What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 8, 2007

On Pelosi's use of Military Aircraft

This story is making the rounds of conservative (can we really use that term when talking about Sean Hannity?) Radio and now it's hit MSNBC.

Of course the bloviators from wingnuttia and their stenographers in the MSM get the facts wrong.

Here's the gist of the story. Begun, like so many other right-wing rants do, at the Washington Times.

The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing the Bush administration for routine access to military aircraft for domestic flights, such as trips back to her San Francisco district, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

The sources, who include those in Congress and in the administration, said the Democrat is seeking regular military flights not only for herself and her staff, but also for relatives and for other members of the California delegation. A knowledgeable source called the request "carte blanche for an aircraft any time."

And thus it began. The story's now at MSNBC.

Republicans on Wednesday assailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request for access to an Air Force transport plane as an extravagance, though former Speaker Dennis Hastert flew in a military jet as well.

Republicans are taking issue with the size of the plane. Pelosi and the Defense Department are discussing letting her fly in a C-32 plane, a military version of the Boeing 757-200.

Think Progress has the facts:

1) The House Sergeant at Arms, not Pelosi, initiated inquiries into the use of military aircraft. House Sergeant at Arms Wilson Livingood, who has served in his position since 1995, released a statement today clarifying the facts. He writes, “In December 2006, I advised Speaker Pelosi that the US Air Force had made an airplane available to Speaker Hastert for security and communications purposes following September 11, 2001.” Additionally, Livingood writes, “I offered to call the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense to seek clarification of the guidelines [which governed Speaker Hastert’s use of a plane].”

2) A larger plane was requested because Hastert’s plane required refueling to travel cross-country. The Washington Times says a larger plane was requested to accomodate Pelosi, “her staff, other Members and supporters.” That’s not true. In fact, the plane used by Speaker Hastert was too small for Pelosi since it “needs to refuel every 2,000 miles and could not make the nonstop haul to California. ‘The Air Force determined that [Pelosi’s] safety would be best ensured by using a plane that has the fuel capacity to go coast-to-coast,’” a Pelosi spokesperson said.

But of course, none of this will matter to the wingnuts (just watch the comments section here).


Anonymous said...

Actually, Speaker Pelosi's request is being handled by her chief council, veteran democratic lawyer, Bernard Raimo. Not the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Secondly, the trip back to her home disctrict in California does not require a non-stop haul, as you put it. There was no official such safety concern made as you suggest was done by the Air Force. The Air Force is simply studying which aircraft would be available that would be able to make cross-country flights.

What you are publishing is hogwash and you are obviously misinformed.

Diane said...

actually there is a safety concern. This practice started after 9/11. The Speaker of the House is second in line should something happen to the president.
The reason the bigger jet is being requested is that Ms. Pelosi district (California)is further from Washington the Mr. Hastert's was.
The intent was to get the Speaker of the house away from Washington (much like Dick Cheney was floated around for weeks after 9/11). In case of attack. The bigger jest is needed so that the jet would not have to land and refuel

Whigsboy said...

From my reading of David's post, he does not say the Sergeant at arms is handling the request. He did quote TP, quoting the sergeant at arms who said he advised Pelosi about the plane and "offered" to contact the Air Force.

What do you mean it doesn't "require a nonstop haul"? Please clarify. And also cite a source for your information. TP's source was apparently Pelosi's staff. I'm not putting it beyond Pelosi's staff to be full of shit, but if you have an actual source - and not a "confidential source" from a Moonie Times piece, because why would something like exactly what the Air Force is doing have to be confidential - please provide it.

Finally, this is what it's all about now, isn't it? John Edwards offers up a fairly bold health care plan, but don't debate that, attack him for hiring "foul-mouthed" bloggers.

Nancy Pelosi pushes through a bold 100-hour agenda and Democrats are actually holding oversight hearings on things like 365 tons of cash shipped to Iraq that just disappears into the ether - possibly into insurgent or terrorist hands - so let's push faux controversies about whether the second in line to the presidency should get a military plane to ensure safe flights back to her district.

Is it EVER about real policies or official acts of governing and policy making? Or will it always be investigations into shady land deals or whether somebody went to madrassas when they were 8 or calling people traitors. Obscure and distract - the Republican playbook.

Sherry said...

well put whigsboy. well put.

anonymous said...

diane: The bigger jest is needed so that the jet would not have to land and refuel"

Yes, I know what is being offered as an explanation and am aware of the concept of stopping to refuel versus flying nonstop. But the safety of stopping to refuel was not offered as an official explanation by the Air Force, as someone posted here. What the AF is doing, however, is studing which of their craft COULD make the non-stop flight. They never said that was necessary for safety. Someone else said that and is attempting to make the implication that the Air Force is saying Pelosi needs the luxurious, bigger jet for that reason.

anonymous said...

Doesn't require a non-stop haul means that the wench can stop to refuel like anyone else would. That was and isn't a safety concern of the Air Force or anyone else. It is a lazy excuse to try to justify Pelosi flying in luxury and wasting many taxpayers dollars, when it simply isn't necessary.

Democrats-Lie said...

Here's what Speaker Pelosi said about this non-issue whipped up by my former friends in the right-wing echo chamber:

They told me the first day that I was supposed to go that I couldn't make it across the country. And I said well, that's fine, I'm going commercial...I'm not asking to go on that plane.

Democrats-Lie said...

Nancy Pelosi is pushing big for reducing emissions. I quote:

"Scientific evidence suggests that to prevent the most severe effects of global warming, we will need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions roughly in half from today's levels by 2050."

To that I say:

Ms. Pelosi, how about leading by example then.

Of course, we won't see that. Instead, her and her liberal friends will tell us all that we need to change our lives while they get carted around in their big limos and jet planes.

Just another prime example of "Do as I say, but not as I do." I don't know how much clearer that can get.

Democrats-Lie said...

By the way, isn't it funny that none of the liberals here have the gumption to defend Pelosi's request for a jetliner containing a bedroom, stateroom, a conference facility, along with an entertainment system and beds?

So much for the liberal agenda of reducing emissions, huh?

By the way, I am sure all of you liberals would of turned your heads if Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert made similar demands, right? And don't give me this b.s. about security. Security does not constitute the above amenities.

Of course, David makes reference to the "wingnuts" commenting on this. All the while David leaves out the above amenities for Ms. Pelosi herself.

David, you are so incredibly biased, it's so obvious with you. And you talk about partisanship? Holy cripes you're one big hypocrite, man.

Liberal Democrats = Do as I say, but not as I do.

Democrats-Lie (Genuine) said...

It looks like the IMPOSTOR Democrats-Lie hasn't heard Speaker Pelosi state her preference to take commercial airliners.

Oh well, what can we expect from someone who doesn't even know who he is?

Schmuck Shitrock said...

This from the Sergeant-At-Arms of the US House of Representatives today:

As the Sergeant at Arms, I have the responsibility to ensure the security of the members of the House of Representatives, to include the Speaker of the House. The Speaker requires additional precautions due to her responsibilities as the leader of the House and her Constitutional position as second in the line of succession to the presidency.

In a post 9/11 threat environment, it is reasonable and prudent to provide military aircraft to the Speaker for official travel between Washington and her district. The practice began with Speaker Hastert and I have recommended that it continue with Speaker Pelosi. The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable. This will ensure communications capabilities and also enhance security. I made the recommendation to use military aircraft based upon the need to provide necessary levels of security for ranking national leaders, such as the Speaker. I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue.

I personally thought the olympic-size swimming pool was a bit much, but hey, she's the Speaker.

Richmond K. Turner said...

Here's an interesting twist on this post, and indeed the fact that David even felt the need to do a post about this one at all.

Prior to this issue coming up today, is there anyone who could have told you what sort of travel arrangments were in place for Hastert? How about Gingrich before him? I certainly couldn't. I had no idea Hastert was flying back and forth on military aircraft. I have no idea whether Newt was ever given a similar deal, either permanently or on an occasional basis.

So here's the thing; the media never bothered to tell us these things about Hastert and Gingrich. Not a peep about it. But suddenly, because it's a Democrat (and a woman, which is probably a bigger reason why this became a story), it's news. Why?

sarcastic & juvenile said...

Hey troll.

Your awesome website won't process comments. Fix it. I need to give you ulcerative colitis.

Joe said...

Hastert's plane was good enough. Stop spreading this lie about how a G-3 can't go more than 2,000 miles without refueling. It's range is +4,300 miles. The distance to SFO from IAD is about 2,500 miles.

Even if the "must refuel every 2,000 miles" claim were true, what's so bad abour refueling?