Patterico's Pontifications

9/29/2007

How do you Spell Unacceptable? O-A-K-L-A-N-D (Updated)

Filed under: Air Security,War — DRJ @ 6:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via the Instapundit, Michael Ledeen recounts an email from a Marine Chaplain returning from Iraq:

“As we came in for the final approach to Oakland a Lieutenant who served in Afghanistan with the same unit in 2006 mentioned how when they landed in Oakland they were not allowed in the terminal. He said, “they made us get out by the FED EX building and we had to sit out there for 3 hours”. He also indicated he was almost arrested by the TSA for getting belligerent about them not letting the Marines into the terminal.

Well the same thing happened again. This time we did not park by the FED EX building, instead we were offloaded near the grass that separates the active runway from the taxi ramp, about 400 yards from the terminal. When we inquired why they wouldn’t allow us in the airport they gave us some lame excuse that we hadn’t been screened by TSA. While true, the screening which we did have was much more thorough than any TSA search and was done by US Customs. Additionally, JFK didn’t seem to have a problem with our entering their terminal, nor did security in Germany.

It felt like being spit on. Every Marine and soldier felt the message loud and clear, “YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN OAKLAND!”

This is unacceptable.

— DRJ

UPDATE 1: DKos thinks it’s a hoax and notes that CNN is investigating. Stay tuned.

UPDATE 2: Michelle Malkin confirms the story is true. Note especially the Oakland Airport PR department’s response.

MM also reprinted Mr. Chips’ comment #17 from this thread. Good comment, Mr. C., and thank you for your service to our country.

123 Responses to “How do you Spell Unacceptable? O-A-K-L-A-N-D (Updated)”

  1. If completely true as per the chaplain’s account I’d agree. Having been on troop transports coming back from the mideast I know they tend to try to make it easier for us to get back in, although I’ve never gone through Oakland.
    We sat on a plane in NYC for about an hour before being cleared to fly onto our home destination. Technically we were required to go through customs with our chem warfare bags and personal bags. None were checked but I think the dogs probably were run through for a cursory look. Had they deplaned us it would have delayed our return home by several hours. We were grateful.

    It does seem strange, since they apparently received similar treatment as we did at JFK.

    voiceofreason (41831e)

  2. But I thought it was Rush and the neocons who hated out troops??

    /s

    chas (73eeb5)

  3. According to at least one poster at this conservative website, Oakland Airport has one of the best USO clubs in the country.

    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2007/09/oakland-airport.html#comment-84468902

    Itsme (92753f)

  4. This would not surprise me one bit.

    However, we only have one source for this so far. We really need more corroboration on this. We don’t want to give the moonbats a reason to claim we’re spreading propaganda.

    Jim C. (a6819b)

  5. Scroll down, Jim C. DKos admits it “may be real … just misused” – whatever that means.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  6. Unfortunately, its not clear to me whether or not it is Oakland airport management, the charter airline or the TSA (Thousands Standing Around) who made this decision.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  7. Doesn’t appear to be Oakland airport policy:

    Wounded Soldier Gets Hero’s Welcome
    by Ruth Roberts
    Published 08/31/2007 – 2:17 p.m. PDT

    When Isaac Morton stepped off the plane at Oakland International Airport last week he was prepared to see his parents and siblings. What he wasn’t prepared for was the hero’s welcome that he received.

    “There was a whole motorcade waiting for me there and a huge American flag and tons of people,” said Morton, 20.

    http://www.discoverybaypress.com/article.cfm?articleID=17352

    steve (23d480)

  8. Steve,

    Is an individual wounded soldier’s return home the same as a troop transport passing through to Hawaii?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  9. Steve, more likely that Morton came off a regularly scheduled airline rather than a troop transport given that he was in the states for medical treatment.

    Assuming this incident happened as described by the emailers POV, the question here is whether someone in airport management or TSA or the charter decided to abuse these soldiers for their own convenience.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  10. How can you ban anyone from a public building?

    dave (987d37)

  11. First of all, I suggest taking a look at the objections made in the comment made by Soonergrunt to the Kos post

    Although of course “Marine chaplain” may simply be an elision for “chaplain detailed to a Marine unit”.

    Also, to whom was the email sent? And by whom Ledeen writes as if it was sent to him, the OC Blog writes as if it was sent to OCBlog (but ascribes it to the brother of one of the Marines in the unit, and not to a chaplain), and the CNN article talks about an email being sent to a Congressional committee (which is probably the most logical recipient, if someone wanted to make an official complaint), without specifying who sent it.

    I also noticed that they were quarantined in Kuwait while waiting to board the flight to Germany. Does that mean they were spit on by the people in Kuwait?

    kishnevi (db290b)

  12. Errata: the CNN article says the email was from an unidentified Marine, apparently a member of the unit.

    So that’s three authors, unless the Marine’s brother and his chaplain decided to spam conservative blogs with duplicates of the original email.

    kishnevi (db290b)

  13. Kishnevi,

    If this happened, isn’t it possible that several Marines might be upset enough that “spamming” their friends, family, Congress, and even conservative blogs about their experience might seem like a good idea?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  14. According to an email reply from Ledeen

    in fact, it was all over the Hill on Friday, that’s where I found it.

    chas (73eeb5)

  15. Some things aren’t adding up. they left Kuwait, stopped in Leipzig, Germany instead of rhein-mein or ramstein (the typical stops). 1.5 hours on the ground, an hour in NYC, and three hours in Oakland. Add the flight times of 16 plus hours minimum and another five to get to Hawaii push it close to thirty hours. And then an email is circulated less than 24 hours after they finally get back.
    Smells fishy.

    voiceofreason (41831e)

  16. When I was returning from the first Gulf War, we went through the quarantine process prior to boarding the plane to leave Saudi Arabia. After our baggage and bodies were searched we went into the quarantine holding area from which we could not leave, ensuring that no contraband would enter the US. Our first stop was Rome, and we stayed on the plane. We landed at JFK and went into the terminal for a couple of hours. A security detail stayed on board the aircraft. We then re-boarded and returned to Ft. Hood, TX.
    Troops returning from overseas have to pass through customs. In the case of troop transports, this is actually done overseas, hence the quarantine area. The only processing we went through in the US was turning in weapons & other sensitive items when we returned to Ft Hood. Remember, troops do not carry passports in combat zones. I assume that the military follows the same procedures that they did in the 90’s vis troops returning from overseas deployments and they should be able to disembark during layovers in the US. I can tell you from personal experience, troops just want to get a quick stretch, a chance to clean up before returning home and maybe a cool drink: I hope the Oakland airport can accommodate these simple needs.

    Mr Chips (b69fe0)

  17. One of the sources uses Marine Chaplain Brandon Harding as the email writer. Google Marine Chaplain and his name comes up a lot from 2003 interviews.
    None of the purported emails actually mention which unit they were with.

    voiceofreason (41831e)

  18. VOR – did you include the changes across the different time zones in your calcs?

    chas (73eeb5)

  19. chas,
    Kuwait is 8 hours ahead of us. they were traveling north and then west. Even accounting for that you are looking at a full day of traveling minimum.

    voiceofreason (41831e)

  20. Well, I guess the jury is still out on the authenticity of the whole story, but for some clarification of details.

    Navy chaplains assigned to Marine units are often referred to as Marine chaplains by the media.

    Once an aircraft is in the controlled airspace of an airport, they are no longer in charge of where they go. They follow the instructions of the tower while landing, and they taxi and park where they are instructed.

    So if true, it would be the Oakland authorities and would require more than a handful of complicit people; the controller who directed them, and a number of other people that worked there – not to mention the pilots – because dropping off a load of passengers away from the normal points of embarkation is bound to cause some eyebrows to raise. Even having the aircraft out of the normal taxing/parking queue would seem to bring certain irregularities to the surface.

    When we flew from overseas – going or coming – we were throroughly checked; pretty much like people are checked today, except this was the late 80s, early 90s. I guess military personnel have done some things in the past to warrant extra inspection? Maybe they were looking for extra weapons or something that might be offensive in foreign countries?

    Don’t know, but the larger point is that for years previous to 9/11 deploying military personnel have always been thoroughly checked and anyone in the decision making loop at an international airport would know this it seems.

    Ray G (50194a)

  21. Maybe they got the bus too excited.

    Itsme (92753f)

  22. Having spent a lot of time in the Bay Area over the last few years, I have always seen the media rushing in to interview the troops. They are always looking for those Bush Bashing stories. I have seen lots of stories and interviews shown with no hint they was any delay with getting the troops out and uniting them with there families.

    Also if it was a MAC flight then why wouldn’t it land at Travis AFB in Fairfield, about 60 miles north of Oakland?

    Tim Mc (d44d97)

  23. […] commenter at Patterico’s notes: When I was returning from the first Gulf War, we went through the quarantine process prior […]

    Michelle Malkin » What happened to our troops in Oakland (41113f)

  24. A Marine friend of mine, returning from Vietnam, came into Oakland where screaming protesters were allowed to line the embarkation area and spit on our returning soldiers. My friend took exception to being spit on and spent his first night back in his home country in jail. My family has tickets to several professional sports events in the Bay Area, but we are cancelling our attendence and patronage of all SF Bay Area merchants. Oakland may have a right to crap on our soldiers & sailors, but we have a right not to support the Bay Area!

    El Marko (7f202e)

  25. SAN FRANCISCO and OAKLAND americas SODUM and GAMORA lets just boycott them all

    krazy kagu (272de2)

  26. It felt like being spit on. Every Marine and soldier felt the message loud and clear, “YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN OAKLAND!”

    This is hardly surprising (if true) with the cesspool of Bay Area’s contempt for our military. Of course, a plane load of patrons attending the Folsom Street Fair would have recieved a ticker-tape parade.

    Nothing more than the typical 60’s Berkeley meantality revisited.

    Rovin (7f64b8)

  27. The loony left does not want this story to be true. If it is, it will show that their anti-war movement is getting out of control to the point that it is starting to hurt their ’08 chances.

    veritas (75ee03)

  28. Note Michelle Malkin’s trackback at #24. She been digging and has the details.

    voiceofreason,

    Smells fishy.

    Apparently not to the airport administrators who have confirmed the story.

    Pablo (99243e)

  29. I have deployed 3 time since 9/11 and have always been allowed in the airport terminals (at least in Dublin Ireland, Amsterdam, Atlanta GA, Frankfurt Germany, Houston TX.

    we always had weapons on the plane, we always left a detail to guard them… and we were always in uniform.

    The people inspecting us were Military Police who were certifed customs inspectors. In fact, I felt more “violated” by their searches. Unpack your bags, repack your bags, x ray this, walk through this metal detector, step over here to be patted down…

    I love CA, OR, WA… they are beautiful states, but I’ll never live by choice on the “Left” Coast. One of my soldiers got arrested in portland, OR the first day of leave from Iraq and spent 12 hrs in jail because he stopped on the way home from the Airport to buy civilian clothes… and happened to have a “peace” march come by and they started breaking things (cars store windows). The cops apparently scooped up everyone and threw him (and his sister) in jail with the same wackos who were rioting for “peace”.

    Brad (6d2caa)

  30. What do you expect from a city that would elect Ron (Stinkums) Dellums mayor? Dellums is commie garbage. Oakland is asmaller version of Cuba.

    Mark (e7967d)

  31. Sounds to me like a bureaucratic snafu. A paper shuffler botched the clearances and a TSA flunky didn’t have the stones to buck the system and let the Marines deplane normally. This can’t be the first military charter through OAK.

    And then the PR flack hits us with some very lame CYA. She should have just apologized to the troops and been done with it. My guess is that this would not be the first snafu they’ve witnessed.

    Old Dad (a53da9)

  32. […] commenter at Patterico’s notes: When I was returning from the first Gulf War, we went through the quarantine process prior […]

    Oakland Airport, “Spitting On The Marines,” etc. « THE “G” BLOG (a61c4e)

  33. Pablo,

    I won’t believe every story as soon as it enters the blogosphere. Malkin doesn’t say who she actually verified the story with.
    And as it turned out it wasn’t some nefarious way for the city of Oakland to “spit on the troops”.It was more of a bureaucratic screw up. Uncacceptable to be sure but I still question that a Navy Chaplain would phrase it the way he did.

    But you will want to believe that portion of it and are entitled to do so since that is what Michelle suggests that you do. Had it been in a city in the south, or a red state to be specific, I’m sure the snafu would have been framed very differently.
    Hard as it is to believe, Michelle Malkin is not the uber Journalist uncovering truth, light and justice that some believe. Like most bloggers she stays behind the keyboard, occasionally venturing out for a TV appearance. Most of her stories have a definite slant to them.

    Me, I like objective reporting far better than someone telling me what to think.

    voiceofreason (41831e)

  34. Malkin is dissembling when she claims that the airport is saying “it’s the troops’ fault.” The statement from the airport representative made it clear it was the fault of the charter airline. Have they been getting outraged e-mails?

    As to Oakland Airport being especially “unfriendly” to the military, I noticed a poster at this conservative website says the airport has one of the best USO clubs in the country and is regarded by sailors and GIs as a good airport to travel through.

    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2007/09/oakland-airport.html#comment-84468902
    (post by duplojohn September 28 9:59 PM)

    Itsme (d95f64)

  35. VOR, the Oakland Airport PR flack has confirmed that this incident occurred. The big question now is why. Brad mentions that the MP’s who do the inspections in theater before the troops board the transports are certified customs inspectors; I agree with Brad that these guys were MUCH tougher than any customs inspection I have gone through as a civilian. The TSA chief at Oakland must know this (considering how many military charters run through that airport); if he doesn’t, he is incompetent.
    DRJ, thank you for the kind words, but you do not need to thank me. Considering everything this country has done for my family, I was trying to repay a debt that can never be repaid.

    Mr Chips (b69fe0)

  36. Mr. Chips,

    That it happened is not in dispute.
    That it is being used as a reason to start spinning into conspiracyville because it is Oakland and that is typical of that area, blah blah blah is not factual – it is conjecture and for pit bulls like Malkin feeds an agenda.

    The email writer has a right to his opinion but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is correct. The Chaplain didn’t speak for every troop on the plane and it is doubtful he took a vote or poll on the matter either.

    When an incident gets blown out of proportion and the blog nuts start the feeding frenzy, there is a real tendency to under emphasize the truly egregious things that happen to our troops because it is lost in the noise of the issues that fall more in the category of bureaucratic screwup or incompetence, rather than hatred toward the troops.

    voiceofreason (41831e)

  37. Im doubting the bureaucratic snafu excuse. The emailer references someone who had the same experience last time thru Oakland. Nice excuse but smells fishy!

    chas (73eeb5)

  38. Chas,

    How many total military transports have gone through Oakland since then?
    How many thousands of troops were transported?
    How many emails or accounts other than this one have you seen regarding Oakland?
    Before you saw this post had you ever seen anything in the news that would indicate the Oakland Airport was unfriendly to the military folks?

    I will be surprised if you can answer most of those questions. I’ll be even more surprised if you acknowledge this may be a molehill people are trying to turn into a mountain.

    voiceofreason (41831e)

  39. VOR,

    According to this email, it’s happened at least twice. Isn’t that two times too many?

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  40. VOR:

    Leave it to your own judgement to demonstrate why some people just invite ridicule. I wonder when we can question these people’s patriotism? What scum. Thanks for demonstrating exactly how detached from reality you are.

    What else can people expect from a city headed by Red Ron Dellums?

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  41. I have no problem acknowledging it might be a molehill. Maybe bureaucratic foul-ups happened twice to the same LT and this time there happend to be a chaplain who took it wrong and got loud. But just because no one took the opportunity before to spread the word about this type of behavior doesn’t mean its an isolated incident. That area has a well documented history of being hostile to the military, will you admit that? Will you admit that if this is true its just par for the course for that area and the left in general?

    chas (73eeb5)

  42. grievance mongering from the Right?…

    Frankly, I would like my side to be better than that. It may be an effective tactic but it is not an ethical tactic. The Right has been doing pretty well so far by just confronting the self-serving lies of the Left with the truth. I suggest we stick …..

    Doc Rampage (59ce3a)

  43. I’ve posted at least two posts on this thread that haven’t shown up? Is there a problem?

    Itsme (d95f64)

  44. I just recovered one from the spam filter. As to the other, I have no idea.

    Patterico (2a8eaa)

  45. voiceofreason,

    I won’t believe every story as soon as it enters the blogosphere.

    But if it’s a story you don’t like, instead of saying that it bears further investigation, you’ll just declare that it “smells fishy.” I get it.

    Malkin doesn’t say who she actually verified the story with.

    Uh, yes she has.

    I have also obtained the Port of Oakland’s response about the incident to Captain David Epstein of the Reserve Officers Association.

    [body of response]
    Kindest Regards,
    Marilyn Sandifur
    Port Spokesperson
    Port of Oakland

    That looks like the source of the confirmation to me.

    But you will want to believe that portion of it and are entitled to do so since that is what Michelle suggests that you do.

    No, I’m interested in seeing the facts of the situation fleshed out, which Michelle has done a bit of via the above. Remember facts, vor?

    Like most bloggers she stays behind the keyboard, occasionally venturing out for a TV appearance.

    Uh, yeah. You ever heard of “Vent”? And do you have an objection here that doesn’t amount to attacking the messenger?

    Pablo (99243e)

  46. DRJ,

    You seem to think I am defending what is probably gross incompetence. I’m not. But to ignore that there are literally thousands of flights that have gone through there is to establish a pattern that doesn’t exist in terms of this being an anti-military thing.

    Thomas Jackson,
    I served 26 years in the service and refuse to question anyone’s patriotism. Part of my service was to ensure that people could enjoy their constitutional rights, including speech.
    That is a very serious accusation and shouldn’t be made lightly. To paint an entire town as unpatriotic because of a couple of incidents at an airport is so outside the bounds of reason, I just can’t comprehend it.

    Chas,
    I won’t respond to that question. The thing that many fail to recognize is that the military personnel are a microcosm of society. Which means that there are a pretty fair number of Democrats as well as Republicans, many from California. What makes ours the greatest service in the world is that our soldiers are professionals, able to put their personal opinions and feelings aside and follow the orders given by those with authority over them, without question.
    California is certainly a more liberal area than the rest of the country. But this silliness of blanketing entire parties and regions as unpatriotic needs to stop.

    voiceofreason63 (41831e)

  47. That happens to me, Itsme. Sometimes my comments get caught in the filter and sometimes the comments seem to take a few minutes to show up, although I’m not sure why.

    It also seems to happen more often when I include links. Try again without links or with any links in long form.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  48. Pablo,

    Obviously you are a Malkin fan. Her vents are made in her backyard and home.
    To say something smells fishy is to say “I’ll wait till the facts are all in”
    This is not my blog and I won’t get into a Malkin argument with you. I stand by my comments.

    voiceofreason63 (41831e)

  49. Thanks DRJ. I noticed one actually showed up. Maybe it is the links that are doing it.

    Itsme (d95f64)

  50. Her vents are made in her backyard and home.

    Like that one outside of Columbia? I see.

    I’m a fan of facts, vor.

    To say something smells fishy is to say “I’ll wait till the facts are all in”

    No it doesn’t.

    Pablo (99243e)

  51. VOR,

    I don’t know if this happened because of anti-military bias – and I never said it did – but it’s unacceptable no matter what the reason. Oakland doesn’t seem to have this problem with non-military flights. If it did, I’m sure we would have heard about that, too.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  52. Pablo,
    Give me an email address and I’ll discuss with you offline.

    voiceofreason63 (41831e)

  53. P #45:

    Thanks P. I see DRJ also answered the question.

    Itsme (d95f64)

  54. My invisible post had to do with what I think is dissembling on Malkin’s part, when she claims that the airport PR people are “blaming it on the troops.”

    No. They’re clearly blaming it on the charter company. I wonder how many outraged e-mails have been sent to them, by the way?

    Itsme (d95f64)

  55. The charter company, that is.

    Itsme (d95f64)

  56. DRJ,

    Our troops used to get shipped home by slow boat.

    A three hour airport layover doesn’t seem much of a burden in comparison.

    alphie (99bc18)

  57. DRJ,

    What is your suggested fix action to ensure it doesn’t happen again?

    voiceofreason63 (41831e)

  58. I think the best way to deal with this is for the incident to become public (as it has) and for the people who made the decision to defend it in the public arena. Maybe this was a reasonable decision that can be explained, maybe not. If the latter, it is less likely to happen again if the person(s) responsible have to answer for it.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  59. Give me an email address and I’ll discuss with you offline.

    Is there something you can’t say here, vor?

    DRJ @ 59, exactly right.

    Pablo (99243e)

  60. Pablo,
    If you want to discuss Malkin I’ll discuss offline. voiceofreason63 at yahoo dot com

    voiceofreason63 (41831e)

  61. DRJ,

    Sounds reasonable. Too bad that some want to jump to conclusions this is a hate the troops thing. But they have, DKos has jumped on the bandwagon with its spin, and reasonable discourse and discussion has once again fallen victim to partisanship.

    voiceofreason63 (41831e)

  62. its silly to label to label the bay area as hostile to the military? when’s the last time a bureaucratic snafu fouled up a code pink rally or a gay pride parade? there is a history over the last few decades of the bay area being unfriendly to the military and to any conservative ideas in general, i’d say its silly to deny that.

    chas (73eeb5)

  63. Chas,

    1. This was an airport, not a parade route.
    2. Your opinion about the bay area has no real bearing on this particular news story. If facts are discovered that indicate some sort of nefarious plot by the liberals to disrespect the troops on two occasions at Oakland International your opinion might have some bearing.
    3. It is silly to label 415,000 people as unfriendly to the military when you don’t have facts to support that. The actions of some politicians don’t necessarily reflect the feelings of the entire population.

    voiceofreason63 (41831e)

  64. i never said all 415,000 people in the bar area are hostile to the military or conservatives.. the area in general is though. its not just my opinion, its actually borne out by many instances over the years. even as recently this sept when the marines were banned from filming if they were going to use marines in the actual shoot.

    chas (73eeb5)

  65. Oakland’s Representative in Congress is Barbara Lee. On the home page of the city’s website there is a 74 minute video presentation titled “What the War Costs Oakland”. I’m sure having an antiwar message front and center like that is just coincidence or something and producing it was a wise use of city resources. The next time the Iraq War comes up for a vote, the City of Oakland can exercise it’s privelege and vote no. Heh!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  66. VOR

    I think we have beaten this horse to death. If it turns out Oakland has a legit reason for this I’ll be back to admit I was wrong. I do have a built in negative bias for the bay area. my dad spent some time in the lock-up there when him and some buddies got into w/ what he descriped as “hippies” made a my lai remark. anyways i’m finished commenting on this thread barring an oakland redemption.

    chas (73eeb5)

  67. Actually the Bay area has a history of being anti-military in recent years. I find the story consistent with that history.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  68. Refusing the Marines permission to use soldiers while filming a commercial and citing “traffic problems” is not a clear example of anti-military bias?

    Check out O’Reilly’s site if you want the details.

    Ed (4b08ed)

  69. chas #65:

    even as recently this sept when the marines were banned from filming if they were going to use marines in the actual shoot.

    Actually, that’s not the case:

    The city says it gave Tight Productions a permit that allowed them to film the Marines on Sept. 9. “We had carte blanche on Sunday, but we didn’t have the Marines,” Donald Block, the executive producer at Tight, tells USA TODAY.

    The Marines weren’t due until Sept. 11, according to the Silent Drill Platoon’s website.

    “We were locked into that Tuesday,” Block says, adding that he’s sure the police could have handled the traffic problems caused by the production crew. But that’s only part of the equation. Because the director didn’t choose the locations until a few days before they were scheduled to film, Block says the company didn’t have time to get the required approvals from local residents who would have been inconvenienced during the filming.

    “We didn’t leave there feeling the least bit singled out,” Block says. His crew shot generic streetscapes on Sunday, and then moved to a federal park where they filmed the men on Tuesday with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

    “We are grateful for the opportunity to film a portion of the America’s Marines commercial and documentary in the Bay Area,” the Silent Drill Platoon says in a written statement. “Dozens of former Marines, parents and supporters attended the shoot and we appreciate their support.”

    USA Today

    Itsme (d95f64)

  70. Ed #69:

    See my post #70.

    Itsme (d95f64)

  71. Good catch Itsme.

    voiceofreason (41831e)

  72. Well, let’s see. They’ve thrown JROTC out of the schools, banned the idea of a decommissioned warship as a museum, and periodically go on a jihad — a lisping, limp-wristed jihad, compared to the genuine article, but the best jihad that such a weak bunch can do — against those vicious warmongers, the Blue Angels.

    The Hells Angels, they have time for. The Blue ones, not so much. I suppose actual bible-type angels would be right out… unless they’d want them to “come out so that we might know them.”

    But Voice of Reason tells us that folks are not antimilitary out there. Mmmmmkay. I’ll accept that YOU’re not and assume that you’re just projecting what you wish they’d be onto your undeserving neighbours.

    With a name like Marilyn Sandifur, a PR bimbette who writes snide letters full of passive-voice constructions (“it was decided”) that are designed to conceal malfeasance and deflect responsibility, and anthropormorphizations of physical objects (“the airport decided” [!]) that are similarly intended, ought to be aware she’s got a high profile.

    She shows up on NPR. That’s a shocker, huh?

    And since GIYP (Google Is Your Pal) you may want to give her a call or drop her a line: her contact info’s everywhere. Then again, you might not want to bother.

    I mean, what kind of conversation can you have with someone who despises the Marines? (and by extension, the rest of the military?) And won’t even say, “oops” over this but clearly supports this policy?

    There might be some good people in Oakland. Clearly, not in any positions of power, and not enough of them to make a difference. They need a Lot to lead them out of there.

    And the rest of us need to stay the hell away from there.

    Kevin R.C. 'Hognose' O'Brien (88bf29)

  73. itsme – i know i said i was thru w/ this post but it looks like its he said/she said

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=i_team&id=5673526

    chas (73eeb5)

  74. Some things aren’t adding up. they left Kuwait, stopped in Leipzig, Germany instead of rhein-mein or ramstein (the typical stops). 1.5 hours on the ground, an hour in NYC, and three hours in Oakland. Add the flight times of 16 plus hours minimum and another five to get to Hawaii push it close to thirty hours. And then an email is circulated less than 24 hours after they finally get back.
    Smells fishy.

    You know, I am so tired of supposedly knowledgeable people “debunking” stories like this because they “know” something asinine like how every fricking plane out of Kuwait lays over at the same airport.

    My husband has flown back and forth from Iraq (and out of Kuwait) four times now. HE HAS NEVER STOPPED IN THE SAME PLACE TWICE. And for your information, the last two times he laid over in Dublin and Amsterdam. So there is no “typical” stop.

    And it takes all of — what? 20 minutes to write an email? The only fishy thing here is the way some people seem to be in such a hurry to dismiss anything that makes them uncomfortable.

    Why not just wait for the story to develop instead of running your mouth about things you can’t possibly know?

    Cassandra (6f0d0c)

  75. Cassandra,

    I didn’t realize that being a military spouse makes you an expert on all issues related to the military.
    As to letting the story develop that was why I questioned the initial knee jerk reaction to it.

    Next time I’ll ask you before I post anything. That way you can flap your gums first. Some people act like Fox from the X-Files. “I want to Believe”

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  76. VOR – You’re an idiot. Cassandra in no way claimed to be an expert in all matters militarty. Look again before trashing a military spouse. From whence does your expertise spring?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  77. VOR
    And as it turned out it wasn’t some nefarious way for the city of Oakland to “spit on the troops”.It was more of a bureaucratic screw up. Uncacceptable to be sure but I still question that a Navy Chaplain would phrase it the way he did.
    -How have you arrived at this conclusion based on what has been reported so far. You admit you never transited through Oakland, so what makes you an expert on that city?

    Me, I like objective reporting far better than someone telling me what to think.

    -What do you consider objective reporting, Media Matters, MyDD, TPM or others of that ilk?

    The knee jerk reaction is all yours friend.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  78. DaleyRocks,

    Not an idiot. But Cassandra chose to be rude. Having actually been in the military for 26 years gives me a little more insight into how the troops movements and procedures actually work.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  79. Daleyrocks,

    If you enjoy having your opinions and talking points spoon fed to you by Malkin, Coulter and Rush that is your right. But that makes you a tool rather than a thinker, doesn’t it?

    Let’s face it. Journalists are still the MSM. They have the resources and means to actually go to where the stories are at. Big difference from sitting behind a keyboard and analyzing the efforts of others.
    How you interpret the news being reported is still up to you. The blogosphere in most cases recycles news stories with the preferred ideological spin of that particular site. That includes Dkos, DU and the like as well.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  80. VOR – I think Cassandra operated a very insightful blog which she recently ceased. Having a spouse in the military, I forget for how many years, would make her emminently qualified to comment on the subject and she did not in any way claim expert status. She did not deserve to have her comments distorted in the manner you did and frequently do to commenters on this site. I didn’t think she was rude and she certainly didn’t deserve your insults.

    She had valid points about her husband’s military travel which you failed to acknowledge. You claim no knowledge of Oakland. The home page of their city website has a 74 minute long antiwar message. If a Congressional Representative can reflect the sentiments of their constituents, I would say there is strong evidence of at least an antiwar sentiment in Oakland. Barbara Lee was one of only five House members to oppose Clinton’s bombing of Iraq in 1998. She was the only House member to oppose a resolution supporting U.S. troops already serving in Serbia in 1999. In 2001 she was the only “no” vote in Congress to authorizing a military response to 9/11. She supports the creation of a Department of Peace. She’s currently ranked as the fifth most liberal member of congress. Circumstantial evidence, sure, but worth considering.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  81. She specifically mentioned four flights that stopped in Europe, nothing about Oakland. She said “Why not just wait for the story to develop instead of running your mouth about things you can’t possibly know?” I see that as being somewhat rude.
    You keep going back to the issue of liberal Oakland. That seems to be your agenda rather than preventing a similar occurence at the airport.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  82. VOR – The issue is Oakland and your doubt that it could have happened without any evidence on your part. I have provided circumstantial evidence of the liberal atmosphere of antimilitary sentiment of the area as have others.

    Where all of a sudden is this concern for preventing a similar incident from occurring coming from? Who raised that? Put the goal posts back down.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  83. DaleyRocks,

    See comments 58&59. Goalposts indeed.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  84. I missed the part where voice of reason was appointed miss manners, or demonstrated any qualifications for the role.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  85. And I missed the part where SPQR was appointed Sergeant at Arms.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  86. This is a story I don’t want to believe, either. I hate to think that any American, anywhere, would be so low. We give child molesters the presumption of innocence. We can do that much for the Oakland airport, too.

    nk (7d4710)

  87. We can do that much for the Oakland airport, too.

    GMAFB … They are not on trial.

    Since when do O’Reilly or Rush get the presumption of innocence?

    If this happened, it was stupid and mean. No presumption is required. Nobody, nobody, nobody is expected to refrain from speculation about degree of malice involving blatent political meaness and stupidity.

    boris (ad3d7f)

  88. If this happened, it was stupid and mean.

    Or worse. Like I said, I don’t want to believe that any American would sink so low. OK? And it’s not going to be proved one way or another by shouting.

    nk (7d4710)

  89. Actually, Cassandra probably has a much closer awareness of the military and how it operates than VOR.
    Having been doing the military thing since 1975 I can assure VOR that what Cassandra says is similar to what I’ve seen. What occurred in Oakland is low class B.S. and was intentional.
    As another read commented, had this been a regular flight it would have been all over the MSM.
    VOR, have you ever served? What have you done for this country? Just wondering….

    Lurkin_no_mo (e83663)

  90. No. 90, did you read the posts? VOR was in the military for 26 years. Being in the military is probably a better contributor to military “awareness” than sleeping with someone in the military.

    Yeah, yeah, everybody is grateful for VOR’s military service, as long as he agree with you.

    lc (643040)

  91. VOR,

    I’m grateful for your service.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  92. DRJ,
    I appreciate the kind words. Mine was nothing special but I had the privilege of meeting some of the best people our country has to offer.

    Lc,
    Thanks. But to be fair to Cassandra, the military spouse performs a lot more selfless acts in support of the country and the military through their support of their military spouse. Taking care of the household, kids and legal affairs while the military member is off to “exotic” lands and assignments is not easy. They have the added stress of worrying constantly about the well being of their significant other when in combat environments.
    Oftentimes they give up career opportunities and a more luxurious lifestyle as part of this. Her spouse is lucky to have her as I am to have my spouse. Not enough good things can be said about what they do behind the scenes.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  93. Rush Limbaugh, at his best:

    Of course, the story coming out of Oakland — and I guess there’s some controversy about it, but — apparently some Marines getting home, landing at Oakland, were spit on by people in the Oakland airport. Now, I haven’t been able to confirm it, but it’s on a couple blogs and apparently there are some witnesses that say that they did see it.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_100107/content/01125111.guest.html

    steve (21b9cc)

  94. it’s not going to be proved one way or another by …

    Who said anything about proving ???

    When stupid and mean are on display in your face, speculation about degree of malice is hardly unfair or uncalled for. Sometimes stupid and mean gets called “racism”. Proof ? Don’t need no steenkeen proof!

    boris (ad3d7f)

  95. #94
    We are witnessing how an urban legend is created.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  96. VOR @ 82 and 85 – Let’s see, 18 posts of yours on the thread before 82 and in only one, about the shortest, you mention a concern about the incident occurring again. Please forgive me for overlooking your grave concern and accusing you of moving the goalposts.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  97. We are witnessing how an urban legend is created.

    And expect neither notice nor surprise.

    steve (21b9cc)

  98. Spitting on GIs was no urban ledgend.

    Betcha the Rush error gets corrected before the Harry Reid Lie.

    boris (ad3d7f)

  99. Boris,

    Rush seems to be referring to the Oakland delay incident in which the email writer said it felt like the troops had been spat upon. Considering that they couldn’t go in the terminal, it is difficult to see how they could have been spit at from 400 yards away…

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  100. DaleyRocks,
    Sometimes a snafu is just a snafu. And the “shortest” post was the fifth, in which I asked how DRJ felt future occurences should be prevented.
    But thanks for the scrutiny. Always good to know you’ve got my back. 😉

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  101. Since I refered to that as “the Rush error” you seem to either lack for reading comprehension or suffer from agenda blindness.

    I’ll say it again …

    Spitting on GIs was no urban ledgend.

    Wanna dispute it?

    boris (ad3d7f)

  102. Rush Limbaugh should correct that statement.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  103. So much for the use of metaphor in the English language.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  104. VOR – Happy to do it VOR. BTW, your 58 merely asked DRJ how she would prevent future occurrences, it didn’t express your concern. Just a technicality I’m sure. Perhaps that’s why I overlooked it.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  105. Steve #94:

    Rush Limbaugh, at his best:

    Of course, the story coming out of Oakland — and I guess there’s some controversy about it, but — apparently some Marines getting home, landing at Oakland, were spit on by people in the Oakland airport. Now, I haven’t been able to confirm it, but it’s on a couple blogs and apparently there are some witnesses that say that they did see it.

    Well don’t forget, Steve, Rush is an <a href=”entertainer, not a journalist. So he’s not accountable for making up crap.

    Itsme (81b460)

  106. chas #74:

    itsme – i know i said i was thru w/ this post but it looks like its he said/she said

    I guess it’s more like “he said/he said,” and in this case it’s someone not in a position to know everything that happened shooting off his mouth, and someone who is in a position to know everything that happened setting the record straight. The second one being the actual producer of the ad, who said it was a complete nonissue.

    Itsme (81b460)

  107. Cpt. Corrales is in a position to know if Ms. Coyote wouldnt allow filming if marines were involved. As for the director, do you really expect him to slam the city if he expects to film there in the future? He made a politic statement w/ the intention of not pissing anyone off. But keep defending the bay, we know they love the troops and the country so much out there!

    chas (73eeb5)

  108. Actually, Corrales is only in a position to know whether or not the traffic could be handled, not how and why the permit was issued. And it was issued. The producer – not the director – was in a position to know exactly what happened and why.

    Not to mention this Corrales guy’s complete and total unprofessionalism. I can only think he felt entitled to shoot off his mouth if he was appearing at or attending the commission hearing as a private citizen, it which case he had no business talking about his professional activities. If he wasn’t there in a private capacity, he is as I said incredibly unprofessional and should be disciplined.

    It isn’t a matter of defending anything or anybody. It’s a matter of getting the facts straight.

    Itsme (81b460)

  109. PS to chas, do you actually think Mr. Block was LYING ???

    Itsme (81b460)

  110. wow, can you twist my words a little further? i contend that block and the marine silent drill patrol issued statements that were polite w/ no intention of taking a shot at san fran. if you wanna call that lying fine.

    but i guess that means you think police captain corrales is lying? for some reason coyote wouldnt return usa today’s calls. its all there in your link.

    as for his “unprofessionalism” i’d guess its a public hearing. its a city board. at least in texas those things are open and public. does cali have an open records law? maybe not in the people’s republic of san fran.

    and as for facts, try and find some please.

    chas (73eeb5)

  111. chas, he wasn’t just being polite, he specifically said something that completely contradicted the other guy:

    “We were locked into that Tuesday,” Block says, adding that he’s sure the police could have handled the traffic problems caused by the production crew. But that’s only part of the equation. Because the director didn’t choose the locations until a few days before they were scheduled to film, Block says the company didn’t have time to get the required approvals from local residents who would have been inconvenienced during the filming.

    That is either true or not true. So you have to decide whether Mr. Carrales just doesn’t have all the information or whether Mr. Block is lying.

    Itsme (81b460)

  112. PS to chas, I believe I said it was a public hearing. I also said he might have been speaking as a private citizen, yet he still chose to speak from the perspective of his professional capacity, and he made outrageous remarks about another city employee/officer. That is unprofessional whether he did it in his jeans at the podium or sitting behind his desk in his uniform.

    Itsme (81b460)

  113. Correction, I said it was a commission hearing … I’m sorry for not making it clear that it was a public hearing but I thought it would be obvious since I was mentioning the possibility of his attending as a private citizen.

    Itsme (81b460)

  114. For those interested Malkin has a thread up on Hotair about this. Some posters are wishing that a terrorist attack or earthquake would take out the bay area — wonderful, eh?

    Voice of Reason (7df17c)

  115. Some posters are wishing that a terrorist attack …

    Heck, that’s nothing, HotAir actually has a post advocating terrorist destruction of New York City !!! Obviously a nest of wingnuts every thinking human should denounce in the harshest possible terms !

    boris (ad3d7f)

  116. Boris,

    The video is a parody from the onion network. tasteless but not a “real group”.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  117. You lack the irony gene don’t you.

    boris (ad3d7f)

  118. http://www.tsa.gov/press/happenings/oakland.shtm

    TSA STATEMENT ON INCIDENT INVOLVING U.S. TROOPS AT OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

    On Thursday, September 27, 2007 North American Airlines flight #1777 carrying soldiers and marines landed at Oakland International Airport from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) where passengers were screened by U.S. Customs upon landing from overseas.

    At no time were service men and women prohibited from entering the sterile area of Oakland International Airport by TSA personnel or regulations. Airport officials, the airline and ground handling company coordinated the arrival and all services associated with this flight, including refueling, refreshing supplies on the aircraft, maintenance checks and all passenger services.

    TSA personnel across the country have worked closely with airports to ensure the utmost care when handling flights involving our troops and will continue to facilitate their movement to the greatest extent possible while ensuring a high level of security for all travelers.

    TSA (98ad8c)

  119. Hmmm

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  120. At no time were service men and women prohibited from entering the sterile area of Oakland International Airport by TSA personnel or regulations.

    But what about the account from the Marine Chaplain about last year’s TSA confrontation involving the same airport and the same lieutenant?

    “He also indicated he was almost arrested by the TSA for getting belligerent about them not letting the Marines into the terminal.”

    steve (76260d)

  121. TSA can’t arrest people – they don’t have that kind of law enforcement authority. Maybe the Marine confused TSA with airport police.

    Narla (326674)

  122. VOR,
    I commend you on your 26 years; 20 was all I could stand. I think you are missing some things about return flights. One of those things is that while Rein-Main still exists, the US military side of it was shut down some time ago. As for the notion of routing a commercial carrier returning TO THE US from the middle east through Ramstein, I have never heard of that happening during this conflict. The last I heard, Ramstein had enough to do pushing out military sorties without adding non-terminating Air Mobility Command charter flights to the stack. (The last time I actually saw Ramstein was in ’99 during the Kosovo Air Show, but I cannot imagine that things have gotten sleepy there.)
    Your quite snotty remark to Cassandra was uncalled for; especially because you chose to ignore the fact that she gave you hard data, albeit second hand and anecdotal(from her husband, and likely their unit’s Family Readiness Group, which always tracks this stuff to the Nth degree), regarding the multiple routings with whcih she personally was familiar.
    You may be right, this event may have been just “one of those things”, but you seem awful convinced of that as if it were fact. None of my relatives who live in that general area share your belief.
    God bless the USA!

    Kevin Richardson (f83a4c)


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