Speaker Pelosi, Nancy, words can not express how I feel right now. Well, yes they can, but unfortunately the words that have come to mind I can’t write because this is a family-friendly blog. Nancy, I just wouldn’t want my children’s eyes to start bleeding.
Someone must have told you Darling Pelosi that the Speaker of the House is something akin to royalty. If not I don’t understand how you would justify your abuse of travel privileges.
From the Judicial Watch:
In response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one Defense Department official wrote, “Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi’s team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?…[T]here’s no need to block every weekend ‘just in case’…” The email also notes that Pelosi’s office had, “a history of canceling many of their past requests.”
One DOD official complained about the “hidden costs” associated with the speaker’s last minute changes and cancellations. “We have…folks prepping the jets and crews driving in (not a short drive for some), cooking meals and preflighting the jets etc.”
The documents include a discussion of House Ethics rules and Defense Department policies as they apply to the speaker’s requests for staff, spouses and extended family to accompany her on military aircraft. In May 2008, for example, Pelosi requested that her husband join her on a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) into Iraq. The DOD explained to Pelosi that the agency has a written policy prohibiting spouses from joining CODEL’s into combat zones.
Documents obtained from the U.S. Army include correspondence from Speaker Pelosi’s office requesting an Army escort and three military planes to transport Pelosi and other members of Congress to Cleveland, Ohio, for the funeral services of the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Pelosi noted in her letter of August 22, 2008, that such a request, labeled “Operation Tribute” was an “exception to standard policy.”
The documents also detail correspondence from intermediaries for Speaker Pelosi issuing demands for certain aircraft and expressing outrage when requested military planes were not available. “It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable…The speaker will want to know where the planes are…” wrote Kay King, Director of the House Office of Interparliamentary Affairs. In a separate email, when told a certain type of aircraft would not be available, King writes, “This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset [s]peaker.”
During another email exchange DOD staff advised Kay King that one Pelosi military aircraft request could not be met because of “crew rest requirements” and offered to help secure commercial travel. Kay King responded: “We appreciate the efforts to help the codel [sic] fly commercially but you know the problem that creates with spouses. If we can find another way to assist with military assets, we would like to do that.”
This is completely unprecedented. Former Speaker Dennis Hastert was given access to a 12-seat commuter jet for security purposes after 9/11, but your requests, Nancy, are beyond the pale. The United States Air Force is not your personal airline.
But we understand from Kay King’s comments that we are not to make you upset. We evidently wouldn’t like you when you are angry.
It’ll be ok. Flying commercial isn’t that bad. Well ok it is, but you’ll learn to deal with it.
Update 3/12/08: Iowaguy shared a link from ABC News that does put the Judicial Watch report into question, some excerpts:
The treasure trove of documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of Defense regarding Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s use of military aircraft doesn’t seem to prove the organization’s allegation that Pelosi has made “unprecedented demands” for the flights.
In fact, it appears that Pelosi uses military aircraft less often than her predecessor, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
The documents obtained by Judicial Watch also disprove another frequently repeated rumor about Pelosi’s travel: that she regularly flies home to San Francisco in an Air Force C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737. According to the documents, Pelosi did not make any domestic trips on a C-40 during the 23-month period from January 2007 to November 2008. Her trips to San Francisco have all been on smaller executive aircraft, usually an Air Force C-20 (the equivalent of a Gulfstream G-3) or a more plush C-37 (a Gulfstream G-5).
You know, Judicial Watch don’t claim here that she regularly flies home in an Air Force C-40 (they may have in the past, but they don’t here). The accusation is that she requested the regular use of an Air Force C-32. From the New York Post:
This, the day after word broke of Pelosi’s request for regular use of a U.S. Air Force C-32 – the same plane that flies the vice president and first lady.
She wants to travel in luxury. The Air Force jet is the same size and airframe as the Boeing 757-200, which carries about 300 passengers. The C-32 boasts 42 business-class seats – plus a wood-paneled state room, big-screen TV, full-size bed and crew of 16, including uniformed stewards who bring drinks and meals on request. Oh, and an open bar.
That is from an Op/Ed – when I find the news article I’ll link to it. Back to the ABC story:
The Judicial Watch release cites e-mails from the military complaining that Pelosi was frequently reserving military aircraft and then canceling, causing the Air Force to incur costs as crews prepped planes than never went anywhere. These e-mails, however, are from early in her tenure as speaker.
Well heck. That just makes it all better. “Earlier on in her tenure,” I know that was like a whole two years ago. Ancient history! One last excerpt:
The Judicial Watch release also cites an e-mail from a Pelosi staffer complaining about the lack of available C-5 aircraft for Congress’s 2007 Memorial Day recess, but this has nothing to do with Pelosi’s travel. Instead, the staffer was trying to arrange travel for eight Congressional delegations (all such travel is arranged through Pelosi’s office).
Ok, fair enough, but we obviously have a he said/he said thing going on with that e-mail. That will only be resolved by seeing the e-mail.