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Step off, old man!
Friday, 10 December 2004
Rumsfeld puts the troops in their place
Is there any question that in an administration of unbridled incompetence that Donald Rumsfeld is the worst of the worst?

First, that old cranky jackass talked to the troops at his recent town hall meeting like he was scolding one of his children. Then it turned out he wasn't even telling the truth. Shocker, huh?

Bush & Co. don't love the troops. They regard them the way they do the hired help. Soldiers are invisible pawns to them. And the Bush-lovers who think he is a friend of the troops are delusional. You can believe the Tooth Fairy and professional wrestling are real, but just because you believe it doesn't make it so.

From today's Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON -- Despite Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's assertion that the military is outfitting Humvees with armor as quickly as possible, the company providing the vehicles said it has been waiting since September for approval from the Pentagon to increase monthly production by as many as 100 of the all-terrain vehicles, intended to protect against roadside bombs in Iraq.

Army officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged yesterday that they have not approved new purchase orders for armored trucks, despite the company's readiness to produce more. They said the Pentagon has been debating how many more armored Humvees are needed.

Rumsfeld, questioned by soldiers in Kuwait on Wednesday who said they have had to pick through landfills for scrap metal to boost vehicle protection, said the Army was working as quickly at it could to get armored Humvees to the front. It is "a matter of physics, not a matter of money," Rumsfeld said, adding that the Army was "breaking its neck." President Bush yesterday reiterated that "the concerns expressed are being addressed."

But executives at Armor Holdings in Jacksonville, Fla., as well as Army officials and members of Congress, said Rumsfeld's assertion that the protective equipment is being provided as quickly as possible is not true and added the company has been waiting for more purchase orders.

"We're prepared to build 50 to 100 vehicles more per month," Robert Mecredy, head of Armor Holdings' aerospace and defense unit, said in a statement. The company is producing about 450 armored Humvees per month, up from 50 in late 2003, when a sudden surge of attacks in Iraq exposed a lack of protective armor.

The company says that by February it could be producing as many as 550 fully armored Humvees per month -- with armor plates on the sides, front, rear, top, and bottom -- if given the go-ahead. The company estimated it would cost the military about $150 million a year to pay for the additional 100 vehicles per month.

The company said it also told the Army it could add new production lines and turn out even more vehicles.

More than half of the roughly 1,200 US soldiers who have died in Iraq have been killed by roadside bombs or in ambushes from rocket-propelled grenades. A lack of armor on thousands of older vehicles has been blamed for many of the deaths.


Posted by brettdavey at 2:54 PM EST
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