The family of U.S. Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone was shocked to learn that video footage of the major's Arlington National Cemetery burial was included by Michael Moore in his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Stone was killed in March 2003 by a grenade that officials said was thrown into his tent by Sgt. Hasan K. Akbar, who is on trial for murder.
It's been a big shock, and we are not very happy about it, to say the least," Kandi Gallagher, Stone's aunt and family spokeswoman, tells Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson.
We are furious that Greg was in that casket and cannot defend himself, and my sister, Greg's mother, is just beside herself," Gallagher said. "She is furious. She called him a 'maggot that eats off the dead.'"
The movie, described by critics as political propaganda during an election year, shows video footage of the funeral and Stone's fiancee, Tammie Eslinger, kissing her hand and touching it to his coffin.
The family does not know how Moore obtained the video, and Gallagher said they did not give permission and are considering legal recourse.
She described her nephew as a "totally conservative Republican" and said he would have found the film to be "putrid."
"I'm sure he would have some choice words for Michael Moore," she said. "Michael Moore would have a hard time asking our family for a glass of water if he were thirsty."
If the trend continues, congressmen will have to stay up mighty late - or else awaken before the crack of dawn - to cast votes in the waning months of the 108th Congress.
Sleepy-eyed Democrats aren't amused by the Republican-led "wee-hour" voting, including a groggy Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown, who calls the previous five days "a bad week in Washington."
"Never before when the Democrats were in control, or when Newt Gingrich was [Republican] speaker of the House, never before has this House of Representatives operated in such secrecy," he says.
"At 2:54 a.m. on a Friday in March," he begins, "the House cut veterans' benefits by three votes. At 2:39 a.m. on a Friday in April, the House slashed education and health care by five votes. At 1:56 a.m. on a Friday in May, the House passed the tax-cut bill, weighted especially towards millionaires, by a handful of votes."
Is that the worst of it?
"At 2:33 a.m. on a Friday in June, the House passed the Medicare privatization bill by one vote. At 12:57 a.m. on a Friday in June, the House eviscerated Head Start by one vote. And then, after returning from summer recess, at 12:12 a.m. on a Friday . . . the House voted $87 billion for Iraq," he continues.
John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .
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