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TMZ: Recovering missing soldiers is a "ridiculous waste"

TMZ, the celebrity gossip site, has taken a break from posting about Britney's crotch shots, celebrity sex tapes, fashion scandals, and American Idol to opine about taxes and the military. Here's what they had to say:

Former "Bachelor" bachelor Andy Baldwin just got back from the island of Palau in the South Pacific -- not on vacation, on a mission with the Navy. Now let's talk about why we the taxpayers are footing the bill on such BS.

Baldwin was among 20 military types who were on a search mission in the middle of the ocean. What, you ask, were they looking for? A B-24J bomber that went down during the war. Not Iraq. Not Vietnam. No, not Korea. We're talking WWII, as in more than 60 years ago.

Turns out, the military spends $52 million each year to find the remains of missing soldiers -- it's part of the POW/MIA program. That's all well and good depending on the circumstances. But a crash that is ancient history, at a time when the economy sucks and the Federal government is sucking the life out of everyone with taxes??

Baldwin, a Navy medic and diver, and crew found what could be human remains. We're told it's all being tested in the lab and it could take months, even years, to determine identities. At least he got a really good tan.


A poll accompanied the story asking, "Ridiculous waste?", which 48% of TMZ readers responded, "Yes".

How, pray tell, is recovering the missing bodies of soldiers who died defending our freedoms considered a "ridiculous waste" of time and money? Bringing home the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for us is the least we can do for them. It's a commitment we make to them -- in fact, accompanying the popular POW/MIA bracelets, stickers, and care decals is often the phrase "Until They All Come Home" -- and no, lefties, that does not mean cutting-and-running. It means that we won't leave any of our soldiers left behind, that we'll bring them home, no matter where they are or how much it costs to bring them home.

We have an example here in Florida of the torture it is to the families of soldiers whose fate is unknown: Scott Speicher. Scott was originally from Kansas City, KA but moved to Jacksonville, which he then made his home. He joined the Navy, becoming a pilot. He ranked as a Lieutenant Commander. His F-18 Hornet was shot down by an Iraqi surface-to-air-missile on January 18, 1991. He was originally listed as killed in action, but his status was changed to "missing-captured" in 2001. The Navy released a report saying that there was no credible evidence to conclude that he perished in the crash, and believe that he is being held by Iraqi insurgents to this day.

Speicher's name is listed on the Duval County Veteran's Memorial Wall, however --a monument erected to remember Duval County residents who have perished fighting our country's wars. No one knows for sure what happened to Speicher, though -- whether he is alive or dead. The Navy is still searching for him.

The lack of information surrounding Scott Speicher's whereabouts are torturous to his family, but also to the entire Jacksonville community. "Free Scott Speicher!" bumper stickers are a regular sight when driving around town.

Would TMZ consider it a waste if the military was able to tell the Speichers, and his community, what fate befell him? To be able to give him a proper burial, if he did perish, or rescue him, if he is still alive yet being held prisoner?

It is our responsibility to bring back Scott Speicher and all of his comrades, whether alive or dead.

If TMZ can't understand that, then that's unfortunate for them. And maybe they should just stick to writing about things they do understand, like the differences between female celebrities' genitals.

Thankfully, a good number of their readers were insulted, as they obviously understand how important it is to bring our men home. Here were some of the responses:

The military is committed to recover their own. If there is a chance to find the remains of a relative, they will do it. This is a small price the US Government pays to provide service members' families peace of mind.

Spoken by someone who has never lost a loved-one to battle. Stick to following stars, TMZ. Your commentary on US spending leaves something to be desired.

-Someone who opposes war (old and new) but who supports the veterans (old and new) who have fought them.


How could this even be spoken as a possible waste? Many soldiers in any war have been MIA. These family members would give anything to find out what happened to their loved ones and give proper respect and burial. TMZ's stance is pretty clear. Very Sad, Very Sad

I don't think it is too much, not considering they gave their lives for the freedom of this country and the freedom you have right now to report on this story and like the freedom I have to view it and comment on it.

Any American soldier that dies in a ANY war has a right to be brought home for burial! The peeps that think it is a waste obviously don't have any family in the military........

You children at TMZ have no idea of what you are talking about (again)...this program makes certain that we will bring our heroes home, no matter what, for their final resting place. Not all deaths occur in lands where the people are grateful, like the cemeteries in France...and not all deaths occur where an immediate retrieval is a possibility.

Wow, "TMZ Staff." I hope you never have to go through the experience of never knowing what happened to a missing serviceman/woman in your family. These "human remains" which you call such a waste of time and money to identify because they're, what -- too old??? -- are some family's sons, brothers, fathers, even grandfathers. Your coverage I usually find amusing and fun, but this is really callous. Have any of you "TMZ Staff" given ANY amount of time to your country (let alone your life)? Or is your definition of 'danger' the possibility of being run over by Britney Spears? Shame on you. And guess what, I'm a Democrat who is against the war but FOR our servicemen, of ALL ages in ALL wars. Go back to your hanging around on the sidewalk waiting for some vapid star to exit a coffee shop. God Bless servicemen and women who help protect America, in ANY war or action, and YOUR FREEDOM to report and OUR FREEDOM to read about every idiot star's beach butt or denial to a club.

Mary


You obviously have no idea what the word "sacrafice" means. These men DIED protecting our country. Now I know that you liberal hollywood types find this notion hard to understand but some people do love the American way of life. It's much easier to hide a continent away and criticize every move this country makes than to put on a uniform and fight. If there was only $1 left in the budget it should go to this recovery effort because without those pilots there would not be an America. Get a clue and stick to the celebs. You people are a disgrace and a joke. I think Britney just left for the gas station. Now run along.

Those sacred bones belong to US.

The sacrifice made must be honored and respected.

I object to Welfare, giving money to people who can but refuse to work!

Hat Tip: Hot Air


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Comments (11)

CassyWere they talki... (Below threshold)

Cassy
Were they talking about Peleliu? Surely they weren't. That Pacific battle had the highest casualty rate of any battle in the war.

It is sacred ground for the Corps.

When I was in elementary sc... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

When I was in elementary school, a classmate's father was shot down in North Vietnam, was believed to be captured and was never accounted for by the communist Vietnamese. He's worked hard for decades to get an accounting of his father's fate. ( One of the reasons I still despise John Kerry involves my friend's experiences with the congressional committee about POW/MIA's and Kerry's efforts to sabotage it ).

The comments Cassy quotes are infuriating to me.

TMZ is a great example of a... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

TMZ is a great example of a conspicuous waste of oxygen. Better they stick to exposing the pecadillos of the celebs,instead of showing their ignorance in such an offensive manner.

So... they're outraged abou... (Below threshold)

So... they're outraged about taxes NOW? Government waste NOW?

Just wait until the Dems are in power again. THEN they'll learn what high taxes and government waste are REALLY like!

$52 mil a year - and they think it's too much. Incredible. Just... incredible.

Typical democrat, never spe... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Typical democrat, never spend money on something useful, give it to me so I can smoke it up in pot. Anyone notice they never worry about the 'human' only the dollar.

Searching for our heroes is... (Below threshold)
WL:

Searching for our heroes is very important to us all. Our heroes are subscribers to an oath not to leave each other behind. This is something they should be able to count on. No matter where they travel to engage in battle, they do it under our Flag and they, as well as their loved ones, have a right to give them a proper burial or homecoming under the same flag. They shouldn't have to wonder if they are expendible or if they matter to us. By locating and returning all our missing heroes from every war, we say something very important to our current Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors -- we are saying that we value them and their mission. We send them out, they go for us, we should come back for them. Anyone who would say that is not important obviously has a heart of stone and has not thought their Left leaning, anti-american, pro Jane Fonda, rhetoric through. Yes, some of those soldiers went missing years ago, but todays soldiers have hearts, brains and eyes -- they see how they are each valued and that, TMZ, has value beyond measure -- apparently unlike some of your opinions. If you are worried about wasteful spending check out all that valuable gas you waste chasing around pitiful stars not to mention the damage that does to the Ozone.....

The only thing I find at fa... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

The only thing I find at fault in your take on this article is that the proper postal abbreviation for Kansas is KS, not KA. Otherwise, you are right on.

Handing out those awards to... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Handing out those awards to antiamerican wackos is awaste of time and TMZ must mean TERRORISTS MILITANT ZONE

No, it's Too Many Zimas. </... (Below threshold)
matthew:

No, it's Too Many Zimas.

Kansas City is in MO not KS... (Below threshold)
d:

Kansas City is in MO not KS. 53M is a drop in the bucket for what is being spent in Iraq on a hourly basis. Clear the log that is lodge in your face TMZ before your attempt at a spec that is worthy to the public.

The sad reality of our futu... (Below threshold)
jennifer:

The sad reality of our future. They think it is a waste to spend money on our missing heros who gave the ultimate sacrafice. IF IT WAS NOT FOR OUR HEROS YOU WOULD NOT HAVE YOUR FREEDOM!! THEY GAVE THEIR LIVES TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY OUR BELIEFS AND AGAIN....LOOK AT THE RESPECT THEY GET... TMZ YOU SUCK,
A Mother/Father not knowing what happened to their child...A wife/husband losing their soul mate...A child losing their parent...A brother/sister never having a shoulder to lean on...
SO AS YOU SIT THEIR IN YOUR OFFICE, THINK OF HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IF AN IDOIT SAID IT WAS A WASTE TO LOCATE MISSING SOLDIERS
HAVE YOU THANKED A VET TODAY???




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