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    Guess who was missing at funeral of highest ranking officer killed in combat since Vietnam War (Update: Hagel attended)

    Guess who was missing at funeral of highest ranking officer killed in combat since Vietnam War (Update: Hagel attended)


    NBC News reports:

    U.S. Army Major General Harold Greene was buried today at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors, including a caisson, two escort platoons, casket team, firing party, colors team, and a caparisoned horse. The U.S. Army band, “Pershing’s Own,” played softly as the funeral procession made its way down the long hill past the rows of simple white gravestones to bring General Greene to his final resting place.

    The graveside service began with a few words, followed by a 13-gun salute. The major general’s widow, Dr. Susan Myers, was seated in the front row. To her right was their son 1st Lt. Matthew Greene, his daughter Amelia Greene, followed by Major General Greene’s father, also Harold Greene.

    After three rifle volleys and the playing of “Taps,” the American flag, once placed on the major general’s casket, was carefully folded as the band played “America the Beautiful.” U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno presented the flag to his widow, and additional flags to his children and father.

    General Greene, 55, became the highest-ranking fatality in the war in Afghanistan after an Afghan military police officer opened fire on Aug. 5th, 2014.

    Some people were missing at the funeral:

    Update 8-16-2014: Byron York confirms Obama was on golf course during the funeral:

    Update 8-18-2014: Byron York reports that the original tweet referenced about Hagel not attending was wrong (and corrected by that person), and the tweet about prior presidents attending funerals was part of a deliberate attempt to spread misinformation by a Howard University law professor and former Colonel (who is an Obama supporter), and was trying to embarrass people who believed his tweet:

    Davis’ tweet referred to Maj. Gen. John A.B. Dillard — that last U.S. general killed in combat — who died when his helicopter was shot down in Vietnam on May 12, 1970. Davis’ tweet also referred to Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude, who was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon. According to Davis, the Dillard funeral was attended by then-President Richard Nixon, and the Maude funeral was attended by then-President George W. Bush. Obama, Davis said, broke that tradition by skipping General Greene’s funeral.

    As it turned out, both Drachenberg’s tweet and Davis’ tweet were wrong. Drachenberg’s had an error which he later corrected. Davis’ was an intentional falsehood, about which he later boasted. Both ended up ricocheting around the Internet.

    I played a role in that. On Saturday morning, I tweeted, without comment, a link to the original Legal Insurrection article. A short time later, I added the following:

    I was wrong. It turns out Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel did, in fact, attend the Greene funeral, a fact I should have known. Before sending out the tweet, I made a couple of perfunctory checks to see whether Hagel had attended, didn’t see him in the news coverage I read and passed on the information without further checking. If I had looked into it just a bit more, I would have seen, for example, a Stars & Stripes article that specifically mentioned Hagel’s presence. Once I saw that, I sent out two tweets correcting the mistake. (As for Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, it was true that neither had attended.)

    On Sunday, I sent a note to Davis asking why, given the credibility that comes with his military career and law school position, he had distributed information he knew to be false. As he had in his earlier tweet, Davis claimed the falsehood was “sarcasm.” …

    Just to summarize the facts in this convoluted affair: Hagel did attend the Greene funeral. Obama and Biden did not. Nixon did not attend the Dillard funeral, and Bush did not attend the Maude funeral. There is no “tradition” of presidential attendance at generals’ funerals that Obama “bucked.” The Hagel misinformation (passed on erroneously by me) came from Drachenberg’s tweet, amplified in the Legal Insurrection post. The Nixon and Bush misinformation was a deliberate falsehood spread by Davis.

    Based on Davis’ bio on Twitter (and law school, where he teaches) there was no reason so suspect he was someone who would deliberately spreading false information:

    Col. Morris Davis Twitter Profile

    But he did, and bragged about it:

    York ends with good advice:

    There are several lessons to be drawn from the affair. The first, and most important, is to be skeptical about everything one sees on the Internet and make a good-faith effort to ensure that information one passes on is accurate. I will certainly redouble my efforts on that score in the future. The second lesson is that when one makes a mistake, correct it as quickly as possible, more than once if necessary. And the final lesson, narrower but still important, is: Never trust a word Morris Davis says; it might be “sarcasm.”

    The end result is that Obama was playing golf during the funeral, Biden did not attend, Hagel did attend, and a law professor at Howard University successfully pulled off an internet hoax as to prior presidents attending funerals.


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    Escaped from RI | August 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I’m didn’t know MG Greene, but if he’s anything like me he wouldn’t have wanted President Obama there. When I retired from the Army in May I left my letter from him thanking me for my service under my chair. Every other officer in the ceremony did the same. I can’t picture him being at my funeral, and all the aggravation that come with presidential security to boot. My wife and kids don’t need to hear him say “I, me, my” and talk about his “accomplishments”.

      Walker Evans in reply to Escaped from RI. | August 16, 2014 at 2:25 am

      My letter was signed by George H.W. Bush and it is framed along with the rest of the documents from that ceremony. If it had been signed by the current CinC (Cretin in Chief) I wouldn’t have touched it, even with white cotton gloves. But I have to give him credit for keeping one of his campaign promises: he has fundamentally transformed the country, mores the pity.

    Captain Keogh | August 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Well Obama hates the military, Biden is a blithering idiot, and Hagel is just an drunk.

    alaskabob | August 15, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Comment by the president…. “Tee for me, death for thee… fore”

    Browndog | August 15, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    This Nation was born from a Commander-in-Chief.

    It will die from lack of one.

    cheg5879 | August 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    well… he doesn’t look like he could be his son, so…

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