in public?

  • Wordsmith

    George W. Bush NEVER went to Dover – period. He simply used the military as a prop.

  • g

    Why are the cameras there? For the president or for the coffins? If the cameras are there for the coffis – which, as I understand, they are there again after Bush banned them, then why shouldn’t the President step into their gaze?
    Are you suggesting the President should only visit the dead when he can’t be shown doing so?

  • lytom

    Both use them as cannon fodder.

  • thomas

    Liz is the Sarah Palin of the Cheney family.

  • akinoluna – a female Marine

    The cameras were there because that one particular family had agreed to them beforehand. None of the other coffins coming off the plane that night had photos taken of them. I don’t think Bush ever wennt to Dover like this.

  • Wordsmith

    For right now, I give Obama latitude. That latitude won’t be lasting much longer.

  • Wordsmith

    No, Bush never, ever went to Dover. As for the ‘behind the scenes’ if the family of this particular soldier, Sgt. Dale Griffin, hadn’t granted permission, there would have been NO cameras – period. The cameras were not there to record President Obama; they were there to record Sgt. Griffin’s casket.

    In this case, the return of only one of the 18 was open to the media.
    His name was Dale R. Griffin, an Army sergeant from Terre Haute, Ind., and a top wrestler in high school and in college at Virginia Military Institute. He was remembered Thursday by friends and a former coach as particularly tenacious. Vigo County (Ind.) Judge Chris Newton, a family friend, described him as “unbelievably tough and resilient.”
    It is unclear why the other families declined coverage.
    But none who came to Dover was told that Obama was coming until they were already there, so his planned presence was not a factor, said Dover spokesman Air Force Maj. Carl Grusnick.

  • James

    How deeply indecent are these rightwingers to make political fodder out of the President of the United States and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to attend a quiet, low key, respectful late-night ceremony in honor of the repatriation of the remains of our dead soldiers. He honored them by his attendance.
    I loathe Liz Cheney and that whole ghoulish, bizarrely wicked and dishonorable family.

  • yg

    Army Sgt. Dale Griffin, center, poses with his parents, Dona and Gene Griffin, in this undated family photo. Griffin, 29, was killed Oct. 27 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. He was, said one friend, a “free spirit.”

    Through Army language school, had recently become fairly fluent in Arabic and was learning a third language when he was killed.

  • Greybeard

    Bet the manchild wishes he hadn’t insisted the Irag was a ‘distraction’ while the Afganistan war was a ‘necessary’ one. No votin’ PRESENT on this one, Barry O!

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