The Fox Report:
In an article published by The Fox Report, Dr. Stephen Miles states that the White House has confirmed that President Obama cancelled a cemetery visit scheduled for this past Memorial Day. According to Dr. Miles, the cancellation was made due to “security reasons” but did not provide additional information as to why security concerns were at play and, in fact, did not even mention it during his brief address to the media.
Dr. Miles’ Remarks Are Indeed Based On Facts:
While we are all entitled to our own opinions and may believe that Dr. Miles’ remarks are indeed based on facts, many people have taken to Twitter to call foul and question whether or not the cemetery visit was cancelled because of a In any case, the truth is that this cemetery visit was not cancelled and has not been canceled.
Cancel The Cemetery Visit Due To Security Concerns:
According to Dr. Miles, the president’s staff notified him in a phone call just prior to President Obama’s scheduled visit, stating that “he had been advised to cancel the cemetery visit due to security concerns,” and that “it was then that I learned that it was his administration’s decision to cancel the visit, not mine.” However, while he did not clarify whether the president had requested that the visit be cancelled, he did not deny that the cancellation was made by the administration.
Arlington National Cemetery:
In addition to the call that President Obama reportedly placed to cancel the cemetery visit, Dr. Miles has not heard anything from President Obama concerning his request that the visit be canceled. He claims that, if the president had requested such a cancellation, the White House would have provided further details.
White House Canceling An Actual Visit:
While it is not uncommon for an administration to request that a cemetery visit be cancelled if security concerns are identified, we have never seen or heard of a White House canceling an actual visit based on security concerns. What we have heard so far reports of cancelled cemetery visits made by the Bush Administration. For instance, the White House claimed that George W. Bush cancelled a trip to Arlington National Cemetery at the height of the Iraq War to avoid being photographed by reporters from Al Jazeera and CNN.
No Security Concerns Were Identified:
This was a rather unfortunate incident that the White House would want to minimize by claiming that the cemetery visit was cancelled for security reasons, but, in fact, no security concerns were identified, the president cancelled the visit without informing anyone or explaining his reasons, and there are now conflicting accounts regarding what prompted him to do so. No one is sure whether or not his absence was a deliberate attempt to prevent reporters from ever seeing him again.
Differing Accounts Regarding Whether :
While we recognize that there are differing accounts regarding whether or not Obama canceled his trip to Arlington, there is no reason to question the fact that he cancelled the cemetery visit. He certainly did not inform the White House prior to his departure, and there is no evidence that security concerns motivated the cancellation.
He Can Communicate His Intentions:
If the president wants to cancel a visit because of some security concern, there are two options. He can make security decisions without consulting the White House and wait to see how things proceed, or he can communicate his intentions to the head of the cemetery (who is appointed by the president) in person or over the phone.
The President Has Done So With Regard:
There is no indication that the president has done so with regard to Arlington National Cemetery, and it is hard to imagine that he would notify the cemetery himself in person or over the phone given the time restraints of such communications. There also seems little evidence that he has done so with regard to any other cemeteries.
His Desire To Avoid Being Photographed:
It appears that President Obama’s willingness to cancel a cemetery visit is based primarily on his desire to avoid being photographed. While the White House may be unhappy that he is being photographed on a golf course, this has absolutely nothing to do with why he decided to cancel the visit, and it does not appear to be the reason why he chose to cancel the visit.
President Obama Canceled A Cemetery Visit:
As we mentioned previously, Fox News sources are reporting that President Obama canceled a cemetery visit because of security concerns. However, there are no reports indicating that there are any specific security concerns that have been identified that would compel the president to cancel the visit. Further, the cemetery has not identified any specific security concerns that would compel the president to cancel the visit, despite what the media is reporting.