Green Room

Father of fallen Marine outraged over condolence ‘form letter’ from president

posted at 11:56 am on October 10, 2012 by

The choice on Nov. 6 is simple. On the one hand you have Mitt Romney, a greedy, money-hungry capitalist who doesn’t care about the middle class and wants to eliminate Big Bird. On the other you have President Barack Obama, who so identifies with the common man and feels his pain that he believes empathy should be a factor in matters of jurisprudence.

Well, that’s what he says anyway. His compassion was in short supply when he sent out a letter of condolence to Houston resident Tom Logan, whose son, USMC Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, was killed Jan. 19, 2012 in a helicopter crash. The elder Logan insists that the letter, which arrived by UPS truck four months after Cpl. Logan’s death, “opened up a wound in our heart you can’t fix. You can’t send another letter. You can’t make it right.”

Apart from the lateness of its arrival, the letter struck Logan as impersonal, a sense that was confirmed when he shared it with station KPRC in Houston. Reporters there compared the letter with two others Obama had sent to families of soldiers killed in action. Except for the name, rank, and service branch, the letters were identical: All were typed, short (about a third of a page), and impersonal. The letters, both dated May 9, can be viewed here and here.

Although there is no standard protocol regarding presidential condolence letters, one might expect a man who places so much importance on compassion to reach out in a more heartfelt way to families who suffered so grievous a loss. His much-maligned predecessor, George W. Bush, did. He sent personal letters of sympathy, some of them handwritten, to each of the 4,000 troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan during his two terms in office. He also met personally with 500 grieving families. But the true test of his commitment to being what he called “comforter in chief” was a clandestine operation he and Dick Cheney set up inside the White House to provide aid and comfort to families of slain servicemen. These activities, moreover, were kept off the public calendar and often done behind the backs of the media.

But Obama’s biggest failing as “comforter in chief” was his decision to send a form letter to the families of fallen SEAL Team 6 members following an especially deadly mission in Afghanistan in August of 2011. The 30 troops who died in that conflict deserved better, and so did their families.

In fairness, Obama has sent at least one personal condolence letter since taking the oath of office. It was to the family of rapper Heavy D, who died at 44 this past August. Part of the letter, which Al Sharpton read at the funeral reads”

We extend our heartfelt condolences at this difficult time. He will be remembered for his infectious optimism and many contributions to American music. Please know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

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Great work, Howard. This deserves attention.

John the Libertarian on October 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I can say one thing I just loved about Bush, he loved and honored living, wounded, and killed military. Not many times did the press get to see Bush doing/saying kind things to them. bho has a photo op and form letters sent to our wonderful military serving our nation.

Thanks Howard for this post, it needs to seen by people what has happened with your post.
L

letget on October 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

But Obama’s biggest failing as “comforter in chief” was his decision to send a form letter to the families of fallen SEAL Team 6 members following an especially deadly mission in Afghanistan in August of 2011. The 30 troops who died in that conflict deserved better, and so did their families.

You know very well well that the President and other officials went in person to Dover when those bodies came home and spent well over an hour with the families.

All of our Presidents take this part of their job seriously.

lexhamfox on October 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

The choice on Nov. 6 is simple. On the one hand you have Mitt Romney, a greedy, money-hungry capitalist who doesn’t care about the middle class and wants to eliminate Big Bird. On the other you have President Barack Obama, who so identifies with the common man and feels his pain that he believes empathy should be a factor in matters of jurisprudence.

Actually, there are more than two options. You are presenting a false choice.

Dante on October 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Obama is a classless act

10/9/12 Christian Science Monitor What does Big Bird take from the taxpayer –

Let’s look at the numbers. According to the latest Internal Revenue Service Form 990 financial disclosure that Sesame Workshop has made public, its total revenue for 2009 was about $130 million. Of that, about $7.9 million came directly from government grants.

What did the CEO of Sesame Workshop take as compensation in 2009?

Also, did you know the president of Sesame Workshop makes more than the president of the United States? We noticed that while combing through the 209 Form 990.

That year, Sesame Workshop president and CEO Gary Knell got $684,144 in reportable compensation from his job. The salary of the US president is fixed by law at $400,000, though the job does come with use of a house, Camp David, and Air Force One.

The President also gets platoons of Marines, whose lives he can spend, cheaply or dearly

entagor on October 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

And don’t forget that Obama took the time out of his busy schedule to personally call Sandra Fluke on the phone to give her encouragement when she demanded that the taxpayers pay for her birth control.

He said that he did that because he was thinking of his daughters, and that he wanted them to think about speaking up and engaging in a thoughtful discussion of issues. Yep. That’s what he said.

Apparently both he (and Sandra) believe that one way of “thoughtfully” approach an issue is by telling lawmakers that contraception and abortion are 100% purely a private matter, but that, it is also fine and dandy to loudly demand that people and institutions who are morally opposed to birth control and abortion, must nevertheless damn well pay for them for others, under the penalty of law!

Very thoughtful, don’t ya know?

Anyway, when it comes to a letter of condolence to the parent or spouse of a soldier who was killed in combat fighting on behalf of the people of the United States, why, get out the auto pen and just send ‘em DOD Condolence Form 1-01!

He’s just too busy with phone calls to Sandra and others like her, or playing golf, or goin’ to see Dave Letterman, or Beyonce, to even think about havin’ to scratch out a personal note!

Given the use of the autopen I doubt he’s ever even seen most or perhaps even all of those letters!

Trochilus on October 10, 2012 at 8:16 PM