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Emails: Admin. knew vets were coming, closed memorials to make a point

Emails reveal NPS knew vets were coming but closed memorial anyway to score political points
Emails reveal NPS knew vets were coming but closed memorial anyway to score political points
National Review

Emails recently obtained by the National Review Online show that the Obama administration knew in advance that two groups of aging veterans would be visiting the World War II memorial last October, but decided to shut the memorial down anyway in order to score political points, reported Tuesday.

Veterans at World War II memorial ini Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom

National Park Service employees also monitored the news for any bad publicity, and made exceptions for their co-workers, the emails revealed.

During last year's partial government shutdown -- sparked by Sen. Harry Reid's refusal to consider any GOP plan to keep the government operating while defunding Obamacare -- the administration closed the National Mall and denied access to monuments. That decision backfired as veterans removed the blockades and entered the memorial anyway.

According to the National Review, Tom Buttry, a legislative correspondent for Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wrote:

While I understand that these memorials have remained accessible to the public during past shutdowns (I’d imagine with the mall being so open, it’d probably [be] more manpower intensive to try to completely close them), I wanted to do my due diligence and make 100 percent sure that people could visit the outdoor memorials on the National Mall in the event of a shutdown.

But the National Park Service and the Interior Department decided to close the memorials, knowing full well groups of veterans were slated to visit them.

Worse yet, the NPS also looked for evidence that Congress was being blamed for the shutdown, NRO added.

But, the NRO added, one email exchange showed that one staff member was given permission by the National Park Service’s deputy superintendent of operations for the National Mall and Memorial Parks to move the barricades in order to retrieve personal information.

As we reported in early October, a federal Park Service Ranger admitted being ordered to make life as difficult as possible in order to make Americans feel the most pain.

Screenshots of the emails can be seen in the slideshow above.



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