Help me out fellow readers - is the right term ghastly? Or is it more ghoulish? Not sure which undead reference is proper. Of course, on The Simpsons, the local GOP meeting was headed by a vampire.


From the Associated Press; looks like the Flag-And-Terrorist-Attack card is already being voided:
9/11 Relatives Angered by Bush Ads

WASHINGTON - President Bush's campaign commercials ? on the air just one day ? have angered relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and a firefighters union demanded the ads be pulled.

The White House defended the commercials, which show images of the skeletal remains of the World Trade Center and firefighters bearing a stretcher through the rubble.

"It makes me sick," said Colleen Kelly, who lost her brother Bill Kelly Jr., in the attacks and leads a victims families group called Peaceful Tomorrows. "Would you ever go to someone's grave site and use that as an instrument of politics? That truly is what Ground Zero represents to me."

In Bal Harbour, Fla., the International Association of Fire Fighters Union approved a resolution asking the Bush campaign to pull the ads, spokesman Jeff Zack said. The resolution also urges Bush to "apologize to the families of firefighters killed on 9/11 for demeaning the memory of their loved ones in an attempt to curry support for his re-election."

The controversy erupted as Bush's re-election campaign began airing the commercials nationally on cable television and on broadcast stations in about 80 media markets in 18 states.

One of the ads shows the charred wreckage of the twin towers with an American flag flying amid the debris. Another ad ? and a Spanish-language version of it ? use that image as well as firefighters carrying a flag-draped stretcher through the rubble as sirens are heard. Firefighters are shown in all the ads.

Bush had told House and Senate leaders in January 2002 that, "I have no ambition whatsoever to use this as a political issue" in that election year. His aides on Thursday defended the use of the images.

The administration arranged for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and three others to appear on network and cable broadcasts to defend the ads. One Bush aide said the controversy gave the president's commercial priceless free publicity, with millions seeing clips of the ad.

But the images in the Bush ads have sparked a furor.

Kristen Breitweiser, of Middletown Township, N.J., whose husband, Ronald Breitweiser, died in the World Trade Center, said Bush should not use the tragedy as "political propaganda."

"Three thousand people were murdered on President Bush's watch," Breitweiser said. "He has not cooperated with the investigation to find out why that happened," a reference to the effort the Bush administration has made in working with the Sept. 11 commission investigating the intelligence failures.

Harold Schaitberger, the firefighter union's president, said: "We're not going to stand for him to put his arm around one of our members on top of a pile of rubble at Ground Zero during a tragedy and then stand by and watch him cut money for first responders."

Bush ad criticized for using 9-11 imagery

NEWARK, N.J. -- Karen DallaValle doesn't need President Bush's re-election campaign to remind her of Sept. 11, 2001, when her fiance, Port Authority Police Officer Kenneth F. Tietjen, died in the World Trade Center attack at age 31.

"I think it's inappropriate (for the Bush campaign) to use photos from Ground Zero. I'm reminded of it enough every day when I get up and Kenny's gone," said DallaValle, 41, of Matawan, a former Newark police officer who left the force after her fiance was killed.

For DallaValle and others deeply affected by the terrorist attacks, the use of 9-11 imagery is inappropriate and upsetting.

"I've always been supportive of President Bush, but I really think there has to be some closure of the 9-11 issue," said DallaValle, who voted for Bush in 1990. "It's very important for myself and people that I know who were affected by the disaster to move on with our lives, and it's very difficult to be constantly reminded. Every time I see something, it feels like it's that day again."

The chairman of the commission investigating the attacks, former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a Republican, has complained that the Bush administration has not cooperated with the investigation. A New Jersey member of the commission's Family Steering Committee, Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband, Ronald, was killed in the trade center attack, said the imagery was "particularly upsetting."

"I understand that there's a corpse shown coming out of Ground Zero," said Breitweiser, who had not yet seen the ad herself. "I just think it's in poor taste, particularly from someone who has stonewalled the 9-11 commission."

Monica Gabrielle, of West Haven, Conn., who lost her husband, Richard, 50, in the trade center attack, had some advice for the Bush camp.

"I would rethink using the greatest failure of this administration's watch as a re-election platform," said Gabrielle, co-chairperson of Skyscraper Safety Campaign.

Bush Campaign Defends Ads With 9/11 Images

NEW YORK - President Bush (news - web sites)'s re-election campaign on Thursday defended commercials using images from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, including wreckage of the World Trade Center, as appropriate for an election about public policy and the war on terror.

Some families of the victims of the attacks are angry with Bush for airing the spots, which they called in poor taste and for the president's political gain.

"It's a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people," Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin towers, told the New York Daily News for its Thursday editions. "It is unconscionable."

Two of the spots show the destruction at the World Trade Center and include an American flag flying amid the debris. They also feature images of firefighters working through the wreckage.

"It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place," said Firefighter Tommy Fee of Queens Rescue Squad 270. "The image of firefighters at ground zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics."

"I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty," said Tom Roger, whose daughter perished on American Airlines Flight 11. "But to show the horror of 9/11 in the background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab people by the throat."

---"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" {Who watches the watchmen?}---