In October 2006, I wrote about the death of Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor, who threw himself on a grenade, sacrificing himself and saving the lives of his brothers in arms on a rooftop in Ramadi.
Yesterday, as the second Petraeus Promenade got underway in the Senate, the craven opportunists in the Bush administration had a little ceremony to honor PO2 Monsoor. The timing incensed me. It also incensed Phillip Carter, but he expressed it in more civil tones than I could manage.
...President Bush posthumously awarded Petty Officer Monsoor the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony yesterday.I spend so much time angered to the point of impotent fury these days, I sometimes think they are deliberate in their malfeasance. The offense I take at the opprobrium of the timing here is to such a degree that if he were a member of my family, I would denounce the pentagon and the president publicly for such despicable behavior. Shame, shame, shame.
Monsoor's actions deserve our admiration and awe. Within the military, we decorate our heroes (and Monsoor certainly is one) to reward their bravery and establish their example as one we might aspire to.
I am deeply disturbed, however, by the White House's unfortunate decision to hold this ceremony on April 8, 2008 -- the same day as the Petraeus and Crocker testimony before Congress. The timing of this ceremony could not have been accidental. It was clearly a political maneuver; an attempt to leverage the personal valor of Petty Officer Monsoor for political gain. That is wrong. Petty Officer Monsoor's sacrifice and valor are worthy of their own day -- not one designed for maximum political advantage.
UPDATE I - PALE RIDER
Updated to correct citation of PO2 Monsoor's rank. He was identified as a Chief Petty Officer when he should have been identified as a Petty Officer 2nd Class (PO2).
H/t to reader and commenter "Republiecan"