The Medal Of Freedom
I wanted to take a quick look at Obama's choices for the Medal Of Freedom Award. There is quite a bit of controversy brewing over Obama's choice of Mary Robinson to receive the honor. Right Pundits blasted the decision with the following critique.
You might remember Obama’s Medal of Freedom recipient, Mary Robinson, from her co-chairing — with well-known former terrorist supporter and friend-of-Obama Rashid Khalidi — that infamous 2001 Durban I Conference: a conference on racial discrimination that simply became an international Israel-bashing event. She had the hubris to declare that failed conference, in which both Israel and the U.S. boycotted, a smashing success.
While president of Ireland, Mary Robinson demonstrated her hatred for Israel by happily providing millions of dollars of support to the PLO, which were used in terror attacks.
And of course, who could ignore her chronic criticizing of U.S. foreign policy throughout her career. Since 9/11, she has blasted the United States for losing the ‘moral high ground.’ This of course while she focuses on trying to win the ‘minds and hearts’ of unrepentant terrorists instead of the great problems world-wide democracies face in fighting terror. She is, to the far-left’s delight, quintessentially a grand Bush-hater.
His decision to award Ted Kennedy with the same honor has received surprisingly less criticism. Has everyone forgotten Chappaquiddick?
According to his inquest testimony, Kennedy made a wrong turn onto Dike Road, an unlit dirt road that led to Dike Bridge (also spelled Dyke Bridge). Dike Road was unpaved, but Kennedy, driving at "approximately twenty miles an hour", took "no particular notice" of this fact, and did not realize that he was no longer headed towards the ferry landing. Dike Bridge was a wooden bridge angled obliquely to the road with no guardrail. A fraction of a second before he reached the bridge, Kennedy applied his brakes; he then drove over the side of the bridge. The car plunged into tide-swept Poucha Pond (at that location a channel) and came to rest upside down underwater. Kennedy later recalled that he was able to swim free of the vehicle, but Kopechne was not. Kennedy claimed at the inquest that he called Kopechne's name several times from the shore, then tried to swim down to reach her seven or eight times, then rested on the bank for around fifteen minutes before returning on foot to Lawrence Cottage, where the party attended by Kopechne and other "Boiler Room Girls" had occurred. Kennedy denied seeing any house with a light on during his journey back to Lawrence Cottage.
In addition to the working telephone at the Lawrence Cottage, according to one commentator, his route back to the cottage would have taken him past four houses from which he could have telephoned and summoned help; however, he did not do so. The first of those houses, referred to as "Dike House", was only 150 yards away from the bridge, and was occupied by Sylvia Malm and her family at the time of the incident. Malm later stated that she had left a light on at the residence when she retired for that evening.
According to Kennedy's testimony, Gargan and party co-host Paul Markham then returned to the pond with Kennedy to try to rescue Kopechne. Both of the other men also tried to dive into the water and rescue Kopechne multiple times. When their efforts to rescue Kopechne failed, Kennedy testified, Gargan and Markham drove with Kennedy to the ferry landing, both insisting multiple times that the accident had to be reported to the authorities. According to Markham's testimony Kennedy was sobbing and on the verge of breaking down. Kennedy went on to testify that "[I] had full intention of reporting it. And I mentioned to Gargan and Markham something like, 'You take care of the other girls; I will take care of the accident!' -- that is what I said and I dove into the water". Kennedy had already told Gargan and Markham not to tell the other women anything about the incident "[b]ecause I felt strongly that if these girls were notified that an accident had taken place and Mary Jo had, in fact, drowned, that it would only be a matter of seconds before all of those girls, who were long and dear friends of Mary Jo's, would go to the scene of the accident and enter the water with, I felt, a good chance that some serious mishap might have occurred to any one of them". Gargan and Markam would testify that they assumed that Kennedy was going to inform the authorities once he got back to Edgartown, and thus did not do so themselves.
According to his own testimony, Kennedy swam across the 500-foot channel, back to Edgartown and returned to his hotel room, where he removed his clothes and collapsed on his bed. Hearing noises, he later put on dry clothes and asked someone what the time was: it was something like 2:30 a.m., the senator recalled. He testified that, as the night went on, "I almost tossed and turned and walked around that room ... I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle, Mary Jo would have escaped from the car."
Back at his hotel, Kennedy complained at 2:55 am to the hotel owner that he had been awoken by a noisy party. By 7:30 am the next morning he was talking "casually" to the winner of the previous day's sailing race, with no indication that anything was amiss. At 8 a.m., Gargan and Markham joined Kennedy at his hotel where they had a "heated conversation." According to Kennedy's testimony, the two men asked why he hadn't reported the accident. Kennedy responded by telling them "about my own thoughts and feelings as I swam across that channel ... that somehow when they arrived in the morning that they were going to say that Mary Jo was still alive". The three men subsequently crossed back to Chappaquiddick Island on the ferry, where Kennedy made a series of phone calls from a payphone by the crossing to his friends for advice; he again did not report the accident to authorities.
Earlier that morning, two amateur fishermen had seen the overturned car in the water and notified the inhabitants of the nearest cottage to the pond, who called the authorities at around 8:20 am. A diver was sent down and discovered Kopechne's body at around 8:45 am. The diver, John Farrar, later testified at the inquest that Kopechne's body was pressed up in the car in the spot where an air bubble would have formed. He interpreted this to mean that Kopechne had survived for a while after the initial accident in the air bubble, and concluded that
“ Had I received a call within five to ten minutes of the accident occurring, and was able, as I was the following morning, to be at the victim's side within twenty-five minutes of receiving the call, in such event there is a strong possibility that she would have been alive on removal from the submerged car.
How can we continue to treat this man as if he were some type of national hero? How can he be used as the spokesperson for a healthcare bill when, had he reported this incident, this woman could very well still be alive? We're going to award the freedom medal to a man who left a woman trapped in a submerged car to drown?
In a favorable note to The President, I would like to tip my hat to him for extending the award to Stephen Hawking. Stephen is one of the true great minds of our time, and I have read a few of his books and am a huge fan. Congratulations to Stephen on this recognition.