Confirmed: Obama Sent Form Letters to Families of Fallen SEALs …Update: Bush Comforted Troops

You just knew this was coming…
After the devastating report yesterday, the White House admitted to ABC today that form letters were sent to the families of fallen SEAL Team 6 members after the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

It also made a great photo-op.


But two months later he sent rapper Heavy D’s family a personal letter of condolence.

The White House did say the signatures were real and not from an autopen. That’s what they told ABC today.
Jake Tapper from ABC reported:

The White House did not dispute that the letters were form letters, but that would appear to not be unique to this president. A 2003 Newsweek story reported that the sympathy letters grieving families had received from President George W. Bush were “form letters. With the exception of the salutation and a reference to the fallen soldier in the text, the letters the families shared with me are all the same.”

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was in 2004 criticized for using an auto-pen to sign condolence letters to the families of fallen troops. At the time he issued a statement saying, “I wrote and approved the now more than 1,000 letters sent to family members and next of kin of each of the servicemen and women killed in military action. While I have not individually signed each one, in the interest of ensuring expeditious contact with grieving family members, I have directed that in the future I sign each letter.”

MORE— Just so you know, there is more to this story that I will be reporting on when I get back to St. Louis. I am currently traveling back home from the RNC Convention.

UPDATE: Jake Tapper reminded me of this– Bush comforted troops.
The Washington Times reported:

For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.

Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country.

On Monday, the president is set to make a more common public trip – with reporters in tow – to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, home to many of the wounded and a symbol of controversy earlier in his presidency over the quality of care the veterans were receiving.

But the size and scope of Mr. Bush’s and Mr. Cheney’s private endeavors to meet with wounded soliders and families of the fallen far exceed anything that has been witnessed publicly, according to interviews with more than a dozen officials familiar with the effort.

“People say, ‘Why would you do that?’” the president said in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Times on Friday. “And the answer is: This is my duty. The president is commander in chief, but the president is often comforter in chief, as well. It is my duty to be – to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish.”

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  • USMC Thomas

    POS SØBama hasn’t earned the right to give the hand salute.

    Just more narcissistic posing for the camera.

  • Patty

    Loss of a child is devastating, I have second hand experience, in my family. It happen twice and it is simply horrible when a parent out lives their child.

    When recognition of our troops and their sacrifice comes so matter of fact, it could be compared to another stab in the heart to a parent.

    Their sons and daughters volunteer for service to their nation and to restore freedom and when they come home we must show them our gratitude.

    Each family who has lost a love one is different but the Ultimate Sacrifice is the same, an empty chair at the table, a child who won’t have a parent, parents who can only go to the cemetery to visit their child. Is it too much for a personal thank you, to a spouse, a mother or father given to them for their loss by any administration?

    Respect and recognition means so much to a family who has lost another family member in the line of duty.

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  • Tim in Cali

    OT…@bg…Just in case you havn’t seen it

    PPP: McCaskill 45, Akin 44 in Missouri

    Lots of time to turn this around

  • Sasja

    This would not be an issue if this prez had any soul or really cared about the fallen and their families.

    Of course they use form letters. Always have. I don’t expect any prez to handwrite a letter but I do expect the soldier’s commanding officer to write a personal letter to the family. I would hope his buddies would do the same; perhaps recalling some light-hearted moments they shared. I know those letters meant more to my neighbor than the one from the prez.

  • Kathteach

    According to a NYT article on December 7, 2009: The U.S. lifts photo ban on military coffins.

    If you read this 2009 article, you would see that Sec. Gates under Obama lifted the “ban” from AP and other news agencies from taking photos of the war dead coffins upon arrival back in the USA,

    But the great irony about the palace guard media under Obama – even though the ban was lifted – all those emotional photos of all the thousands (and thousands) of American soldiers who have dies in Iraq and Afghanistan under Obama’s reign, suddenly stopped showing up on websites and newspaper sites.

    And we all know none of us (or at least not that many of us) read dead tree newspapers anymore, right?

    Those images of the war dead that the liberal media fought for so hard under the Bush administration just kind of dribbled to nothing-ness because they all realized how bad it would be for the country to actually see all the coffins of American soldiers under the Obama puppet regime.

    Crazy – but true. At one time – pre-Obama – this was a very big American rhetorical debate. Funny how it all disappeared when they had every access to shoot and publish those photos during the last three and a half years of Obama.

  • MrGoodWench

    Just so you know, there is more to this story that I will be reporting on when I get back to St. Louis.
    Looking forward to it 😀

  • ponderon
  • kato

    This is a non-issue. Does anyone believe that Lincoln wrote a letter for every soldier who died at Gettysburg?

    What needs attention is the fact that Obama has been an AWOL commander-in-chief, and he is squandering the blood shed by thousands of American soldiers who were killed or maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan. For all those who bristled at “Mission accomplished,” it will be truly a desecration when those words come out of the mouth of this subprime fraud upon the completion of his American surrender.

  • l.barney

    OMG! They huffed and puffed when Bush did it! so much for “unbiased” Jounn O lists!

  • Sasja

    ponderon. EEW!

  • Adrienne

    I just want to say I’m with you guys most of the time and I think we need to get Obama out of the White House post-haste, but I have to say, I think this one is a bit of a stretch for me. Do we really expect ANY president to HAND write 30 condolence letters? This seems a little too close to playing THEIR game.

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  • PegLeg

    As I recall, some of these heroes were Team Six! Of course, Blameless Barry was dancing around like an ass claiming credit for the “kill” when these men were killed! They were special to him THEN. in terms of his political future!

    Do they have a form letter for rappers who die in the line of duty?

  • USMC Thomas

    For an important event SØBama claims for his legacy you’d expect more than a “To Whom It May Concern” form letter.

  • Dave in NYC

    I’m glad to see that some of the commenters here see this as a non-issue. Of course the President does not write personalized letters to all military personnel killed in action.

    Furthermore, do you really think that Obama (and not an aide/intern) personally wrote that condolence letter to Heavy D’s family?

  • Patty


    War on Women: ‘American Pie’ Star Attacks Paul Ryan’s Wife on Twitter

    So, wrong, I choose not to post but you can go here to read this asinine Arse’s twitter

  • ponderon

    Narcissistic doesn’t care about anyone but himself .He doesn’t have any empathy for anyone other than himself….Its all about him 24/7 nothing else matters..I’m surprise he didn’t send a picture of himself or ask for donation for his re-election.

  • Patty


    and then this:

    Party Crashers!
    Sandra Fluke, Debbie Wasserman Schultz stroll through RNC

    Read more:

  • Patty

    Those figures in the Democratic party are from the same mold. Hate and depressing and what else is to be expected from the empty suit.

    Think about who have those in the party today: Holder, Axelrod, Obama, Pelosi, Schultz, Jarrett, Reid look at them. So sad and depressing people.