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Yesterday, President Bush awarded Medals of Freedom to General Tommy Franks (Ret.), to former CIA Director George Tenet, and to former head of the Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority Paul Bremer.

As a follow-up to yesterday's ceremony, the White House announced today that President Bush will hold a January, 2005 ceremony to present Medals of Freedom to an additional group of honorees.

(More Below)

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Photo: Paul Bremer, Tommy Franks, and George Tenet at the White House ceremony where they were honored with Presidential Medals of Freedom.

The New Honorees

Honorees for the January ceremony will be:

April Glaspie - Ms. Glaspie played a critical role in the long march toward freedom and democracy in the Middle East when, while serving as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq in July 1990, she declared U.S. indifference to Arab-Arab disputes, and encouraged evil dictator Saddam Hussein to expose his true colors.  Within weeks, Hussein and Iraq had invaded the noble republic of Kuwait (which had loaned Iraq some $28 billion to finance Mr. Hussein's proxy war with Iran on behalf of the United States, but which Mr. Hussein was not inclined to pay back).  This skillful diplomacy allowed U.S. forces to establish a critical military presence in Saudi Arabia, and helped set the stage for current triumphs.  Ms. Glaspie's contributions to global freedom, and her deft diplomatic execution, have inspired a generation of neoconservative patriots.

Kenneth Lay - Mr. Lay is the consummate American success story, rising from a position as a loathesome U.S. government bureaucrat, to lead and grow a major U.S. corporation, building an impressive personal fortune along the way.  Mr. Lay's example has been a leading driver of critical regulatory reform at the Securities and Exchange Commision, and his influence has encouraged thousands of elderly Americans to rediscover their sense of thrift and their entrepreneurial spirit.  An extremely loyal friend of the President (and Chairman of the President's 2000 campaign), Mr. Lay is not only an upstanding businessman, but a noted patron of the arts (dance, sculpture, fine arts, and creative accounting).

Joseph Hazelwood - Mr. Hazelwood, former captain of the Exxon oil tanker Valdez, made major contributions to American awareness of environmental hazards and substance abuse issues, and helped prod the economic revitalization of Alaska's Prince William Sound.  In March of 1989, Mr. Hazelwood found that navigating oil tankers, like Freedom itself, can be messy.  But he helped show that all dark clouds can have silver linings - the more than $2 billion in economic activity created by the oil clean-up generated more than 10,000 jobs over the course of four-years.

Posthumous Awardees

The president also announced several honorees who will receive posthumous recognition at the January ceremony.

General George Armstrong Custer - Hero of the battle of Little Bighorn
George Donner - Leader of the Donner Party
Senator Joseph McCarthy - Consummate defender of Freedom
Jim Jones - Notable Evangelical Christian Leader

UPDATE

Note: Retracting a previous announcement, the White House also announced that the President will NOT be awarding Medals of Freedom to General Buck Turgidson or Brig. General Jack D. Ripper, as a thorough background check by the White House's crack vetting team has revealed the proposed honorees to, in fact, be fictional characters.

Originally posted to Ty Cobb on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 01:52 PM PST.

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