First Family’s First Card
By Brit Hume     FOX-News     12/21/04


First Family’s First Card

President Bush has become the first President in U.S.  history to send out a Christmas card with a Bible verse.  About 2 million friends and supporters received a card that featured a painting of the White House's Red Room and this line from the book of Psalms <>: "Let us come before him with Thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."

Meanwhile, some readers of the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio are up in arms over a headline in the paper's food section that included the words, "Christmas Cookies." In a letter to the paper, one reader calls the words divisive, insisting the paper should have said "Holiday Cookies" instead.

Origins of the Question

A week and a half after Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Lee Pitts boasted that he worked with Army Specialist Thomas Wilson <> to craft that tough question about armor on military vehicles for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Kuwait, Wilson now insists he came up with the question all by himself.

In an interview with Time magazine, Wilson says that after realizing only soldiers could ask questions, Pitts urged him to think of "intelligent questions." So Wilson came up with the armor question and three others.  He says Pitts suggested he find a "less brash way of asking the question." But Wilson refused, insisting, "I wanted to make my point very clear."

Question Off Base
By Brit Hume      FOX-News     12/22/04


Premise Problem?

It now appears that the premise of the question that caused an uproar around Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was off base.  In Kuwait two weeks ago, Army Specialist Thomas Wilson <> told Rumsfeld, "our vehicles are not armored ...  We do not have proper armament vehicles to carry with us north [into Iraq]."

But, according to senior Army officers, about 800 of the 830 vehicles in Wilson's army regiment — the 278th Cavalry — had already been up-armored when he asked the question.  What's more, 20 vehicles remaining to be modified were in the process of being up-armored — and that was completed within 24 hours of Wilson's question.

Report Regarding Rumsfeld

ABC did a report this week on military families upset that Rumsfeld used a machine to sign condolence letters.  It quoted two people who lost family members in Iraq, Ivan Medina <> and Sue Niederer.  But what ABC did not mention is that both Medina and Niederer are long-time critics of the Bush administration.

Seven months ago Medina participated in an anti-Rumsfeld protest outside West Point, calling him a "liar and a war criminal." And just three months ago, Niederer interrupted a Bush campaign event in New Jersey, yelling and sporting a shirt that read: "President Bush You Killed My Son." She was arrested.

Clarification on Card History

As we noted last night, President Bush is, according to presidential historians, the first President in U.S.  history to send out a Christmas card with a Bible verse.

But to clarify, he has been doing it ever since he took office.  His first two Christmas cards used verses from the book of Psalms, the third took from the book of Job, and this year's returned to the book of Psalms.

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