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Some missions are more equal than others
October 28, 2003 1:35 PM   Subscribe

How'd that crazy sign get there? Pressed about the "Mission Accomplished" banner that so strategically hung behind May's rerouted-aircraft-carrier photo-op, Bush says it wasn't his sign, it was "put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed somehow to some ingenious advance man from my staff they weren't that ingenious, by the way." Huh. Wonder how Scott Sforza feels about that assessment.
posted by soyjoy (81 comments total)

 
How does he explain June 5 in Qatar, then?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:42 PM on October 28, 2003


This is the first time Bush himself has disavowed any connection with 'Mission Accomplished, though the idea was floated a month ago by US News & World Report (sorry, the magazine has curtained the original link) in a blurb that hilariously ends, "Look, perception becomes reality. But the facts don't back it up."

On preview: Good catch, crash.
posted by soyjoy at 1:44 PM on October 28, 2003


The President never said "Mission Accomplished".

He has always never said "Mission Accomplished".
posted by jpoulos at 1:44 PM on October 28, 2003


/watches as my time magazine and newsweek photographs slowly fade away... wow.
posted by dabitch at 1:47 PM on October 28, 2003


We've got much bigger lies to fry.
posted by machaus at 1:49 PM on October 28, 2003


Here's a picture of the banner in question.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:51 PM on October 28, 2003


Small formatting bugaboo - I copied the text for the WH link from the ABC story, thinking they had it punctuated the same way as the transcript: "some ingenious advance man from my staff -- they weren't that ingenious, by the way" rather than as a run-on sentence. Sorry. No attempt (or need) to make the President look any stupider or confuseder.
posted by soyjoy at 1:54 PM on October 28, 2003


Yeah, that looks to me like something the sailors whipped up with some of the paint from the shop...
posted by nickmark at 1:54 PM on October 28, 2003


Well, claiming you had no knowledge of the banner and then claiming in Qatar on June 5 "mission accomplished" really don't logically conflict with one another.
posted by xmutex at 1:55 PM on October 28, 2003


Before we leap to any conclusions about fibbing, do air-craft carriers regularly carry banners that read "Mission Accomplished?" Perhaps there is a banner shop on the ship somewhere?

No, seriously.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:55 PM on October 28, 2003


yeah. and the crew lincon printed that one up on their onboard large scale four color digital printer as they steamed to meet AWOL just out of sight of san diego harbor. sure georgie. sure they did.
posted by specialk420 at 1:57 PM on October 28, 2003


Wait, wasn't KeslowerCDpriceswick supposed to shoot in here with

so the Bush administration lied to us?!?!?!
posted by y2karl at 1:58 PM on October 28, 2003


Y2Karl? Meet Valium. Valium? Meet Y2Karl. I hope the two of you will be spending a lot of time together.
posted by keswick at 2:01 PM on October 28, 2003


Wait. Now I'm stupider and confuseder. What happened, y2karl? Or was it Keswick?
posted by soyjoy at 2:01 PM on October 28, 2003


OK, I get it - y2karl meant to link to this page... right?
posted by soyjoy at 2:03 PM on October 28, 2003


Sigh.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:03 PM on October 28, 2003


Let's get back to Bush and the banner:

The sailors made a very professional and expensive looking 150-foot long "Mission Accomplished" banner?
posted by crazy finger at 2:07 PM on October 28, 2003


No, no, the "mission" referred to on the sign was the Navy pilot's mission to safely land the plane on the Lincoln. Which he did. That's the mission that was accomplished.

Coming soon: Bush really didn't want to wear the flight suit, but the sailors all begged him to and he didn't want to disappoint "our boys."
posted by Ty Webb at 2:07 PM on October 28, 2003


Slightly o/t - he used the word "suiciders" three times in that press conference, which indicates he still thinks it's a real word.
posted by yhbc at 2:08 PM on October 28, 2003


A banner of that size, printed on vinyl would cost thousands of dollars. It begs credulity to say that the sailors made it. Secondly, there is no-way that it was made on board. I don't have personal knowledge of the equipment on an aircraft carrier, but a 4 color, large format, digital output press can't be included. So, it came from the mainland. Perhaps the sailors pitched in and bought it? Follow the money, boys, who paid for it.

Also, am I to understand that the exact same banner showed up on Qatar? Very interesting.
posted by pejamo at 2:14 PM on October 28, 2003


Hey thanks for the Scott Sforza link soyjoy - I knew they'd pretty things up but I didn't realise that it was everything, all the time. It's kinda like everytime you think you're getting too cyncical some fact comes out that makes you feel really naive.

OT - wasn't the Qatar Central Command set done by David Blaine's set designer?
posted by meech at 2:20 PM on October 28, 2003


Not worthy of a FPP, but has Bush even been to any of the countries he went to war with? Even the about to be unemployed Canadian PM paid a visit to the troops in Afghanistan, all Bush could do was tell them to pull the carrier in a little closer so he could land on it. I searched for a Bush visit, no luck.
posted by CrazyJub at 2:22 PM on October 28, 2003


The President Select used the words terror and terrorist more than 3 dozen times by my count. Let's keep in mind the formula:
TERROR + IRAQ = Justification
If only they had twin towers that we could knock down and then we could call it even . . . we've already killed, what, three times as many Iraquis as were killed on 9/11?
posted by ahimsakid at 2:23 PM on October 28, 2003


Also, am I to understand that the exact same banner showed up on Qatar?

OK, now this is creepy. I thought - wait, was that banner in the picture in Crash's link? - and went back to it. Now the picture doesn't show up. I've tried it from different computers. It was there when I clicked on it the first time. Is it me?
posted by soyjoy at 2:24 PM on October 28, 2003


I've gotten a busted image this whole time.
posted by nickmark at 2:28 PM on October 28, 2003


"Do all our aircraft carriers have a huge 'Mission Accomplished' banner on board, just in case?"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:30 PM on October 28, 2003


OK, there are two possibilities. One is that I was mixing up the photo monju posted with the page mr_crash_davis posted and imagining I had seen the former on the latter... OR... web people at CNN.com are constantly monitoring MetaFilter, and since they're in league with the Bush administration, saw that come up in the thread and hurried to disable the image so that the powerful users of MeFi would not have primary-source evidence of this scam!

I don't think I need to tell you which one makes more sense to me.

posted by soyjoy at 2:41 PM on October 28, 2003


By the way, this is what the president said on the aircaft carrier:

We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people.

The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq.

posted by Durwood at 2:44 PM on October 28, 2003


I think the banner was not at the June 5 event. Pictures.
posted by Mid at 2:45 PM on October 28, 2003


Anyone familiar with the size of a bridge on an aircraft carrier want to take a stab at guessing the size of that banner?
HP's largest printer (5500) will print off 60in wide outdoor material up to 100' long. If each one of the decks is a conventional story of 10' split evenly between window and wall the banner could have been printed on such a printer.
Is it conceivable that the aircraft carrier would have that kind of equipment for printing maps? Anyone with miltary knowledge know if this kind of equipement would exist on the carrier or it's support group? The material itself isn't all that expensive, $1-15 a foot depending on what you needed, plus a few hundred dollars for the ink. It wouldn't have to be printed with UV ink on canvas for a one time thing like this. Even a 60"X50' roll of scrim paper is only US$465 direct from HP, dealers will sell for less. And a complete set of 680ml UV ink carts is around $1200.
posted by Mitheral at 2:45 PM on October 28, 2003


Bush said, "The `Mission Accomplished' sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished."

My lord, that's so absurd it boggles the mind that he would even *try* to get away with it. Wow. I come from a long line of Navy people...and I think it's safe to say that they have neither the time, equipment or motivation to have created this little branding moment for the Shrub.

Sheesh. First he blames the spooks and pisses them off, then he blamed an undercover agent, pissing even more spooks off...then he blames our kids in blue for the failure of his marketing initiative.

That man wouldn't know responsibility if it bit him square in the nose.
posted by dejah420 at 2:48 PM on October 28, 2003


soyjoy, it's your puter or sumthin' - but here save it.
posted by dabitch at 2:51 PM on October 28, 2003


I think the banner was not at the June 5 event.

Mid is correct. There was no banner as far as I know at the Qatar event. However, that was the speech in which Bush actually said "America sent you on a mission and that mission has been accomplished."

While the banner is perhaps questionable, the speech is directly attributable to Bush.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:51 PM on October 28, 2003


Looking back at e-mails about my brother's unit the war was called Operation Iraqi Freedom. After mid April my brother's mission changed to Operation Scorpion and few other ones. So is the Iraqi War over. Think not, Saddam still wanted Dead or Alive, unless Alive. The question his banner or the men's, say the men's their mission was completed. Honestly wtf with all the name changes. it's war, not pretty, call it that.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:51 PM on October 28, 2003


Hey thanks for the Scott Sforza link soyjoy

I second that; it goes a long way in explaining how tripe like this and this keeps getting printed.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:54 PM on October 28, 2003


Sure, the speech is questionable, but the simple claim made by the news story is that Bush was unaware of the plans for the big banner.

But keep going with this, it looks fun.
posted by xmutex at 2:54 PM on October 28, 2003


I guess the two reasons I brought up the possibility that an aircraft carrier might be able to produce this sort of thing are:

1) The small private school I work for has the ability to print out this sort of thing in a room the size of a large broom closet.

2) Aircraft carriers are sometimes referred to as "floating cities" and (as far as my faulty knowledge of them goes) often have things like print shops (and other little stores) on board.

Ergo, before "Bannergate" is formally declared, I would be interested to hear from somebody who has been on an aircraft carrier in the last few years to let us know if it is possible that such a banner could be made on ship.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:05 PM on October 28, 2003


Wonder how Scott Sforza feels about that assessment.

From the above Sforza link:
Media strategists noted afterward that Mr. Sforza and his aides had choreographed every aspect of the event, even down to the members of the Lincoln crew arrayed in coordinated shirt colors over Mr. Bush's right shoulder and the 'Mission Accomplished' banner placed to perfectly capture the president and the celebratory two words in a single shot. The speech was specifically timed for what image makers call 'magic hour light,' which cast a golden glow on Mr. Bush.
posted by wsg at 3:08 PM on October 28, 2003


Sure, they had the banner on hand.

The ships don't use naval signal flags anymore, just huge banners. The set includes "PERSON OVERBOARD" "HERE WE COME!" "NYAH NYAH NYAH" "NEED BEER AND HOOKERS" etc.
posted by lathrop at 3:08 PM on October 28, 2003


but the simple claim made by the news story is that Bush was unaware of the plans for the big banner.

Yes, and Bush was unaware of the falsehood concerning Niger uranium deals, and he was unaware that we didn't really know that those trucks weren't mobile chem labs and he was unaware that the alQuada-Iraq tie had been debunked and he was unaware that ...

The man is incompetent at best.

Still, we're missing the point of significance. This post is preaching to the choir. Has anybody bothered to tell the warbloggers yet that their action figure war hero is a clueless nit?

(yeah I know that we all have. But this does look fun ...)
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:15 PM on October 28, 2003


Wanted to add, he knew the banner was there: the White House has stocked its communications operation with people from network television who have expertise in lighting, camera angles and the importance of backdrops.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:23 PM on October 28, 2003


This presidency will self-destruct in five seconds...
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:26 PM on October 28, 2003


Excellent work, Mr. Davis. Now, about that theme song...
posted by anathema at 3:29 PM on October 28, 2003


Gee, Bush flipflops on cheerleading slogans, now that the war ain't exactly like he said it was?

Who'd a thunk? I mean, it's not like he and the rest of his public relations controllers have ever had to backpedal on other issues, like WMDs, "ironclad" links to terrorists, nation building, the irrelevancy of the United Nations, the "road map" to Middle East peace, White House leaks, etc. etc.

I mean, it's not like there's a pattern to this or anything.

Naturally, some neocon apologists continue to swoon over every sound bite and photo-op that Bush and his handlers concoct. A top gun carrier landing by an AWOL Vietnam era "pilot" was plenty cool to these buffoons, and "Mission Accomplished" sounded so very John Wayne-ish, don't you know.

But "Bring 'em on", uttered safely by President Chickenhawk and cheered on by thousands of warbloggers a world away from the fighting, is really hard to top for typical right wing bravery.

October 28, 2003
Bring 'em on: Deputy mayor of Baghdad assassinated in drive-by shooting.
Bring 'em on: Two bomb ambushes reported in Basra. One coalition soldier and two civilians killed.
Bring ‘em on: Suicide bomber kills six at electric station in central Fallujah.
Bring ‘em on: Three US and Polish soldiers killed in Karbala ambush. Thai troops warned to remain in barracks.
Bring ‘em on: Four US soldiers wounded in separate convoy and patrol ambushes near Mosul.
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldier’s were killed in yesterday’s firefight in Fallujah.
Bring ‘em on: Iraqi gunmen captured firing at Polish aircraft in Karbala.

October 27, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded in firefight near Fallujah.
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded in bomb ambush near Balad.
Bring ‘em on: US soldier killed, two wounded in mortar attack at Abu Gharib prison near Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: US troops reportedly open fire after bomb ambush in Fallujah. Four Iraqis killed.
Bring ‘em on: Mortar rounds fired into US administration compound in central Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers killed, two wounded in bomb ambush in Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: Suicide bomber kills 18 at Red Cross headquarters in Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: Ten wounded, including seven Iraqi policemen, in bombing at western Baghdad police station.
Bring ‘em on: Suicide bomber wounds seven at Al-Shab poilce station in Baghdad.

October 26, 2003
Bring ‘em on: Five US soldiers wounded in coordinated bomb and RPG ambush in Khaldiyah.
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded by bomb ambush in central Baquba.
Bring ‘em on: Four US soldiers wounded in RPG attack six kilometers southwest of Baquba.

October 25, 2003
Bring ‘em on: US Army helicopter shot down by ground fire near Tikrit. One injured.
Bring ‘em on: Mortar and bomb attacks against US troops reported in Kirkuk.
Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police attacked in Mosul. Two children killed, three other civilians and one policeman wounded.
Bring ‘em on: Three US soldiers wounded in Baghdad bomb ambush.
Bring ‘em on: US patrol ambushed in Baghdad. Three Iraqi family members accidentally crushed by armored vehicle.
Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police chief assassinated in Amarah.
Bring ‘em on: Bomb discovered in Baghdad press building.
[via Today in Iraq]


And so on....ad infinitum.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:34 PM on October 28, 2003


Coming soon: Bush really didn't want to wear the flight suit, but the sailors all begged him to and he didn't want to disappoint "our boys."

Coming Just after that "That wasn't really Bush's package. "
posted by srboisvert at 3:39 PM on October 28, 2003


Bring ‘em on: Three US and Polish soldiers killed in Karbala ambush. Thai troops warned to remain in barracks.

via Today in Iraq, seems they are mixing their days together. What happened yesterday is reported over again as today too. Any one else notice this. Not that these things are not happening yet when I tried finding news on the above quote, couldn't goggle anything with today's date. (my brother helped trained these men so I follow them) Then when I went to the link: Thai soldiers in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala have been warned against venturing out of camp after recent attacks that killed Polish and American troops. but what is recent, last week, today?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:08 PM on October 28, 2003


Lick Bush in '04.
posted by LouReedsSon at 4:15 PM on October 28, 2003


MSNBC is now reporting that it was the White House staff that produced the banner, but they claim it was requested by the Navy.
posted by machaus at 4:19 PM on October 28, 2003


Thai troops warned to remain in barracks.
Can't find this anywhere linked, what gives?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:22 PM on October 28, 2003


MSNBC is now reporting that it was the White House staff that produced the banner, but they claim it was requested by the Navy.

Do we have photos of the deck prior to Bush landing on it?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:24 PM on October 28, 2003


MSNBC is now reporting that it was the White House staff that produced the banner, but they claim it was requested by the Navy.

Cancel my requests for Aircraft Carrier info. This evidence will do nicely,
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:48 PM on October 28, 2003


After having a look at all of Scott Sforzas work I can say with some certainty that he was the man responsible for the banner. But I reckon this one is far and away Mr Sforza's best banner to date.
posted by meech at 4:57 PM on October 28, 2003


52 comments and nobody picked out this gem from the press conference?

Q Thank you, sir. Mr. President, your policies on the Middle East seem, so far, to have produced pretty meager results as the violence between Israelis and Palestinians --

THE PRESIDENT: Major or meager?

Q Meager.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, okay.

Q Meager.

THE PRESIDENT: Meager.

posted by stoic at 5:00 PM on October 28, 2003


CNN said not only did the Whitehouse pay for it, they produced it as well.
posted by CrazyJub at 5:01 PM on October 28, 2003


Amazing. Are there no Navy folk in this thread? No one here ever served on a ship? Are you all completely unfamiliar with Naval banner protocol? Ok, listen up. This has nothing to do with the president, and everything to do with how things get done on a ship.

It is actually a patchwork quilt. The wives of the mess crew, according to longstanding Naval tradition, hand-make this banner, sending it aboard via military postal service. The ship's cooks unfurl the banner at chow-time, to let the crew know that they have put the meal on the table (feeding the ship is their mission as mess crew). It may be corny, it may be a non-sequiter, but a lot of military traditions are inscrutable to the uninitiated. Internal PA speakers are useful below decks, but ON deck, especially a large deck like a carrier's, a visual banner is the only way to make an announcement heard over the howling wind.

Similarly, when the sanitation crew responsible completes their daily hose-down of the ship's restrooms, they unfurl a similarly hand-quilted banner reading "LETS ROLL," to let the deck squads know the john is ready for use. Each sub-crew on the ship has its own traditional phrase, passed down over the years. The Chaplains have no wives back home, but quilt their own "KILL A JAP" banners announcing Sunday morning services, and Post Seargents are known to unfurl their "I DONT KNOW WHAT I BEEN TOLD, MERMAID PUSSY'S GETTING OLD" banner at mail-call.

Obviously, no one had time to remove the mess crew's banner after lunch. Any insinuations of malfeasance on the part of Our Boys are summarily dismissed, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for your lack of patriotism.

MISSON ACCOMPLISHED. Now LETS ROLL.
posted by scarabic at 5:03 PM on October 28, 2003


I note that, once again, ol' George Jr. has a"halo" around his head. Is he supposed to be Christ come again?

There also don't look to be enough blacks on board. There's, what, perhaps three in the picture?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:15 PM on October 28, 2003


I hear one time he urinated and didn't wash his hands before returning to the table. Obviously impeachable on another planet.
posted by kablam at 5:25 PM on October 28, 2003


i don't care WHO made it. if the president or his crew didn't want it there it wouldn't be there. i can't even imagine how amazingly produced and scripted an event that was, he does not just happen to fly onto a ship to give a talk. perhaps some sailor lined up behind the wrong person, maybe the craft service table didn't have enough low sodium bagels, but there is no way, no how that banner was there without his crew wanting it there and/or thinking that it sent the message they wanted to send. to start shucking and jiving, saying it was someone else's fault, or that is not what they meant is flat out dishonest.

if anyone's kid, sibling, friend or "partner" pulled this kind of crap, i think most of us would not put up with it.

isn't he in charge of his crew?
posted by asparagus_berlin at 6:05 PM on October 28, 2003


he used the word "suiciders" three times in that press conference

Shouldn't that be "homiciders"?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:07 PM on October 28, 2003


I hear one time he urinated and didn't wash his hands before returning to the table

They got a banner for that, too.
posted by eddydamascene at 6:12 PM on October 28, 2003


soyjoy, it's your puter or sumthin' - but here save it.

Thanks, dabitch, for your efforts. It was the Qatar one I was missing, though. The Qatar picture is missing. The Qatar picture has always been missing.

Oh, and as to Scott Sforza, I should cop to picking that up from a commenter at... where else... Atrios. I just found a friendlier link for it. In my defense, though, I did find the banner thing all by myself - reading through the WH transcript, it just jumped out at me like Rush Limbaugh checking his maid for a wire.

On the other hand, that major/meager thing is pretty funny, too, and I missed that.
posted by soyjoy at 6:34 PM on October 28, 2003


"I hear one time he urinated and didn't wash his hands before returning to the table."

No, kablam, I'm sure you're wrong. It's well known. Bush washes his hands of the whole thing.
posted by ?! at 6:36 PM on October 28, 2003


I thought leadership included something about "accountability?" I wouldn't know since we don't have any real leadership.
posted by elwoodwiles at 6:42 PM on October 28, 2003


Media Whores Online
posted by alms at 7:07 PM on October 28, 2003


YahooNewsFilter:
After the news conference, a White House spokeswoman said the Lincoln's crew asked the White House to have the sign made. The White House asked a private vendor to produce the sign, and the crew put it up, said the spokeswoman. She said she did not know who paid for the sign.
Later, a Pentagon (news - web sites) spokesman called The Associated Press to reiterate that the banner was the crew's idea.
"It truly did signify a mission accomplished for the crew," Navy Cmdr. Conrad Chun said, adding the president's visit marked the end of the ship's 10-month international deployment.

posted by alms at 7:23 PM on October 28, 2003


Classic. It's just like the "sixteen little words" flap. Now there's all this sturm and durang generated about who exactly produced it and/or attached it, when the central issue remains: The banner was there as backdrop for Bush's speech specifically and exactly because that was the two-word takeaway from his speech. Period.

I can certainly buy that the Navy was game to celebrate the end of that deployment with a banner. I would never have guessed, earlier this afternoon, that the White House actually did the hands-on production of it - that's gravy. But come on - denying that it was there in the shot because of Bush's "ingenious advance man" is just insulting.

OK, OK, I'm goin' to bed. I'm goin.... grmble...mutter...@#$%*&!!.....gripe....grmble...
posted by soyjoy at 7:57 PM on October 28, 2003


Or as Mr. Deaver said he learned long ago with Mr. Reagan: 'They understand that what's around the head is just as important as the head.'

Yes, I thought the halo on the carrier was better than the banner any day. "Mission Accomplished"? pfeh - try "Annointed of God!". I think this whole stink over the banner is just cooked up to draw attention away from the ongoing "Halo Project"...fools! You're being played!
posted by freebird at 9:02 PM on October 28, 2003


I've been in Iraq six weeks now. During my first trip here, shortly after the war, I stayed for a month. I protested heavily against the war, but in its aftermath, I felt compelled to see what had happened to the country at eye level. It seemed to me (perhaps as a result of my novelist's sensibility) that the most interesting stories were emerging in the wake of what journalists like to call "the bang bang." I wanted to watch Iraq remake itself, and try to convey the way in which that process informs and is informed by everyday life here. When I left the country in June, I believed that, as bad as things were, they were slowly, steadily improving. But my return in September and, especially, the events of the last few days, have made clear that I was being overly optimistic. Most Iraqis I speak to convey an increasingly angry sense of bafflement. To anyone who lives in Baghdad, it's obvious that the situation (with minor, thoroughly trotted-out exceptions such as certain schools being rebuilt) continues to decline. President Bush's statement Monday -- that these bombings are somehow a testament to increasing success on the part of the U.S. presence here -- would be hilarious if it weren't so depressing. A day like yesterday should have made the signals clear enough for even President Bush to read: Iraq's not waving, it's drowning.

Jen Banbury
Baghdad Diary
Salon

on the topic of Mission Accomplished, of course...
posted by y2karl at 11:49 PM on October 28, 2003


I hear one time he urinated and didn't wash his hands before returning to the table.

you silly. he doesn't do that himself.
posted by quonsar at 12:04 AM on October 29, 2003


I don't know who asked for the banner, or where it came from, but it is possible that it was produced onboard. One thing to remember is that the carrier is the home of the battle group commander, generally a 1 or 2 star admiral; he's responsible for 9 - 12 ships, all the aircraft in the air wing and as many as 9,000 servicemembers. The support staff that goes with this level of rank is unbelievable.

When I was serving aboard the USS LaSalle (AGF-3) (flagship at that time for the 6th Fleet, a 3 star billet) the Navy spent an great deal of money installing a state-of-the-art printshop for the admiral and his staff. I don't remember if we had the specific equipment to produce that kind of banner, but there was a lot of gear in that printshop that I didn't know what its purpose was.

And that's on a tiny ship - original crew was around 400 (but that doesn't count the admiral's staff). The Lincoln embarks almost 5,500 when the air wing in on board.
posted by Irontom at 4:24 AM on October 29, 2003


The Air Force Times notes, with pic:

The White House communications office, well known for the care it takes with the backdrops at Bush speeches, created the “Mission Accomplished” banner in the same style as banners the president uses in other appearances, including one just a week before the carrier appearance in Canton, Ohio. That banner, with the same soft, brush-stroked American flag in the background and the identical typeface, read: “Jobs and Growth.”
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:00 AM on October 29, 2003


So, let me get this straight. This banner... it vibrates?
posted by internook at 6:40 AM on October 29, 2003


Waving into space.
posted by emf at 6:46 AM on October 29, 2003


Christ, I can't believe how much semantics is driving this debate.

Look, no matter how you slice it, the White House knew about a "Mission Accomplished" banner being rolled out at the location of the POTUS's imminent "end of major conflict" speech. POTUS aside, the White House is filled with bright people who surely knew that a connection would be brought to bear by the public. They knew what they're getting into, and splitting hairs about "who did it" is the sleaziest crap I've read in a while (and that's saying a lot).
posted by mkultra at 7:50 AM on October 29, 2003


This story made the New York Times this morning.

Well, yes and no. After the news conference, the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, carefully elaborated on the president's words.

The banner "was suggested by those on the ship," he said. "They asked us to do the production of the banner, and we did. They're the ones who put it up."

I find this particular story fascinating because it's such a tiny example of Bush spinning the truth. While the story is relatively unimportant, the difference is here he got caught. It's much more important when he talks about things like our reasons for going to war in Iraq.
posted by Nelson at 8:20 AM on October 29, 2003


the White House is filled with bright people

you sound awfully certain of yourself there. :-)
posted by quonsar at 9:23 AM on October 29, 2003


The banner "was suggested by those on the ship," he said. "They asked us to do the production of the banner, and we did. They're the ones who put it up."

Next up... it's the military's fault that Iraq is such a quagmire, and that bin Laden and Hussein are still MIA...
posted by mkultra at 10:18 AM on October 29, 2003


Quite so, mkultra. Joe Conason puts it thus:

The entitled always blame the enlisted. It's the American aristocratic way.

43 takes the military votes Republican concept far too for granted.
posted by y2karl at 10:28 AM on October 29, 2003


Here's what you get when the crew makes its own banner. Seems a bit less...polished.

(via Shaun the lurker)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:35 PM on October 29, 2003


The Mighty Atrios has something of a smoking gun quote from WaPo, May 4:

Still, it's also impossible to agree with the banner that was draped near Mr. Bush on the carrier deck, proclaiming "Mission Accomplished." Aides say the slogan was chosen in part to mark a presidential turn toward domestic affairs as his campaign for reelection approaches.

Boy, I'd sure like to hear from those aides in more detail right about now.
posted by soyjoy at 7:36 PM on October 29, 2003


Yet another New York Times article on the mystery banner, (2003-11-03)

Whoever came up with the idea of the "Mission Accomplished" banner that has so plagued President Bush remained as elusive last week as the White House leaker. But here, so far, is the story of "Bannergate" and the hunt for the person or persons behind the two words.

posted by Nelson at 5:43 PM on November 3, 2003


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