This photo is priceless, and authentic. This is Hillary Clinton posing with a US soldier in Iraq. Look closely at his left hand. Yes, he is actually crossing his fingers. This is what soldiers are taught to do if they are coerced to give a statement or appear before cameras while captive. The humor is obvious, but I think this gentleman's sentiment about Clinton is shared by many who wear the uniform.
Hillary is seeking to become Commander in Chief, and in the process she is going to have to overcome an anti-military image that may or may not be fair, depending on your point of view. Her husband's administration did little for the military, unless you count the to-the-bone budget cuts that reduced our fighting force to a skeleton crew and in many ways continue to be a hindrance in our war efforts. And who can forget Bill's letter to an ROTC Colonel who was trying to recruit young Billy..."I loathe the military". One wonders if Hillary shares her husband's sentiment.
And then there are first hand accounts of Hillary and the military. Take, for instance, the book "Dereliction of Duty: The eyewitness account of how Bill Clinton compromised America's national security" by Lt Col Robert Patterson. Colonel Patterson was the Air Force lliason to Bill Clinton, and for a time was in charge of carrying the nuclear football, which means that he spent some time very close to Bill and Hillary. Here is an example of what he witnessed:
"On a similar trip, as we lifted off a helicopter pad in Marine One en route to Air Force One for the journey home, Hillary suddenly shouted, 'Put this back on the ground! I left my sunglasses in the limo.' By this time, however, Marine One was safely scooting to an awaiting 747. The required support for even a helicopter flight was involved and extensive. The Secret Service, White House Communications Agency, and administration staff were pulling down communications lines, lifting barricades, and driving off in vehicles.
'Ma'am,' my fellow military aide responded, 'we can't safely do that.'
'I need my sunglasses, we need to go back!'
The onboard Secret Service agent chimed in, 'Yes, ma'am, the mil-aide is correct. That wouldn't be wise.'
She acquiesced, but not without obvious disdain in her eyes. Security be damned, those were her sunglasses!"
Hillary seems to think that Marine One is more a limo and chauffeur service than a military transport vehicle. I wonder how that attitude will play as Commander in Chief. Patterson gave other examples of Hillary's disdain for the military, including her attempt to forbid members of the military to appear at the White House in uniform. She wanted them to wear civillian attire for any official or unofficial visits. Whether or not anyone complied with this is another issue. After all, the first lady is nowhere in the chain of command for anyone in uniform, even though I'm sure she would have disagreed.
And what about her military budget? Well, she apparently plans to spend a lot on the Pentagon. New York Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer asked the Pentagon to spend $123 million for New York projects that the Department of Defense didn't ask for -- many of them benefiting the lawmakers’ campaign contributors. Among the two Democratic senators’ projects cited by the New York Sun and NewsMax were:
--$5 million to STIDD Systems of Greenport, NY, whose president gave $2,500 to the Friends of Hillary political action committee in May, 2006.
--$8 million to the defense contracting firm DRS Technologies and its electronic warfare and network systems program in western New York. The firm's political action committee gave $8,000 to Friends of Schumer and $30,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which Schumer chaired. The company also gave Clinton's political action committee $2,000.
--$2 million to the Buffalo firm Nano-Dynamics, Incorporated, whose chairman gave $4,400 to the Friends of Hillary political action committee over the past year. Three of the firm’s officers gave $2,000 each to Schumer's campaign.
--$2 million to Plug Power, Incorporated, a developer of fuel cell technology. The company's president Roger Saillant has given $2,000 to the Friends of Hillary committee over the past two years, and $3,000 to the Friends of Schumer committee over the past four years.
So this is Hillary's military record. Is this someone who deserves to be Commander in Chief?