Skip to main content

From the AP

Some of soldiers, however, had criticisms of their own -- not of the war itself but of how it is being fought.

Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly three years after the war in Iraq.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.

Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

snip

Asked later about Wilson's complaint, the deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Kuwait, Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, said in an interview that as far as he knows, every vehicle that is deploying to Iraq from Camp Buehring in Kuwait has at least "Level 3" armor. That means it at least has locally fabricated armor for its side panels, but not necessarily bulletproof windows or protection against explosions that penetrate the floorboard.

another soldier complained that active-duty Army units sometimes get priority over the National Guard and Reserve units for the best equipment in Iraq.

"There's no way I can prove it, but I am told the Army is breaking its neck to see that there is not" discrimination against the National Guard and Reserve in terms of providing equipment, Rumsfeld said.

Yet another soldier asked, without putting it to Rumsfeld as a direct criticism, how much longer the Army will continue using its "stop loss" power to prevent soldiers from leaving the service who are otherwise eligible to retire or quit.

Rumsfeld said that this condition was simply a fact of life for soldiers at time of war.

"It's basically a sound principle, it's nothing new, it's been well understood" by soldiers, he said. "My guess is it will continue to be used as little as possible, but that it will continue to be used."

These guys sound real happy.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=2&u=/ap/20041208/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ru msfeld

Originally posted to bonddad on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 05:06 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Good one (4.00)
    Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

    Whaaaaaat? A real question..from a Soldier???

    "There's no way I can prove it...Got That Right...

    I'm hitting the top jar..Support the Troops, Support the Troops!

    "We must become the change we want to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi

    by philinmaine on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 05:02:23 AM PST

    •  His answer, (4.00)
      according to NPR was something like, "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you wish you have." I imagine they are saying much the same thing to kids going to substandard schools under the NCLB Act, "You try to learn with the school you have, not the school you wish you have."
      •  from MSNBC: (4.00)
        Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly three years after the war in Iraq.

        "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.

        Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

        "We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north," Wilson said after asking again.

        Rumsfeld replied that, "You go to war with the Army you have," not the one you might want, and that any rate the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible.

        •  Produce as fast as possible (4.00)
          Which is a lie. As a father of one of the guys killed because he didn't have proper army on his Humvee pointed out, they're still producing Hummers for private sale, at huge (albeit diminished, given the gas rates) rates. If we're at war and can stop loss people indefinitely, don't you think we ought to be able to ask Hummer to prioritize its production?
          •  AND we're subsidizing the purchase of Hummers (4.00)
            At a boat show recently, there was a Hummer on display.  My 6-year-old, who loves Hummers despite his older brother's frequent lectures on their environment-destroying effects, insisted on inspecting it at close range.  There was a large sign on it informing potential buyers that they could get a large tax deduction for buying this vehicle for "business" use (e.g., a realtor using it to show houses).
          •  Deep sorrow. (4.00)
            Is it friendly fire when our children die because of budgetary dodges?

            It's hard to commit to production of armor when the White House is declaring that we won't need to spend the money.

            Hummer Bummer: Why is the White House underfunding armored Humvees?

            The White House doesn't appear to be helping. Its proposed budget for 2005 includes funds for 818 up-armored Humvees, which may or may not be enough, depending on whether the military's latest estimate of its needs holds steady and how many up-armored Humvees are already in the pipeline. (An Army spokesman said he wasn't sure of the number.) As for the thousands for armor kits the military says it needs, the proposed budget includes exactly zero dollars for them.

          •  I'm sorry (none)
            I'm so sorry about your son.  
        •  Halliburton gets to skim its millions (4.00)
          so why can't we be a little more pro-active about withholding payments from Halliburton, Bechtel et al, and channeling some money to hummers that are properly armored?

          Rummy's response, between the lines:  "you go to war with the army you have, not the one you might want.  you go to war with the supply and payment mechanisms in place to maximize profit for large corporate donors, not with the supply system that might best protect you.  you go to war with only your sense of patriotism and instict for survival to ensure you can do your job, not with the government oversight you might wish to have to make your job do-able."

        •  yeah but (4.00)
          WE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO TO WAR.

          Sorry to scream, but there is a HUGE difference between a war that's forced on you and one you CHOOSE to start.

          If you CHOOSE to start a war, you damn well better have the troops and materiel to fight it.

          •  Exactly (none)
            And even if we did eventually have to deal with Sadaam ( a point I don't concede ), there was certanly no urgency which justified going into a war badly equipped.
            •  In their minds they were properly equipped (none)
              Remember, they expected a minimal resistance, rapid set-up of a friendly government and flowers tossed in the troops direction, not rpg's, bombs, etc.

              The fact that all the evidence pointed in the direction of what has happened was irrelevant.

              It is important to remember that perception is a form of reality, and they have always been consistent in operating based upon their perceptions.

              And they don't let facts get in their way.

              Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

              by JAPA21 on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 09:13:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  MSNBC (none)
          Just did a big segment on this.  They interviewed Paul Reichkoff of Operation Truth, who said that that soldier was standing up for all his buddies and that's what military personnel do.

          I hope this segment gets replayed on MSNBC.

          Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

          by SusanHu on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:47:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Operation Truth's blog (4.00)
            Soldiers Ask Rumsfeld the Tough Questions

            At Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave a prepared speech, but was clearly unprepared for the tough questioning that followed.  Here's an excerpt from the AP article:

            Army Spc. Thomas Wilson... of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly three years after the war in Iraq.

            "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.

            Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

            "We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north," Wilson said after asking again.

            Rumsfeld replied that, "You go to war with the Army you have," not the one you might want, and that any rate the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible.

            Equipment shortages have been a problem since the start of the war.  Read Paul Rieckhoff's op-ed on the subject in the International Herald-Tribune.  

            The OpTruth bloggers may have more comments to add, but for now, we'll applaud Spc. Wilson's courage, and then throw this one to our readers.  Comments?

            By: Valkyrie (Operation Truth's Blog, Dec. 8, 2004)

            Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

            by SusanHu on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:59:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Another remarkable Rumsfeld observation (none)
          Talking Points Memo gleans this from the transcript:

          "If you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored Humvee and it can be blown up."

          Hey, who knew that the Iraqis would be so fond of blowing things up? Better luck in your next incarnation.

      •  He should have said (none)
        "You soldiers get to go to war at the direction of the Fucktards appointed by the dumbass you elected."

        (or the one the SCOTUS appointed anyway)

        Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by racerx on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:33:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's The Quote As I Saw It Reported (none)
        On my local (Wash DC) NBC affiliate's 6PM news.  As to that pause before answering, it was so pregnant it was time to induce labor.  Not to mention that look on Rummy's face, which appeared to be frozen in horror (think Dracula confronted with a crucifix).  This was not the sort of thing he expected to be confronted with, I'm sure.  Apparently, he went on to say that the extra armor in the vehicles used by the regular Army aren't really any better because of the powerful explosions produced by the typical roadside bombs the guerrillas are setting off these days, and the report commented that this remark came off as "insensitive" to the perils faced by the NGs.

        The report also quoted a top general (not named) as saying that until today he had no idea soldiers were scrounging through garbage dumps to find scrap metal to affix to their vehicles.  That reminds me of the British general who finally got a look at the "battlefield" in which his soldiers had sunk up to their necks in mud during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917 (after the offensive was over, he was on his way to a staff meeting and his car got stuck).  "My God," he exclaimed as he burst into tears.  "Did we really send men to fight in that?"  His driver, who was apparently less ignorant of the state of affairs, replied "it's worse further up."

        In a democracy, the people generally get the government they deserve - tant pis.

        by JJB on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 04:32:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  AP scrubs Rummy Quotes (4.00)

      Before:

      "Rumsfeld replied that, "You go to war with the Army you have," not the one you might want, and that any rate the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible."

      After:

      "Rumsfeld replied that troops should make the best of the conditions they face and said the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible."

      •  Another Rummy quote (none)
        Asked about high casualty numbers in Iraq, Rummy got a bit fed up
        and replied: "The Civil War, then we're talking of a messy affair".

        So we've not yet reached Rummy's limit.

        The horror of war does not end when peace has been achieved

    •  where's (none)
      your tip jar? excellent post.
  •  Sources? (none)
    Do you have a link to the AP article? Would love to read the full version. thanks, good info

    Timendi causa est nescire (Ignorance is the cause of fear)

    by Animal13 on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 05:08:21 AM PST

  •  Ha! (none)
    Hope Spc Wilson likes latrine duty!
    •  For the rest of his service committment (none)
      which, using the stop-loss measures will be about 20 years.....

      Only 1 president in the last 30 years has balanced the federal budget -- Bill Clinton

      by bonddad on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:01:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of stop-loss... (none)
        I live in Ohio and was channel-surfing last night when I was very surprised by what I saw on one of the cable access channels. It was a National Guard recruitment ad -- in Spanish!

        We've had a sizable influx of Latino immigrants in the last few years, but I still think this was the first Spanish-language ad I have seen on a mainstream cable channel up here. I suppose the cynical thinking behind this is that if they're hungry enough to travel thousands of miles for a chance to take on our landscaping work or other menial labor, their level of desperation might be great enough that going into the Iraqi shooting gallery wouldn't seem like a daunting option.

        •  A point brought up by Randi Rhodes (none)
          yesterday was: have you notice the increase in recruitment advertising for the Guard, but not a similar increase for the regular army?  

          It's the Wal-Mart theory of military recruitment. Hire more part-timers so you don't have to pay benefits.

          Pretty disguisting if you ask me.

          Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote - George Jean Nathan

          by awnm on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 02:39:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I wish (none)
      someone could follow up and keep an eye on what happens to this guy. That would actually be real reporting. He'll probably end up like those people counting the dead bodies in Fallujah.

      So what you're saying is by not paying a union wage, by lowering the wages of those workers - you can cut my taxes - Terri Gross to Grover Norquist

      by The past is over on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 07:43:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rummy's reply (4.00)
    "You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up," Rumsfeld said.

    I am sure they feel better now.

    60% is 6 of 10 in a focus group. Change 1 mind, it's a dead heat. Change 2, it's a landslide. This campaign's a mechanism of persuasion. -WW

    by ssg012 on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 05:15:08 AM PST

  •  Rumsfeld's reply to (4.00)
    "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?"

    "You go to war with the Army you have,"

    The article on CNN gave the above quote, but I'm fairly certain that the quote was "cleaned up" because in another article citing the same question, his reply was

    "You go to war with the equipment you have", "You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up,"

  •  RECCOMMEND THIS DIARY!!! (none)
  •  NPR is covering this (none)
    Just heard this on Morning Edition.
  •  Those poor kids (none)
    Rumsfeld is telling them to put up or shut up.
  •  I'm surprised Rummy had the guts (4.00)
    I am surprised Rummy had the guts to stand in a room full of real soldiers, whose courage so dramatically surpasses his own.

    The soldier really brought the point home with the question about armor.  My god, it has been three years, we've known we needed for a while, and they got billions of dollars to fund the troops.  What the hell have they been spending it on?  I'm all for deficit reduction, but certain things we should damn well pay for: reducing our troops chances of getting 'blown up' is one of them.  (Who bets that when Rummy heads to Iraq, he's got better than 'level 3' armor? Takers?)

    Three years.  Just one thing that happened during those three years: Bush had a state visit to England, and brought along three (3!) personal chefs.  I know English food isn't great in general, but I'm fairly certain that Buckingham Palace must have a half-decent cook on staff, at least tolerable for a week or so.  Maybe if we'd taken the money paying for the chefs, for the Air Force One weekend trips to Texas, and from the 'Barney the dog' websites, we could have bought some body and vehicle armor that would have kept a couple more of our soldiers alive.

    Would have been worth a try, anyway.

    •  Even more disgusting (4.00)
      When a police department in Florida wanted to send old body vests over to the troops, specially some Florida National Guardsmen who had none, they were forbidden to by the Army.  No, I don't have a link, but this came out last summer and I think it was on Kos.  
      Those National guardsmen who refused an order to take supplies to another site did so because their equipment was old and non-protected.
      And it is true that the National guard is the least equipped of any of the forces.  They have to use their own equipment which is usually old hand-me-downs from the regular Army.
      In my mind, this borders on criminal negligence.
      As to Rummy even allowing questions, his arrogance makes him do it.  Furthermore, since all his answers are absolutely correct (sarcasm) in his mind he has answered all the soldiers' doubts and they are now 100% confident in his running of this mess.
      Morale in our military, especially the Army and the Marines has never been lower, yet when surveys come out pointing this out, they are dismissed as of course when soldiers are in combat they are not going to be leaping around in joy. What BS.

      Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

      by JAPA21 on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:02:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  BBC news report months ago showed (none)
        original US body vests could be bought in Bagdad market for less than $100, all material looted from wrecked and blow up trailers en route in Iraq. Vicious circle, no security.

        Born a Liberal, voting Liberal, dying as a Liberal: á la Vie á la Mort

    •  But..... (none)
      isn't it Kerry's fault

      F-Bush, F-Rummy, F-Condi, F-every Neocon scumbag.

      With a big ol' lie And a flag and a pie And a mom and a bible Most folks are just liable To buy any line Any place, any time ~ FZ

      by f furney on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:03:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is Kerry's fault, but... (4.00)
        I can't believe those soldiers would ask those questions, they are clearly not supporting the troops by posing questions like that and may even be guilty of giving comfort to the enemy?  

        Oh wait,  those are the troops...

        Poor kids, I feel so sorry for them and hope they can come home alive and get some help to deal with the emotional baggage they bring home.

        •  Get With the Republican Program Here (none)
          It's Clinton's fault.
        •  i think the much larger question (none)
          here is how is moral among the troops over there?  Its not like the criminal negligence of this administration is anything new to fellow kossacks.  The tone of the troops questions, the gall of cross examining the SecDef in what was probably meant to be a pep rally, is revealing to me.  These soldiers are probably starting to figure out that Bushco has no plan to get them home, in fact, their only plan seems to be breaking promise after promise about when these guys are going home, and stopping others who have served their time and want to retire.  Imagine being a prisoner who is told they'll be released on a certain date, and then having that date pushed back again and again.  Factor in continual combat stress, and we just might have a vietnam-type dissention and disatisfaction among the military.  Not that the media will ever, ever report anything other than the troops are still 'gung-ho' about the mission......it's getting harder to swallow.

          "let us stand fast in times of darkness"-Julie Billiant

          by cato on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:35:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Say it, man - Just fucking say it! (none)
        To complete your thought:

        Fuck-Bush, Fuck-Rummy, Fuck-Condi, Fuck-every Neocon scumbag.

        There.  That wasn't so bad, now.  Was it?

        Culina: where to eat in Edmonton.

        by Gearhead on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:57:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  He believes his own PR (none)
      He thought they supported him. That they LOVE everything about the military.

      Wrong. And when you lose the troops, you've lost the war. They just don't want to face it.

      Vietnam. Again.

      •  Don't get high on your own supply! (none)
        Yup, Rummy's smoking his own propaganda is the best explaination I can think of for why he'd do this, plus he can depend on a compliant press to say it went well no matter what.

        I'm not sure which thought is more disturbing, that the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld believe the crap that comes out of their mouths and are deluded, or that the just feel free to lie.  Personally, I think its a bit of both.

      •  asdf (none)
        The whole lot of the Bush administration is delusional.  They live in a bubble, and never have to have a contradictory opinion to worry their pretty (haha ok ugly) little heads.  I think this is keeping with their "mandate" mentality-"oh! Everyone LOVES us! The war is going GREAT!"  Only now the wall is breaking down, at least slightly.

        Your silence will not protect you.

        by SairaLV on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:21:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Audio? (none)
    I wonder if there is audio of this event.  On the radio this morning (WTOP, in DC), the report made it sound like a few soldiers cheered.  This report makes it sound like everyone cheered.  I would be interested in knowing how many of the troops felt comfortable cheering a question to their commander that had a clearly confrontational bent.

    Big, big kudos to Thomas Wilson for asking the question.

    Yeah, it's humble. But we all start somewhere: Banality Fair

    by Spiral Stairs on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 05:56:10 AM PST

  •  Not aware? (3.50)
    What planet are these morons living on?   The Deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Kuwait, Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, said that he was not aware that soldiers were searching landfills for scrap metal and used bulletproof glass.

    Hello?  Why have I been reading stories like this for months and a freaking Major General doesn't know a thing about it?  I don't suppose he's heard that families are pitching in to buy body armor for soldiers too.  Un-freaking-believable.  

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:02:48 AM PST

    •  Maybe Generals Don't Read (none)
      Materials that have not been approved by the Pentagon.  
      •  Good point (none)
        Or perhaps they're following their fearless leader's example and are not reading anything...maybe it's the only way they can sleep at night.

        Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

        by Barbara Morrill on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:24:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bushies live in an alternate universe (none)
          You're right, the Chimp and all his faithful followers live in an alternate universe, where bad news never happens.  They don't even bother to read the papers lap-dog transcriptions of the daily Bush lies.

          The posts above mention how the Rumsfeld quote was "cleaned up"- that Rove bastard must have lots of little Rovian bastards working for him round the clock to keep all the messages straight.

          Support our Troops- Impeach Bush   I'm going to order 300 of these bumper stickers and slap them on every yuppie SUV with their yellow magnets.

    •  He was perfectly aware (none)
      The motherfucker lied like a carpet.  Bush showed him how.
  •  Sounds like Vietnam (none)
    This thing is a mess.  We will never win this thing as long as the entire arab world hates us.  Infact a new Zogby poll (yes I know Zogby is crap) showed that 98% of Saudi Arabia as a negative opinion of America.  You can win a war when people think like that.
  •  Sheer frustration speaking (none)
  •  I ain't money (4.00)
    Congress appropriated the money for up armoring vehicles, at the democrats insitence, during the famous $87 billion dust up. What with 15 years of GATT and NAFTA and all, there is only one manufacturer remaining in the US with the capability to manufacture this armor. They are working above capacity and estimate that they will be able to deliver the armor in 5 years, tops. This is why so many of us old curmudgeons keep saying an industrial base is a necessity of nationhood.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:23:29 AM PST

    •  Give 'em time (none)
      They'll farm the job out to the F'ing Chinese.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by racerx on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:29:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Crap! Same old, same old (none)
      I heard some Union officials last summer talking about the last plant in the US that manufactures "smart" chips for weapons being moved to China.

      Now there's a plan.

      I don't know if it happened or not, but that's what the suits on the show said.

      utahgirl

      •  I'm sure it did (4.00)
        Think about this; in 1929 the economy crashed, factories shut down all over the US. In 1933 Roosevelt started trying to bring back US industry with government spending but it  was an uphill struggle. When Britain went to war, in 1939, it got a little better while we sent them war materiel on credit. Then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, congress declared war and American industry was ordered to gear up and go. Between January 1, 1942 and December 31st, 1942 our factories, while training a new female workforce, turned out more weapons and vehicles than would be manufactured by all the other countries on both sides for the entire duration of the war.                                                                                                               Early in '43 Kaiser built a lberty ship in 6 days. That's the manufacturing base that we have abandoned in the interest of "free trade".

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:59:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is and isn't money (4.00)
      For the immediate need, it is partially money.  Through enough money at the problem, enough to build the needed infrastructure, and in three years time we certainly could have had the 200,000 or so sets of body armor needed so that soldiers rotating through could have had the best, or at least had some civilian use body armor that's better than nothing.  If there's some out there that relatives of the troops have been able to find and send, our government should have been able to find it and send it as well.

      As for the vehicles, again, if you are willing to spend enough to build the factories, given the ramp up time a hell of a lot more could have and should have been done.

      I agree completely: the loss of the manufacturing base is an incredible strategic blunder.  While I want the government to operate in an economically efficient way, it is not efficient to allow our strategic needs to be in the hands of Chinese manufacturers.  China is a potent potential rival on the world scene, and we have had tensions fairly recently (the incompetently handled spy plane crash issue, for one.)  Anything in Taiwan is similarly problematic: any war with China would certainly involve military action around Taiwan, so it is simply not a good idea.

      Note also that we are ridiculously dependent, for military purposes, on the region we are fighting in.  Without oil, armored vehicles become pillboxes, and vulnerables ones at that.  Lowering our dependence on foreign oil is as or more strategically important as keeping our industrial base.  (Note that this does not mean opening up ANWAR: lets figure out a way to reduce consumption before we break open the piggy bank.)

      •  A strategic (4.00)
        and an economic blunder with drastic social consequences in the inner cities that used to host the industrial base. Sort of a Republican hat trick.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 07:25:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  exactly (none)
      If you can't make your own weapons, what kind of country are you?

      You need a steel industry, a heavy machinery industry, an automotive industry, and all the bits and pieces that supply them, AND surplus capacity. We don't have ANY of it anymore.

      Just wait til they start shooting down planes and helicopters regularly. We can't build them very fast, either.

  •  Send this story to your republican friends (none)
    I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing any more Q&A sessions like this one anytime soon. If we do, the soldiers will be vetted like a Bush campaign rally.

    I hope someone in the media follows what happens to the soldiers who spoke out, to see what kind of shit falls on them.

    Oh wait, I forgot... We don't have a media.

    If only there was a semen-stained blue dress involved, maybe we could see some follow-up reporting.

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by racerx on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:28:16 AM PST

    •  Unforgivable (none)
      I had just read this on AOL News! Time to email Olbermann...he's our only hope of keeping this in the headlines. I agree, Wilson will disappear into the sunset, never to be heard of again? Someone needs to keep tabs on this soldier and his treatment after he dared to question Rummy!

      The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

      by Alohaleezy on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:41:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just what I was about to post... (none)
      You can bet there won't be anymore unrehearsed Q&A's between soldiers and their Secretary of Defensiveness.

      Look for a signed pledge to keep quiet requirement at all future such events, similar to what Bush imposed on attendees to his campaign rallies.

  •  ABC News version (none)
  •  Why isn't this stuff being used?? (none)
    Ready made stick on armor. Fuck! Just throw money at these guys to ramp up production and get it over there.

    As a Leader in the application of ceramic and inorganic polymer materials, Armor Systems International has developed Aztik 100TM.

    Aztik 100TM is a lightweight, semi-flexible composite protective armor system unique to the market. It is capable of withstanding armor piercing rounds up to the common NATO 7.62 AP round. this modifiable armor can stop a 0.50 caliber armor piercing bullet at 40 feet.

    The Aztik 100TM Peel & Stick Armoring System© quickly applies to any smooth curved or flat surface within a military, law enforcement or private vehicle or aircraft for instant threat protection. This revolutionary patent pending armoring system incorporates a unique construction of multi-layer fabrics and adhesives that provides threat protection against NIJ STD-0108.01 Level II, IIA, III, IIIA and IV and has passed Ballistic tests for multi-hit capability. Aztik 100'sTM integration of low weight and Ballistic characteristics makes it the armor of choice in personnel protection.Link

    May 24, 2004
    Army to deploy peel-and-stick armor in Afghanistan

    A Vancouver, Wash.-based company is supplying Humvee armor kits for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The Army Humvees will be the first military vehicles outfitted with a peel-and-stick armoring system manufactured by Armor Systems International. ASI representatives are now at a U.S. military base, where they will load 15 Aztik 100 armor kits onto a cargo plane bound for troops in Kandahar early next week.

    The Army's Rapid Equipping Force ordered the Aztik armor kits in December for use in Iraq but determined a greater need for these resources in Afghanistan.

    "We're excited to demonstrate the effectiveness and uniqueness of our armored HMMWV kit solution to American soldiers in Afghanistan," said ASI President and CEO Terry Billedeaux. "This product is long overdue and will protect our troops from deadly" munitions. Over the next couple of weeks, the ASI team will train troops to install the armor, observe its performance in the combat environment and gather feedback from soldiers for future product enhancements.

    The panels, made of a composite, can deflect high-caliber arms fire and fragmentation from roadside bombs as well as, or better than, conventional steel-plate armor, according to the company. ASI's armor, however, is much lighter than steel-plate, and addresses a critical concern. The suspension and transmission systems of military vehicles often are unable to withstand the weight of steel armor, ASI officials said in a written statement.
    ASI's 19-piece Aztik 100 HMMWV [Humvee] armor kit includes door panels, floor protection, a rear-protection panel, seat cushions and bullet-resistant glass. Two soldiers can install the system in the field in less than two hours, enabling almost instant protection from deadly arms fire.

    © 2004 American City Business Journals Inc.
    Link

    •  And where's this stuff made? (none)
      China? India? Malaysia?
    •  Bush doesn't care about the cannon fodder (none)
      Bush and Rove don't give a damn about the troops, they are just all about rewarding their cronies and grabbing all the oil they can.

      If there was really a priority on protecting our troops the unarmored humvees would not have been sent to Iraq with no timely plan to retrofit them.

      Bush and Rumsfeld should be impeached and tried for high crimes.

      IMPEACH BUSH

    •  I doubt if they have enough (none)
      It's a good idea, and if the DOD isn't buying everything that company can crank out it's a crime, but I doubt if they could make enough to do any large percentage of the vehicles in Iraq.

      Again, IF WE HAD A REAL MEDIA, they might get off pick up a F'ing phone and find out how much armor these guys have available and PUT THAT FACT ON THE F'ING NEWS.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by racerx on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:12:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm pretty certain Kerry votes were (none)
    on a par with Bush amongst these guys, if he didn't outright win.
    •  Troops votes for Kerry- did they count them? (none)
      The troops may have wanted to vote for Kerry, but how many actually got to cast their votes?  I talked to a lady in WV who was a strong Kerry supporter but wasn't sure that her son, who had recently been sent from Iraq to Korea, would be able to vote.

      Once the Bush/Rovians sensed that certain troops might vote against their glorious leader it would be simple to just "lose" the votes like they "found" the two week after the election votes in 2000.

  •  Three cheers for Army Spc. Thomas Wilson (none)
    Although I'm sure he's rotting in the brig somewhere. (What's the Army equivalent of the brig?)

    Blog this! Visit me at K Street Blues. It will change your life.

    by AggieDemocrat on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 07:47:08 AM PST

  •  cable news coverage (4.00)
    This morning here is how FoxNews covered the questioning.  The lead-in said that Rumsfeld faced some tough questions, including one from a soldier who asked why the army doesn't have proper armor on its vehicles.  The anchor then said, Rumsfeld "TOOK HIM ON."  The story then cut to a clip of Rumsfeld lecturing the troops with the line that you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want.

    On CNN, they also only showed Rumsfeld's lecture to the troops.

    Neither network showed the question (which imparted some shocking and newsmaking information on its own, such as the fact that soldiers are scavenging makeshift armor from iraqi landfills) or the big cheer that arose from the troops gathered.

    Both networks made the troop out to be an isolated case of disgruntlement.

    •  GMA (none)
      Good Morning America played a clip of the question, you could hear the applause in response to the question, and they then showed Rummy's answer.  So, the full clip is out there, and is being played, but for how long?
    •  "Took him On".... (4.00)
      Good for Rummy. How dare anyone, especially ungrateful troops who should be thankful they have a job at all, question the supreme commander of defense?

      How totally disgusting that those would be the words used by Fox. Perhaps Rumsfeld could have 'responded to the question' or 'provided an explanation' or 'alleviated the concerns' or anything remotely civilized. Are we now to assume that Rummy and Bush view the troops in Iraq as potential allies of the enemy... wasn't it just a year ago that Bush told the Iraq resistance "Bring 'Em On". Is that their answer for everything?? Bring Them On, Took him On. What about just communicating?

      Not that I expect any better from Fox... but just imagine if Gore were in the White House and Wesley Clark was responding to the troops the way Rumsfeld did... would Fox cheer how Clark "Took him On" or would they being calling for his head for disrespecting our troops?

      Ugh. It never ends.

      Jaded Reality... "freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose"

      by spiderleaf on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:24:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I would have liked to have seen (none)
        Rummy 'take him on' in good old school manly fashion.  

        I know, I'm progressive, violence shouldn't be the answer, but seeing him get a pasting at the hands of a soldier whose life he's put at risk with his stupid policies would do the soul some good.

        •  You know... (none)
          I was just mulling over the demise of the duel as a proper means of settling disagreements...

          ...violence isn't the answer I know, but at least you would get some satisfaction... unless Rummy showed with an AK and the soldier was forced to rummage through spent amunitiouns to find a trigger...

          Jaded Reality... "freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose"

          by spiderleaf on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 09:19:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  My husband (active duty army for 18 years) (4.00)
          thinks rumsfeld is lucky for army discipline because he is pretty damn sure there were plenty in the audience who would have loved to get their hands on him...

          Sad to think I had another thought that I am not going to post because I worry about my husband being sent to Iraq if we don't keep our heads down...Paranoia strikes deep, I guess.  But since reading about how the secret service visited someone based on what he wrote in a blog, I actually am having second thoughts about posting at all, any more, because of my husband's job...Not that I think anything will happen, but it's just kinda scary out here.  I was just talking to him on the phone, he's at work on a military base, so I worried about asking him about this whole thing in case someone overheard it or was listening in...

          •  Damn, this pisses me off... (none)
            Your Husband (and you as well) are showing an incredible commitment to your country, I and I'm sure virtually everyone on this board thanks you for it.

            I have long admired the basic discipline of the U.S. Armed forces.  They respect civilian leadership, which is something that far too many militaries have not; this has resulted in far too many fledgling democracies becoming military juntas.  While I may joke about wanted to smack Rumsfeld upside the head, the fact that troops with so many reasons to be disgruntled would never do so is inspiring.

            I wish that respect was returned.  Alas, your worries are not ill-founded: This administration has regularly gone after the lower ranks and shown little respect for people actually going out and doing the hard work in the field.  From Plame to Shinseki to Abu Ghraib, the big guys and the loyalists have been spared and the little guys and the dissenters have had problems.  The recent news stories about one of our soldiers being flown out of Iraq for 'psychiatric problems' after complaining about treatment of prisoners really makes me scared for the future of our military and our country.  Military discipline doesn't just come from exceptional people, it comes from exceptional examples and ideals, and those ideals are getting compromised at the highest levels.

            It's frustrating for me right now, because I'm a solutions guy and given the people in power I see no short term solution to the problem.  You should never have to worry about expressing dissent, and yet I cannot assure you that expressing dissent is safe for your husbands career.  I can only express my deepest gratitude, and work to change the folks in power so we can get back to truly respecting our soldiers.

      •  If you needed any proof that the cable nets (none)
        exist primarily military propaganda tools, their silencing of this brave soldier is all you really need.
    •  New bumper sticker. (none)
      This made me come up with a new bumper sticker: 'Support our Troops' but with Troops crossed out and 'Defense Department' written underneath.  That's really what it is.  I think ordinary people think 'support our troops' means supporting the actual men and women in harms way, but for BushCo and the propaganda machine, it means support the Pentagon.

      I want to watch Fox on this - 'how dare the troops... not support our troops!'

  •  Vietnam... (none)
    Vietnam was a war we shouldn't have fought.  Once we were there though, we made a series of strategic blunders that made it worse.  If you insist on fighting a war, send enough troops with the proper equipment and make the right strategic calls so that you can win the peace.  None of that has happened, and our soldiers are paying the price.  This country and its security are paying the price.

    Donald Rumsfeld, you're an asshole.

    •  And I hope that (none)
      Iraqi Regimental Combat Veterans for Truth never show up at Mr. Wilson's door.

      Shame on any news media organization that doesn't show the entire sequence (both Wilson's question, the cheering, and Rumsfeld's pathetic answer).

    •  The reasons for going to war in Vietnam (none)

      (containing Communism and protecting South Vietnam) were, in retrospect, much better than the reasonsfor going to war in Iraq (containing Al Qaeda and finding non-existent WMD).

      I think it's really unfair to Kennedy, McNamara, Johnson, et al. to compare their unsuccessful, poorly managed but reasonably well-intentioned war with the current nation-destroying war in Iraq.

      •  Vietnam was a war based on lies also (4.00)
        Don't try to rewrite history, Vietnam was totally based on lies, starting with the Gulf of Tonkin.

        Iraq is worse because we should have learned from history, but once our elections were corrupted in 2000 there was nothing to hold the Bushie bastards back.

        The weak-willed Dems. and lap-dog media went right along with the Liar Bush.

        There are plenty of men dying for the mistakes of the criminal Rumsfeld, congratulations for the soldier who stood up to this misguided little napoleon midget minded jerk.

  •  It's Rumsfeld's war, not the soldiers' (none)
    Rummy's answer typifies his refusal to accept responsibility for one goddamn thing:
     "You go to war with the Army you have," he said in a rare public airing of rank-and-file concerns among the troops.

    Umm...no, Rummy, you went to war with the Army you had.  And you didn't bother to make sure there were adequate troops or that they were adequately prepared.  The soldiers didn't go to war; they just have to hunt through garbage dumps now to figure out some way not to get killed.

             

  •  Whose neck is breaking? (none)
    As you know, in response to the question about discrimination against the National Guard, Rumsfeld said,

    "There's no way I can prove it, but I am told the Army is breaking its neck to see that there is not" discrimination against the National Guard and Reserve in terms of providing equipment

    Well, I believe that as Secretary of Defense, he can prove this kind of thing, and we should ask him to, lame metaphors aside.

    Anyway, what do you think- should we demand that he prove it, seeing as he should be in the best position possible to do so?

    O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!

    by A Ball of Lint on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:09:16 AM PST

  •  I maintain (none)
    That if Gulf War created three terrorists, then Iraq War will create 300.

    Now they know how to make body armor out of garbage.

    Great.

    Y'know what?  If I were Kerry, I wouldn't want the job either.  The next Democratic president is a dead man.

  •  What a total asshole (none)
    You go to war with the Army you have???!

    Wow then don't go to war.  Easy for him to say such a statement when he gets to walk around with secret service and all the armor in the world.

    I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

    by diplomatic on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:48:36 AM PST

    •  If those who voted for Bush (none)
      don't now understand that this adminstration doesn't give two craps about the US military, I'm sure what will convince them.  Rumsfeld basically told the troops, "guess what, I don't really care" with his "the military you have versus the military you want" comments.  
  •  380 tons worth of HQX.... (none)
    fill in the blank...

    Send us your used sandals and shoes and we'll help out other people.

    by quartzite on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 09:02:10 AM PST

  •  What a disgrace (4.00)
    It is obvious from a circus like this that the troops hate the troops.  For shame!  Don't they know they give comfort to the enemy?  Such criticisms are treasonous and un-American.  Unpatriotic pacifist lefties.  Harumph.

    Er, something like that.

    Hate the game.

  •  Thomas Wilson's people back home (none)
    Let's find them before the rethugs do and help them out. I feel sure that this administration keeps a shit-list just as Nixon did
    •  Good idea. (none)
      We need to shower them with support, and let them know they're not alone.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by racerx on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:19:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  His wife interviewed here (none)
      not the brightest bulb there ever was, but maybe she's learning...

      Wilson's wife said she saw the TV news reports about her husband's question Wednesday after taking the children to meet the school bus.

      She doesn't watch TV reports on the war while their two children - 10-year-old Megan and 5-year-old Thomas - are home because "it scares them to death."

      Wilson said her husband joined the National Guard in June 2003. He had previously enlisted in the Air Force in 1994 and served about four years, she said.

      "It's all about duty, and he felt compelled to be over there," Wilson said, adding that both she and her husband voted for President Bush in November and support him "100 percent." But she said she was not impressed with Rumsfeld's answer.

      "He seemed like he was stuttering and stumbling - like he was caught off guard," she said. "Rumsfeld's answer seemed like he was sidestepping around the question."

      She added, "If there is something lacking perhaps that is why our death toll is climbing."

      http://www.wkrn.com/Global/story.asp?S=2666447

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by racerx on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:44:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  WOW (none)
        Why do these people support Bush 100%? It continues to boggle my mind. Oh well, F'em
        •  It boggles my mind too.. (none)
          in fact I've come to the conclusion that I really only support the troops and families who are against Bush 100%. Like me and my son. He hates Bush and Co.He's actually still fighting with people in his Guard unit about comments he made to a newspaper reporter a year ago before his deployment. I thought I couldn't hate Bush anymore than I did before the election but I've actually found room for more.
  •  More great quotes from the Q&A (none)
    "Now settle down, settle down. Hell, I'm an old man, and it's early in the morning. I'm just gathering my thoughts here,"

    "if you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored Humvee and it can be blown up."

    NO SHIT, SHERLOCK

    Golly, do IEDs blow people up? Absolutely! Do I wish they wouldn't? Darn Tootin! Have I mismanaged this war? Absolutely not! Any monkey on mars knows that!!!

    asshole.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=615&e=1&u=/nm/iraq_usa_rumsfeld_dc

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by racerx on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:18:43 AM PST

  •  TDS (none)
    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart had a great piece about Rumsfeld and the administration last night.  Jon pointed out to Stephen Colbert that many of Bush's cabinet members were leaving, and yet Rumsfeld was asked to stay even though Rumsfeld is widely criticized for his handling of the Iraq war.  Stephen's reply: In this administration, it's not enough just being bad at your job, you must be a colossal failure to secure your place in this administration.

    "I feel your scorn and I accept it." - Jon Stewart

    by starkness on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:45:24 AM PST

  •  Hell, I'm an old man, and it's early . . . . (none)
    Who can belive that he had the audacity to say:

    "Hell, I'm an old man, and it's early in the morning."

    Then retire you old, worn-out, fart.

    Rumsfeld is way past his prime and past his ability to effectively think and act.

    He needs to go!

    Go to prison, that's where he needs to go.

  •  But it was allowed... (none)
    I see this as one of two things - either the commanders on the ground have lost control of troops (allowing their troops to ask such a question of SecDef), or they're just as angry as the troops, but can't say anything themselves. My guess is that it's the latter.

    As a rule, I would guess that the guys allowed into this little get-together would have been briefed on proper protocol. And yet the questions came out.

    The quaqmire deepens...

    What's the Question? - What do you want to ask? - www.whatsthequestion.org

    by lsoderman on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:42:29 PM PST

    •  I'd bet they drew straws (none)
      to see who would ask the question.

      My bet is the winner got to ask -- after all, he's likely to go home or to jail, and either way, he's outta there.

      And their commanders had no idea what they were going to ask. Just like the sailors put that Mission Accomplished banner up all by themselves and nobody knew anything about it.  

      Sure.

  •  support the troops (none)
    first and foremost with a foreign policy worth fighting (and dying) for.

    I had this argument with a conservative neighbor (who incidentally, lives with his partner in a relationship disapproved of by this administration, but I digress). His attitude was that people who don't support the government in a time of war are cowards and traitors. I told him that I would be the first to fight if enemy soldiers did to our country what we are doing to Iraq.

    "Life forms.... You tiny little life forms..... You precious little life forms.... Where are you?" -- Data

    by terran on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 03:03:45 PM PST

  •  Here's the Video (none)
    Too bad they didn't have tomato to throw!

    Rumsfeld faces tough question by Army Spc. Thomas Wilson

    Here's one for old times sake :)

    Rumsfeld caught lying on Face the Nation

    Ok so now the military leaders have been embarrassed on the World Stage, will there be changes?

    Wlll they get away with it? Not This Time George!

  •  I hope to highlight this Diary (none)
    I hope to highlight this Diary in a new "this week in Fascism" diary. Please come to my Preliminary Diary and let me know how you feelabout this Idea. I will be using the "Sign" of "The supremacy of the military/avid militarism." for your Diary unless you ask me not to or suggest a different heading.

    "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 10.

    by Tomtech on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 08:42:42 PM PST

  •  I listed this Diary (none)
    I have submitted my first "This week in Fascism Diary. Please come and express your approval/distain.

    "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 10.

    by Tomtech on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 08:18:01 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site