Oh, the Irony: Which U.S. Leaders Said One Thing, But Did Another?
We'd like to think we can trust all of our elected officials and men in uniform, but these cringe-worthy acts showed otherwise.
By Beth Dreher
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Military Sexual Assault
On May 5, Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski was arrested after reportedly groping a woman in an Arlington, Virginia, parking lot. Later in the month, officials began investigating an unnamed Army Sergeant First class on charges of forced prostitution and abusive sexual contact.
The irony: Both men worked for the military's sexual assault prevention program. Krusinski was the chief of the Air Forces' organization; the unnamed Army sergeant was a member of the sexual assault response office in Ft. Hood.
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FDA Head's Conflict of Interest
Two months after Lester Crawford was confirmed as George Bush's pick for commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005, Crawford resigned, admitting to withholding financial information from Congress.
The irony: Crawford's quick exit came after The Justice Department discovered that he owned stock in Pepsico, Inc., Sysco Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc.—all companies that are regulated by the FDA. Justice officials had pointed out this conflict of interest three years earlier when Crawford was FDA Deputy Commissioner, but Crawford ignored the warnings, filing seven financial reports falsely claiming that he had sold his shares of the companies' stock.
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Mark Foley and Congressional Pages
Though he was never charged with a crime, Mark Foley, a five-term Republican congressman from Florida resigned in 2006 after information surfaced about sexually explicit emails and instant messages Foley sent over a 10-year period to underage Congressional pages.
The irony: In 2006, Foley was Chairman of the House Caucus of Missing and Exploited Children, a group in charge of coordinating legislation to prevent, among other crimes, the exploitation of children, including prosecution for possession of online pornography and solicitation of minors for sexual activity.
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Tom Delay's Smoking Habit
Charged with felony money laundering, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay resigned from Congress in 2006. But his most ironic moves came in 2005, while he was still in office. Railing against Cuba's dictator Fidel Castro in 2004, DeLay said, "Every dime that find its way into Cuba first finds its way into Fidel Castro's blood-thirsty hands. American consumers will get their fine cigars and their cheap sugar, but at the coast of our national honor."
The irony: A year earlier, during a meeting at the King David Hotel in Jersalem, Delay smoked a $25 Hoyo de Monterrey double coronora, one of Cuba's best stogies. In an unrelated incident, DeLay, a vocal opponent of the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, was found to have consented to ending life support for his father, who had been comatose since 1988.
Congressmen Turned Lobbyists
Senators and House members take an oath to serve in Congress with the best interests of their constituents in mind. But when they leave their seats for lucrative lobbying posts, their allegiances can sometimes turn toward their wallets instead.
Two ironic moves, among many: While he was a Massachusetts Representative, William D. Delahunt (pictured) earmarked $1.7 million for towns willing to invest in wind energy. Upon retirement, lobbyist Delahunt's first client was a town that agreed to pay him $15,000 per month for help in developing their wind energy plan. Ben Nelson spent twelve years as a Senator from Nebraska and delivered a crucial vote in support of Obama's Healthcare Law. In January, Nelson announced that he would make nearly $1 million per year as CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, an organization that wouldn't have existed without the enactment of Obamacare.