Were our honored fallen used?

Obama wouldn’t do such a thing… would he? And the press wouldn’t comply now… would they?

Let’s go to the Associated Press:


Standing in the pre-dawn darkness, President Barack Obama saw the real cost of the war in Afghanistan: The Americans who return in flag-covered cases while much of the nation sleeps in peace.

In a surprise midnight dash to this Delaware base, where U.S. forces killed overseas come home, Obama honored the return of 18 fallen Americans Thursday. All were killed in Afghanistan this week, a brutal stretch that turned October into the most deadly month for U.S. troops since the war began.

The dramatic image of a president on the tarmac was a portrait not witnessed in years. Former President George W. Bush said the appropriate way to show his respect for war’s cost was to meet with grieving military families in private, as he often did, but he never went to Dover to meet remains coming off the cargo plane. Obama did so with the weight of knowing he may soon send more troops off to war.

For all the talk of his potential troop increase — maybe 40,000, maybe some other large figure — Obama got a grim reminder of the number that counts: one.

His name was Dale R. Griffin, an Army sergeant from Terre Haute, Ind. He was the last fallen soldier to come before Obama. And his remains were the only ones of the 18 to be honored in full view of the media. An 18-year ban on such coverage, dating to the 1991 Gulf War and strengthened by Bush, was relaxed this year under Obama’s watch, allowing families to decide whether cameras can document the return. Nearly two-thirds have said yes.

The president led a team of officials onto the gray C-17 cargo plane carrying Griffin, and then back off, where they stood for several minutes in a line of honor.

It was not quite 4 a.m. The sky was black and a yellowish light came from poles flanking the flight. The only sounds were a whirring power unit on the plane and the clicking of cameras. A blue vehicle carrying members of Griffin’s family pulled up.

The president then saluted as six soldiers in camouflage and black berets carried Griffin’s remains down the ramp and into a waiting white van.

On a clear fall night, the president had zipped to Dover on a 40-minute helicopter ride from the White House. He immediately sat down privately with all the family members in a base chapel.

He had to make amends for dithering… in the eyes of far too many… mission accomplished.


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