I remember personally when watching the one predetermined applause when the first row of White House staff began to clap. Other troops also joined but I was surprised that many were sitting there still, a few scratching their heads.
So the silence during his speech was more than a little noticeable, both on television and in the hall. On Wednesday, as Mr. Bush's repeated use of the imagery of the Sept. 11 attacks drew bitter criticism from Congressional Democrats, there was a parallel debate under way about whether the troops sat on their hands because they were not impressed, or because they thought that was their orders.
Terry Moran, an ABC News White House correspondent, said on the air on Tuesday night that the first to clap appeared to be a woman who works for the White House, arranging events. Some other reporters had the same account, but Captain Earnhardt and others in the back of the room say the applause was started by a group of officers.
Yet the troops continue to be misled and lied to. They were told they were going into Iraq to find WMDs which were an “imminent threat” to the US. Two years after “mission accomplished” and 95% of the troops killed in the conflict, Bush changes the story why they are there yet again…
New York Times
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