Pelosi Flies In Style, Major Media Ignores

March 11th, 2009 5:47 PM
Nancy Pelosi's callous treatment of the United States Air Force has been uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch – and with the exception of Fox and Friends, the morning shows have given it exactly zero air time.

When Rush Limbaugh called a phony soldier a phony, the media frenzy was nearly instantaneous. But when Nancy Pelosi's staffer writes a belligerent email to the Department of Defense, demanding to know the location of every G5S in Air Force service, there is a virtual media blackout.

Fox and Friends reported the staffer as writing:

KAY KING: It is my understanding there are no G5S available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable. The Speaker will want to know where the planes are [...] This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset Speaker.

One wonders if the Speaker's office has noticed that the Air Force might possibly be preoccupied with such trivial matters as a possible North Korean ICBM, launching satellites, and a small armed dispute in Afghanistan. Regardless of what the Speaker's staffers know, it is rather disconcerting that the mainstream media has completely ignored Pelosi's diva-like demand for a $38 million (in 1998 dollars) luxury aircraft in which to fly home. Additionally, Fox and Friends noted that Pelosi once attempted to take her husband on a Congressional delegation (in military terms, a “CODEL”) trip to Iraq. The Department of Defense gently reminded the Speaker that delegation spouses are not allowed to be taken to a war zone.

Most damaging, however, is the revelation that Speaker Pelosi requisitioned three military aircraft and a U.S. Army escort to attend the funeral of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones with other members of Congress. From the Judicial Watch release:

Documents obtained from the U.S. Army include correspondence from Speaker Pelosi's office requesting an Army escort and three military planes to transport Pelosi and other members of Congress to Cleveland, Ohio, for the funeral services of the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Pelosi noted in her letter of August 22, 2008, that such a request, labeled "Operation Tribute" was an "exception to standard policy."

Again, none of this has yet been reported in outlets other than Fox News. While unsurprising, it is still disappointing. The full transcript of the Fox and Friends discussions are below.

Fox and Friends

STEVE DOOCY: Let's talk a little bit about this. At the height of the outrage about how those G.M. and Chrysler and Ford guys took their private planes to Washington to ask for a bailout and suddenly people are saying corporations shouldn't be really using these private aircrafts, particularly if they are getting bailout. We got email from people saying don't forget Nancy Pelosi – she gets a private jet wherever she wants. She was going to get Dennis Hastert plane but it couldn't go the whole way without refueling. As it turns out of now Judicial Watch has, through the Freedom of Information Act has uncovered a lot of email and stuff that makes it look like Nancy Pelosi has turned the Air Force into her own private airline.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Thank goodness for the Freedom of Information Act or we would never have been able to read these emails.

BRIAN KILMEADE: We have to pay somebody off for this but now it's free.

CAMEROTA: Exactly, now we know. She requested in may of 2008. This is very interesting one. They were going on what they call a CODEL, this delegation where they were going to Iraq. She wanted her husband, who is not involved in government, to be able to come on the plane with her to go to Iraq. The Department of Defense had to remind the Speaker of the House, we don't really allow spouses to go on military trips like this. Something you would think she would know.

KILMEADE: Tom Finton says these documents show that speaker Pelosi treats the Air Force like her personal airline. She says she comes off fickle, demanding, and insensitive to the time and cost and energy needed to accommodate her endless demands on the Pentagon.

DOOCY: They also have some email from an aide to Pelosi by the name of Kay King who is the director of House Office of Interparliamentary Affairs and she wrote:

KAY KING: (written) It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable. The Speaker will want to know where the planes are [...] This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset Speaker.

DOOCY: Kay King is suggesting that suddenly Nancy Pelosi is like the air traffic controllers – she will want to know where all the plane are. Give me a map.

CAMEROTA: Yeah, air traffic controllers, or J-Lo. These are the divaish plane requests you get from celebrities.

KILMEADE: And Alisyn, the bas-bastion of the anti-military sentiment in this country? Her district, San Francisco. Everything is anti-military there. And now she's is demanding the Pentagon go to her demands.

DOOCY: We will talk a little more about that a little later on. We will step aside for a quick commercial interruption.

Fox and Friends

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Welcome back, everyone, we're back in the Pundit Pit. New information about what happens if Nancy Pelosi cannot use the Air Force to chauffeur her and her friends around on your dime. Check out this email from one of her staffers. It says:

KAY KING: It is my understanding there are no G5S available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable. The Speaker will want to know where the planes are [...] This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset Speaker.

CAMEROTA: That comes from an aide to the Speaker named Kay King. This is because Nancy Pelosi had requested three military planes and an Army escort to go to the funeral of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones back in May. Were no commercial flights available for Congress members to go from D.C. to Cleveland, Julie?

JULIE MENIN: Well let me just say that this is no different than what Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert did. First of all, the White House came up with this policy after 9/11 that all Speakers needed to take these Air Force planes because of security because the Speaker is second in line in succession after the Vice President. So it's not as if she is willy-nilly flying privately all over the country at her own whim. This is a security issue. I do agree that the email that the aides said is overly aggressive and a bit inappropriate. But this is a policy that all Speakers adhere to.

CAMEROTA: Okay, so standard operating procedure, right?

ANGELA MCGLOWAN: But I think she is her own worst enemy because she complained about the CEOs taking their jets to Washington, D.C. When they testified before Congress and then she asked for a larger jet. I think she is her own worst enemy in that. Plus, since we are now in a recession, I think we can give that up a little bit, dealing with the security. I don't think they are going to attack Nancy Pelosi.

DAVID HOROWITZ: Is that a Gulfstream 5? That's better than Britney Spears gets.

CAMEROTA: Here is another curious request she made to the Department of Defense. We know about this be cause of a Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch. She apparently in May of 2008, requested that her husband join her on a Congressional delegation that was headed to Iraq. Again, the Department of Defense had to say no because they say that is not – we don't include spouses on dangerous combat areas of danger that Congressional delegations are going to. Did she not know that?

MENIN: I want to stress this is no different than when we had a Republican Speaker who went back to Illinois and did the same for his wife's family.


HOROWITZ: Isn't this supposed to be the change administration?

MCGLOWAN: Right. But this is Washington, D.C. limousine liberal hypocrisy at its best.

MENIN: The White House came up with the policy. Then the White House should reform the policy if people had an issue with it, but it was done for security.

MCGLOWAN: But wasn't Obama is the candidate about change? Why isn't he changing the policy if it's a Republican policy.

MENIN: It's basically a security policy. It's not the President's policy, it's a security policy put in place after 9/11.

MCGLOWAN: He is in the White House.

MENIN: It's actually a nonpartisan issue. It's a security issue.

CAMEROTA: But it is a security issue not to take your spouse. You think the Speaker of the House would know that she requested to bring her husband.

MENIN: The spouse issue is a bit of a red herring. I completely agree with you. She should not have done that. But the whole issue of Judicial Watch looking into this. We have massive economic catastrophe with 11 million people out of work. To focus on this during this time is just unfortunate.

MCGLOWAN: Exactly so tax dollars, Julie, go to bigger planes and also tax dollars go to the military. So I think that we can down size a little bit. Don't you? Other people are having to watch what they spend. Why can't Congress watch what they spend?

CAMEROTA: On that note we have to leave it there. Angela McGlowan, David Horowitz, Julie Menin, thanks for coming in to debate all of this.