If you haven't already seen the above photo, it's disgusting. That's Chris Hill when he was US Ambassador to Iraq. He's with some woman who works for the State Dept. and also, at that time, was stationed in Iraq.
If you can't read the caption, it states, "And we can show that as the US Ambassador to Iraq dressing as JFK's unsuccessful Secret Service bodyguard for a Halloween party as Baghdad burned around you apparently isn't poor judgment. Even after photos are posted on a popular sharing spot. Point noted."
C.I. didn't write the caption, Peter Van Buren did. He's the author of the book We Meant Well: How I helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, and he's being targeted in Barack's never-ending war on whistle blowers. Van Buren has posted the photo of Hill here and here on his blog.
C.I. covered the topic in yesterday's snapshot, last night and this morning.
She's said everything that needs to be said, as usual. But one thing I want to do is weigh in. Even though I'm in agreement.
Let me explain to you, JFK did not die on the TV.
If you didn't live through it, you may know it as trivia or old footage or whatever.
But if you lived through it, it was a nightmare. It did not matter whether you were a Democrat or a Republican. It didn't matter at all.
It also didn't matter that JFK was no saint.
To know that the US President, sitting president, was going through a city (Dallas) in a motorcade, waving to people, when shots rang out (I don't buy Arlen Specter's magic bullet theory) and a governor was injured and his wife and Jackie O were in the car.
You realized that it was scary as well as tragic.
The country lost its leader, its elected leader.
It was a national tragedy. People cried in public. (I wasn't an adult and that was probably the scariest part. Seeing grown men and women crying in public. Adults didn't do that then. Stiff upper lip was the norm.)
Jackie Kennedy was there when Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President after JFK was declared dead. It was, you can be sure, something she didn't want to do. But she did it. Just like she did everything in the immediate aftermath, with grace and strength.
She could have collapsed and probably would have loved to. But she knew the whole country was watching her and she knew they would take their cues from her.
So she showed tremendous leadership, this woman who had so recently suffered a miscarriage. She held it together and made it look possible.
So when this tragic event is turned into a cheap joke, it's tacky.
If someone I knew dressed as Hill and that woman in the photo did, I'd pull them aside and say, "I really don't think this is funny." That would be it though. Provided they weren't government workers and officials.
Chris Hill was the US Ambassador to Iraq when that photo was taken. He was heading the Baghdad mission and chose to take part in that cheap and tacky 'joke.'
It was mocking a US tragedy, it was mocking all that Jackie Kennedy did to help the nation heal, it was mocking the loss of a sitting president.
This was not funny and it is unacceptable in a government official.
Chris Hill should issue a public apology and the State Dept. should answer as to how normal and acceptable his behavior in that photo is.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):