Monday, March 26, 2007

Bush and his Scenery

During the presiden't nationally televised hissy fit in response to the House vote to set a deadline for withdrawal from Iraq, I remarked to a friend that there was a very attractive woman in uniform standing behind Bush. For perhaps the first time ever, I understood what women see in "men in uniform". If this woman was used on the poster, we might be able to enlist enough recruits to form a second combat ready brigade.

Of course, that's not why she was there. She and the other military personnel in attendance served as props so the president could try and send the message "the military stands behind me" instead of "the military stands where I tell it to".

The president, to his credit, has a long history of standing behind the military. In fact, he typically stands about three thousand or so miles behind them any time there's a foreign deployment. As the best and brightest of his generation fought in Vietnam, he stayed home and formed a policy that would one day be known as "No Keg Left Behind" before deciding that Guard service in Alabama was far too close to the front lines for his taste. Thankfully, more diligent Guardsmen remained on duty to make sure that Charlie didn't invade Mobile.

But I digress. Was his use of the military as a prop entirely in accordance with DOD regulations?

3.1. The wearing of the uniform by members of the Armed Forces (including retired members and members of Reserve components) is prohibited under any of the following circumstances:
...3.1.2. During or in connection with furthering political activities, private employment or
commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity or interest may be drawn.
(Hat tip to AmericaBlog)

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