A small world of self-proclaimed “conservative” retired Marine Colonels disillusioned with President Bush, Republicans and the war in Iraq. Ten months after CNN's John King featured criticism of the Iraq war from retired Marine Colonel Jim Van Riper, in an Anderson Cooper 360
story from North Carolina on supposed declining support for the war in a conservative area, CBS's Byron Pitts traveled to the same state and located the very same Marine to demonstrate that on the war “even some life-long conservatives are no longer hearing the President's message." On Thursday's CBS Evening News
, Pitts touted the ex-Marine's credentials: "Retired Marine Corps Colonel Jim Van Riper is a Christian, card-carrying member of the NRA who voted for President Bush twice. But as more Marines have died in Iraq, his confidence in the Bush administration died as well." Van Riper asserted: “I don't mind arrogance except when there's dead bodies as a result." Pitts explained how “Van
Riper will vote for Democrats across the board," and then cued him up: “If you could sit across from President Bush, what would you say to him?" Van Riper: "Sir, I'm disappointed."
King signed off from Greenville, while Pitts reported from Jacksonville, the home of the Camp Lejuene Marine Corps base, presumably an area with thousands of retired Marine corps officers -- yet CNN and CBS, ten months apart, stumbled upon the very same retired Marine Colonel -- an amazing coincidence. (Transcript and more follows)