Armor installed within 24 hours of soldiers' complaint

by Techniguy 12-18-04

I can't believe that the media is still getting away with their misleading smear against Donald Rumsfeld. Even today on Fox News, Page Hopkins allowed Lanny Davis to mischaracterize what Rummy said in response to the "media planted" question from Spc. Thomas Wilson without the slightest challenge. According to Davis, Rumsfeld only response to the question on armor was "You go to war with the army you have, not the army you may wish to have". Davis followed with his comment that this was unbecoming of the Defense Secretary and highly insensitive to the concerns of the troops. Does not even a Democrat in Lanny Davis's position know the truth about what Rummy said? If he doesn't know, then how are his Democrat constituents supposed to know? If he does know, then why is he lying to the public about Rumsfeld’s response? And why are some moderators on Fox News allowing this to continue without challenge? I would expect this from CNN, MSNBC, or the broadcast networks but not from Fox News. Most program hosts on Fox usually challenge this kind of misinformation but Hopkins didn't say a word about it and just let it stand.

This story has been in the media for a week now and most people still don't know the truth, only the out of context portion that the scoundrels in the media keep repeating. Every time this happens, the "mainstream media" looses more credibility and trust from the American people, and the "alternate media" such as talk radio and the internet gains credibility. Fox News should receive a flood of complaints about Page Hopkins' interview with Lanny Davis. I found it shocking that Davis was allowed to get away with this on Fox.

As you know, Rumsfeld's actual response to the question was:

"I talked to the general coming out here about the pace at which the vehicles are being armored. They have been brought from all over the world, wherever they're not needed, to a place here where they are needed. I'm told that they are being--the Army is--I think it's something like 400 a month are being done. And it's essentially a matter of physics. It isn't a matter of money. It isn't a matter on the part of the Army of desire. It's a matter of production and capability of doing it. As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. Since the Iraq conflict began, the Army has been pressing ahead to produce the armor necessary at a rate they believe--it's a greatly expanded rate from what existed previously--but a rate that they believe is the rate that is all that can be accomplished at this moment, I can assure you, that General Schoolmaker and the leadership in the Army and certainly General Whitcomb are sensitive to the fact that not every vehicle has the degree of armor that would be desirable for it to have, but they're working at a good clip. . . . The goal we have is to have as many of those vehicles as is humanly possible with the appropriate level of armor available for the troops. And that is what the Army has been working on."

Interestingly enough, had this question waited just one day longer it would have become irrelevant because Wilson's NG unit vehicles were being uparmored as he spoke. Not because of the "reporter planted" question, but because it was scheduled to be done before those vehicles were sent into Iraq.

This is just typical of the kind of critical reporting and harsh criticism from Democrats on the war in Iraq, and just about anything else done by the Bush Administration. They consistently demand everything be completed right now, if not yesterday, and that includes the war itself. Nothing is ever done fast enough for the Democrats and they continue to go looking for things in progress to use in public complaints about it not having already been done. The complaint is usually framed in a way that implies that the Bush Administration has no interest in ever getting it done and wouldn't without the constant prodding of the Democrats. Isn't it ironic that these people who are now complaining about armor for the troops, are the very same people who voted for a senator who voted against the funding for that very armor. There is a definite lesson to be learned from this erratic and conflicting behavior of the Democrats; Take everything they say with a grain of salt and don't believe a word of any of it without proof. It became clear during the 2004 campaigning that the left places little value on the truth, and their hogwash is always supported by the 'media wing' of the Democratic Party. There is one thing that the Democratic Party has become expert at; propaganda. It occurs to me that this is the same way the Communists took over Russia, with propaganda and misinformation.

Consistently, time after time, statements in the media from the left are proven wrong by the eventual turn of events. How do they manage to maintain any credibility in the public eye? It would seem that memories are short when the false claims of the left face the reality of time. It would be interesting to compile a database of all of the charges made public by the left over the past few years, then compare each one to the truth history has proven. From that, draw a percentage of truth vs. fiction. The results could be astonishing and show the comparison between reality and the false reality of the left. Our country deserves better, our troops deserve better, and our President certainly deserves better from these ‘so called’ Americans who find it preferable to criticize America rather than the enemy we are fighting.

From Wire Reports - Dec. 17, 2004:

Senior Army officials told a wire service reporter Wednesday that within 24 hours of a soldier's complaint to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld about shortages of vehicle armor in Iraq, protective armor had been installed on every vehicle in the soldier's unit.

According to a Hearst Newspaper report Thursday, Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Speakes and Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, senior members of the Army's combat systems development and acquisition team at the Pentagon, said routine pre-deployment preparations before proceeding to Iraq included adding protective armor plates to the last 20 vehicles of the Tennessee-based 278th Regimental Combat Team's 830 vehicles.

``When the question was asked, 20 vehicles remained to be up-armored at that point,'' Hearst reporter Stewart M. Powell quoted Speakes as saying at a Pentagon briefing. '``We completed those 20 vehicles in the next day. ... In other words, we completed all the armoring within 24 hours of the time the question was asked.''

On Dec. 8, Spc. Thomas ``Jerry'' Wilson, 31, of Nashville, asked Rumsfeld why, after almost two years of war, soldiers were searching dumps for metal to weld on vehicles destined for hostile territory.

``Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?'' Wilson said.

The question appeared to surprise Rumsfeld and prompted cheers among the soldiers listening to him in a hangar. After asking Wilson to repeat the question, Rumsfeld replied: '``You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have.'``

During Wednesday's briefing, Speakes said the soldier may not have known that ``an existing program'' was under way to add armor to the last of the unit's vehicles when he questioned Rumsfeld.
Today as I drove in my car listening to ABC talk radio I happened to hear the hourly 5 minute news break.  Here we are over a week since this incident occured and there is Peter Jennings still talking about it as though it were headline news.  It is not "news".  It's not even a news story.  The real story here is how the media has created a scandal for themselves and by their own hand from a non-issue.  If there is a scandal here, it is not in the Defense Department, it's in the news media who created this story in the first place out of nothing.

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