In his opening statement, Gates fervently appealed for funds requested by Gen. David Petraeus for equipment to protect troops in Afghanistan. The money has been held up because it would come from a project benefiting a major contributor to the committee chairman, Bill Young (R-Fla.).
And the response by another Republican Congressman? That Secretary Gates look into the rule preventing 18 year old soldiers from drinking beer on base. What in the hell is going on in Congress?
When we have Congressman worried about the drinking age before they will consider purchasing safety equipment for troops, we have a real problem on our hands.
It seems they're also concerned about other items, some of them pretty valid, like the no-fly zone over Libya or the war in Afghanistan, but some a sheer waste of time, like discussing contracts that have gone to the 'wrong' American company (not Boeing, who happens to be in my district, Mr. Secretary!).
Senior leadership in the military sees a sure fire way to fund much needed safety equipment for troops in Afghanistan without asking for additional funds. They want to shift funds from a Humvee program we no longer need (we have enough Humvees, thank you very much!). General Petraeus asked for the money a month ago. The committee refused to discuss the issue.
And why do you think no one wants to discuss shifting the money? Because the company that has the Humvee contract is AM General, the same company whose executives just happened to have contributed more than $80,000 in campaign funds to the chairman of the committee, Bill Young, Republican of Florida.
It's a no wonder military spouses are starting to post articles like this on their Facebook accounts. We're sick and tired of the hypocrisy. Our troops deserve better!