Obama phones father of fallen MOH recipient to apologize for mistake

posted at 9:31 pm on June 24, 2011 by Allahpundit

A follow up to this morning’s Obamateurism of the Day. So obviously horrible is this mistake, and so inevitable was his amends, that I feel bad holding it against him. Even if you assume the worst about The One, there’s no way he’d bungle the name of a Medal of Honor recipient unless he was having a total brain freeze. The optics of a C-in-C confusing two soldiers famous for their supreme valor is too awful for words:

On Thursday at Fort Drum, the president told troops from the 10th Mountain Division that he previously “had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.”

Wrong. Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was actually killed in Afghanistan on June 21, 2006. In September 2009, President Obama awarded him the Medal of Honor posthumously.

On his Facebook page this evening, Monti’s father, Paul, posted: “FYI- President Barack Obama telephoned me personally this afternoon to apologize for his error in his speech to the 10th mountain division re: Jared’s medal ceremony. Apology accepted.”

Why did this gaffe have such resonance online? Because, I think, people feel justly ashamed that U.S. soldiers toil in near-obscurity in Afghanistan and Iraq while the public goes about its business at home. A famously brutal quote: “The Marine Corps is at war, America is at the mall.” People will suffer that shame quietly most of the time, but for the president to inadvertently disrespect a Medal of Honor recipient who gave his life in battle by forgetting his name is too much. I’m glad O recognized it and acted quickly to try to undo the damage.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Obama is an idiot. Those who suggest otherwise are now so far out on a limb that they themselves should be suspect.

Jaibones on June 25, 2011 at 8:17 AM

As awful as the mistake is, I can’t imagine how he feels. Maybe he should use this opportunity to point out to the press that no one in immune to error and maybe they shouldn’t be so selective in the vigilance. There is a large segment of society that is open season for slander and libel, it needs to stop.

Cindy Munford on June 25, 2011 at 8:52 AM

2008: “Oh yeah, well I have a bracelet too….uh….uh….Sgt. Ryan Jopek…”

Obama uses these guys as props.

portlandon on June 25, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Zero was using the MOH winners and troops as political campaign fodder. He’s despicable. All he had to say was welcome home and we’re grateful for your service. But, no, he had to inject himself into the speech as he always does and bungles it like he always does.

Kissmygrits on June 25, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Few people dislike Obama more than I do. But face it. This was a scripted speech, which means this was a staff error. Blame Obama for hiring the kind of staff that made this mistake, but be careful for blaming him for doing what you or I would do if handed the same script under the same circumstances.

Having said that, may God bless and protect our troops in harm’s way, and grant them victory over our enemies.

ksm on June 25, 2011 at 7:10 AM

Confirmed: David Axelrod has a HA account.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2011 at 9:54 AM

One, ONE, the man has, unlike most presidents, given ONE MOH to a living G.I. and he can’t remember it.

God, please remember our fallen and our living G.I.s, our president won’t

E9RET on June 25, 2011 at 10:23 AM

The reason he screwed up is that HE JUST DOESN’T CARE. All this bother over some dead soldier is taking time away from his golf game and campaigning.

UnEasyRider on June 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Few people dislike Obama more than I do. But face it. This was a scripted speech, which means this was a staff error. Blame Obama for hiring the kind of staff that made this mistake, but be careful for blaming him for doing what you or I would do if handed the same script under the same circumstances.

Having said that, may God bless and protect our troops in harm’s way, and grant them victory over our enemies.

ksm on June 25, 2011 at 7:10 AM

The point is he should have REMEMBERED the one living G.I. since VIETNAM he was honored to award the MOH.

This doesn’t happen often and I suspect Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan would have remembered a single name….he didn’t.

E9RET on June 25, 2011 at 10:28 AM

I can not believe allah is giving BO a pass on this. BO should be publicly shamed for this grave insult. How many MOH has he given, 3? The moron can’t remember the facts and circumstances of three MOH recipients?

Whoever says BO is smart is either a disingenuous liar or a brain dead moron. This screw up removes all doubts why BO refuses to show us his college grades……I can’t imagine him earning a grade higher than a C.

David in ATL on June 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Also it shows that Obama doesn’t proof his speeches before, and IF he remembered their names he would have corrected his error before the teleprompter rolled.

I think W would have remembered their names and would have caught this right away.

pabo on June 25, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I am impressed Obama apologized. And the father is one classy individual. Under most circumstances, I’d agree that it was simply a slip of the tongue or momentary lapse of memory and be happy to forgive.

Unfortunately, I really don’t believe that’s the case here. What I believe is the Occam’s Razor answer: that presenting the very few Medals of Honor that he has, has had no real emotional impact on President Obama.

He didn’t remember because he doesn’t really care. He met Giunta personally, at length. And I think if he had even a little sincerity, he would have remembered. I’d go so far as to suggest that if ANY of us met a living MOH recipient in person … not to mention having the honor of presenting the Medal … that you or I would not make this mistake.

Ever. I think – if you cared at all – that you’d remember that man and that moment for the rest of your life.

I’m glad he apologized and realized how grievous this error was.

But I can say honestly that this one actually hurt me. Personally.

I think it tells you a great deal about Obama and where his heart really is.

Professor Blather on June 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Leave to Allahpundit to somehow turn this situation into feeling bad the for Messi-uh for a “gaffe” so profoundly horrible that it displays the clear lack of concern or interest in certain aspects of his job as President. Barry’s chestnuts need roasted publicly over this one, but then again, he’s not Bush, so whateva, it’s forgiven. After all, Presidentin’ be hard.

Try to save some sympathy for the memory of Monti and his family before it all bleeds out on Barry.

Saltyron on June 25, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I thank the CiC for moving forward with an apology.

It is gratifying that the need for an apology was recognized.

My questions are these:

Was the impetous for the apology founded in Shame toward the parents for having dishonored their son’s memory?

Was the decision to issue an apology calculated as the most beneficial political result?

Why did a White House spokeshole address the error, not once, but twice, prior to the presidential apology?

Did the substance of the apology accept full responsibility for the error, or did it include hedges and mitigations?

Finally, we all now how myopic is the resident of 1600 Penn. The largest question of all is how many MSM outlets will cover the apology as their FIRST coverage of this incident, praising Obama for his compassionate sorrow over a mistake when they never took him to task for the shame of it?

Freelancer on June 25, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Obama, with a mind like a steel trap rusted shut, was too stupid to differentiate between Monti and SSG Giunta, the MoH recipient from the 173rd Airborne whom he had personally decorated.

malclave on June 24, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Either he can’t remember giving the Medal of Honor to the family of a fallen member of the 10 Mountain, or he can’t remember the outfit (173rd Infantry BDE) of the only living member of the GWOT to receive the Medal of Honor.

I know he has to make decisions that are at a scope beyond that the average GI operates at, but at least get the MACOM right, sir.

Sgt Steve on June 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Well, to be fair for our intellectual giant of a President, its not as if he could just look out into the audience and identify which unit to whom he was speaking.

I mean, its not like there are any unit identifying patches on uniforms. That would be helpful.

Professor Blather on June 25, 2011 at 12:10 PM

The optics of a C-in-C confusing two soldiers famous for their supreme valor is too awful for words

Yet here we are.

This was not a “gaffe” nor did he ‘misspeak’.

The guy has only given ONE MOH to a living soldier. ONE!

And he got it wrong.

This belies a fundamental ideological, philosophical character flaw of this ‘man’. He can’t even ‘phone it in’ when it comes to our Armed Forces.

Despicable and disgusting.

catmman on June 25, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Look, a significant part of Obama’s base thinks that our army is made up of mercenaries. It isn’t even a hot hatred; it is all they have ever been taught, and they’ve never had reason to question it.

Anyone remember this game?
That’s the extent of what most people know about the army: just a pile of nameless faceless mooks that were probably stamped out in a factory somewhere.

Voyager on June 25, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Did we really expect more of this imbecile when we made him President?

When your highest qualification for President is your non-stop bitching and criticism (check his history–that’s also how he got more playing time as a high school bench-warming basketball ‘star’), it stands to reason that he doesn’t have a clue about proper respect and behavior.

The only times this man ever gets anything right is when he is forced to listen to our criticism.

As one of Rush’s callers said, this man wants a mulligan. On everything.

It’s up to the American people not to give him a 4-year mulligan. Incompetence matters.

rwenger43 on June 25, 2011 at 1:31 PM

The damage isn’t undone. The damage is the raging disrespect he has for our military. He continues to do damage every day.

It’s disgraceful.

Pablo Snooze on June 25, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Even if you assume the worst about The One, there’s no way he’d bungle the name of a Medal of Honor recipient unless he was having a total brain freeze.
///
You wanna bet on that?? The military is a photo op to him and you can bet that someone told him to correct this asap!

ohiobabe on June 25, 2011 at 2:53 PM

but be careful for blaming him for doing what you or I would do if handed the same script under the same circumstances.
////
Excuse me! Don’t lump me in with this incompetent,that offends me!and if he is SOOOOO SMART then why did he not proofread something this important and sensitive?The answer is painfully obvious,this was a photo op,aren’t the dems the ones who think only the stupid are in the military?

ohiobabe on June 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM

but be careful for blaming him for doing what you or I would do if handed the same script under the same circumstances.

What, it shows that his entire staff in inept at best, lazy and full of contempt for the military. they cant get the name correct in a simple speech, what else are theta screwing up that we DONT know about yet.
DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!!!!

ColdWarrior57 on June 26, 2011 at 8:00 PM

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