It's easy to get mad at Obama for something like this, but I just feel an enormous amount of sadness for America that we are saddled with this clueless git for another year and a half. And a sadness for the parents of Medal of Honor recipient SFC Jared Monti who must have been stung by the president's misstatement. Here's Blackfive reporting on the president's appearance at Fort Drum addressing the famous 10th Mountain Division:
"First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I 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."
As we all know, SSG Sal Giunta, of the 173rd Airborne, was the first living recipient (2011) of the MOH who fought in Iraq/Afganistan. SFC Jared Monti, 10th Mountain Division, was KIA in Afghanistan in 2006. He was posthumously awarded the MOH by Obama in 2009.
How does the Commander-in-Chief mix these heroes up? He put that medal around Giunta's neck and he stood with Monti's parents as they grieved. These fallen heroes leave such a great legacy, and we should know all their names. The ironic part of the speech, and this comes after the announcement of the politically pressured drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, was Obama's closing remark, "Know that your Commander-in-Chief has your back."
It shouldn't take a teleprompter for the C-in-C to get it right.
No, it shouldn't. Absolutely inexcusable. It might be understandable for a tired man to say there are 57 states but to screw up the names of Medal of Honor recipients?
Very sad and pathetic.
Hat Tip: Russ Vaughn
The White House recognized the gaffe but didn't apologize for it. The gaffe was blamed on a lack of a teleprompter:
I contacted the White House to see what happened. I'm told the President didn't have prepared remarks.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, ""At Fort Drum, the President misspoke when discussing the first Medal of Honor he presented posthumously to Jared Monti, who was a member of the 10th Mountain Division. The President paid tribute to Monti in his remarks to troops in Afghanistan in March 2010. Last year, the President presented the Medal of Honor to Salvatore Giunta, who was the first living recipient of the Medal who served in Afghanistan."
No "prepared" remarks, no teleprompter. I guess the subject wasn't imporant enough to bring TOTUS along. But why no apology? I suppose being president means never having to say you're sorry - even when you unintentionally disrespect soldiers under your command.