For over 18-months, the Marine Corps never responded to a “priority 1 urgent” request for sending more blast resistant vehicles to Iraq. On the eve of congress caving into Bush by writing him a blank check for war, a new document provides insight on how the military ignored an important request to help safeguard our troops:
According to a Marine Corps document provided to DANGER ROOM, the request for over 1,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles came in February, 2005. A formal call to fulfill that order did not emerge until November, 2006. “There is an immediate need for an MRAP vehicle capability to increase survivability and mobility of Marines operating in a hazardous fire area against known threats,” the 2005 “universal need statement” notes.
Back then — as now — improvised explosive devices, or IEDs — represented the deadliest threat to American troops in the region. “The expanded use” of these bombs “requires a more robust family of vehicle capable of surviving the IED… threat,” the document adds. “MRAP-designed vehicles represent a significant increase in their survivability baseline over existing motor vehicle equipment and will mitigate… casualties resulting from IED[s].”
Over 1,300 U.S. soldiers have been killed by IEDs.
Oh, Cheney. Now you canâ€™t even go to a baseball game without being booed.
Perhaps it has to do with your failed administration or how you misused intelligence to take us to war or how you destabilized the Middle East. But I think it is more about image. Really, what you need is a new look. I have compiled a short list to help you get started:
- Stop hunting doves. No one likes it when you fill a symbol of their God full of birdshot.
- Stop hunting lawyers. While people donâ€™t like lawyers, youâ€™re not allowed to shoot them.
- Smile. And not that facial contortion where you fold up one side of your top lip. Letâ€™s
shoot try for a little more Sean Connery and a little less Dr. Evil.
- Carry a puppy. This is all the rage in Hollywood. Simply carry a small cute puppy (alive) with you at all times. That way, if your new smile doesnâ€™t work, people will still find the animal adorable and assume youâ€™re a sensitive guy for having such a charming pet.
- Eat cheeriosâ€¦ At least when people are watching. That way, it will look like your failing heart is kept beating by good nutrition, not some dark unspeakable force.
- Wear bright colors. Black might work well for the whole Darth Vader thing, but it kind of puts people off. Perhaps a nice pink cardigan with some white trousers.
- Hang out with Bono. Hey, it worked for Bush.
A couple of weeks ago, TPMMuckraker noticed a strange blog on Cincinatti.com called Grandma in Iraq that posts only upbeat and happy stories about Iraq. After a little investigative journalism (yes, some people still do that), TPMM found out that â€˜Grandmaâ€™ was really a public affairs officer for the U.S. army.
The Cincinnati Enquirer (owner of Cincinnati.com), got bombarded with letters and e-mails. Within two days, they changed the top title of Suzanne â€˜Grandmaâ€™ Fournierâ€™s blog to show her true employment.
Suzanneâ€™s defense? The Cincinnati Enquirer apparently published her role in previous installments of their newspaper. That of course makes it okay because every time I visit a new blog I search for the personâ€™s name in every local paper to find out their real identity.
I guess the Enquirer apparently think journalism is about publishing what the government writes under false guises instead of, oh, I donâ€™t know, asking questions, reporting, and the like.
In the continuing saga of military equipment issues, the army has reached an all new low. Army officials have banned the use of privately bought armor. You probably remember all the fund drives and protests for more body armor that have occurred over the past few years. I know many organizations here in Cincinnati, including churches, have held events to raise money to send proper equipment to their loved ones overseas.
The army, however, does not want its troops to wear armor that might be â€œsubstandardâ€ to the issued armor. Well, this would not be a problem if our government actually equipped our soldiers instead of building â€œbridges to nowhereâ€ that cost hundreds, yes hundreds, of millions of dollars. But I guess they think it is better for our soldiers to wear no armor rather than armor that still helps but is not as good as the equipment the government could buy them but is not willing to buy.
How did that checks and balances thing go again?
It turns out that Bush plans on closing the Dubai port deal tomorrow or Monday according to the U.S. Treasury Department:
Ports World’s $6.85 billion acquisition of Britain’s P&O will close on Friday or Monday, despite an additional 45-day review by the U.S. government in response to security concerns, a U.S. Treasury Department official said on Thursday.
And another great reason has arrived on why NOT to allow this deal: Al-Qaeda has infiltrated the UAE government. (via AmericaBlog)
You probably remember this statement by Bush:
I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm. But these levees got breached. And as a result, much of New Orleans is flooded. And now we are having to deal with it and will.
Well, now they have to deal with not dealing with it. The Associated Press has released a copy of the video conference between Bush, FEMA, NOAA, and the local officials that occurred 19 hours before Katrina hit. During the meeting, Michael Brown referred to the hurricane as â€œThe Big Oneâ€ and even voiced concerns about the Superdome that sadly proved true.
Very importantly, National Hurricane Center Director, Max Mayfield, warned the group and President Bush about the possibility of the levees breaching and called it a â€œgrave concern.â€ Bush asked no questions and returned to his vacation at Crawford.
Watch the video at C&L and check out the story at the WaPo.
A new Zogby poll shows that U.S. soldiers overwhelmingly want to pull out of Iraq within the year. E&P story here.
1,300 Iraqis are known to be dead from last weeks sectarian violence.
68 more killed as soon as curfew lifted.
Sadly, Iraq has fallen into a civil war.
The coast guard told investigators that there was a large number of intelligence gaps, potential unknown threats, and potential vulnerabilities.