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Because Nobody Cares More About the Troops than Joe

LiebermanFrom the Hartford Courant:

With a steady hand, U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman expertly pinned a Purple Heart medal on World War II veteran Diego Tomasiello in Waterbury Monday morning.

It was long overdue and well-deserved: a white-haired vet from the “greatest generation” and his proud family, joined by National Guard personnel standing at attention. And here was a senator who truly cares about the men and women who serve our country.

“I’m here to say to you, you are a hero,” Lieberman, an independent, said before a small and appreciative gathering at the armory.

Certainly, a senator who will come all the way to Waterbury to pin a decades-late medal on an 81-year-old man feels the same way about the young men and women now serving in Iraq.

So I’m wondering about the Joe Lieberman we saw last week, the one who opposed a plan by Sen. James Webb, D-Va., to give U.S. troops serving in Iraq more time at home between deployments.

“We are simply saying, if you’ve been gone for a year, you deserve to be back for a year,” Webb told Senate colleagues last week. Current policy allows for a year back home only after 15 months of Iraq duty, he said.

But Lieberman, the medal pinner, joined Republicans to block a vote on Webb’s modest proposal.

“This is a war,” Sen. Lieberman told me when I asked about his vote Monday.

If so, who was the Joe Lieberman back in March who said troops “are stretched to the breaking point, short on personnel, equipment and training?”

“No one can possibly look at our troops or veterans today and feel satisfied that we are doing all that we can to support them,” Lieberman said back then.

Or what about the Joe Lieberman, in response to the series in The Courant about the mental health of soldiers, who said, “we must make certain that our units have the strongest and healthiest soldiers?”

Taking questions from reporters in Waterbury, Lieberman struck a different tone. Morale in Iraq is “very high,” Lieberman said.

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that, in a recent poll, two thirds of military members and their families believe things are going badly in Iraq.

Lieberman, of course, is where he’s been all along, preaching double-speak as he defends President Bush, standing up for the Iraq fiasco until the end, reality be damned.

My guess is we’ll be treated to the spectacle of Holy Joe standing with his Republican BFFs tonight as they block an up-or-down vote on the Webb Amendment, just like he did on Alito (although the NRO says he’s just too damn lazy to really care). But Joe, unlike Webb, has no kids in Iraq so what the hell does he care now that he’s no longer running for anything.

Both reality and the troops are easy casualties in Lieberman’s callow, hypocritical world.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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