Christopher Buckley- A faint echo of his father
Smart Power in Pakistan

Honoring the Fallen or Staged Photo-Op?

Over at the Mudville Gazette, Greyhawk looks at the timing of the President's visit to Dover with regards to the timely decision he has to make on Afghanistan:

...How to turn the situation around? Some say more troops, some say change strategy, others say withdraw - but someone in the White House got the bright idea that now would be a good time for a photo op.

A small contingent of reporters and photographers accompanied Mr. Obama to Dover, where he arrived at 12:34 a.m. aboard Marine One. He returned to the South Lawn of the White House at 4:45 a.m.
The images and the sentiment of the president's five-hour trip to Delaware were intended by the White House to convey to the nation that Mr. Obama was not making his Afghanistan decision lightly or in haste.

It should have been a "good" day for the project; "This week alone, about two dozen soldiers have died in attacks and accidents."...

While I am glad that the President is spending time with the families of the Fallen and honoring their return, I have one question:

If the family of Sergeant Dale Griffin hadn't approved the media to photograph his remains returning to the United States (they were the only family that gave approval), would the President have still made the trip to Dover?

The Chicago Tribune - Obama Honors Fallen Troops

...The solemn visit was the first of its kind for Obama, and comes as he is withdrawing troops from Iraq but contemplating a troop increase in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, Obama spoke to sailors and aviators at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida, where he promised that he would count the full cost of war before deciding to send more military into harm's way.

The administration this year lifted a longstanding ban on media coverage of the return of fallen service members. Obama was accompanied by a small pool of White House reporters who were on duty overnight.
Shortly afterward, a white-gloved military team of six led the president's group to a large plane on the tarmac, where they stood at attention in a single file line as the team transferred the casket of Sgt. Dale Griffin from the plane to a white mortuary van.

Reporters were allowed to watch that transfer, White House aides said, because the sergeant's family agreed to it...

I also wonder how many articles about President Bush honoring Fallen troops were authored?

[Warning:  Whatever you do, do not read the comments in the stories at the Trib or the NYT.]