Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Mission Accomp....Say What?

That was May 1, 2003.

Here's what happened on that day four years ago, as reported on CNN:

ABOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CNN) -- President Bush made a landing aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln Thursday, arriving in the co-pilot's seat of a Navy S-3B Viking after making two fly-bys of the carrier.

It was the first time a sitting president has arrived on the deck of an aircraft carrier by plane. The jet made what is known as a "tailhook" landing, with the plane, traveling about 150 mph, hooking onto the last of four steel wires across the flight deck and coming to a complete stop in less than 400 feet.

Moments after the landing, the president, wearing a green flight suit and holding a white helmet, got off the plane, saluted those on the flight deck and shook hands with them. Above him, the tower was adorned with a big sign that read, "Mission Accomplished."

(End quote. the rest of the article breathlessly describes the "picture-perfect landing" and the roar of approving sailors. Read it here.)

As we now know, that sign that generated lots of controversy, and the White House tried to minimize its role in putting it up. From Wikipedia:

"The administration and naval sources stated that the banner was the Navy's idea, White House staff members made the banner, and it was hung by the U.S. Navy personnel. White House spokesman Scott McClellan told CNN "We took care of the production of it. We have people to do those things. But the Navy actually put it up." According to John Dickerson of TIME magazine, the White House later conceded that they actually hung the banner but still insists it had been done at the request of the crewmembers."

It's worth reading the full article for more on how the administration subsequently dealt with the embarrassment of that premature declaration. It went so far as to revise history, at least on the White House website. Around Election Day 2006, observers noted the "Mission Accomplished" banner was cropped out of the official White House website picture of the event.

And here we are, four years later.

Democrats today present Bush with the Iraq spending bill, including a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Bush has threatened to veto the bill.

THIS JUST IN from the Washington Post:

BAGHDAD, April 30 -- The deaths of more than 100 American troops in April made it the deadliest month so far this year for U.S. forces in Iraq, underscoring the growing exposure of Americans as thousands of reinforcements arrive for an 11-week-old offensive to tame sectarian violence.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great post thanks