December 05, 2003


Weíll need a few more sources on this before itís believable:

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton forced U.S. troops stationed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to wait for their Thanksgiving dinner last Thursday while she and her entourage arrived late, then cut in line and were served first.

Sounds just a leetle too extreme. Still, if it stands up, itíll make a certain turkey controversy look like a bunch of crap about a cooked bird. Which, in fact, it was.

UPDATE. Jay Manifold in comments provides a debunking. Pity he wasnít available earlier to assist the Washington Post on turkey facts.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 5, 2003 11:24 PM

By contrast, I definitely remember reading (was it on Sullivan?) the testimony of a soldier who noted that Bush never ate at all when he visited the troops. He served them chow and posed for pictures. I have not yet seen a picture from that visit of Bush actually eating anything (despite his claim that he was "looking for a warm meal".)

Posted by: Eric Lindholm at December 5, 2003 at 11:40 PM

More Bush lies! He didn't eat!!!

Posted by: tim at December 6, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Bush lied, turkeys died, puppet bearing freakozoid's cried......

Posted by: James Dudek at December 6, 2003 at 12:14 AM

Let us set all the turkeys free to roam their native habitat of the rainforests in Turkey!

Posted by: Ross at December 6, 2003 at 12:35 AM

Bush travels around the globe in a flying five-star hotel. He dosn't arrive tired and hungry

Posted by: Amos at December 6, 2003 at 12:37 AM

Hey leave Hillary alone. So what that the soldiers had to wait. She not only served the turkey; she killed it, bit it's head off, plucked it, and cooked it too. Could Bush do that?

Posted by: Charles at December 6, 2003 at 12:54 AM

Yeah, and Hitlary and her entourage flew over in a Motel 6, eating stale peanuts, drinking flat soft drinks.

Posted by: joe at December 6, 2003 at 12:54 AM


no, but she married one...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at December 6, 2003 at 12:56 AM

Not to overlook this, this, or this...

Posted by: Bovious at December 6, 2003 at 02:26 AM

There's almost always a lot less to these kinds of stories than meets the eye. The fact is that Senators, Presidents, etc. are led through the motions by their handlers on trips like this. I doubt very much that Hillary had any personal say over how and when she was served her meal.

Posted by: wvmcl at December 6, 2003 at 07:01 AM

Your instincts are correct. I'm no fan of HRC, but this story does not rise above the level of gossip. Analysis (swiped from myself in a comment box over on Chicago Boyz):

1. Source is unnamed, but then, what else is new?

2. E-mail sent to GIs, as quoted, mentions no names of Senators or Congressmen, so did any of them know that HRC was coming? In any case, the International Herald Tribune flatly contradicts the NewsMax account on several points, including the number of soldiers who dined with HRC and their reactions.

3. Statment that dinner started at 3 PM is contradicted by assertion that HRC et al "bumped everyone in line" at 3:30. Vague "1-hour wait" could simply mean the 1 hour between when line started forming and HRC et al showed up. An entourage large enough to lengthen line by 1 hour seems unlikely, to put it mildly. Especially since the stated number of soldiers present is 20 in the IHT story. And why were they late? Well, according to this, they'd just met "with U.S. forces involved in Operation Mountain Resolve, a special anti-terrorism effort being conducted in recent weeks in Nuristan and Kunar, two eastern provinces bordering Pakistan. The Senators also received a briefing from their host, Brigadier General Lloyd Austin, Commander of the 10th Mountain Division/CJTF 180."

4. I did find one possible truthful element in the story. The Honolulu Advertiser says 7,500 soldiers from the 10th Mountain are in Afghanistan. If half of those are at Bagram AFB and the number of New Yorkers in the division is proportionate to their number in the American population, then at least 250 could have dined with HRC. That only 20 did so may indeed indicate that they are less than fond of her. But it could equally indicate that her trip was planned that way, so that all the NY troops who dined with her would actually get some face time.

5. Oh, and a search at the People magazine website finds nothing about the visit.

I wouldn't spread this "story" around. The facts are too easy to check.

(To end on a lighter note, I learned some fun facts while grazing; the 10th Mountain invented the snowmobile; and in, I found: "Veterans of the 10th Mountain Division were in a large part responsible for the development of skiing into a big name sport and popular vacation industry after World War II. Ex-soldiers from the 10th laid out ski hills, built ski lodges, designed ski lifts and improved ski equipment. They started ski magazines and opened ski schools. Vail, Aspen, Sugarbush, Crystal Mountain, and Whiteface Mountain are but a few of the ski resorts built by 10th Mountain veterans.")

Posted by: Jay Manifold at December 6, 2003 at 10:13 AM