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Old 12-08-2004, 09:51 AM
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Default Disgruntled Troops Complain to Rumsfeld

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20041208/D86RH6BO1.html

Disgruntled Troops Complain to Rumsfeld




Dec 8, 9:44 AM (ET)

By ROBERT BURNS

(AP) U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld speaks to U.S. military Special Operations personnel at...



CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (AP) - Disgrunted U.S. soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday about the lack of armor for their vehicles and long deployments, drawing a blunt retort from the Pentagon chief.

"You go to war with the Army you have," he said in a rare public airing of rank-and-file concerns among the troops.

In his prepared remarks earlier, Rumsfeld had urged the troops - mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers - to discount critics of the war in Iraq and to help "win the test of wills" with the insurgents.

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


(AP) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, center, walks with Chief of Staff of Kuwait Armed Forces...
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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 two years after the start of the war that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"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 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.


(AP) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, right, is greeted by Chief of Staff of Kuwait Armed Forces...
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And, the defense chief added, armor is not always a savior in the kind of combat U.S. troops face in Iraq, where the insurgents' weapon of choice is the roadside bomb, or improvised explosive device that has killed and maimed hundreds, if not thousands, of American troops since the summer of 2003.

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

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.

Speer said he was not aware that soldiers were searching landfills for scrap metal and used bulletproof glass.

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


(AP) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld speaks to the press before landing in Kuwait, MOnday Dec. 6,...
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"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."

In his opening remarks, Rumsfeld stressed that soldiers who are heading to Iraq should not believe those who say the insurgents cannot be defeated or who otherwise doubt the will of the military to win.

"They say we can't prevail. I see that violence and say we must win," Rumsfeld said.
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Old 12-08-2004, 11:44 AM
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Default Speaking of disgruntled....

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/natio...gee041204.html

U.S. army deserter wants to stay in Canada

TORONTO - Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board will hear Monday why Jeremy Hinzman, a former paratrooper with the U.S. army, should be granted refugee status in Canada. Rather than serve in Iraq, Hinzman deserted the army and came to Canada in January seeking sanctuary in a Quaker hall outside Toronto.

He considers the Iraq conflict immoral and illegal and while he refuses to speak his mind until his hearing is over, back in July, Hinzman, 25, put his position into perspective: "My life isn't that significant, but also it's not so worthless as to be killed or to go kill innocent people."

Canada has not granted refugee status to American citizens in the past, but Hinzman's supporters are counting on a precedent in international law to help the American.

Gerry Cordon, a Hinzman supporter, says a soldier who refused to fight in Saddam Hussein's army in the invasion of Kuwait, successfully sought refugee status.

To help his client, Hinzman's lawyer plans to present evidence of a systematic pattern of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, including attacks on civilian population centers, and the torture and murder of prisoners, at Monday's hearing.

The board will also hear eyewitness testimony of the killing of Iraqi civilians from former Marine Sgt. Jimmy Massey.

Massey, who served in Iraq, says he's witnessed instances of civilians being shot ? not as a mistake, but with cold deliberation.

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As far as I'm concerned, Canada can have him, but they'd be making a mistake and setting a bad precedent if they let him stay.
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:05 PM
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Question I don't get it

Yes, if we are going into battle I want all the extra stuff I can get my hands on but...

I've read several reports where troops are complaining about not having additional armor on their humvee's. A humvee in a new and better version of a jeep. If they weld some armor plate on one of these vehicles it's still a new and improved jeep. Does anyone really think that an iron plate is going to stop an RPG? It sounds like unrealistic expectations.

Stay healthy,
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:24 PM
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Some of this whining makes wonder if these young troops are really living in the real world. Why. goodness gracious, I distinctly recall that all my meals in the Army were not only hot, but of gourmet quality, my uniforms always cleaned and pressed, and unending supplies of dry toilet paper always available.

When some of these malcontents signed up, had they been playing video games all their lifes, never tuning in to the reality channel of life? Their parents must be really proud, having raised children in a perfect world!
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:54 AM
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Much this is after the fact. The designs are always under modifications. The field reports and the type of war they are fighting has made field modifications necessary. They did this during VN and WWII.

You never the type of war your going to fight until you're in it up to knees. They have a right to complain but if you notice no one wanted to leave they just wanted the materials to make the field modifications that they needed.

This country doesn't have the raw materials they need so they have right to complain. Our government should bring them the retrofit kits or at least some raw materials so that they can make the mods they need.

When you low on ammunition they bring that but here they need added material protection against an enemy that isn't fighting the type of desk war everyone projected.

I appreciate their comments and this is what they should be reporting back to Washington. You want them to stay and fight and they want to but they also want to survive so issues are what the issues are.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Old 12-09-2004, 06:26 PM
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The one thing to remember about the whole episode .....


"When he asked Rumsfeld why after two years here soldiers are still having to dig through trash bins to find rusted scrap metal and cracked ballistic windows for their Humvees, the place erupted in cheers so loud that Rumsfeld had to ask the guy to repeat his question."

This was reported in all media.

Larry
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Old 12-09-2004, 10:20 PM
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Editor Backs Embed in Rumsfeld Incident, but Criticizes Aftermath

By Joe Strupp

Published: December 09, 2004 8:00 PM ET

NEW YORK The editor/publisher of the Chattanooga [Tenn.] Times Free Press offered support late Thursday for his embedded reporter who has been criticized for prompting a national guardsman to ask Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld a controversial question during a visit to Kuwait.

"I think he was doing what he felt he was embedded to do: tell the stories of the soldiers of this unit," said Tom Griscom, editor and publisher of the paper. But he criticized the embed's story about the incident, which did not mention the reporter's connection to the soldier who asked the question.

The embed, Lee Pitts, sought a response from Rumsfeld about why military units in Iraq are lacking proper armor for many vehicles. A lengthy email that he wrote to a fellow reporter ended up on several Web sites, including Romenesko, the Drudge Report and E & P Online, which Griscom lamented.

"He is there to write stories, not make news himself," Griscom said of Pitts. The editor added that the recipient of the e-mail, whom he would not identify, should not have passed it along.

Griscom was communications director in the Reagan White House in 1987-1988.

He said Pitts' story on the incident, which ran Thursday, should have included an explanation of how the embed, barred from questioning Rumsfeld himself during an appearance in Kuwait Wednesday, convinced a Tennessee national guardsman to pose the question.

"In the rush of putting the story together, it was unfortunately a stitch that got lost," said Griscom. "But tomorrow, we will pick that stitch up." He has written an editor's note for the Friday paper.

Pitts has been covering the local guard unit since last summer, Griscom said, and went to Kuwait with the unit three weeks ago as an embedded reporter. Griscom said he had not spoken with the reporter since the e-mail was discovered, during a "blackout" period, but supported his effort to get Rumsfeld to comment on the issue.

"Lee has written the story about the armor problem several times, this is not an issue out of thin air," Griscom said. "We did a front page story on it last week and have done others."

The editor pointed out that Pitts only mentioned the possible question to the national guardsman, Specialist Thomas Wilson, and could not have forced him to ask it. "It is appropriate to talk to a soldier about what he would ask," Griscom said. "Then it is up to the soldier. The soldier asked the question." The question, in any case, drew loud and sustained applause from other soldiers in the town hall meeting.

In his email, Pitts wrote, "I just had one of my best days as a journalist today," and explained how he hooked up with two national guardsmen before the event. Only soldiers were allowed to ask questions of Rumsfeld.

Lawrence Di Rita, a Pentagon spokesman, released a statement yesterday noting that "Town Hall meetings are intended for soldiers to have dialogue with the secretary of defense. It would be unfortunate to discover that anyone might have interfered with that opportunity, whatever the intention."

But Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon press officer, told The New York Times that the episode had violated no rules and that no action would be taken against either Specialist Wilson or the reporter.

Still, Griscom commented that Pitts' drawing attention to himself via the lengthy email was not wise. "We ought to know," he explained, "that anything sent electronically can be passed to someone else."

He added: "One thing that bothered me was that none of my senior editors or myself were aware of the e-mail until noon (Thursday), about 24 hours too late."

Griscom would not say if the reporter who received the e-mail from Pitts, and forwarded it on, was disciplined. "We had a discussion about what we expect in relation to e-mails and I'll leave it at that," he said.

He said he had receive many calls from media on Thursday, from as far away as San Francisco, and also heard from "Rush Limbaugh listeners" along with supportive calls from soldiers' families.
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
The one thing to remember about the whole episode .....


"When he asked Rumsfeld why after two years here soldiers are still having to dig through trash bins to find rusted scrap metal and cracked ballistic windows for their Humvees, the place erupted in cheers so loud that Rumsfeld had to ask the guy to repeat his question."

This was reported in all media.
Not reported in all media...
When an Army reservist in Kuwait gave Donald Rumsfeld an earful Wednesday about inadequate armor for Iraq-bound Humvees, the Defense Secretary responded by paying the soldier the compliment of candor. "You go to war with the army you have. They're not the army you might want or wish to have," he said.

That's at least an honest answer, and the Secretary's forthrightness seems to have been appreciated by the troops at the town hall meeting, who gave him a standing ovation.

This was reported in the Wall Street Journal

Also...

It's also worth noting that Congress in October passed something called rapid acquisition authority, which if invoked by a combat officer allows the Pentagon to bypass red tape and get vitally needed equipment to the battlefield faster. Amid all the criticism of Mr. Rumsfeld, someone might mention that no field commander has invoked it yet.
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Old 12-11-2004, 04:54 PM
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http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...ry-armor_x.htm

quote .....


But spokesmen for two companies making armor for vehicles said Thursday they had offered to step up the pace of production:

? Former Republican congressman Matt Salmon of Arizona, a spokesman for ArmorWorks in Tempe, Ariz., said his company will finish a $30 million contract with the Pentagon this month to make 1,500 armor kits for Humvees. "We are at 50% capacity, and we could do a lot more," he said. "They are aware of it."

? Armor Holdings of Jacksonville told the Army last month it could add armor to as many as 550 trucks a month, up from 450, said Robert Mecredy of its aerospace and defense group. "We're prepared to build 50 to 100 vehicles more per month," he said.

Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the Pentagon had no immediate response.

unquote ....

and the sorry legacy of Bush, Rumsfeld and Co. in Iraq continues...
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Old 12-13-2004, 08:24 PM
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The US Army is really missing the point because the troops need to be riding in M-113 Armored Personnel carriers and not Jeep like trucks to start with. The Army wants to do away with heavy Armoured vehicles at the expense of our sons and nephews lives. We have been in that dam country for over a year now, and have a seaport there is no excuse for not sealifting the better Armoured equipment to the war zone. US Army official doctrin be damed we should save the Hummers for their airmobile doctrin and give the troops what the need . The troops in Irake arnt going to need to be airmobil any time soon so the Army need to rethink it everything airmobil pollicy as consernes eouipment in its inventory, why reinvent the wheel when tracks are better. The Isralie Army can take over an Arab town with two M-113s and an M-60 tank, so we know M-113s work just like they did in Vietnam and whats simple is that they are allready paid for. All most would need is a new Greyhound bus motor and they could save lives and destroy the new enemy and strike fear in the enemys hearts.
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