The article you posted is complete BS. These soldiers were ordered not to applause.
Last night, NBC News' Brian Williams thought to ask. Noting that "some folks at home were no doubt curious about the lack of applause breaks," and
that "by pre-agreement between the White House and Fort Bragg there was no entry applause as the soldiers were at attention," and that "we were 23
minutes into it before the first break for applause," Williams wondered to colleague Kelly O'Donnell whether "the crowd [was] addressed or given
instructions in any way before the president came out." O'Donnell replied that she "checked" and that the audience was "told to follow military
protocol and be to polite."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer also made an effort to explain the audience's silence: "There was no rah-rah, hoo-hahs from this group," Blitzer said moments
after the president concluded. "That clearly was the instruction from the White House, the commander in chief. A very respectful response for the
On Fox, Carl Cameron explained the missing "hoo-hahs" thusly: "One of the things we were told today by the military brass is that the soldiers were
all given strict instruction to avoid their hoo-hahs." Luckily, Cameron continued, before the speech began, some officers warmed up the crowd and
"let them do their hoo-hahs before the president got here."
Okay, so it was the White House that didn't want the assembled soldiers to come off as a bunch of yahoos who have watched Al Pacino in "Scent of a
Woman" one too many times. But if the White House ordered no spontaneous displays of approval (hoo-hahing or otherwise), how to explain the one
moment of applause mid-speech? The AP's Tom Raum could only wonder, noting that the soldiers applauded "in unison after one key passage, as if on
cue ..." (Italics ours.)
So who was doing the cueing?
Both NBC and Fox got to the bottom of it.
NBC's O'Donnell reported that the "one applause was triggered by members of the [Bush] advance team. They were a few feet from me. They started to
applaud. It was contagious, it swept through the room." Fox's Cameron, too, observed that "a couple of Bush staffers in back of the auditorium
began to applaud" and the soldiers soon joined in.