I’m as surprised as you are.

The following are a few highlights from the documents, which are linked in full below:

* In response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one Defense Department official wrote, “Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi’s team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?…[T]here’s no need to block every weekend ‘just in case’…” The email also notes that Pelosi’s office had, “a history of canceling many of their past requests.”

* One DOD official complained about the “hidden costs” associated with the speaker’s last minute changes and cancellations. “We have…folks prepping the jets and crews driving in (not a short drive for some), cooking meals and preflighting the jets etc.”…

* The documents also detail correspondence from intermediaries for Speaker Pelosi issuing demands for certain aircraft and expressing outrage when requested military planes were not available. “It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable…The speaker will want to know where the planes are…” wrote Kay King, Director of the House Office of Interparliamentary Affairs. In a separate email, when told a certain type of aircraft would not be available, King writes, “This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset [s]peaker.”

DrewM at Ace’s place thinks this’ll make for a dandy campaign commercial. Could be; leeching off taxpayers in the middle of a depression certainly is tasty red meat, as the sporadic outrage over TARP recipients paying their brokers exorbitant bonuses proves. The problem is, Pelosi’s been doing this for years — and getting criticized for it in major media organs — and it hasn’t stuck yet. How likely is it that it’s going to get traction while the country’s still high on Hopenchange?

In fairness to Madam Speaker, she may be the worst abuser of the privilege but she’s hardly the only one. Remember this oldie but goodie?