The other day, I posted this based on an Indian news source that claimed President Odouchebag's trip is costing the American taxpayer $200 million a day, and will require the redeployment of an entire fleet. I was not the only blogger to run with that, so I don't feel completely stupid.
Well...this might not be exactly true. People all over the intertoobies have been "debunking" this "rumor" all weekend.
Still, you have to wonder:
1. Why the strongest denials come from U.S. government sources (i.e. The Pentagon, which is laboring under the false impression that it's "winning in Afghanistan", and probably doesn't confirm any movement of warships as a matter of security policy). Even if $200 million is a wildly-exaggerated figure, you'd think someone other the government would report what the trip is really costing. Like the New York Times, or something.
Oh, wait...they're too busy preparing their pre-written hit pieces in preparation for a Palin 2012 run. No time to investigate anything as silly as the cost of a Presidential overseas visit.
2. Why the Indian press should find it necessary to lie and/or exaggerate about this? Some might say that by concocting this elaborate scheme to exaggerate the cost/scope of Obama's visit, the Indians are either engaging in a simple act of chest-beating, or perhaps trying to send some sort of "diplomatic" message to Pakistan and China along the lines of "look how badly the Americans want to be our friends! See how important we are!"
However, I haven't heard a single talking head speak about this all weekend. Haven't read a thing about it, either.
However, what if the Indian press was simply confused? What if they meant 200 million rupees, and not dollars (have no idea how much that is in real money, can't be bothered to find out)? If they're confused, how did they get that way? After all, isn't it the White House or State Department who gives out that sort of information?
3. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has no credibility...on anything. When he says the numbers are inflated (number of people, number of hotel rooms, number of warships, prices, etc.), I'm inclined to be sceptical. That's just what happens to a man's reputation when you're a known liar, who works for an even bigger known liar.
Update: I can't wait to hear the explanation for this: Obama's personal Bombproof tunnel,specially-made for his Ghandi museum visit.