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Author Topic: Did Bill or Hillary ban military uniforms in the White House?
skinman
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have researched for confirmation of this allegation and all I came up with was a couple of lines in a Washington Post article that called it untrue.

Does anybody have any details on this?

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I served in the Army through both of Mr. Clinton's terms, but never heard this except as an apocryphal tale told by extreme conservatives. Example:
quote:
12/8/98 G Gordon Liddy ".When the veterans were coming back, these people felt sufficiently emboldened that they would actually spit on these veterans. Well, with the exception of Bill Clinton, most of these people are now ashamed of themselves for the way that they behaved. Bill Clinton, of course, isn't. He loathes, absolutely hates the military. There was an incident in the White House not long ago where two military guys, they were EOD specialists, who were in civilian clothes because the White House hates it when anyone wears a uniform in there, but they are there because the Secret Service needs them. If the Secret Service thinks they've got a problem, these guys are there to risk their lives for the President. The President was coming out of a bathroom one time and he spotted them. (You can spot them by their haircut. The military always have a neat hair cut.) He walked over and he said `My God, I hate you people.' And then he walked by. I mean this is how he still feels about the military.."
I don't believe a word of that story except that at least once, Mr. Clinton came out of a bathroom in the White House.


There is an editorial claim in the Austin Review that Clinton's staff refused to allow senior military to wear their uniforms, but this still strikes me as apocryphal.

Rush Limbaugh's site also has something about the matter, but that part is subscription only.

One thing I've noticed in the 3 claims I've mentioned here plus remarks I've seen in message boards is that they all say "when he first came to the White House..." meaning all these claims came later. I suspect that there was an incident of some sort shortly after Clinton assumed office and it's been interprete/blown out of proportion.

pinqy

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skinman
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I served two tours in the Navy during the Nixon-Carter years, and I voted for Clinton...twice. I have heard this allegation many times, and I have decided to either prove or disprove it. So far, all that I can find is that those in the military who served close to Clinton considered him to be a respected supporter of our men and women in uniform while he was the president.

A lot of criticism of Clinton as a person are justified, but it seems that he was a very effective president when you start to dig into the details and separate the facts from fiction surrounding his administration.

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bballad
The Red and the Green Stamps


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As a military spouse during his presidancy, I would say that it is false. He gave my wife a raise (first president in a hell of a long time to do that), and encreased the education benifits for every one. All in all he was very good for the military (vary bad for the defense contractors...but that isn't nesicarly a bad thing)
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John Stephens
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The most believable version I've heard is that a (very) junior staffer snubbed an Air Force officer, saying "I don't talk to the military". The bad behavior of one young, stupid liberal does not constitute an official Presidential policy.

Dear God, I've just defended Bill Clinton! I need a drink and a shower.

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skinman
The Red and the Green Stamps


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According to an article from the Washington Post by Barton Gellman that I dug up in the Houston Chronicle Archives, dated April 4, 1993, he states that in a widely reported incident, Army Lt. Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor in Vietnam was snubbed by an unknown White House staffer while leaving the White House. The young woman is quoted as saying, "I don't talk to the military."

In the aritcle Gen. McCaffrey is quoted as saying, "I thought it was symptomatic of something which we couldn't afford to have happen, which is a schism between the White House and the military."

This incident was widely reported in USN&WR and became, “exhibit A,” to the anti-Clinton bunch. However, later Gen. McCaffrey is quoted as saying, "My assessment right now of the way this government gets along with its military is easily as good if not better," referring to last year of the George Bush administration, when McCaffrey held the same job under Gen. Colin Powell.

So far in my research, I have found claims that Hillary is the alleded originator of the ban, White House staffers are the originators, and the above mentioned opinion from an avowed arch-conservative Clinton hater and convicted felon, G. Gordon Liddy, concerning an alleged incident involving a couple of unidentified military members attached to the Secret Service and posted at the White House.

My take on this incident is that because these two military personnel were attached to the Secret Service, it would seem that their presence would be expected to be discreet and inconspicuous; something that wearing a military uniform would obviously contradict.

Also, there are no direct claims by Liddy in his opinion that would indicate that this was by direction of President Clinton. So, unless Liddy was there in person to actually witness this alleged incident, and had first hand knowledge of such a directive, then it is only speculation on his part that these two military experts were not in uniform because of some kind of ban and not because of possible Secret Service standard operational protocols.

This alleged ban on military uniforms in the White House during any portion of the Clinton presidency has been an extremely difficult allegation to verify which is leading me to believe that it never happened.

If anyone else has any links or sources concerning this issue, please post them.

"Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts." ~Attributed to Bernard M. Baruch

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Fernanda
The Red and the Green Stamps


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In my humble opinion: Bollocks.

If that had happened, surely it would have been all over the place at the time.

I mean, there were enough people monitoring everything the guy did or said.

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Roy012
Xboxing Day


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For what it is worth, the Executive Officer of my old training squadron was a pilot for HMX-1, the helicopter squadron that flies around the President, during the Clinton Administration. He said former President Clinton was a great guy.

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skinman
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have spent a lot of time digging into this, and I still cannot find anything about President Clinton, Hillary, or any of the White House staff banning military uniforms in the White House other than the usual one liners and hate filled rantings from ultra-right wing fanatics printed in ultra-conservative rags and websites...NOTHING!

Not in the USN&WR, NY Times, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, the UH campus library on campus or online...Come on, folks, there has to be something out there...this just keeps popping up in military discussion forums and conservative chat rooms...but so far, everyone who makes this claim that I have questioned has, "heard about it," and some actually claim that it is, "common knowledge," [Roll Eyes] but no one seems to know any specific details...

There has got to be a definitive story out there...either there was a ban, or there wasn't... [Confused]

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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The same could be said for WMD, no?

And, no, there was not a ban.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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skinman
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I found this on the americanpresident.org website:


Few in the public know -- and few even in the White House realize -- the extent to which the President is given hour-to-hour service by men and women of the U.S. military. Since the President is commander in chief, military support for the presidential office is everywhere in the White House establishment; indeed, the military group is the largest part of the White House staff family. It is also quiet, professional, and -- except on a few occasions -- almost out of sight.


The White House Military Office reports to the assistant to the President for management and administration. The director of the Military Office is a deputy assistant to the President; he is aided, in turn, by an active-duty military chief of staff. Beginning with Carter, every President has determined that the Military Office be headed by a civilian, but previous military experience is considered essential. Under President George H.W. Bush, it was a retired lieutenant general; under Clinton, a retired colonel with thirty years of military service…


Twenty-two hundred military men and women serve the White House daily; large numbers of others support the President and his staff on a less frequent basis. In keeping with the concept of the presidency as a civilian office, uniforms are rarely worn during daytime hours. Understating the presence of military staff is especially important when the President travels abroad; some host nations resent any visible evidence of U.S. armed forces.

From Bradley H. Patterson, The White House Staff: Inside the West Wing and Beyond

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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But that is not a ban on the wearing of uniforms in the White House, either.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Hey.

I despise Clinton more than... well, almost anyone here, and even I don't believe this one.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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