Sunday, October 07, 2007

REP. JOHN MICA: CHARTERED TROOP FLIGHTS AT OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT COMING TO AN END; ANNOUNCEMENT TUESDAY--updated


***WELCOME MICHELLE MALKIN READERS***

Last night on THE ANDREA SHEA-KING SHOW, we discussed the situation at the Oakland International Airport and the planeload of U.S. Marines and Soldiers (204) returning from Iraq. As you remember, the returning troops were not allowed into the terminal area during the layover because of a "misunderstanding" or a "paperwork problem". The troops were forced to stay outside about 400 yards from the terminal area. Apparently, our military was viewed as a security risk.

Michelle Malkin posted on Oct 3rd that Oakland Airport officials had apologized for the incident. But, that's not the end of this story, not by a long shot. Read on:

Republican presidential candidate, Duncan Hunter, stopped by the show last night to give us his take on the situation--let's just say he was not happy--Note: Andrea extended invitations to Boxer, Feinstein, and Pelosi to come on the show to comment. Needless to say, they weren't on the show. But Duncan Hunter, who's from San Diego, found the time.

After Hunter's interview, we spoke with Rep. John Mica, 7th District of Florida. He's not happy, either. In fact, he called for an investigation into the Oakland incident, noting that this isn't the first time the Oakland airport has treated our returning military in such a disrespectful manner. He doesn't think this was an "accident". Mica is the ranking member on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, so he has some influence on the matter.

During the interview, Mica gave our listeners some "inside information" about the Oakland airport that has yet to be shared, officially, with the public, but will be Tuesday when congress reconvenes.

Mica said the Department of Defense and Charter Flight Operators have agreed to halt all flights into the Oakland airport. Sacramento International, according to Mica, will likely be the airport to receive our troop layover flights from now on. Again, Mica said this will be announced in congress this Tuesday. Plus, he said he'd have more information at that time.

It's not often we score a victory over the anti-military, San Francisco Bay Area, but it looks like we have this time.

If you're late to the party, Michelle Malkin has the story about Oakland's recent treatment of our returning military.

UPDATE:

***I just received some quotes from the Mica interview transcript:


Ranking member of the House Transportation Infrastructure Committee:

"There's a lot of finger pointing going on"

"I do have some news that hasn't been announced, and we'll probably announce it maybe Tuesday when we get back in session in Washington.

Friday afternoon the Department of Defense and the Charter operators have made a preliminary decision to not stop in Oakland anymore -- we haven't announced that but we'll make sure it doesn't happen again. I believe we're going to go thru Sacramento and confirm that probably Tuesday. That's one way to deal with the situation."[...]

"I'm giving you some sort of advance that hasn't been publicly announced, but I'll probably announce it Tuesday. I want to go back and reconfirm with the military and the charter folks the new routing. I was told preliminarily that they were looking at Sacramento. So, they will stop where they're welcome.

And not only does Oakland have a national embarrassment from what they've done, they'll also suffer financially because we won't be putting any of the military air charter flights through there."

"We'll get a final report. I really don't know what our options are. One was to pull the flights and in working with DOD that will be done. We'll have to see what else."

The podcast for last night's show is up.

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