The Pelosi plane smears limps back onto the stage

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

And it's just as dumb today as it was in February of 2007. That's when frustrated Republicans, aided by the press, completely manufactured the claim that the new Speaker of the House was going all diva on the Pentagon and demanding use of huge military planes to fly her and her pals around the country.

Virtually none of the allegations were true. In fact, the line of attack became so irresponsible that even the Bush White House stepped in to wave the GOP and the press off the "silly" story.

Now Judicial Watch has dragged the lifeless controversy back into the public view, releasing all kinds of supposedly important emails between the Speaker's office and the Pentagon regarding air travel. (Fox News, for one, took the bait. I know, right?) Accompanying the release are lots of breathless quotes and allegations from Judicial Watch people who waste their time on stories like this:

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), include internal DOD email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's last minute cancellations and changes.

If you can uncover the news is that nugget, please email CF via the tips, because it escapes me why this is considered newsworthy given the fact that after 9/11, the White House urged the Speaker of the House to fly in military planes and soon the DOD was handling those travel plans. Apparently the legal eagles at Judicial Watch have confirmed that fact, eight years later.


Please note that Judicial Watch concludes its press release by claiming:

Speaker Pelosi came under fire in 2007 for requesting a 42-seat Air Force carrier to ferry the Speaker and her staff back and forth between San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was allowed access to a 12-seat commuter jet for security reasons after the events of 9/11.

Which is fitting. Because if you're going to build a controversy around a lie, you may as well end with one: Pelosi didn't make that request. It was the House of Representatives' Republican-appointed Sergeant at Arms, Bill Livingood, who did, and he did it for security reasons.

We told you this story is just as dumb today as it was in 2007.

UPDATE: It gets even more lame because it turns out not even Livingood requested "a 42-seat Air Force carrier" for Pelosi. Who requested that specific plane? Nobody. The request was never made. Livingood simply asked for a military plan that could fly to California non-stop. Judicial Watch, Republicans and the press made up the rest.

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