Thursday, December 09, 2004

Rummy blames "physics" for troops not having armor 

Bush, of course, takes no responsibility at all. Alert reader Julia has the followup story.

The lie:

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday the Army was working as fast as it can and supply is dictated by ``a matter of physics, not a matter of money.''

The Truth:

Armor Holdings Inc., the sole supplier of protective plates for the Humvee military vehicles used in Iraq, said it could increase output by as much as 22 percent per month with no investment and is awaiting an order from the Army.

Leave it to a Republican to blame science—and then screw it up!

But, I thought "we make our own reality?" Can't Bush just pray, and have the armor delivered?

And, um, maybe there's a more earthly problem—not the lack of planning, but the fact that the armor manufacturer is a sole supplier, i.e. a monopolopy? Military industrial complex, anyone? Hey, I thought the free market was supposed to solve what Bush praying didn't...

Insurgent attacks on the vehicles with homemade bombs and rocket-propelled grenades are accounting for as much as half of the more than 1,000 U.S. deaths and 9,000 U.S. wounded in Iraq, according to Congressional estimates.

President George W. Bush said concerns raised by soldiers in questions to Rumsfeld yesterday in Kuwait are being "addressed," Bush said in response to a reporter's question. ``We expect our troops to have the best possible equipment. If I were a soldier overseas wanting to defend my country I'd want to ask the Secretary of Defense the same question, and that is are we getting the best'' equipment, he said. ``They deserve the best.''

No no. They deserved the best—back when the war was being [cough] planned. Of course, they didn't get it.

`Hillbilly Armor'

U.S. troops preparing for deployment to Iraq told Rumsfeld yesterday they are salvaging armor from landfills to install ``hillbilly armor'' on their Humvees. Rumsfeld replied that ``you have to go to war with the Army you have.''
(via Bloomberg)

Right. So, to show his contrition, Rummy's going to ride a bicycle from The Green Zone to the Baghdad Airport—naked. After all, if armor doesn't offer any real protection....

Oh, and it's nice to see the Dem on this one. Oh, wait...

UPDATE Alert reader Bryan distinguishes between HumVees and trucks. Note that Wilson was asking about trucks:

Specialist Thomas Wilson was not asking about Humvees. He couldn't care less about Humvees. If they produced Humvees with more armor than an Abrams tank it would have zero effect on the safety of Specialist Thomas Wilson and the other transportation units in Iraq because they load Humvees on the backs of the trucks they drive.

The Pentagon is talking about Humvees because they are doing something about them. They don't want to talk about trucks, because they have no program for upgrading trucks.

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