No, Obama’s not taking 34 Navy ships to India with him

posted at 7:02 pm on November 4, 2010 by Allahpundit

I’m relieved to say that we didn’t bite on this one, notwithstanding Drudge’s touting of it today. I did, though, link in Headlines the stories about his trip allegedly costing $200 million(!!!) per day and his team booking every room in a five-star hotel in Mumbai. I didn’t begrudge him that last one, actually; very bad things have been known to happen to hotels in Mumbai, so why not take all necessary precautions? As for the purported cost of the trip, yeah, $200 mil sounds nutty — but after a $2.5 trillion health-care bill and an $800 billion stimulus, I confess that no numbers seem implausible to me anymore when it comes to government expenditures.

Note to self: Don’t trust Indian media.

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell did not shy away from dismissing reports that appeared in Indian media outlets, such as the Press Trust of India and the television network NDTV. The Press Trust of India is that country’s largest news agency…

“I will take the liberty this time of dismissing as absolutely absurd this notion that somehow we were deploying 10 percent of the Navy — some 34 ships and an aircraft carrier — in support of the president’s trip to Asia,” said Morrell at today’s Pentagon briefing. “That’s just comical. Nothing close to that is being done.”…

The Indian media reports also say security for the Presidential trip will cost $200 million a day. Morrell “there’s been a lot of creative writing that’s been done on this trip over the last few days. I’ve seen other reports with some astronomical figures in terms of what it costs to take these trips. I don’t know the cost. We don’t speak to the cost.” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was blunt in his characterization of the cost reports, “this trip doesn’t cost $200 million a day.”

More debunkery at the Journal:

Snopes.com, a website devoted to myth busting, noted that even if the Indian press has correctly reported the size of the president’s entourage – 3,000 – the cost would work out to $66,000 per person per day, “a figure that stretches credulity to the breaking point.” Factcheck.org noted that the entire war in Afghanistan costs $190 million a day.

But the report is demonstrably incorrect. It says the White House had blocked off the entire Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai – it hasn’t – and that the press traveling with Mr. Obama will be staying there. We won’t. Besides, the press pays its own way at considerable cost to the media outlets, not the U.S. taxpayer.

Near as I can tell, the mega-bombshell about Obama introducing a teleprompter to India’s parliament remains tragically, pathetically true. Exit question: What about this new blockbuster from the Telegraph about the mass coconut culling happening around the city’s Gandhi museum to protect the presidential noggin? Dude, I think it’s real.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Also, FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (aka Soros). And Snopes is suspect for being biased, too. Who really knows what The Current Truth is, anyway?

NTWR on November 4, 2010 at 8:02 PM

They’re not to be trusted.

Let’s see what actually occurs when they arrive in India and other destinations. When do we see the accounting for this? It’s just another grand tour like MO’s Spanish extravaganza with one “state” visit with the King of Spain for lunch in order to hand off the bill to the taxpayers. Of course, MO showed looking like a linebacker dressed as Bo Beep. Can’t wait to see the cringe-making outfits for this trip.

Cody1991 on November 4, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Semantics. Yes, he’s not ‘taking 34 ships with him’, that’s clearly ridiculous. This may be only a translation problem of some kind.

What very likely is true is that a total of 34 ships, perhaps the Indian Ocean fleet (is it the 6th?) has been tasked with direct support and prepared for contingencies. Direct support is probably a few ships off the coast of where he will be, and perhaps one or two on the flight path. A carrier may be tasked for fighter support for AF1 in spots where land-based fighters can’t get to.

Other ships, the bulk of the 34, have likely been prepared with contingency plans in the event something goes really bad, but they will stay more or less on regular station in the Indian Ocean.

slickwillie2001 on November 4, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Apparently, he feels that he is going to milk this thang for all he’s got. Let him.

Watch, laugh, ridicule and behold.

Some jackass mo fo from the streets of Chic-a-go thought he done jacked America.

Nice try, mofo. Never. NOT on my watch. FarkTard!

Key West Reader on November 4, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Thanks for getting the story straight, I want to be accurate when I complain about Obama.

Cindy Munford on November 4, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Other ships, the bulk of the 34, have likely been prepared with contingency plans in the event something goes really bad, but they will stay more or less on regular station in the Indian Ocean.

slickwillie2001 on November 4, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Are you for real? The only cover they need is for the First BadonkaDonk. She’s been hitting the buffet too difficulty and she is deprivin all the votin folks from their foo stant card.

Moochelle din’t say that for every bite she eat gone cost us peeps on the grounds our foo stants. That sh.t aint right.

Key West Reader on November 4, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Sure, some of the costs may be exaggerated on this ten day boondoggle but you can bet on this. It is costing much more than can be justified. More people are involved than can be justified and it is messing up fleet operations in the Indian Ocean. One thing about Obama, he doesn’t do anything small.

duff65 on November 4, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Save the coconuts they’re our friends. Wouldn’t construction helmets have been better? And so macho, too. He cuts a wide and manly swath. Why hide it?

Mason on November 4, 2010 at 9:08 PM

If he is so afraid, he should not go on that trip.

bayview on November 4, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Semantics. Yes, he’s not ‘taking 34 ships with him’, that’s clearly ridiculous. This may be only a translation problem of some kind.

What very likely is true is that a total of 34 ships, perhaps the Indian Ocean fleet (is it the 6th?) has been tasked with direct support and prepared for contingencies. Direct support is probably a few ships off the coast of where he will be, and perhaps one or two on the flight path. A carrier may be tasked for fighter support for AF1 in spots where land-based fighters can’t get to.

Other ships, the bulk of the 34, have likely been prepared with contingency plans in the event something goes really bad, but they will stay more or less on regular station in the Indian Ocean.

slickwillie2001 on November 4, 2010 at 8:40 PM

From the Navy guy:

Ships in the Indian Ocean are in 7th Fleet
Ships in the NAVCENT Area of Responsibility are in 5th Fleet
Ships in Europe are in 6th Fleet

There are NOT 34 ships supporting the POTUS trip to India or Indonesia… We are supporting both visits, but not with 34 ships…

/s/ Navy guy

Khun Joe on November 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Khun Joe on November 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM

BZ, shipmate!

Rightwingguy on November 4, 2010 at 9:26 PM

O.k. hear me out on this one:

34 ships….all amphibs. Yeeeeaaaaah!

…and then there’s a port call and Thailand disappears…

Rightwingguy on November 4, 2010 at 9:28 PM

6th Fleet is Mediterranean. The Indian Ocean operation of the U.S. Navy is from the U.S. 7th Fleet, based in Yokosuka, Japan.

We never have 34 ships in the same time zone, for very good reason. And since we always have ships in the northern Indian Ocean, it isn’t a huge deal for them to nudge North a bit in support of anything happening in India. Not a large expense that isn’t already allocated.

Unlike Billy Jeff’s trip to Hawaii in September 1995. The U.S.S. John C. Stennis Battle Group was dispatched from various West Coast bases to Pearl Harbor simply so the Philanderer-in-Chief could stand on the flight deck of a nuclear aircraft carrier, with the Pearl Harbor Memorial in the background, to make a speech for the 50th anniversary of the Japanese surrender, ending the Pacific conflict of WWII. The operational cost for the three week detachment of 12 ships, 118 aircraft, and more than 10,000 sailors was in excess of $15 Million per day. Not a soul from the media questioned the cost.

Eight years later, that same media woke up and wailed about the expense to the taxpayer for President Bush to fly aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln to welcome home sailors who’d been away from U.S. soil for more than nine months. The President flew in the Navigator’s seat aboard a US-3 Viking mail delivery aircaft, making a scheduled flight to deliver mail to the carrier on its way back to California. Cost to the taxpayer? Nil. Two special C-1 flights were required to bring some additional media members aboard to cover the event; those flights could have been called extraneous. Even so, the only real cost to the taxpayers is the fuel required to make a short trip over the water and back. Much less than one of Nancy Pelosi’s many family trips aboard military aircraft.

Fair and balanced. /s

Freelancer on November 4, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Freelancer on November 4, 2010 at 9:29 PM

BZ, other shipmate!

Rightwingguy on November 4, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Let’s accept the notion that all this talk of ships and cost are bogus. Notice, though, how readily believable such talk was.

hadsil on November 4, 2010 at 9:35 PM

More people are killed by falling coconuts every year than by sharks.

disa on November 4, 2010 at 9:38 PM

…and then there’s a port call and Thailand disappears…

Rightwingguy on November 4, 2010 at 9:28 PM

I think you mean walks bow-legged for the next 180 days.

jdkchem on November 4, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Rightwingguy on November 4, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Thanks. Ok, a correction, and full disclosure. It was the Carl Vinson (CNV-70), not the Stennis (CNV-74) which made the trip to Hawaii in 1995. Getting old, I guess. I actually had a great time on that Hawaii trip. They put an assortment of WWII aircraft aboard with us, and deck launched them all from as close to Waikiki as the carrier could get. Also aboard were many WWII vets, some Bataan survivors, and more than a few former Japanese military who’d later emigrated to the U.S.; the stories told were awesome. I stowed by bicycle aboard, and rode around Oahu when I wasn’t working. I have a picture from in front of the Pearl Harbor Officer’s Club, where the marquis read:

“Naval Station Pearl Harbor and CINCPACFLT welcome President and Mr. Clinton”

Freelancer on November 4, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Why is it believable? Because Obies Fed will be printing 3 BILLION per day for the next six months so what the heck is a few hundred million.

Fighton03 on November 4, 2010 at 9:49 PM

The Goddess Moochelle

justltl on November 4, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Freelancer on November 4, 2010 at 9:29 PM

According to Navy records, as pResident Bill Clinton staged multiple photo ops on aircraft carriers. Twice on the same vessel.

Del Dolemonte on November 4, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Khun Joe on November 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM
BZ, shipmate!

Rightwingguy on November 4, 2010 at 9:26 PM

If you want a Pentagon tour, contact me…

Khun Joe on November 4, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Toleja

SlimyBill on November 4, 2010 at 10:35 PM

The Goddess Moochelle

justltl on November 4, 2010 at 9:57 PM

“For the first time in my life I am proud of my chakra.”

SlimyBill on November 4, 2010 at 10:36 PM

I’m relieved to say that we didn’t bite on this one, notwithstanding Drudge’s touting of it today.

Good going, leave the dumpster diving to the novices….I just do not get why Bachmann threw herself into the dumpster…

AprilOrit on November 4, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Will Mumbai capsize with all those extra folks, and Michelle, there? Rep Johnson wants to know.

elowe on November 5, 2010 at 12:08 AM

Exit question: What about this new blockbuster from the Telegraph about the mass coconut culling happening around the city’s Gandhi museum to protect the presidential noggin? Dude, I think it’s real.

Why doesn’t Obama borrow a head turban from the Sikh temple to soften the blow of falling coconuts?

Steve Z on November 5, 2010 at 12:20 AM

AP

One of the movies that Barry is supposed to see on his way there:

The first movie is India’s nominee for the Oscars this year: “Peepli Live.” If nothing else, this movie will prepare the President for India’s rambunctious press corp. While the U.S. has three cable general news channels, India has more than 20 and they compete fiercely for news stories.

Peepli Live explores how Indian news channels manufacture news to gain ratings. In the movie, a farmer contemplates suicide as the only way out of his family’s crushing debt. Unfortunately, the story is familiar to Indian audiences, as there has been a scourge of farmer suicides because of mountains of debt.”

I read that yesterday BEFORE your post here and remembered that fact which you mentioned about ‘believing’ their media.

auspatriotman on November 5, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Really.. “teh Journal” has to cite Snopes? Nice reporting. Pathetic.

spmat on November 5, 2010 at 1:16 AM

Snopes.com, a website devoted to myth busting, noted that even if the Indian press has correctly reported the size of the president’s entourage – 3,000 – the cost would work out to $66,000 per person per day, “a figure that stretches credulity to the breaking point.”

Actually, it doesn’t.

Q: What is the cost per job made or saved via Stimulus?

unclesmrgol on November 5, 2010 at 1:28 AM

I am doubting Thomas. I will wait and see what happens before I agree with stupid Anderson Cooper and others who have conflated this to use to undercut Michelle Bachmann and others. Cooper sits tonight and says he is not a pundit who shoves his beliefs down others throats. Baloney! He has always been an operative for the left with just enough backing off to think he remains credible.

I am definitely tired of organizations/people who buy into a White House denial and take that at face value. The White House has been a propaganda machine since Obama took office. They spout out crap and are the successors to fight the smears/lies or whatever that stupid site Obama campaign had. It’s crap.

I have no problem believing that the administration is spending exorbitant amounts on this visit. They are probably the ones that floated the bogus stories so that when their still exorbitant amounts spent come out, they will seem smaller than the ones that were spouted by the Indian press (for whom they were the misleading sources from the start).

Greyledge Gal on November 5, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Really.. “teh Journal” has to cite Snopes? Nice reporting. Pathetic.

spmat on November 5, 2010 at 1:16 AM

The snopes people are authoritative, prosperous, and efficient. Everyone concedes that. If snopes says that this man is the real — the one and only — Santa Claus — well, this court will not oppose them. Case Dismissed!

unclesmrgol on November 5, 2010 at 1:32 AM

Snopes.com, a website devoted to myth busting, noted that even if the Indian press has correctly reported the size of the president’s entourage – 3,000 – the cost would work out to $66,000 per person per day, “a figure that stretches credulity to the breaking point.”

Actually, it doesn’t.

Q: What is the cost per job made or saved via Stimulus?

unclesmrgol on November 5, 2010 at 1:28 AM

LOL’d at this….but I don’t think even stimulus jobs hit 16M/yr salaries. But looking at operational costs of the assets used (AF1, C17′s, carrier strike groups, local security, advance security teams, planning units, etc)even though some of those are Opportunity costs, and then amortizing over the trip. Well, as I said before, it ain’t chump change.

Fighton03 on November 5, 2010 at 2:02 AM

From the Navy guy:

Ships in the Indian Ocean are in 7th Fleet
Ships in the NAVCENT Area of Responsibility are in 5th Fleet
Ships in Europe are in 6th Fleet

There are NOT 34 ships supporting the POTUS trip to India or Indonesia… We are supporting both visits, but not with 34 ships…

/s/ Navy guy

Khun Joe on November 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Damn squids (I mean that term with the most respect possible.)

How dare you explain how things are.

F15Mech on November 5, 2010 at 2:25 AM

Tunnel for Obama near Mani Bhavan

The Obamas are fast approaching Louis XVI level of entitlement.

BJM on November 5, 2010 at 3:22 AM

I lived in Mumbai during the Mumbai attacks and AP is correct to not believe the Indian press. They’re the most amateur media I’ve ever seen and their hysterical (not funny) reporting is both dangerous (capable of inciting riots and panic) and pathetic in its fact checking. Those who think India will take over as a leader in the world have no idea what they’re talking about because its based on lies the Indians tell themselves. That said, Barry does need to take his own security detail because as pathetic as the media is, their security is even worse. Incompetent doesn’t even start to describe it and I’m being deadly serious. He’s at risk there and this is a huge waste of taxpayer money.

Renwaa on November 5, 2010 at 6:04 AM

Is this trip even necessary? I have a problem with renting out an entire hotel, especially a five star hotel.

Many of us said the 200 million figure put out by the Indian press looked very high, but what is the actual expense and what does this trip profit us?

How many planes cars and people are going?

dogsoldier on November 5, 2010 at 7:00 AM

What is this trip all about, and why is it even taking place? Hannity reported yesterday, that the total cost of this trip could reach 2-billion. I seriously doubt that Hannity would bite on such a large number without having researched it.

Bottom line: America is broke and it’s people are suffering. Taking a trip of this nature would have to be of great importance in order to justify spending any amount of money on during these times.

Keemo on November 5, 2010 at 8:00 AM

OK, so he’s not taking 34 ships..He’s only taking 33/

As far as the coconut issue, why doesn’t Hopey just wear that oh so glamorous bike helmet he sported on a previous vaycay?

ZeeMI on November 5, 2010 at 8:46 AM

I believe the news about all that warship support made Teh One to cringe, cause he has no enemies outside US.

anikol on November 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM

What about this new blockbuster from the Telegraph about the mass coconut culling happening around the city’s Gandhi museum to protect the presidential noggin?

It would be oh so righteously just if he ended up getting beaned on top of his narcissitic skull by a coconut!

But on the other hand, exactly how many reports of people getting bopped on the cranium by homicidal coconuts do they have over there in Bollyland anyway?

pilamaye on November 5, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Not 34 ships. 35 or 33 but not 34.

We will not get an actual answer.

It depends how you define ships.

seven on November 5, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Also, FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (aka Soros). And Snopes is suspect for being biased, too. Who really knows what The Current Truth is, anyway?

NTWR on November 4, 2010 at 8:02 PM

This is the same as the “Chicago Annenburg Challenge” that our wonderful commie president was once involved with as well. I’ve also seen Snopes “debunk” stuff about Obama citing his own books as the source!

dave_ross on November 5, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Also, FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (aka Soros). And Snopes is suspect for being biased, too. Who really knows what The Current Truth is, anyway?

NTWR on November 4, 2010 at 8:02 PM

This is the same as the “Chicago Annenburg Challenge” that our wonderful commie president was once involved with as well. I’ve also seen Snopes “debunk” stuff about Obama citing his own books as the source!

dave_ross on November 5, 2010 at 10:54 AM

M

Doesn’t matter – it’s still not true.

Exit Question: Why is Rush and Michele Bachmann believeing the Indian Press? They can’t p[ossibly be that desparate for an anti-Obama story…..

AprilOrit on November 5, 2010 at 11:12 AM

From the Navy guy:

Ships in the Indian Ocean are in 7th Fleet
Ships in the NAVCENT Area of Responsibility are in 5th Fleet
Ships in Europe are in 6th Fleet

There are NOT 34 ships supporting the POTUS trip to India or Indonesia… We are supporting both visits, but not with 34 ships…

/s/ Navy guy

Khun Joe on November 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Hmmkay, what about submarines? And just curiosity: Subs are not in the same fleet, but are they counted as a “ship?” YKWIM, right?

There’s a summit there, I think G-20 + other trade crap so that’s why he has to jump countries. Whether he will go to Indonesia I dunno, that hasn’t been mentioned. Me thinks there will be a serious repositioning of any Navy/Marine vessels there.

Why hasn’t anybody mentioned that he has the keys to our nukes? Isn’t that more…a target for us?/jk

ProudPalinFan on November 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Snopes is junk, -it’s run by a liberal couple in California out of their basement. Much less reliable than the research department of any significant news organization.

slickwillie2001 on November 5, 2010 at 1:46 PM

One Dollar is too much for this trip.
http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/11/05/obama-focuses-economy-both-home-and-overseas#ixzz14PM5WJUy

FTA(emphasis mine):”President Obama heads to Asia Friday as part of an effort to improve U.S. trade relations, but experts say the president’s perceived anti-trade rhetoric has complicated the process of reaching agreements that could benefit the U.S. economy.”

We are told that Clinton’s trip to Africa back in the 90′s cost somewhere around 46 million and I remember being incensed THEN. The trip provided no benefit to the taxpayer. In fact Clinton took many trips that had no benefit to the taxpayer.

In today’s dollars, prince barry could easily be spending 200 million on this entire trip.

For no good reason.

dogsoldier on November 5, 2010 at 2:20 PM

He now has to go overseas to find friends. Why doesn’t he just get another dog? It would be certainly within the White House budget.

SC.Charlie on November 5, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Coconuts removed from trees in preparation for Barack Obama’s India trip

Teh One doesn’t want any competition while he is in India.

bitsy on November 5, 2010 at 4:08 PM

The Fed is printing another 500 Billion to prop up Obama.

The dollar is going to fall. Obama’s trip to India may be a begging session to get India to buy our debt.

jpmn on November 5, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Comment pages: 1 2