J. D. Heyes
October 3, 2013
It is a tactic that President Obama has used before, in collusion with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, during the sequester: Make the cuts as painful as possible on the American people and blame nonexistent Republican obstinacy, which is then dutifully reported as truth by the mainstream media.
And now he’s doing it again during the current partial government shutdown. Only, some of the people he is trying to hurt the most are the very Americans who guaranteed, with their lives, the safety and survival of this great nation: World War II veterans.
That’s right. Thanks to Obama’s promise to veto House-passed legislation that would provide funds to keep the nation’s World War II Memorial open during the current partial shutdown, vets are being turned away from the very memorial built in their honor.
‘Gratuitous and petulant’
Per Breitbart News:
The Obama Administration has decided to block access to public memorials on the National Mall as a result of the government shutdown. Like its decision to end White House tours when the sequester cuts took effect, there is no rational reason for this. The Park Police, nominally in charge of monitoring these spaces, isn’t even effected by the shutdown. Shutting off access to these sites is gratuitous and petulant.
Without a doubt. But it’s not like this decision was merely an oversight. It was as calculated as it was heartless.
The Daily Caller reported that the decision by Obama’s White House was premeditated:
The White House and the Department of the Interior rejected a request from Rep. Steven Palazzo’s office to have World War II veterans visit the World War II memorial in Washington, the Mississippi Republican [said]…
“We got the heads up that they will be barricaded and specifically asked for an exception for these heroes,” Palazzo told TheDC. “We were denied and told, ‘It’s a government shutdown, what do you expect?’ when we contacted the liaison for the White House.”
The group of vets, many of them octogenarians and in declining health, were part of an Honor Flight, a group that sponsors visits to the WWII Memorial for veterans of that conflict. Palazzo, himself a Marine Corps vet of the first Gulf War, has participated on all five flights. Initially, he says he thought the White House’s refusal was merely bureaucratic oversight.
“[B]ut having talked with the officials I can’t help but think this was politically motivated. Honor Flights, which bring WWII veterans to the nation’s memorials, are planned a year in advance and cost anywhere between $80,000 to $100,000. How low can you get with playing politics over our nation’s veterans?” he said.
‘Mr. President, tear down this wall’
Both Palazzo and Mike Flynn at Breitbart went on to point out that, under normal circumstances, the World War II Monument, as well as the Lincoln Memorial and many of Washington’s other memorials and sites, are never guarded by Park Police. They are open-air venues located close to the National Mall and there are no designated entrances and exits. I’ve seen for myself during visits to DC that this is the case.
Having lived in DC for 18 years, I can tell you, the WWII Memorial is simply an architectural structure in an open public space. There is no official “access” to it. There are no guards. It’s a building in a park. Yet, the Obama Administration tried to block veterans from viewing the public memorial, even after hearing about the planned visit.
As it turned out, Palazzo led the vets past the government barricades and visited their memorial, but they faced similar barricades when they attempted to visit the Lincoln Memorial on Oct. 2.
“I have regularly visited this memorial at one or two in the morning. At those hours, it is a peaceful and reflective place. It is an open space. There is no access that needs to be blocked. It is only by a conscious decision, and a great deal of work, that access would be blocked,” writes Flynn.
This cowardly, ghastly act is the last gasp of a desperate, peevish ideologue who, because he’s not getting his way in Congress, has decided to act out against the very men who guaranteed his place in American history.
Stay classy, Mr. President.