Barack Obama and Joe Biden have taken a lot of credit for the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. Biden has used the “Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive” line as a campaign slogan on more than one occasion. Sadly, some of the men from the same Navy SEALs unit that successfully conducted the OBL mission died three months later in Afghanistan when a missile hit a CH-47 Chinook ferrying them in Wardak province. For their service and accomplishments — for which Obama has been happy to assume political credit — the President of the United States sent a letter of condolence to each family.
Did he offer any personal thoughts? Not exactly, although it’s not quite as bad as Jim Hoft believes:
Yesterday, Karen and Billy Vaughn, parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, spoke at the Defending the Defenders forum sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots outside the RNC Convention in Tampa. Karen brought a copy of the form letter they were sent following their son’s death.
It’s a form letter.
It was signed by an electric pen.
That’s not all.
Karen Vaughn reached out to the parents of the other SEALs killed in that crash.
Their letters were all the same.
Form letters – signed by an electric pen.
The bottom two examples are enough to show that the signatures on the letters are not identical. Note the loop at the top of the “O” by the downstroke on the signature on the left; that loop is absent on the signature on the right. The other signatures are difficult to make out due to the low resolution, but I believe it is possible to detect small variations there as well.
The other reason I question the electric pen claim is that there is a well-known specimen of the president’s electric pen signature. In May 2011, the president was in France when an extension of the Patriot Act was passed by Congress. As was widely reported at the time, and to some minor controversy, the legislation was signed into law by President Obama’s authorization of the use of an electric pen. CBS News reported this at the time, and had obtained a copy of the legislation with the president’s electric pen signature … This signature is obviously different than the clearest specimen from the letters to the military families[.]
But a form letter it most certainly is, Jeryl says:
The remaining issue, of course, is the use of form letters. Although not unprecedented, as noted by Jake Tapper, President George W. Bush generally eschewed their use when writing to grieving families and choose to write personal notes to the families. Given that President Obama’s letters are dated September 23, 2011, and he spent the following afternoon on the golf course with Bill Clinton and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, it would be difficult for the president to plead lack of time as an excuse for the fill-in-the-blank condolence letters.
Jim has pictures of the letters, along with this reminder of what it takes to get a personal note of condolence from the Commander in Chief:
But Obama did send a personal letter to rapper Heavy D’s family when he passed away.
Indeed he did, according to the AP:
“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,” the president wrote in a letter, which the Rev. Al Sharpton read at the service, The Associated Press reported.
Res ipsa loquitur.
It’s time once again to show our support for Day By Day and its artist-publisher, Chris Muir. Chris holds an annual fundraiser to keep the adventures of Sam, Zed, Jan, and Damon coming. Chris, whose artwork has enhanced the OOTD feature since its inception for Hot Air readers, uses the funds raised for only the continuance of DBD. As always, the fundraiser has many fabulous gifts available at whatever level one chooses to donate. If you’re thinking about donating at the Jan/Damon level or above, you’ll get a Last Supper Red vs Blue magnet, which has depictions of personalities from New Media — myself included. Donating at the Anatoly Level will get you a 9×15 print of the artwork. Dig deep and be part of supporting the one of the best New Media cartoonists in the biz!
And if you want something really cool …
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.