Dr. B is being too gracious towards Dick Cheney:
I hate to say this because I never mind dissing Dick Cheney, but the Washington Post is wrong about this. Cheney isn't wearing a ski parka, embroidered like a kid's coat at camp. He's wearing a USAF parka with a USAF patch on it. Arguably, there is nothing at all wrong with wearing a US military parka to an event commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz.
Now, what the deal is with the boots and pants, I can't say. It looks to me like someone on his staff forgot to bring the right suitcase. But the parka itself isn't objectionable (except possibly on the grounds that Cheney hasn't done military service).
Cheney's outfit is totally inappropriate. He's wearing a toque, fer chrissakes. I doubt British, Russian, or Canadian envoys showed up at the Auschwitz memorial wearing something from the surplus store.
Maybe it would have been appropriate for an American envoy to wear some kind of military garb if the Americans had liberated Auschwitz. But they didn't--the Soviets got there first. Obviously, the Americans helped win the war and American troops liberated many other camps and sub-camps (cf. Honoring Liberators). But the same is true of the British and the Candians, and as far as I know, none of their envoys showed up sub-battle dress.
As Dr. B. pointed out, Cheney isn't even a veteran. At least president is the Commander-in-Chief of the US armed forces. Maybe Bush would have been entitled to wear some kind of uniform if he wanted to flaunt the junta look, but as VP, Cheney no analogous excuse.
So, the US basically dressed Cheney up in someone else's uniform to memorialize a liberation conducted by someone else's army. Nice.
And WTF is it with the Air Force parka?! The US Air Force didn't exist when Auschwitz was liberated. The US Army liberated the death camps. (Previously, I wrote that the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions were part of the USAAF, but I was mistaken. Thanks to Johnny for pointing that out.)
Besides which, Cheney's outfit would literally have been illegal if he were a real airman or a retired member of the USAF.
Most importantly, it's tacky to wear a self-styled uniform to an anti-fascist event. The connotations are alarming.
(See also Forked Tongue Sparks USAF Uniform Controversy.)