UPDATE: For the full recap, use the “Bracelet tag and see the whole sequence. The story has been confirmed.
Barack Obama’s bracelet is apparently not being worn with permission from the parents, and what he’s saying about it seems not to be true. The mother is no Cindy Sheehan.
This, in a fair world, should come back to bite him: During the debate on September 26, 2008, Barack Obama attempted to counter John McCain’s bracelet story. This was portrayed as “new” — but it is not: Senator Obama has been telling HIS bracelet story since the bracelet was given to him in February of 2008. (Even so, Senator Obama had to read the name from the bracelet during the debate.)
But there’s a difference: Senator Obama is apparently doing this against the parents’ will. He was specifically asked, according to Staff Sgt. Brian Jopek (Ryan’s father) to stop telling this story and to take the bracelet off.
Mrs. Jopek was an Obama supporter (at least in March of this year) and doesn’t want to sabotage the campaign, so she refused to give interviews. But I found an old radio interview with the father Brian Jopek (who served in Iraq and is now apparently serving at the Guantanamo base):
BRIAN JOPEK: Whatever is decided, we need to make sure that it benefits the American servicemen, and also the Iraqis.
* * *
We don’t wanna go back in there in ten years, at a greater cost and more lives.
I sure hope that, whoever is elected, Democrat or Republican, that they look at the big picture and don’t just pull up stakes — or “pop smoke” as we say in the military, because of the political atmosphere.”
Regarding Barack Obama: According to the father, Tracy Jopek wrote to the Senator: “She had asked him not to wear the bracelet.”
The WPR host — clearly anti-war (and quoting Lancet numbers of deaths) suggested that Obama had not worn it recently. This was months ago.
Here’s the clincher — Barack Obama is using the bracelet to support a position that his father (and Ryan Jopek himself) clearly do not subscribe to, and at the time even the mother that gave him the bracelet didn’t want it used in the media (that comment was made here) and asked him to take it off.
Brian and Tracy Jopek are now divorced. I don’t know what her current thoughts are. But this interview on WPR, from March 20, was interesting. The quotes here are from about 10 to 14 minutes in.
Here’s the WPR page containing the “Iraq War 5th Anniversary” interview from March 20:
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(Update: WPR, not NPR)