Friday, September 05, 2008

GOP recognition of SEALs broke deal with Navy

Come on guys! Everyone should understand that SEALs do not get their pictures taken or get recognition, even though they greatly deserve it. Recognizing these two was a stupid thing to do. I would expect better from the Republicans.

GOP recognition of SEALs broke deal with Navy - Marine Corps News, news from Iraq - Marine Corps Times: "A Republican speaker broke a deal between the GOP and the Navy when he publicly recognized a pair of Navy special operators at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, a Navy spokesman said, causing the sailors to violate regulations against active-duty service members participating in politics.

The speaker, Orson Swindle, pointed out two Navy SEALs in the audience wearing civilian clothes at the convention in St. Paul, Minn., as part of a salute to the fallen SEAL Master at Arms 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in April. The two SEALs, Lt. Leif Babin and Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Tom Deshazo, rose when Swindle pointed them out and asked them to stand.

But the Republicans had agreed not to identify the special operators as a condition for their being able to attend the convention, said Navy spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Davis. Babin and Deshazo had asked for permission to accompany Monsoor’s sister, Sara, who was at the GOP convention to see her brother’s recognition. The Navy agreed, but imposed several conditions, including that they only attend the convention that one night, not speak to the news media, wear civilian clothes and not appear on stage."

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A tribute to a Navy SEAL who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for valor in Iraq, and an endorsement by former prisoners of war for Sen. John McCain’s bid to become president, were key features Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

The actions of Navy Master-At-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, mortally wounded in a September 2006 firefight in Ramadi, Iraq, were featured in a short film shown at the convention.

Monsoor, who joined the Navy in 2001 before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saved the lives of three other people — including two nearby SEALs — by covering a grenade with his own body. Additionally, Monsoor received a Silver Star for a May 2006 incident in which he saved an injured service member by running into a street and into the line of fire to pull him to safety.

Monsoor’s sister, Sara, and two fellow SEALs were present as the film was shown. Five or six living Medal of Honor recipients — there was a discrepancy in the number, depending on who was counting, that convention officials did not immediately clarify — also were present.

About two dozen former prisoners of war, led by former Marine Corps Capt. Orson Swindle III, also appeared at the convention Tuesday to support McCain, a fellow POW. Swindle, who spent seven years as a prisoner of war — including some time in the same Vietnam prison as McCain, who was held for 5½ years — is one of McCain’s closet friends, according to campaign officials. Swindle has been one of the most vocal defenders of McCain from attacks that McCain received preferential treatment as a POW.

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