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More to the story: about my post on Obama canceling visit to troops in Germany

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An item I posted July 25 about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) canceling a visit to a U.S. military base in Germany has now become grist for the Republicans to attack Obama.

Some points:

*Contrary to what the Republican National Committee stated in one of their missives, Obama senior strategist David Axelrod never said that the Pentagon told the campaign Obama should not come to the base. The GOP, citing my blog post, wrote in one of their releases, "Obama Senior Strategist David Axelrod Said The Pentagon Told The Campaign That Barack Obama "Should Not Come."


*The headline on my original post were my words--not Axelrod's. That headline "Pentagon tells Obama not to visit U.S. troops at German base because it would be too political" was my take.

I revised the headline a few hours later because it was wrong. The Pentagon never told Obama not to come. The issue was whether Obama campaign military advisor Scott Gration, a retired Air Force General, could accompany Obama. I also rewrote a paragraph to eliminate an Axelrod quote that I misunderstood.

The new headline on my post read "Pentagon tells Obama aide a visit to U.S. base in Germany would be seen as political." I thought that new headline and revised paragraph solved the problem; usually there is just one URL for a blog post. But due to a server glitch at the Sun-Times, both the original and updated versions existed on the Internet. The Republicans have been linking to the original post and not the updated version.

Here's the explanation Obama gave Saturday in London when asked about the cancelled visit to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center:

Q. Can you clear up the controversy about visiting the troops in Germany, the Pentagon said you were more welcome to come but you cant bring the media and were not allowed to bring campaign staff other than that you are more than welcome anytime, inaudible, we have gotten a few conflicting claims...

OBAMA: The staff was working this so I don't know each and every detail but here is what I understand happened. We had scheduled to go, we had no problem at all in leaving, we always leave press and staff off that is why we left it off the schedule. We were treating it in the same way we treat a visit to Walter Reed which I was able to do a few weeks ago without any fanfare whatsoever. I was going to be accompanied by one of my advisors, former military officer. And we got notice that he would be treated as a campaign person and it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy but he wasn't on the senate staff.

That triggered then a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political and the last thing that I want to do is have injured soldiers and the staff at these wonderful institutions having to sort through whether this is political or not or get caught in the crossfire between campaigns. So rather than go forward and potentially get caught up in what might have been considered a political controversy of some sort what we decided was that we not make a visit and instead I would call some of the troops that were that. So that essentially would be the extent of the story.

20 Comments

Seems to me that someone deserves an apology. Hannity, Rush, Levin, Wolf Blitzer, Joe Scarborough, Fox and Friends, Pat Buchanon, Harold Ford, all of these guys plus more should be out of jobs right now. They were all over the t.v. this week reporting this story as if what John McCain was speaking the gospel. Where is the accountability in media when you can go on TV and radio, spread lies without research and get away with it. It is truly amazing what these guys on t.v. are doing to Barack, amnd Jphn McCain for that matter.

I still don't understand. I thought anytime politicans visited troops in the field or in hospitals that was political. Why else would they do it?

STOP BEATING A DEAD HORSE!
THE MAN MADE IT BACK HOME SAFELY!
IT'S NOT HIS STYLE TO BE DISRESPECTFUL!
JOHN MCCAIN AND SEAN HANNITY FOR TROUBLE-MAKERS
OF THE YEAR AWARDS!
WHEN YOU LOSE, YOU CRY, AND THAT IS TERRIBLE FOR
A WAR-HERO, TO CRY OVER SPILLED-MILK!
BARACK OBAMA WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT!
SEAN HANNITY AND BILL O'REILLY WILL BE NAMED
COURT-JESTERS!

Energy is the defining issue of our day, intersecting economic, environmental and national secutiy policy. Therefore, Senator Jeff Bingaman would be the best choice for VP by Sen. Obama. This will be the August surprise. He would carry NM and probably AZ too, and he is not up for re-election this year. He has small town roots and is a solid, humble man. And he has gray hair.

I do not understand why Obama and the Democratic Party in general do not challenge the deliberately twisted lies being perpetrated by the Republican Party spokespeople against Obama and the forward goals of the Democratic Party.

I do not understand why Obama and the Democratic Party in general do not challenge the deliberately twisted lies being perpetrated by the Republican Party spokespeople against Obama and the forward goals of the Democratic Party.

McSame should be denouncing what the Pentagon is doing--using the soldiers ('troops' is improper language use and dehumanizes the individuals) as pawns for political gain.

I left one comment already and I don't expect any comments are going to be posted..

Lynn,
What do you think is REALLY TRUE? Report that, if you, like all the other media, start changing your story so it will pass with the Obama campaign then no one will respect you...you will lose all credibility as many in the media have.

Truth is all we want, not truth after Obama's camp has you change it.

"Truth is all we want, not truth after Obama's camp has you change it."

Ok: The "truth" is that you don't really care about "truth" and neither does John McCain. The TRUTH is that McCain's staff have already admitted under the table that they were planning to bumrush Sen. Obama whether he DID ("He's using our troops to score political points! Shameless!") or DIDN'T go ("He doesn't care about our troops! Hubris!").

I agree with Newt Gingrich: Playing this election by the Rovian handbook is going to get the GOP hammered into the ground. If *this* is all you got, then you're done, son.

If Obama had the personal commitment the visit would have happen.

It concerns me that while Scott McClellan points to the fact that the WH under GWB sends as truth, talking points to the media, and the talking heads on tv and radio use these talking points as truth, but deny it when McClellan blows the whistle, that they are still doing so, even with this botched reporting on Obama's trip, which has been 1)taken out of context 2)misquoted and 3)used for a personal attack, just as if Bush III (McCain) is already in the WH!!!!

I'd like to see them deny that!

But, it's all supposed to take our attention away from the fact that Bush III is learning how to do foreign policy from the new guy.
Which brings me to another thing I am concerned about: Why do the talking heads believe that Obama is new to the country (me) and that McCain is familiar to the country (me)???? I only remember that he had previously tried to run for prez, and was unfamiliar with his story, or his voting record, which by the way is not all that impressive. As far as his lineage . . . oooh, another Georgie Boy.

Now do you understand how you simply must get it right from the outset? The Republican attack machine does not need the MSM aiding and abetting their unceasing efforts to smear the Democratic candidate yet again. And while you are at it could you quit replaying McCain's attack ads for FREE?

ENOUGH, STOP IT, you are hurting our country!

Obama was there, could of, should of, choose not to.

Shame on Obama, There is no excuse that will cover cutting and running on our wounded boys and girls.

Obama was more worried about his image than Being a Senator, An American, He failed here miserably.

Shame on Obama.

This is a problem I've noticed first in the primary.
The media takes a fact and they create their own spin on it for a splashy headline.

I've seen so many headlines that aren't the actual facts but an interpretation of the facts. That's a problem especially if it results in a problem like we have here where someone takes it and runs with it.

Now I bet people won't believe the truth they will focus on the inital assertion that he decided not to go to visit the troops.
I mean Joe Scarborough even got a different story about what happened but still focused on the original story which was a lie.

So I just wish the media would be very careful on the words they choose. They should report the news...not make the news.

Just a thought.

DON'T FORGET IT WAS OBAMA WHO CAME TO THE AID OF
SOLDIERS STAYING AT WALTER REED, OBAMA FOUND OUT
THAT WOUNDED SOLDIERS HAD TO PAY FOR THEIR MEALS
AND PHONE CALLS, DON'T FORGET HE PASSED LEGISLATION SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO GET RIPPED OFF
ANY LONGER!
OBAMA WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT, AND MCCAIN
CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH, THE TRUTH IS MCCAIN IS
ABOUT TO GO ON A PERMANENT VACATION!

VA:

Obama DID decide not to go to personally visit wounded troops in Germany.

Obama must do commercials to counter this swift-boating. This is how it began with Kerry. Little rumors you heard people discuss as 'truths' in thr countryside in July---and NO RESPONSE FROM KERRY.

It matters not what Obama says now, the fact is he did NOT go visit the troops because he could not have anyone accompany him, media or staff. That is a piss poor excuse for anyone wanting to be commander-in-chief. McCain is right on.

MCCAIN HAS ANOTHER PROBLEM, HIS NAME IS ECONOMY,
27,000 WORKERS IN CALIFORNIA ARE ABOUT TO LOSE
THEIR JOBS!
AMERICA DO YOU REALLY WANT TO TRUST A THIRD TERM
OF GEORGE BUSH, BANKS FAILING, ECONOMY IN THE
TOILET, UNNECESSARY WAR, JOBS IN INDIA, CAR
INDUSTRY FAILING, GAS PRICES OUT OF THIS WORLD,
DO YOU REALLY WANT A BUSH CLONE TO STAY IN THE
WHITE HOUSE?
IF MCCAIN GETS IN THERE, WE'RE TALKING DEPRESSION!

Phil, Here is Barack's record for the State of Illinois.

Cook County Sales Taxes which is the highest in the country. As a Senator, what has he done to
help bring jobs to the State and even the county.

Murder rates in Chicago critically high. Where is the leadership from our Junior Senator? Out selling books.

Foreclosure rates highest in the country. Where is Mr Change?

Screwing his people by making deals with Rezko.Mr Sumlord.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 29, 2008 4:52 PM.

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