John McCain personally told Larry King that Barack Obama wanted to bring reporters, cameras and campaign aides to a meeting with wounded troops in Germany.
When he said this, John McCain was lying. Let me spell this correctly: L-Y-I-N-G.
Obama never intended to bring reporters, period. That is a lie. Obama never intended to bring cameras. That is a lie. Obama never intended to bring "his campaign staffers" (to use McCain's words). That, too, is a lie. The only person Obama intended to bring was retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, who is an unpaid military adviser.
Credit to Dan Balz in The Washington Post today for laying out the facts. Shame on many in the political, cable, pundit and commentariat classes who have allowed McCain to get away with what are several clear, unmitigated and outright lies (spell that L-I-E-S) about Obama and wounded troops.
One can understand McCain's frustration. He taunted Obama to make the trip and it was a major success. One can understand McCain's anger. He was reduced to a photo-op on an oil rig that was canceled by a hurricane, and while he dished his talking points at Schmidt's sausage factory, Obama was greeted by a quarter of a million people, many waving American flags, and praised extravagantly by the conservative leaders of Germany and France.
One can understand McCain's problem. His record on veterans’ issues over many years is far weaker than that of most Democrats and most Republicans. He recently unsuccessfully opposed the strong version of Sen. Jim Webb's (D-Va.) new GI Bill, irritating many veterans’ groups, again, while the bill passed with bipartisan support over McCain's objection.
That is no excuse for lying. That is no excuse for repeating the lie in campaign statements and paid television ads approved by McCain.
While credit is due to the front page of The Washington Post for reporting the facts in the paper this morning, it is an outrage that many in the media, whom McCain has long called part of his political base, fail to report this story with integrity, clarity, facts and truth.Posted at The Hill where comments are welcome.