A record 112 million Americans watched the Superbowl this weekend, on a day that also marked the first anniversary of the murder of America's deadliest sniper.
Chris Kyle, a highly-decorated Navy SEAL sniper who his enemies dubbed "The Devil of Ramadi", racked up 160 kills in four tours of duty. That nearly doubled the record of confirmed kills that was previously held by a marine sniper during the Vietnam War. Insurgents placed an $80,000 bounty on his head. Upon returning home, his military service earned him some fame and he regularly appeared on TV, and even got to punch Jesse Ventura in the face. He also authored the best-selling book American Sniper, which is slated to become a movie starring Bradley Cooper, and even attracted the attention of Steven Spielberg. And he also helped returning vets who were struggling with PTSD.
On February 2nd, 2013, he and a friend were tragically shot to death by one such vet.
Kyle's memorial service was held at Cowboys Stadium and drew thousands, but the president couldn't even be bothered to give a public statement about his outstanding service. Nor did the White House issue a press release.
Over a hundred Navy SEALs--you know, the guys that Obama heroically sends all over the world do to things like kill Bin Laden--hand-punched Tridents into the coffin of Kyle, who earned two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars. But the president stayed silent. Sarah Palin showed her support by attending his memorial. Glenn Beck showed up, and promptly raised more than $100,000 for the families of the two victims. Randy Travis even sang the closing song.
Before the 200-mile funeral procession to Kyle's final resting place, Palin unsuccessfully petitioned the president to acknowledge his death.
On February 12, 2013, President Obama had another chance to honor Kyle during his State of the Union address. He chose not to, but he let the world know that Whitney Houston's family was in his prayers after she died of an apparent drug overdose.
President Obama could not have attended Kyle's memorial, as he was fulfilling his presidential obligations at a Medal of Honor ceremony at the time. But what might be as telling as his failure to issue any kind of public statement, is the fact that at an event full of military heroes, Obama probably was not even welcome.
Thing about that. Forget about politics, parties and ideology. Start with a blank slate, and then think how unusual it would be for any sitting president to disrespect such an American military hero, and for so many other heroes to not even want him to be there.
The distrust between Obama and the best of America's best doesn't stop there.
Marcus Luttrell, another SEAL hero whose military exploits became the best-selling book and #1-movie Lone Survivor, also doesn't like Obama.
The father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was killed in Benghazi trying to save people, said Obama wouldn't even look him in the eye, Joe Biden was disrespectful, Hillary Clinton lied to him, and he didn't believe the Administration's story about how the attack unfolded. He believed "cowards" in the White House could have sent in support to save his son and the others killed that night, but their failure to do so constituted "murder". He told Sean Hannity:
And, you know, he kind of -- it wasn't in a powerful voice it was more of just a whiney little voice I'm sorry. You know, and I could tell by his voice he wasn't even sorry.
It would be like a little kid that is told by the teacher to go apologize to Johnny out on the playground and when looked at me his face was pointed towards me but he couldn't look me in the eye. He was looking over my shoulder and like I say, I thought, you know, political -- literally like shaking hands with a dead fish. I did not believe him at all as far as his being sorry and now we understand why.
Was he one of those cowards that was in the White House watching my son being murdered on TV and refusing to do anything? That is a question that he will probably not have the courage to answer publicly but I would like to personally know that answer and one of these days, the whole I'm sure that we will have that answer.
Think for a second of all the attention that Cindy Sheehan got. Now compare the media's coverage of what this father of a SEAL who died heroically saving others said about the President of the United States.
But we're not done.
In 2012, former and current Navy SEALs slammed Obama's reelection campaign for taking too much credit for the Bin Laden raid.
It's not just guys on the ground that seem to not like Obama. His Secretary of Defense questioned his leadership and commitment, nearly resigned, and said Joe Biden was wrong on just about every foreign policy issue of the last four decades. This from a guy who served under Bill Clinton and is widely reputed as a bi-partisan moderate.
There even seems to be tension between the Obama Administration and those who are tasked to protect its members. When the owner of a bakery in Virginia declined to be used in an Obama campaign photo-op because of the president's "you didn't build that comment," Secret Service agents visited the shop, thanked him for standing up and saying 'no', and bought a bunch of pastries. Others subsequently flooded his store and he had to close early when he ran out of cookie dough.
Maybe they're upset about Joe Biden pocketing $26,000 by charging them rent to use his cottage to protect them, something that the Clinton's refused payment for a decade earlier.
Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan (who also voted for Obama), said Obama appeared "uncomfortable and intimidated" in a room full of military brass, did not seem as "engaged" in the war as he was with photo-ops. He was fired and replaced with General Petraeus. In a follow-up book, McChrystal said there was "a deficit of trust" between Obama and the Pentagon.
Obama has fired at least nine other senior military commanders, some who critical of his handling of Benghazi.
Obama doesn't seem to have the support of the military rank-and-file, either. Before the 2012 presidential election, a Military Times poll had Romney beating Obama two-to-one, by 40 points. In 2011, a Gallup poll found only 37% of military approved of the job their boss was doing (and it's likely lower than that--how many of you would pretend you liked your boss for fear of retribution).
These are unprecedented stories about the strained relationship a Commander-in-Chief has with the members of the American military--from rank-and-file soldiers, to top military brass, to celebrated national heroes. If any one of these had occurred during the Bush Administration, the media would make it a big deal for weeks. Imagine, Bush not calling the family of America's best sniper to offer his condolences. Or the Secret Service thanking people for not supporting him. Or military polls consistently weighing against him. Or, SEALs slamming his reelection campaign. The media made Cindy Sheehan is a big deal for years, but the examples in this article are mostly ignored.
The media should be highlighting these stories and asking why--why is it that there seems to be a breach of trust between the most honored among us, and this president?