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Another study showing just how much the government supports the troops:

Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study concludes.  [...]

Cost was a driving factor in the decision to turn down the request for the so-called MRAPs, according to the study.   [...]

An urgent February 2005 request for MRAPs got lost in bureaucracy. It was signed by then-Brig. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, who asked for 1,169 of the vehicles. The Marines could not continue to take "serious and grave casualties" caused by IEDs when a solution was commercially available, wrote Hejlik, who was a commander in western Iraq from June 2004 to February 2005.

It should be noted that now-Major General Hejlik is currently calling his 2005 request "more of a recommendation than a demand."  And it seems that his "recommendation" floated from bureaucracy to bureaucracy for two years without any action being taken.

According to the author of the study, Franz Gayl:

If the mass procurement and fielding of MRAPs had begun in 2005 in response to the known and acknowledged threats at that time, as the (Marine Corps) is doing today, hundreds of deaths and injuries could have been prevented. While the possibility of individual corruption remains undetermined, the existence of corrupted MRAP processes is likely, and worthy of (inspector general) investigation.

It should also be noted that Gayl filed for whistle-blower protection last year after being threatened with disciplinary action.  

Perhaps after Congress finishes up with their investigations into steroids in baseball and missing NFL films, they can get around to looking into this.

Update by kos: How many dead Marines are we talking?

More than 700 U.S. troops died from roadside bombs because the Marine Corps' devotion to a military vehicle years away from deployment kept it from buying available Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) trucks, according to an internal Marine report obtained Friday by USA TODAY.

And how much money are we talking?

Gayl's report says the Pentagon could have bought 53 South African-made MRAPs called Casspirs for $200,000 apiece in early 2005 and thereby have provided Marines in Iraq's Anbar province with greater protection against IEDs. But the Marines failed to act, he said.

$10.6 million. In a war that is costing $275 million every day.

Or put it another way: $15,143 per dead marine.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:21 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  People Are Cheaper Than Tanks. n/t (12+ / 0-)

    Gore to Richardson to Edwards to ?

    by creeper on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:23:32 AM PST

    •  Yep. (8+ / 0-)

      It costs less to replace a person than it does to replace a tank.

      Flashbacks to stories my father told me about vietnam. He was in charge of supplies and his step-father worked for the state department.

      -6.88 -6.31

      "They're all crazy. They're all crazy except you and me. Sometimes I have me doubts about you." -- Garrett Fort

      by Spathiphyllum on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:25:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some helmets may have substandard Kevlar cloth (9+ / 0-)

        By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
        Posted : Monday Jul 30, 2007 7:03:41 EDT
        Up to 2 million helmets issued by the military between 1980 and 2006 may have been manufactured with substandard Kevlar cloth.
        The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the Sioux Manufacturing Corp., of Fort Totten, N.D., for allegedly producing Kevlar cloth that did not meet minimum standards for safety, which would violate its contract with the Defense Department, according to investigation documents obtained by Military Times.

        http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/...

        http://www.ryanforkentucky.com/

        by vet on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:32:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, they didn't cost ENOUGH. (6+ / 0-)

        At first this seems totally illogical, especially with the numbers Kos lays out. But then think about it -- if there's one thing this government will do, it's spend spend spend on "commercially available" anything.  That's how we get the incredible debt.

        These didn't cost enough to be significant. It cost enough to require some kind of approval, but it floated from agency to agency not to bury it, but because the request had no "real" money to it.

        If those vehicles had cost $1 BILLION a piece, the request would have been appropriated immediately.

        "We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." - Richard Dawkins

        by TX Unmuzzled on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:48:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueintheface

          I think Lockheed Martin convinced those in charge to buy their vehicles down the road. This is not just how much, but who makes.

          01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

          by kimoconnor on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:52:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pretty sure it's General Dynamics (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oibme, Hedwig, blueintheface

            who make the MRAPs

            Too many war profiteers to keep straight though.

            •  But they wanted to wait to buy the (0+ / 0-)

              Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)
              ockheed Martin, Armor Holdings Team for JLTV

              Lockheed Martin and Armor Holdings announced a teaming agreement, consolidating an industry team for the upcoming Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) competition. JLTV is intended to be the next generation in light armored wheeled tactical vehicles for the armed services. The team will be led by Lockheed Martin, which will also act as prime contractor and systems integrator. Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin completed the acquisition of the British company HMT Vehicles Ltd. and positioned it to provide the core for future tactical wheeled vehicles business. As part of the industry team, Armor Holdings will be responsible for vehicle assembly and armor survivability subsystems. In June 2006 Armor Holdings acquired Stewart & Stevenson, the producer of the US Army FMTV tactical truck, which is expected to be replaced by one of the versions of JLTV. Other team members include aluminum specialist Alcoa, JWF Industries and Axletech International.

              01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

              by kimoconnor on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:15:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  As well as how many (0+ / 0-)
            the Pentagon could have bought 53 South African-made MRAPs called Casspirs for $200,000 apiece in early 2005

            Of 1169 needed.  And it would necessitate more bookeeping with distribution and maintenance.  And maintenance training.  And probably someone would have to write some usage procedures.

            The military documents everything.  Would several hundred hours of added bookeeping be worth several hundred lives as a 53 out of 1169 stop-gap?  If the beaurocrats had foreseen the true cost, I like to think they'd have gone the extra mile.  I think they were short sighted bean counters, but I doubt it was deliberate greed or maliciousness.  53 MRAPS wouldn't put a dent in the future contractors deal, whether it was Lockheed or GE.  So I doubt there was corporate pressure over buying just 53.

            I'm guessing GE btw, they do things with heavy steel that no one else can do. Lockheed is more about the subtleties of design one can achieve with crazy theoretical mathematicians from colleges like the nearby Harvey Mudd and Cal Tech.  My money says an MRAP is more of a heavy steel project.

            •  Those responsible... (0+ / 0-)

              ...should be court-martialed (if they are in the military) and prosecuted for being accessories to the murder of these troops.  As far as I'm concerned, any pnishment short of a firing squad is probably too lenient for these scum!

      •  Wrong comparison (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hedwig

        This probably doesn't even make sense on the money. A tank doesn't protect just one Marine. A better comparison is how much it cost to train, equip, and deploy replacements for the Marines who were killed or seriously injured due to lack of adequate protection versus how much it would have cost to protect them.  I'd be surprised if the tanks wouldn't have proved to be quite cost effective.

        The Senate is the last bastion of white supremacy. --Andrew Gumbel

        by Free Spirit on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:17:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It used to be that fighting a war on the cheap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vet

      was unacceptable. But now, thanks to the Bush Administration and the 2002-06 Republican Congress, it's become acceptable to simultaneously fight a war on the cheap and squander the nation's tax revenue.

      "Ask not what your country can do for you --unless you're rich and well-connected, in which case ask your country for more than you could ever deserve."

      "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

      by machopicasso on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 12:56:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Marines Had to Drive Amph Vehicles in Desert (7+ / 0-)

    A year after the invasion, it was absurd to watch the news and see the Marines having to drive amphibious vehicles in the middle of the desert.  These vehicles were old to start with and were never designed for long-range transport or for desert warfare.  They also were thin-skinned and not bomb resistant.

    These vehicles were mainly designed to be launched from ships and deliver Marines on a beach.  The Marines were not equipped to hold territory and fight insurgents - they were equipped to land and quickly defeat an enemy.  

    That is why the Marines Commandant last year asked that they be shifted to Afghanistan.  Bush's response was to send more Marines to Afghanistan, but to also keep them in Iraq.

    JPZenger was a newspaper publisher whose jury trial in the 1730s for seditious libel helped establish the freedom to criticize top government officials.

    by JPZenger on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:25:58 AM PST

  •  Penny pinching pieces of shit... (5+ / 0-)

    These bastards don't know how to prosecute a war, all they know how to do is start one.
    But we're in it now, and it has to be dealt with.  Here's praying that the Democrats can do better for our men and women who, over in the war zone, are pretty much apolitical.  Everything's apolitical when you're fighting for your life.
    God I hate BushCo.

    The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led. Edgar Allan Poe

    by WSComn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:26:45 AM PST

    •  Well... Here's my "Support the Troops" thang (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonmug

      I spent 20 min on it because a rightard had invaded Hatman's chat room and was pushing everyone for a left definition of "Support the Troops".  If ya'll want to add stuff or suggest changes I'll make em (within limits, of course).  Constuctive critism welcomed here.  Rocks and rotten maters are ok too.

      Support the Troops

      "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

      by TheTrucker on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:59:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They are expendable. Cruel, cruel administration. (7+ / 0-)

    They have so much to atone for - but the treatment of our soldiers is reason the hellfires are burning.

  •  this is how we stop Swift Boating... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig, wondering if, Faheyman, banjolele

    of our candidates on military issues and their personal military records.  Look at this latest crap with Cornyn and Noriega.  If Cornyn, or any other chickenhawk piece of crap tries to attack the military service of a Dem, we should have a 527 in place that can run "issue" ads like "Call Sen. Cornyn's office and demand he give our troops what they need to protect themselves."

    The other guy's history will seem very insignificant compared to the chickenhawk's present.

    funkify your life...

    by YatPundit on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:31:02 AM PST

  •  Yeah, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    comeinpbrstreetgang

    We have a right to have honest government football games

    I'm sorry this quote is just too funny I'm gona keep spamming it.

    "We have a right to have honest football games" -Senator Arlen Specter

    by Data Mining Telecom Fascist on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:33:08 AM PST

    •  Why the donut, hedwig? (0+ / 0-)

      "We have a right to have honest football games" -Senator Arlen Specter

      by Data Mining Telecom Fascist on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:58:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah...good point (0+ / 0-)

        It was for spamming a thread (a rather serious one) with comments about Spector and the Spygate stuff.

        Still, you might want to read the FAQ. It might help you from being called a shithead Freeper even if you're sincere because you don't understand about posting spam or off-topic comments. It's not about being the site monitor, it's about decency and site rules.

        •  You may not have noticed, (0+ / 0-)

          but some threads are more "serious" than others based on response. You're a groupthink control freak.

          You should be grateful I particated in your pet thread.

          "We have a right to have honest football games" -Senator Arlen Specter

          by Data Mining Telecom Fascist on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:23:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

            I'd be even more grateful if you'd realize that the "pet thread" in question was about troops dying in Iraq because of the fact that, even though they knew about it, the Government had them continue to use sub-standard equipment.

            There are plenty of places on the site to post about Spector's investigation of the NE Patriots and their spying on other teams. This wasn't one.

            Odd though, things like "group think" and "control freak", not too mention the vulgarity, come so easily to you. I removed the original hide rating because, despite already having read your "asshole" comment, I could see your point. You're new. You might not get how OT it was to post it.

            Up to you whether you want to take advice or don't.

    •  Am I wrong here or (0+ / 0-)

      was this an attempt at sarcasm that Hedwig is missing.

      maybe I missed something.

  •  You're overlooking something here. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueintheface, rrheard, banjolele

    You're assuming "troops" means "our soldiers."  It doesn't.  The real "troops" are the contractors.  And the GOP supports them with a fervency that might be admirable, if only it were directed at, you know, our soliders.

    So you can yammer on about the dead and the maimed to your heart's content.  But they're just suckers who got what they deserve for being so gullible in the first place.  The real heroes, the backbones of this nation's strength, are our courageous and steadfast war profiteers!

    U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!  

    "The Romans brought on their own demise, but it took them centuries. Bush has finished America in a mere 7 years." -- Paul Craig Roberts

    by Roddy McCorley on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:33:31 AM PST

    •  actually, US was buying MRAPS for Iraqi troops (5+ / 0-)

      in significant numbers, well before it agreed to buy them for US troops. To quote myself from here:

      The military had tested MRAP technology already in 2000, and purchased nearly two dozen of the vehicles. MRAPs should have been widely available as soon as IEDs became a major threat in Iraq, by the fall of 2003. Commanders in Iraq began requesting more MRAPs as early as December 2003, and mid-level officers and analysts continued the pressure during subsequent years. In February 2005 Marines in Anbar province urgently requested 1,169 MRAPs. Yet the upper ranks of the Pentagon were indifferent or oblivious, and none were ordered.

      The first major contract to purchase MRAPs wasn't signed until May 2006 – for no more than 185 of the vehicles. By that stage at least 874 soldiers and marines had been killed in Iraq by means of IEDs.

      As Iraq exploded in violence, in September 2006 the Pentagon decided to order another 600 MRAPs – but just for Iraqi rather than American soldiers.

      Almost incredibly, it was only in May 2007 that Robert Gates made the purchase of MRAPs a priority for US forces in Iraq.

  •  Honest to God the Bush Administration makes me (12+ / 0-)

    sick to my stomach.  Literally.  I can't bear to think of the misery they've inflicted on the world.

    "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom"--Obama. "I'm trying to change!"--St. Louis Woman

    by St Louis Woman on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:34:28 AM PST

  •  Thanks for highlighting (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, worried dem, Hedwig, banjolele

    this sad story. I saw it today in the Chi. Trib and about gagged. We need change everywhere.
    The guys that stalled these MRAPS should be forced to drive around Iraq in humvees themselves.
    Of course, now it is too late for all those marines that perished needlessly. Now, of course they will rush a huge number into production..too late and possibly not even needed as much. But I sure hope that every guy that is on dangerous roads will be in a MRAP vehicle with the new scrutiny this will draw.
    My son still is in an up-armored Humvee in Bagdad. The good news is that the IED's have not been near as prevalent in the city of late. Outside the city? Still a problem.

    •  I tried to diary on this earlier, but was so mad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oibme, worried dem, wondering if

      I had to walk away from the computer.

      Honestly, every one of these people allowing our soldiers to die out of arrogance and ideological spite should be rounded up and shipped to Gitmo. Then I could get behind torture, military tribunals and immediate executions.

      There aren't enough words to describe the ignorance and depravity in our government.

  •  What company is making the newer (5+ / 0-)

    vehicles that they wanted to wait for?

    This is why more than 700 Marines died folks:

    Lockheed Martin, Armor Holdings Team for JLTV

    Lockheed Martin and Armor Holdings announced a teaming agreement, consolidating an industry team for the upcoming Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) competition. JLTV is intended to be the next generation in light armored wheeled tactical vehicles for the armed services. The team will be led by Lockheed Martin, which will also act as prime contractor and systems integrator. Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin completed the acquisition of the British company HMT Vehicles Ltd. and positioned it to provide the core for future tactical wheeled vehicles business. As part of the industry team, Armor Holdings will be responsible for vehicle assembly and armor survivability subsystems. In June 2006 Armor Holdings acquired Stewart & Stevenson, the producer of the US Army FMTV tactical truck, which is expected to be replaced by one of the versions of JLTV. Other team members include aluminum specialist Alcoa, JWF Industries and Axletech International.

    01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

    by kimoconnor on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:36:34 AM PST

    •  Will a Democrat change this? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueintheface, wondering if

      Looking at how the money is shifting, I am not so sure:

      Lockheed Martin
      Lockheed Martin is the nation’s top defense contractor, the brains behind such high-tech military hardware as the F-16 jet fighter and a variety of land and sea missiles. In 2001, the company landed the biggest defense contract in history when it was named the main contractor for the Joint Strike Fighter. Considering that access is the name of the game when securing such lucrative contracts, it’s no surprise that Lockheed splits its campaign money equally between Democrats and Republicans. All told, NASA and the Defense Department account for roughly 80 percent of the company’s annual sales.

      01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

      by kimoconnor on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:41:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  General Hejlik Quote (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oibme, Spathiphyllum, Hedwig, jnhobbs, WSComn

    Is currently calling his 2005 request "more of a recommendation than a demand."

    Oh, that makes everything better. It is really hard to tell which of these idiots are more to blame for all of this shit.

    Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

    by webranding on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:37:26 AM PST

    •  You said it, web... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oibme, Spathiphyllum, jnhobbs

      If the mass procurement and fielding of MRAPs had begun in 2005 in response to the known and acknowledged threats at that time, as the (Marine Corps) is doing today, hundreds of deaths and injuries could have been prevented.

      Why doesn't Gen. Hejlik explain his mistaken semantics to every injured soldier personally.  Then he can mutter his explanations of what went wrong over the graves of the ones who have died, or maybe explain it to their families.
      It'll never happen.

      They are never wrong.
      They are always right.
      Everything is fearful.
      Everything is black and white.

      They are the protectors and we (including our men and women in uniform) should just shut the fuck up and be protected in the manner that they provide.  
      Even if it kills us.

      The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led. Edgar Allan Poe

      by WSComn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:47:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh yeah. Right. (8+ / 0-)

    How many MRAPs do you "recommend," General.

    "1,169. But it's just a suggestion."

  •  they didn't have crony (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig, blueintheface

    in the MIC who had what the troops needed or capability to manufacture it that they could lavish with a ... Let's see 10.6 million for a south african made MRAP....oh no, they want lavish someone in the American MIC with a 250-500 million contract for the same number of vehicles that probably would be defective.

  •  Holy Cow! (4+ / 0-)

    How much more blatant mis-aapropriation of goods and services can we find? Sadly, much more I'm afraid. When all is said and done, if ever, the revalations of this kind of neglect will be abundant.

  •  one more war crime to lay on (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, oibme, Hedwig, blueintheface, WSComn

    our ridiculous commander-in-chief

  •  When are we going to IMPEACH these MoFo's? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, blueintheface

    What the hell is congress doing?

    I think some of the blame has to go to the idiots in congress who have continued to support this war LONG after we've known it all Bullshit.

    At this point, I'm so pissed off at almost everyone in government, mostly the chickenhawks, but also including the spineless Dems, that I hope they all rot in Hell.

    Wake me when Obama is the president please. I'm ready for this nightmare to be over.

  •  $200,000 ?! for a life-saving vehicle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig, blueintheface

    Just googled casspir and am mightily impressed.  It's absolutely shocking that our troops didn't get these vehicles by the 100s if not 1000s.

    Just for comparison, does anyone know how much a reinforced humvee costs?

    •  When The Issue Of Non-reinforced Humvees (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueintheface, kimoconnor

      broke a few years past, if you Google a little, you'll see that the Israel and South Africa (I think) highlighted they had already purchases and tested these type of vehicles and suggested we purchase them. In fact I think the US military got their hands on a few of them, but opted not to purchase them cause another DoD contractor was working on something (years in the future). Israel also pointed out to us they had added anti-RPG protection to them. But you got it, we didn't look into adding this either.  

      Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

      by webranding on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:50:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  BINGO (4+ / 0-)

        the other contractor is Lockheed Martin. I looked it up.

        01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

        by kimoconnor on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:53:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Here Is The Darn Video (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hedwig, blueintheface

          of the anti-RPG system in action.

          Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

          by webranding on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:55:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Trophy is Israeli weaponry (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hedwig, kimoconnor, etoipi

            MSNBC has reported that there is resistance to incorporating Trophy in the US Army. The Department of Defense has contracted with Raytheon to develop an equivalent system, which will not be ready before 2011 at the earliest, whereas Trophy could be deployed much sooner. According to MSNBC's sources, the reason for not adopting Trophy for now is that it would remove the need for the Raytheon program. I other words the needs of a US defense contractor come before the needs of the ordinary soldier.

            Gore-Warner in 08!

            by Frederik on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:13:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Casspir (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, Hedwig, blueintheface

        South Africa had developped the CASSPIR some twenty years ago based on their experiences in the South African Border War. It is a four wheeled armoured vehicle, used for transport of troops. It can hold a crew of two, plus 12 additional soldiers and associated gear. The CASSPIR was unique in design when launched, providing for passive mine defence. The main body of the vehicle is V-shaped and raised above the ground, so that if a mine is detonated, the explosion is less likely to damage the crew compartment and kill the occupants. The cross-section of the hull is V-shaped, directing the force of the explosion outwards, further protecting the occupants. The vehicle is also armoured for added mine safety, as well as protection from small arms fire. It took the USA many years and casualties to see the use of this type of vehicle and then they didn't want "foreign" equipment and reinvented the hot water with the MRAP.

        Gore-Warner in 08!

        by Frederik on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:56:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Even Better (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oibme, Hedwig

      If they'd pulled the troops out of Iraq, then they could have saved both the lives and the money.

      I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

      by darrelplant on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:26:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Cost of an Armored Humvee (0+ / 0-)

      Fully equipped Humvee Truck Frame   $110,000

      Armor                                              $50,000

      USMC stickers and decals                   $500 per sheet.

      110,000+50,000+500= $160,500

      x250% standard government mark-up

      FINAL PRICE: $401,250

      oh, I almost forgot               + $15,143

      (the value of a marine to drive it)

      $416,393.99 per Humvee

      You are always wrong. They are always right. Everything is terror, when your world is black or white.

      by VillaVeritas on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 11:35:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, the Pentagon conclusion is not correct (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darrelplant, rrheard

    American troops are being killed by IEDs planted in roadsides because they and their vehicles are going places where the Iraqi people don't want them.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:48:25 AM PST

  •  They were in "armored" humvees (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, Hedwig, blueintheface

    that got blown apart on a near daily basis in Anbar == all the way through the end of 06 - early 07 until things calmed down there

    I know a Gold Star mom who is incredulous that with all the tech in this country -- nothing could remotely diffuse the IED's or that no vehicle could be designed to make them safer

    Guess we did have the capability for the vehicles == but the govt would rather spend the money on no-bid contracts with Halliburton, etc.  

    This is just horrible - but glad it's come to light.

  •  but the Republicans are for a strong military... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig, blueintheface, zipn, RickMassimo

    The hottest places in hell are reserved for those, who in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. - Dante

    by GinaNY on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:51:27 AM PST

  •  of course if more money (0+ / 0-)

    was requested for such an investment you all would be chirping about how Congress is giving the President a blank check.

    •  Hmmmmmmm.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      etoipi

      Well, if the President came out and said that there was a deficiency in the equipment that was being used in Iraq and they needed to increase the budget $10 million to make sure that ALL of our troops were protected from IEDs, no one would complain about that.

      The problem is that they keep sending checks to companies that are supplying our forces with sub-standard equipment.

      The real problem is that they went there with less than adequate equipment and, even after seeing the problems, their response was either agonizingly slow or non-existent.

      That doesn't even address going there in the first place.

      •  I can't imagine (0+ / 0-)

        that there is a war we have ever fought where our military has gone to battle under perfect conditions (i.e. totally prepared equipment wise), however, I share the same outrage when I find out that companies who have not lived up to their end of the bargain continue to get contracts.  We obviously don't have all of the facts, but it doesn't look good.

        Token conservative

        by dookphan on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:39:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How ridiculous..... (0+ / 0-)

      There is a difference between supporting the troops and supporting your cronies.

      Yeah $$$to Blackwater and halliburton is indefensible at this point. Keeping BP vest production low so that ONE contractor could reap huge profits. Bush and his cronies should be in jail for this.

      The MRAP was a proven asset, only problem one problem, buying it would mean admitting that we went unprepared and conservatives don't admit mistakes or defeat. They just make them....over and over and over....

  •  how many have died??? (4+ / 0-)

    they use abortion as wedge issue but how many have died in the bush war's

    http://www.ryanforkentucky.com/

    by vet on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:53:18 AM PST

  •  Not to mention the million Iraqis dead (9+ / 0-)

    as a result of our invasion.  Why is this never mentioned?

  •  You go to war with the profitable equipment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skralyx, Hedwig

    you have not the lifesaving equipment you wish you had.  Because if a shareholder ain't getting a 20% return on investment then it's flat out un-American.  Modern conservative thought writ large.  The value of a human life . . . worthless (except as the commodity of labor).

    "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

    by rrheard on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:10:16 AM PST

  •  Simply put, this is gross negligence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, Hedwig

    of the highest order by the, ahem, "commander-in-chief".

  •  I'll tell you what I'm tired of (0+ / 0-)

    I'm tired of politicians of both parties voting for one showy resolution after another of "support for the troops," while rolling over when the Bozo-In-Chief wants to send those brave kids into harm's way.

    GODDAMN THEM.

    Yes, obviously, if and when it's necessary and appropriate to send them into combat, you do that after sober reflection, and you make 100% certain they have everything they need. But it's a lot easier to just not put them in harm's way in the first place.

  •  Seems like soldiers are props for everyone... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig, etoipi

    It sure would be a nice change of pace if to see some action on these issues rather than talk.

    This may be a reality based community- but the jane/joe on main street America don't know what the hell you're talking about.

    Feeling a little run down today- don't mind me.

  •  Life is awfully cheap these days... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skralyx, oibme

    I have always wondered how they can sleep at night.

  •  Maybe this can go on an Open Thread sometime?? (0+ / 0-)

  •  The price we pay for maintaining two armies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worried dem, Hedwig, etoipi

    Our miltary posture is so far from any sort of rational oversight, so divorced from any rational balancing of means and ends, that we have let ourselves continue to support two separate land forces.  For one thing, this is unnecessarily expensive.  But worse, the last vestiges of rational oversight are strong enough only to continually motivate the smaller of the land forces, the Marine Corps, to come up with rationalizations for its continued existence.  The Marines are thus constantly making bad procurement decisions solely to create some artificial distinction of itself from the Army, so that it can justify a continued existence as a separate force.

    In the 70s and 80s, the Marines adamantly refused to adapt the new tank, the M1, being developed by the Army.  It was too heavy, ran the rationalization, and the Marines needed to be light so that they could be more "expeditionary" than that hidebound, dinosaur, Army.  This made absolutely no sense, in that weight is much less of a problem if your strategic projection is via ships, as opposed to the air transport that the Army plans for scenarios that require quick force projection.  The Army looked at the trade-off between getting light vehicles there quick, versus getting fewer of the more powerful and survivable tanks that the increased weight would allow, and came down on the side of high quality/low numbers.  Since the increased weight would make ship-delivered tanks pay even less of a quantitative hit than the Army's air-transported tanks, the calcualtion should have been even more one-sided for the Marines.  But they had to differentiate from the Army, so they chose to stick with the M60.  Of course, the first time we actually got into the prospect of a shooting war with folks who had their own tanks, in the run-up to Gulf I, of course the Marines had to scramble to get into M1s, because of their increased survivability.

    I would bet that the behind this MRAP story, we would find the exact same motivation.  This wasn't a random bureaucratic error, this was long-standing Marine policy to differentiate itself, quite needlessly, from the Army.  I'm sure the MRAP was too heavy for the Marine expeditionary mission.

    The way up and the way down are one and the same.

    by gtomkins on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:36:23 AM PST

  •  PUBLICIZE THIS..it is outrageous that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, Hedwig

    our soldiers died and were maimed because of bureaucratic bungling. War is always f'up but this is even worse than usual. Heads should roll and those responsible AT THE TOP should be held responsible.

  •  And these very same people claim to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig

    support the troops, while lambasting liberals as not supporting the troops.  Will this national nightmare ever end!

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all - JFK- 5/18/63-Vanderbilt Univ.

    by oibme on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:45:44 AM PST

  •  There obviously is not enough profit margin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skralyx, Hedwig

    in properly armored vehicles for it get done.

    Jesus H. Christ

    •  Profit Margin (0+ / 0-)

      You can bet that there is a substantial profit margin on these vehicles. But it just comes down to first come first served at the trough. Halliburton was first and is still greedy.
      Protecting the Troops and Supporting the Troops were sound bites that Pigpen came up with for the Shrub to parrot in order to keep the Congress Critter's from asking too many questions.
      I remember the one Representative, from OH I think, that would not bring up the debacle at Walter Reed on the House floor, lest he be seen as failing to support the troops.
      That is the kind of twisted logic that Shrubs' handler's find so compelling.

  •  This sucks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig, kimoconnor

    If you're a soldier, you see that the administration's not going to go to bat for you when it counts.  But God forbid we make the oil companies pay royalties for drilling on public lands.  You gotta have your prah-ordies straight in this great nayshun.

  •  Rhetoric v. Reality (0+ / 0-)

    Support the troops v. Support the bureaucracy

    No man left behind v. Cover military brass' behinds

    Fight 'em there or we will fight 'em here v. the troops are fighting there while we dawdle here.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:12:45 AM PST

  •  Why does the Pentagon hate the troops? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Proud subscriber to the Mariachi Mama Candidate Bickering Moratorium! Be the change you want to see in the world.

    by Mas Gaviota on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:12:59 AM PST

  •  How are we going to get the crazies out (0+ / 0-)

    of the Pentagon?

    We have the crazy Christians who think the military is for Crusades.

    We have the crazies who think the military industrial complex is more important than human life.

    Why would anyone ever volunteer for an organization like this?

  •  Treason is as treason does. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy

    Everybody knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.

    by Cartoon Peril on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:32:12 AM PST

  •  Retroactive immunity for all? (nt) (0+ / 0-)

    This time it's personal.

    by apostrophe on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 12:32:23 PM PST

  •  Accepted (0+ / 0-)

    Why is SURGE such a widely used word?

    IT IS AN ESCALATION! Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. Words have been bothering me lately.

    You have to ask yourself something when considering purchases made by the pentagon-does this purchase secure someone a job when they leave the pentagon? Right there answers most of your questions.
    If that doesn't answer all of them, then you must ask-which buddy who retired from the pentagon can be most helped by this purchase?
    If that leaves an unanswered question, then -which seller has contributed most to the current presidents( whomever was or is in office) election campaign?
    If one company is the answer to all 3 questions , that is generally the winner of the contract.

    And if one considers one time purchases (like the Navy S.E.A.L. missile) these questions become much more relevant.

  •  We got involved early: M113 for Iraqis (0+ / 0-)

    There were available out of Switzerland.

    Needed on-site evaluation.

    Perfect for immediate anti-mine/bomb protection.

    $50,000 each.

    Pentagon killed it.

    BTW: we got photos of the boneyard in Kuwait with 700++ M113-class APCs.

    The Army guys out west got into stealing them. Flat-bed truck transport so's to get the border sealed. Humvee is a disaster all around.

    You absolutely have to have mid-scale storage for a couple tons of equipment.

    Dixie Chicks, Amy Winehouse, Imus, and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

    by vets74 on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:01:26 AM PST

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