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Political ad lies about body armor
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, September 14, 2006

Any long-time reader of this blog knows I'm an advocate for our troops when it comes to ensuring they have the proper equipment with which to do their job. Any doubt about that should have been erased during the time I was giving Rumsfeld and the Pentagon hell for not uparmoring our lighter vehicles fast enough.

That brings us to a political ad I viewed which claims our troops have had to make do with "left over" armor from Vietnam and that George Allen voted against procuring the new vests.

On the politics of this, I simply have no idea. Let me make this clear, I have no dog in the George Allen for Senate hunt. That's a job for FactCheck.org.

But I do know a thing or two about the military. And on that alone, what they say in this ad, particularly about the older vest, is a lie.

Here's the ad.

The claim the ad makes is the second vest is "left over from Vietnam". The obvious inference being we're sending our troops into combat with leftovers from a war which ended 30 years ago.

The first clue was the camoflage. VN era flak vests were not camo. They were OD green, just like everything but the helmet covers of the era. In fact, below is a picture of a VN flak jacket.



As you can see it doesn't really look like the vest in question. But that is what a vest "left over from Vietnam" would look like.

Another point to be made. While the VN era vest was a ballistic vest, it was made to stop shrapnel, not bullets. We'd found that the majority of wounds we suffered were chest wounds, most from shrapnel, and that was a measure to cut those wounds down. It was not a kevlar vest.

So what is the vest featured as "left over from Vietnam".

Its a 80s era kevlar PASGT flak vest made by DuPont. Again, note the point. It is a vest made to stop shrapnel, not bullets. If you look at the vest in the ad it looks just like this:



This particular vest was a huge improvement over the previous VN era vest by the addition of kevlar. It was light but gave added protection, especially against Improved Conventional Munitions (ICM). That is what it was designed to do.

However, and this too was omitted, it could be upgraded to stop bullets, up 7.62. The weapon used in the ad, and fired at the vest is, of course, a 7.62 AK-47.
The Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops Vest (PASGT-V) weighs about 9 pounds, and when combined with the Interim Small Arms Protective Overvest (ISAPO), the weight is about 25 pounds.
It is the ISAPO that protects the wearer from small arms fire and is worn over the PASGT. And, of course, the ISAPO was missing from the PASGT vest characterized as "left over from Vietnam". Obviously, at 25 lbs, it is a very heavy addition, but it would have stopped the rounds fired in the ad.

The new Interceptor armor shown in the ad is being produced as we speak for our soldiers in Iraq. The development and procurement of the armor has been underway for quite some time and contracts let in 2004 have seen the supply increase dramatically. That doesn't mean there haven't been issues with the armor but all in all it is superior to the 80s era PASGT because it is lighter and provides better coverage. But the PASGT was the issue vest during Desert Storm and served us very well.

To pretend, as this ad does, that soldiers were being sent into combat in Iraq wearing vests "left over from Vietnam" is disingenuous at best and to then show only the partial capability of the vest in question is even worse.

Some may write it off to "politics", but the sponsors of the ad, supposedly a veteran's organization, should be ashamed of themselves.

UPDATE: OK, the irony meter pegged out. One last look at the Vietnam era flack jacket.



In case you don't recognize the guy in the picture, that's James Webb, Allen's Senate opponent. Heh ...
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Sounds like a brilliant ad of the sort Chambliss ran against Cleland. Take a minor technicality, distort it like hell, and then hang your opponent for lack of patriotism. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. This is a Rove-style ad in the extreme, and it will probably hurt Allen quite a bit, mostly because everybody vaguely knows that "the troops ain’t gettin’ the equipment their supposed to."
 
Written By: Elrod
URL: http://
They’re working on it though. Like the Trophy, Israel already has semi-workable versions of this technology, while ours is still in development, but much, much better vests than Kevlar are on the way.

 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
It’s not a minor technicality, Elrod ... it’s a lie.

And, as I figured, many would just blow it off to "politics" and "what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" moral relativism as long as it hurts their political enemy.

Appreciate you proving the point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
Hmm. One of these days I’ll start reading the references before citing them. Looks like Israel has the material, but not the end product. Apologies for the mistake.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
I tried to answer their question about where this ad should go next, but they want too much information.

I guess to some folks, anything prior to 2000 was the Vietnam era. By the way, what part of Virginia do you think this ad was filmed in? I know a little of Va, but the desert portion is new to me.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Swift-boating redux !! This time from the Dems.
 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Have you sent your analysis to them yet? It would be interesting to see/hear their response.
 
Written By: Brad
URL: http://
As an exJarhead and Nam vet I can say from first hand experience that you are absolutely right. I wore a variety of those vests for 13 months (1967-1968) and they were all a solid color that approximated "Olive Drab". The add is B***S***! It pains me to think that another exJarhead and Nam vet may be behind this. I hope this is not the case as I have been a Webb man for decades - us exJarheads are a close clan.
 
Written By: Rodney A Stanton
URL: http://
Swift-boating redux !! This time from the Dems.
"redux" implies that the two are the same.

Since one was telling the truth and the other wasn’t, that’s a difficult assertion to make.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Since one was telling the truth and the other wasn’t, that’s a difficult assertion to make.
No it isn’t any criticism of Kerry was a LIE! So they ARE equal, neener-neener-neener.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"...hurt Allen quite a bit"?? Whatever you think. That’s just an insult to the voters of Virginia. Just like saying the Chambliss ads brainwashed those stupid voters in Georgia.
 
Written By: Epphan
URL: http://
Since one was telling the truth and the other wasn’t, that’s a difficult assertion to make.

You can’t say that one was true...at best, you can say that you donot know..
 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Ivan,

You mean John Kerry was in Cambodia at Christmas time during his tour in Vietnam?

 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://

You mean John Kerry was in Cambodia at Christmas time during his tour in Vietnam?
You can’t prove he wasn’t. Just like you can’t prove that Nixon wasn’t president at the time. Neener neener redux.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
LO, Pablo has boxed you, but good...Neither can you prove that John Kerry is NOT in fact, a Pan-Dimensional, Hyper-Intelligent Being
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Neither can you prove that John Kerry is NOT in fact, a Pan-Dimensional, Hyper-Intelligent Being
Which would account for his long face, it having been stretched on his hyper-dimensional jaunts. One of which was to set all the charges in the WTC, which is why nobody noticed him because there were about a thousand instances of him working during the same ten minutes. So you can’t prove that the collapse wasn’t a controlled demolition.

And it’s all part of his hyper-intelligent plan to prepare humanity for eventual rule by him and his pan-dimensional buddies. We have to be softened up in various ways. Of course, we don’t understand his motives or plans, but that’s because we’re not hyper-intelligent, so of course it would be impossible for us to understand. THINK about it!
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Isn’t there a law that requires that anyone who uses the term "SwiftVets Charges" must also say "unsubstantiated"?
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
"You can’t say that one was true...at best, you can say that you donot know.. "

I suppose, theoretically speaking, you could say the same about almost every defendant in a criminal case. Using your standard, our jails would be empty. Having read the swiftboatguys book, and kerry’s website, and a bunch of other stuff, I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt unto a moral certainty that Kerry is ....., you know. I would put someone in jail on less evidence.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Didn’t Kerry himself come right out and admit that um well maybe he wasn’t exactly actually in Cambodia at Christmas after all?
 
Written By: triticale
URL: http://triticale.mu.nu
Still how can that be, it was seared, SEARED into his memory!! And that’s what sank his ar$e... he came across as a lying doofus....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
triticale:
"Didn’t Kerry himself come right out and admit that um well maybe he wasn’t exactly actually in Cambodia at Christmas after all?"

Yes, I do think he did. To Tim Russert at the end of January 2005. He said he was there another time. Running guns to the Khmer Rouge. Tim Russert did not follow up, but he should have asked why Kerry was running guns to the communists.
 
Written By: anonymous
URL: http://
heheheh, laugh all you want about what a jacket may have or may not have looked like: Allen can’t run from his record :)

Yes, the book of Rove being used against Republicans, who woulda thunk it.

A vote no is still a VOTE NO.

Have fun pubs
 
Written By: Koronin
URL: http://
Well, why should the vet group get it right, when congress-critters don’t get it right either...

http://www.house.gov/strickland/11.04.03-VestHearingLetter.html
We are writing to request that the Armed Services Committee hold a hearing to investigate the many reports from soldiers in the field and numerous news accounts of American men and women fighting in Iraq without adequate lifesaving body armor—an indication that our preparation for this war was inadequate.

We have learned from soldiers serving in Iraq that only some troops are being issued the highest quality “Interceptor” body armor—Kevlar bulletproof vests with removable ceramic inserts—and that fellow soldiers are being killed when their Vietnam-era “flak jackets” fail to stop enemy bullets.
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2003/12/body_armor
Before approving the administration’s $87 billion supplemental spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress added hundreds of millions of dollars for more body armor, armored Humvees, and other systems to protect soldiers from roadside bombs and ambushes.

Now, three manufacturers are working overtime to produce the 80,000 vests and 160,000 plates required to outfit everyone in Iraq by the end of the year. Assembly lines are producing 25,000 sets a month.
Example of lies told by the media about body armor...

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0805/jkelly082505.php3


And this looks like a much more balanced view of the facts...

http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=110944&ran=241523&tref=po
He noted that the amendment the ad cited as proof never mentioned body armor and neither did its sponsor when she argued for its passage.

Transcripts in the Congressional Record show that Landrieu, who served on the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1999 to 2002, repeatedly argued that the money would be used for protective gear.

"You don’t have to be an expert in warfare to understand one of the ways you can minimize casualties," she said, "is to give your Guard and Reserve the best training and the best equipment, so when they ship out, they have a chance to ship back."

When U.S. troops swept through Iraq, there was a severe shortage of the latest body armor, so the military only provided the most effective Kevlar- and ceramic-lined versions, known as Interceptor, to front-line ground troops.

Reserve and National Guard units generally were issued the less effective and much heavier Vietnam War-era flak jackets, which are not designed to stop a bullet. Soon, soldiers’ families were scouring the private sector for better alternatives for loved ones under fire and shipping them to Iraq.

In June 2004, the Senate passed legislation to reimburse those who bought their own body armor. Allen voted for that bill, his campaign noted.

According to the General Accounting Office, Congress’ investigative arm, it wasn’t until January 2004 that all troops in Iraq received the Interceptor body armor, which is designed to stop rifle rounds.
I’ve yet to find the actual amendment in the congressional record.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://
I didn’t find the actual text of that amendment in the congressional record either.

One other problem I noticed with the Body Armor "VoteVets" video. I’m about 99% certain that is NOT an AK-47, it’s a AK-74, type 2, 4, or 5. I realize this is not of earth-shaking importance, compared to the type of vest they purported to be showing, but still... Can’t people fact check these videos at ALL?
 
Written By: MCart
URL: http://
I served in VN 1968-69 in helicopter combat. We wore what we called "chicken plates". Not sure of the composition, but I think it was about 1.5" thick of compressed fiber glass, chest plate, was heavy and "inconvenient" to wear, but I can personally attest to it stopping, at least once, a 7.63mm AK-47 round. Many crewmen chose to sit on one rather than wear one because the bottom end wasn’t protected and that was a common vulnerable avenue in the air. Many crewmen chose not to wear it at all because it was so burdensome. I wore one only occasionally until it saved my life. Afterwards, I wore it evey time I flew.

It was completely "OD", not camoflaged, much less protective and lighter than what is available today. Did not look like anything pictured, but this post is about infantrywear.

I am all for maximum protection and effectiveness for our troops, but recognize that battle gear has to be tuned to the situation. Our troops are doing well and we should tune it such that they are as safe as possible. This should not be a political issue, but a military planning issue. Oh yeah, I forgot, it is a funding issue.

Wonder what kind of protective armor the jihadi’s are issued?

God bless our troops.

.jax
 
Written By: jaxinman
URL: http://
Did John Kerry sign his 180 form yet?
 
Written By: Marvin Hurst
URL: http://
There were plenty of regular Army units that didn’t have IBA in mid-2003, I’m sure, not just Guard and Reserve troops. I was in the lead Stryker brigade at the time. We were behind only the Rangers and other SOCOM types in the line for new toys, and we’d only had IBA since the latter half of 2002.

In order to have had enough in 2003, it would have had to have been in the FY03 budget, which was voted on by Congress in summer of 2002. Even with a supplemental, it takes time to makes tens of thousands of vests and plates.

My job now is to train Guard and Reserve troops after they get mobilized, before they leave the States. In over a year, I have yet to see a unit without IBA. The things I see them without are M-4s, CCOs, and nightvision. Although I’m told they get that either before they leave or when they get to Kuwait.
 
Written By: Heartless Libertarian
URL: http://heartlesslibertarian.blogspot.com
There were plenty of regular Army units that didn’t have IBA in mid-2003, I’m sure, not just Guard and Reserve troops. I was in the lead Stryker brigade at the time. We were behind only the Rangers and other SOCOM types in the line for new toys, and we’d only had IBA since the latter half of 2002.
That’s really not the point.

The claim was troops were being sent to Iraq with Vietnam era flak vests. The ad then identified the second vest in the ad (which is, in reality an ’80s era PASGT) as a Vietnam era vest. Lastly, it didn’t mention the PASGT had an option (ISAPO) which would stop 7.62 rounds. Of course if they had, the gig would have been up right there instead of later when people did a little reasearch (since that sort of bullet proof over-vest wasn’t available to "Vietnam era" vests).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Maybe I have an attitude, but it says something when a "vet" — one apparently playing on his status as a vet and talking about ’mistakes’ to judge from the web site — can’t even tell the difference between PASGT and Viet Nam era armor.

It says something not too impressive about his status.

 
Written By: 1charlie2
URL: http://
Also worth noting is that the PASGT Vest was used until the begining of this century, until the IBA came on the scene (so it’s not neccessarily correct to say its an 80’s-era vest).

Also, unless that ad was doctored, an IBA will be defeated w/out a SAPI plate installed (especially by an AK from about 30 feet!)

I don’t know about Sen. Allen’s voting record on this subject, but I suspect that is a lie as well.
 
Written By: thebronze
URL: http://
Also worth noting is that the PASGT Vest was used until the begining of this century, until the IBA came on the scene (so it’s not neccessarily correct to say its an 80’s-era vest).
Well actually it is ... that’s when it was fielded.

It’s no different than saying the F4 was a ’60s era jet even though it flew into the ’90s.
Also, unless that ad was doctored, an IBA will be defeated w/out a SAPI plate installed (especially by an AK from about 30 feet!)
Heh ... well it is the magic of cinematography. We get to see what they want us to see.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
No one with an ounce of sense believes that the troops were sent to war with 30-year old equipment. What they do understand is that they were sent with Viet Nam era technology, and that George Allen voted AGAINST upgrading their equipment.

And no matter how thin you want to slice the baloney, the real truth behind these ads is that soldiers were sent to war with shrapnel vests when vests that could stop bullets were available. But the chickensh*thawk neocons wouldn’t risk 1% of their rich-buddy tax cuts to pay for them.

That’s what the ad says. That’s what the ad means. That’s the truth behind all the smoke you’re trying to throw up (which is what your efforts make decent people want to do).
 
Written By: imajoebob
URL: http://
i agree with imajoebob above.

is the actual piece of equipment in the ad from the vietnam era? i personally have no idea and will take the word of people here that it is not.

but the point of the ad and issue it’s trying to raise is not whether the commercial’s producers used authentic equipment. the point and the issue is whether or not the troops sent to iraq were given the suitable armor. and if they were not given suitable armor, then why did senator allen not vote to supply them with that equipment.

i’ve never been in the military and i’ve never been shot at - heck i don’t think i’ve ever seen body armor in person - so i don’t know if what soldiers deploying to iraq were given was good or bad. but while it’s mildly interesting that the ad used different equipment than they claimed, the issue to be debated is whether or not senator allen "supported the troops" with this particular vote.

i read about half and skimmed the rest of the comments and only really found one discussing that issue by keith indy. much like i trust the commenters here when they say that wasn’t vietnam era armor, i also trust the soldier in the ad when he says that he was supplied with something that didn’t stop bullets well.

of course, none of this really matters because the ad is pretty effective and i doubt the allen campaign is going to want to argue the point and keep the issue in the news.
 
Written By: this guy
URL: http://
also, it’s not really "ironic" or even fair to insinuate that webb is or should be aware that this commercial is not using actual vietnam era body armor. the ad is from Vote Vets PAC which is, by law, entirely separate from the webb campaign and cannot coordinate or communicate about this stuff with the webb team. obviously it’s in support of him, but webb and his campaign had nothing to do with it.
 
Written By: this guy
URL: http://
is the actual piece of equipment in the ad from the vietnam era?
No. End of story. It’s a lie. That is not a Vietnam era vest as claimed in the ad.

Now you can quibble all you want about the politics of the ad, but the vest in the ad is not what they claim it to be.

That, at the very least, should have anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty questioning the political point as well.

Obviously for you two, we don’t have to worry about that as being something of concern, do we?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
also, it’s not really "ironic" or even fair to insinuate that webb is or should be aware that this commercial is not using actual vietnam era body armor.
Obviously you’re not up on irony either. The irony is that the man they were attacking’s political opponent had a picture on his web site of him wearing a real VN era flak vest.

That’s the irony. Not the expectation that Webb should be aware of anything per se.

Geez ... this is like trying to tell two-year olds what "cow" means.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Good to see your independent research mirrors mine. I put up a post today on this at http://www.bvbl.net/?p=273 . The congressional record for this sheds some interesting light on what precisely was being voted on and why the vote failed.
 
Written By: Greg Letiecq
URL: http://www.bvbl.net
McQ, you’re full of crap.

You’re full of crap when you claim the ad is about "left over" armor - it’s about substandard equipment supplied to US troops. You’re full of crap when you say you’ve got "no dog" in the Allen election. Every sentence of this crap you spew is designed to bolster every right wingnut politician on the planet. You’re full of crap when you try to claim you’re any kind of a Libertarian, even your bullsh*t "New Libertarian." (ain’t that quaint? Mr. Libertarian won’t let us use naughty words on his precious blog!) .

No self respecting Libertarian would try to take Keith Olberman to task for criticizing Gee Dubya. They’d be compaining that he doesn’t do it enough. No Libertarian would write a single word in support of Alberto Gonzales, they’d be burning him and his unconstitutional right wing sell-outs in effigy. And the last group any self-respecting Libertartian would support is the DLC (aka "Republicans without brains"). You’re a disgrace.

You’re a BS artist who thinks he can carve out a profitable little niche by repackaging neocon crap as this trite little "movement" while trying to hijack the Libertarian banner. What? Are you too psychotic for even the wingnuts, so you have to use Libertarian to look saner than the rest? Or don’t you even measure up to Karl Roves low standards?

Attacking veterans for calling out the chickenhawks who voted against maker our troops a little safer... What a pathetic little loser you are. You’re the lowest.

Let me save you the trouble of taxing those precious few brain cells you have by paraphrasing your monumentally intellectual response to earlier comments (that shredded your peurile little post): ""Is so! Is so! Is so!"
 
Written By: imajoebob
URL: http://
You’re full of crap when you claim the ad is about "left over" armor - it’s about substandard equipment supplied to US troops.
The item was standard issue equipment before the Interceptor armor you dimwit. How can that be "substandard"?

Like anything the military has ever done, it phases out one issue while it brings on the new. Tell me, when the M1 Abrams came out, did every armor unit in the Army get them? Or did we see a gradual transition from M-60s to M1s?

What passes for intelligence among people with keyboards these days.
No self respecting Libertarian would try to take Keith Olberman to task for criticizing Gee Dubya.


Says who, you?

LOL!
You’re full of crap when you say you’ve got "no dog" in the Allen election.


Really? What "dog" do I have in a VA Senate election living in GA?

The fact you lied in your ad doesn’t mean *I* have a dog in any hunt except exposing you for the fraud you are.
You’re a BS artist who thinks he can carve out a profitable little niche by repackaging neocon crap as this trite little "movement" while trying to hijack the Libertarian banner.
Ah, I knew some day the "Big Libertarian" would show up in order to tell us all which way the libertarian world rotated.

Sheesh.
Attacking veterans for calling out the chickenhawks who voted against maker our troops a little safer... What a pathetic little loser you are. You’re the lowest.
After 28 years in the Army, having served in Vietnam and having used both the vest being passed off as "left over from Vietnam" and the PASGT-V, I, unlike you, at least know what the heck I’m talking about.
Let me save you the trouble of taxing those precious few brain cells you have by paraphrasing your monumentally intellectual response to earlier comments (that shredded your peurile little post)
LOL!

You are a laugh a minute, at least.

But then it is you who raised the point about intellectual honesty, isn’t it (see the comment immediately above yours - I’m not the only one who figured you guys out)?

Why don’t you try it for a change, instead of this assinine attack because your ad ... yes, YOUR ad ... was found out?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I participated as a Marine in OIF. And I was issued the updated vest (Referred to by someone as the IBV or something like that.), and so was my entire unit. But it is interesting to note that we were the first unit to deploy from Camp Lejeune with the new vest, but we did deploy well before OIF kicked off (About 7 months prior).

But as I was a SpecOps Marine, I was one of a handful that were issued the SAPI plates. The bulk of the unit was issued these plates when we received the mission to invade Iraq, but that was a bit problematic as many people had the wrong sizes. But I do know that many units that participated in either the invasion of Iraq of in the occupation still had the old PASGT vests. And whether or not a PASGT is ’Vietnam era equipment’ is a bit debatable. No it didn’t see action in the Vietnam War, but I joined the USMC in 1990, and the last of the old vests with the ceramic plates in them were just being phased out. I was actually issued one in Boot Camp.

Re: The PASGT, they were woefully inadequate. And as they were old they tended to break down. So not only did many units still have them, but they had old vests, and simply sweating in them broke down the Kevlar. I had heard (though not investigated) that the USMC had a regulation against PTing in PASGT vests because the sweat reduced their effectiveness. But I can tell you I spent a lot of time PTing in my various PASGT vests, and in fact during one deployment I used it as an exercise mat for organized PT 6 days a week for 4 months.

The specifics of the ad may be wrong, but the issues it brings up are real. Servicemen were deployed to Iraq with inadequete and outdated equipment, plain and simple. In my unit so many IRR guys were individually activated, we had SNCOs who had to turn in their rifles! While the Air Force is spending billions on the F/A-22, basic stuff like SAPI plates, good vests, optics, armored HMMWVs, medical equipment, etc, wasn’t in the pipeline initially because Bush, Rumsfeld and their various horse-holders thought the fight would be quick. Well it was, but they forgot about the occupation. And Bremer and the rest of his neo-con political hacks managed to screw that up, horribly. Just one example; how many servicemen died when Bremer closed al-Sadr’s newspaper without telling the military what he was going to do? His move resulted in open compat between the US military and the Mahdi Army, and neither Sanchez nor Abezaid was even allowed to attend Bremer’s CPA meetings, but some neocon staffer two years out of some Ivy League College was there.

But don’t get the wrong impression, though I was against the initial invasion of Iraq, I support the contining occupation. I subscribe to Colin Powell’s adage that ’you broke it, you own it.’ It’s just a shame that this administration was deaf to the military’s need for more troops. It takes a lot more troops to administer a country like Iraq then to invade and overthrow the government. It’s just a shame that American heroes continue to die every day because the neocons had no plan while they insisted they did have a plan. They had no plan and the best and brightest are dieing every day because of it. Bremer is currently doing paid speaking tours about his experience, and he’s a high level manager of some corporation sucking up DHS funds, while Joe-crunchy is being shot in the face due to Bremer’s complete inability to do anything positive in Iraq.
 
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
When in any war have we fought, have we had the best equipment for every service member? Think Sherman tanks in WWII.

There are always shortages, wrong sizes, backed up supply lines, whatever complaint of the day. But we always get the damn job done.

Most of this arguement is bullsh*t.

I served 19 months in Iraq and 5 in Afghanistan and not one time did I see a single service member without an IBA (That’s Interceptor Body Armor) or the plates. There may have been some, but I never saw them.

And another thing, what’s this deal with neo-cons? Does it really mean anything at all?
 
Written By: matterson
URL: http://
And were the vests upgraded McQ?

And if not, how long did Bush and the DoD have to prepare?

And how did George Allen vote?

And how did the ad lie?
 
Written By: jerry
URL: http://
Maybe during the initial fighting in March ’03, there were shortages of plates for the IBA. But there were no service members leaving Kuwait without both an IBA and plates. Everyone from the Infantry to the cooks to the admin. clerks were issued an IBA.

I know everyone I served with in Afghanistan in 2002 were issued IBA’s and plates.

What is the arguement here again?
 
Written By: matterson
URL: http://
McQ, you’re nothing, if not predictable. Which is a good thing, because without being predictable, that’s exactly what you are. I don’t even have to bother with you’re paranoid little rant, except to say you need to develop some intellect before you discuss intellectual honesty. As I said, all you can counter with is, "Is so! Is so! Is so!"

So I’ll reply at a level you appear to understand, "Loser! Loser! Loser!"
 
Written By: imajoebob
URL: http://
But there were no service members leaving Kuwait without both an IBA and plates. Everyone from the Infantry to the cooks to the admin. clerks were issued an IBA.

Jerry,
You are completely wrong. Approximately 40,000 service members who participated in OIF did not have the interceptor vests. That’s why Senate passed legislation to reimburse them for purchasing vests out of pocket;

Interceptor Body Armor. Demand for Interceptor body armor [Footnote 18] exceeded supply during OIF. The Coalition Forces Land Component commander decided to increase individual protection by issuing the armor to all troops and civilians. As a result, demand for the body armor surged, with quarterly demand rising from a pre-war level of about 8,600 vests and 9,600 plates, to about 77,000 vests and 109,000 plates by the time the war commenced on March 2003. Back orders for plates peaked at 598,000 in November 2003, while back orders for vests reached 328,000 in December. Even though the services did not report that the lack of body armor impacted their missions during OIF, there were serious concerns. For example, combat support units in the Army and Marine Corps were among the last to be equipped with the armor, increasing the risk to personnel given the enemy’s focus on attacking supply routes.

and

DLA data show that manufacturers of body armor could not meet the surge in demand for the item’s two primary components, plates and vests. For
example, the worldwide demand for plates increased from 9,586 in December 2002 to 108,808 in March 2003 to a peak of 478,541 in December 2003. A comparison of plate production rates over the same time period shows that only 3,888 plates were produced during December 2002, 31,162 during March 2003, and 49,746 during December 2003.


and

Increasing requirements exceeded the manufacturer’s capacity to produce sufficient body armor. For example, in October 2003, CENTCOM expanded requirements for body armor to include all U.S. personnel in its area of responsibility. The industrial base could not meet this new
requirement due to a lack of construction materials and long production lead-times. Vest production was hindered by the limited availability of Kevlar; plate production was initially slowed due to a lack of a special backing for the plates and later by the limited availability of the primary component of the plates, ceramic tiles. In addition, the minimum production lead-time of 3 months limited the manufacturers’ ability to accelerate production levels to meet increasing demand, especially for plates, which are more difficult to manufacture than vests. Due to these industrial-base limitations, body armor was not issued to all troops in Iraq until January 2004, 8 months after major combat operations were declared over.


That’s from the GOA report;

http://www.gao.gov/htext/d05275.html
 
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
As service members were being rotated out through Camp Victory in Kuwait, we left our plates ( and ammo, vehicles, even MRE’s) to those being rotated in.

As for service members buying their own IBA’s, never met a single one. I call BS on that story as well. Some may have but they were most likely SF getting something more suitable for their mission.
 
Written By: matterson
URL: http://
As a soldier who waiting on the border between Iraq and Kuwait for 6 months prior to the war, I think I can speak on this somewhat authoritatively.

When I was deployed to Kuwait in September 2002, I was issued the 80s era flak vest. Notice I said "flak vest". No one garnered strange allusions that this was a "bullet proof" vest.

When it became appararent that Saddam wasn’t going to cooperate with the UN and we’d have to head north my unit, the 3rd Infantry Division, took immediate measures to exchange our flak vests for the interceptor vests the moron in the video is touting as better. Again, notice the generally recognized term "interceptor". We did not head north until EVERYONE that stood even a remote chance of direct fire had one of those.

I’m not naive enough to sit here and say that EVERY soldier in Iraq had the new vest. They couldn’t make them fast enough. However, as they came in, they were exchanged.

It wasn’t even until 1999 that a five-year contract was awarded to produce the vests. Even the dumbest liberal can count to five and end up at 2004 - AFTER the Iraq invasion - in which the Army was to be fully equipped. The Army and Marines rushed to get enough body armor into Iraq and Afghanistan by December 2003 for everyone who needed it, as fast as it came off the assembly line. Again, everyone WHO NEEDED IT at the time. Even the best intelligence suggested an easy and quick fight.

When we started leaving Iraq in late 2003, we had to turn our vests in so that incoming soldiers and marines could be provided the vests that weren’t in direct fire combat. By 2004, pretty much the entire force was equipped.

Bottom line is that this ad is not only misleading, but an outright lie. By the time the insurgency was kicking into gear, most Soldiers and Marines already had the armor. As a Soldier, it pisses me off to see this ad. But then, I know who the idiot is that
 
Written By: CJ
URL: http://www.soldiersperspective.us
You’re full of crap when you claim the ad is about "left over" armor - it’s about substandard equipment supplied to US troops.
It’s pretty funny when people who obviously don’t have a clue what they’re taking about spout off anyway. Unless you want to argue that the manufacturer didn’t produce those vests to standard, then they can’t possibly be substandard. Military specs, yo.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Pablo,
Actually many vests were substandard. About 18,000 have been recalled because Point Blank used Zylon, when they were supposed to be 100% Kevlar. Zylon is a much cheaper alternative and Point Blank claims it got in there accidently. In a laboratory, when brand new, Zylon is just as effective as Kevlar. But expose it to 90 degree heat for a few hours at decent humidity, or to body sweat, and it breaks down to the point where it is about as effective as a leather jacket. Currently just about every body armor manufacturer except US Armor is getting their asses sued off for using Zylon.

And there was some controversy a while ago as there were reports the military’s chief procurement officer for body armor was knowingly signing off on batches of defective vests. Vests that were failing random testing. I don’t know how it all came out, I went to Afghanistan, in my issue body armor, that I did some research on to insure it didn’t have any Zylon in it.

And if don’t believe me, check out either US Armor’s or Point Blank’s Home Pages;

http://www.usarmor.com/homepage.htm
http://www.pointblankarmor.com/
 
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
Here’s some more to chew on;

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/01/16/opinion/chatfield/11506191333.txt

http://www.navyseals.com/community/articles/article.cfm?id=8278
 
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
kerry will never sign his 180 form, hillary saving it for a later date. if he thinks(and he does) he can run against h.r.c. with his closet, and the key to unlock it in her pocket...what a perfect moron! with the polls and msm touting landslide, why so many despicable, easily debunked ads running thru-out the country? hmmm...dems out of loot...beholden to nutters. one guess! their internal polls show.....just what they deserve! get the diebold tape
 
Written By: drd
URL: http://
Allen did vote against the funding that in small part would have gone to fund the vests. He voted against the funding knowing the vests were already in production and being distributed to our forces. Within 4 months of that vote, the services all had their vests. It was a supply problem. The manufacturer coulnd’t keep up with the instant demand. It took a few months to catch up. The add is crap. factcheck.org.
 
Written By: Bigdaddy
URL: http://

 
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