Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When did Obama learn military families were being denied death benefits?

Fox News reported earlier today:
The Pentagon announced Wednesday that a charity will step in to pay death benefits [$100,000 payments] to the families of fallen soldiers, in response to widespread outrage over the payments being cut off amid the partial government shutdown...

The House voted Wednesday afternoon to restore the $100,000 payments. But in a rapid turn of events, the Pentagon announced minutes later that it had entered into an agreement with the non-profit Fisher House Foundation to keep the payments flowing to families -- without the need for congressional action.

GOP leaders... say legislation approved last week to pay the military should have given the Pentagon the ability to pay death benefits...
During a White House press briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that President Obama was "very disturbed to learn of this problem" and directed the Pentagon to work with the White House budget office to correct it. This prompted FOX News Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry to ask Mr. Carney when the President actually learned of the problem. Mr. Carney, however, danced around the issue, and refused to give a straight answer. Instead, he resorted to an old political trick of turning the tables around, feigning indignation, and accussing Mr. Henry of partisanship.

Reuters reported on Wednesday: "A senior administration official said Obama raised his concerns about the stoppage in payments Tuesday night during an evening walk around the White House grounds with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough. He directed McDonough to get the problem solved within 24 hours."

On Wednesday evening, however, Mr. Henry "did some more digging" and discovered that White House aids were cognizant of the problem at least a few days ago.

"I did some more digging tonight," Mr. Henry told Fox News anchor Megan Kelly. "And inside the administration people are saying unofficially that aids around here knew about this a few days ago. Now, how quickly that filtered to the President, we still don't know; they haven't answered that question. But if the President knew about it 2, 3 days ago, that would suggest maybe it would be politically embarrassing for them if they were to say that he knew back then, but didn't actually move quickly to issue an executive order, or whatever may be the case."

And that would explain why Mr. Carney refused to answer Mr. Henry's question.

However, in the President's defense, it's important to note the following: Even if Obama did learn about the problem a few days ago - Sunday is usually his golf outing day, Sunday evening he likely was watching the MLB playoff games, Monday he had to review his golf score and the MLB playoff standings, Tuesday morning he gave a press conference, Tuesday afternoon he was busy assessing his press conference remarks. Hence, Tuesday evening was the first moment in time that he was actually free to address the problem of paying death benefits to the families of fallen soldiers.

Do the math; it all adds up......

Of course, as Mr. Henry pointed out to Megan Kelly, reporters already discussed the death benefit problem a couple of weeks ago - but Obama is not a reporter, hence there's no way he would have been aware of this problem. Moreover, he had more serious problems to deal with: the malfunctioning of the Obamacare websites..........

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