Photo: mariopiperni via Flickr
Not as if this election season needs any more hyperbole, but this story is interesting.Parents of the 17 SEALs killed in action when a Chinook went down more than a year ago just received their “letters” from Obama, each and every one of them is supposedly bearing an electronic signature.
A certified handwriting specialist has not confirmed whether the signatures are that of a computer, or a human, but they look pretty close to identical. Certainly, the president of the most powerful nation on the planet is a busy guy, but if he is robosigning KIA letters for families, it is inexcusable.
Now, it’s mostly Right-Wing websites hocking this story to anyone who will listen, and the practice certainly is disgraceful, but the fact remains — the procedure isn’t a marked step down from the Bush’s practice.
President Bush sent stock letters to every fallen servicemember’s family, the only difference being he used a sharpie to sign every one by hand.
From The Daily Beast:
Maggie Caldwell of Massachusetts was still a newlywed when a mine exploded under the Humvee of her husband, Todd, in Iraq. A few weeks later, she received Bush’s letter. “Something a little more personal would have been nice,” she says. Maggie is not running for office or writing a snarky column, she just wants to know that her nation appreciates what Todd–and she–have sacrificed.
Regardless the practice of producing letters for our dead as if it were an assembly line and not an individual, with individual merit, and individual loved ones, shows that behind closed doors, the government regards the military as a tool, rather than an organisation of honorable men and women.
UPDATE: The Obama administration responded via email with spokesman, Tommy Vietor, NSC Spokesman, “The President personally signs every letter to the families of fallen service members in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he has said many times that it is one of the most difficult parts of his job and a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.” –
*Reporter’s Note:* I’m taking a lot of heat about this story. Obviously the accusation is not yet proven, hence use of the word “alleged.” A few of the “gold star” mothers are claiming that the signatures are identical. To date, though, no one has contacted a hand writing expert.
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