Home / Scumbaggery



Press release this morning from the McCain campaign:

For Immediate Release
Contact: Press Office
Monday, July 28, 2008
ARLINGTON, VA — Today, Chief Warrant Officer (4th class) Michael J. Durant (Ret.) issued the following statement on Barack Obama’s canceled visit to Ramstein and Landstuhl:
“Over the last week, Barack Obama made time in his busy schedule to hold a rally with 200,000 Germans in Berlin, hold a press conference with French President Nicholas Sarkozy in Paris, and hold a solo press conference in front of 10 Downing Street in London. The Obama campaign had also scheduled a visit with wounded U.S. troops at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, but this stop was canceled after it became clear that campaign staff, and the traveling press corps, would not be allowed to accompany Senator Obama.
“I’ve spent time at Ramstein recovering from wounds received in the service of my country, and I’m sure that Senator Obama could have made no better use of his time than to meet with our men and women in uniform there. That Barack Obama believes otherwise casts serious doubt on his judgment and calls into question his priorities.”
Michael Durant, CW4 (Retired), US Army; born July 23, 1961 in Berlin, NH. He entered the United States Army in August 1979. Following basic training he attended the Defense Language Institute, and was then assigned to the 470th Military Intelligence Group, Fort Clayton, Panama as a Spanish voice intercept operator. He then completed helicopter flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Upon appointment to Warrant Officer 1 in November 1983, he completed the UH60 Black Hawk Qualification Course and was assigned to the 377th Medical Evacuation Company, Seoul Korea. His next assignment was with the 101st Aviation Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he performed duties as an instructor pilot.
Michael joined the 160th Special Operations Group on August 1, 1988. Assigned to D company, he performed duties as Flight Lead and Standardization Instructor Pilot. He participated in combat operations Prime Chance (Persian Gulf in 1989), Just Cause (Panama invasion in 1989), Desert Storm (Liberation of Kuwait in 1991), and Gothic Serpent (Somalia in 1993).
On October 3, 1993, while piloting an MH60 Black Hawk in Mogadishu, Somalia, he was shot down and held captive by hostile forces. He was released eleven days later.


Of course like everybody over 12 and an IQ above 89 I realize politics is a dirty business, but even by the low standards of the profession this kind of thing is pretty egregious. I doubt McCain would dare try it if the media weren’t so historically in the tank for him.

Now we’ll get a cycle of stories about the “controversy,” with the controversy being whether Barack Obama really cares about the troops.

Edit: James in the comments points to this MSNBC story (via TPM) indicating even McCain’s strictly factual claims about the cancelled visit are false.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • howard

    i realize that obama courts danger if he ever appears “angry” (who knows how many versions of “uppity” we’d be subjected to), but i think this crap might be a situation where a little righteous anger might be an appropriate response.
    as for the retired durant: what an ass.

  • Fauxmaxbaer

    I hope there enough sentient voters left in the country to see through slime like this. If not, this is the economic genius we’re putting in charge of the country:
    JOHN MCCAIN: (on housing situation) “Congress is at fault. We didnit restrain spending.” Replies Stephanopoulos: “But what does that have to do with the mortgage crisis?”
    At least George wasn’t speechless like I would have been.

  • aimai

    jeezus on toast points.

  • not only is it slimy, it’s also bullshit.
    NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports that there was never a plan for Obama to take the press to Landstuhl, despite the claim by McCain folks and others. The plan was to go with his military aide, retired General Scott Gration. The Pentagon said Gration was off-limits because he had joined the campaign — violating rules that it not be a political stop.
    Obama had gone to see wounded troops in Iraq earlier in the week, without even confirming he’d been there. No press, no pictures. He has done the same when he goes to Walter Reed — never any press.

  • sophronia

    Well, Andrea Mitchell did her job for once. Will wonders ever cease?
    Obama’s done a good job so far of letting most of their crap just roll right off his back, but in this case I agree that it might be time to get angry. How many visits has McCain made to the troops without photographers and reporters lately, I wonder?

  • Jay B.

    No shit. If he’s lost Mitchell, the game is over.

  • Is he the guy who was played by Jeremy Piven in the movie?

  • jon

    By all means, teach the controversy.

  • ThresherK

    Not only Andrea Mitchell, but

  • ThresherK

    Bleargh! Lemme try again…
    Not only Andrea Mitchell. Even Jake Tapper, even in the headline isn’t swallowing it.

  • NBarnes

    Between Andrea Mitchell’s open callout on McCain’s lying on this press release and Stephanopolous actually pointing out that McCain isn’t answering the question he’s been asked, the small, easily-snuffed flame of hope for our media has reignited in my breast.

  • Davis X. Machina

    indicating even McCain’s strictly factual claims about the cancelled visit are false.
    His claims may be ‘false in’ the old, discredited, bourgeois sense of ‘not comporting with external reality’, but because they advance the interests of the Party, which is the Vanguard of the Revolution, they possess Revolutionary Truth.
    And Sailing the Seas Depends on the Helmsman.

  • FDChief

    Based on the portrayal of Durant in “Blackhawk Down” the guy is just another rotor-wiper. He got his dumbass knocked out of the sky by an RPG and had to hang tough for a couple of days. Why the hell this makes him some sort of political or military expert I have no idea.
    As far as I’m concerned, this is the exact equivalent of asking some private in the chow line at Ft. Bragg his opinion on McCain’s plan to toss Russia from the G-8.
    Stupid, stupid reportage.

  • JWL

    Americans collective guilt at having condemned its military volunteers to battle in the Big Lie war has resulted in tools like Durant being accorded an undeserved respect (like the stars that serve to camouflage the political intrigues of General Patreus). It’s a very worrisome development- one that erodes the historic ideal of civilian control over the armed forces of the Republic.

  • R. Porrofatto

    I no longer feel like a conspiranoid for wondering if Obama was set up — Pentagon restricts his visit, and seconds later McCain and the entire RWOM (Right Wing Outrage Machine) slimes into action for the very thing he was denied permission for.
    This is 2004 redux: the Goopers can’t campaign on the slippery ephemera that McCain offers, they can only win by destroying the opponent. The 2004 Repub. convention was more about Kerry than Bush, as will the 2008 be all about Obama. I thnk the Dems are going to suffer again having their convention first, for the same reason.

  • howard

    R. Porrofatto, just so you don’t feel alone, i too think this looks suspiciously like a setup….

  • ajay

    Well, McCain certainly has a lock on the crucial “aircrew shot down and captured during ridiculously ill-planned Third World conflicts” demographic.

  • I guarantee there were more Americans at Obama’s speech in Berlin than at McCain’s appearance at a German deli in Wilkes-Barre, PA the same day. There are about 200,000 American citizens living in Germany, more if you include the members of the US military stationed in country at any given time.

  • citizen

    I’m going to go out on a limb, and credit this to strategists on the campaign. I’ll bet they have evidence that if Obama even appears to dismiss McCain’s claim that his suffering imprisonment means we owe him unreserved respect – if Obama in any way spoke down to an ex-warrior who had been captured, then he would lose votes. I would bet this is true too.
    Basically, the accusation is false and ridiculous on purpose to provoke a reaction, any reaction from Obama. No reaction? Obama wins.
    For McCain’s strategists, it means try, try again.
    I imagine thist will be happening for the rest of the campaign.

  • Russell

    Why did Obama cancel the troop visit and where did he go instead?

It is main inner container footer text