Monday, November 1


The Republicans can talk all they want about "supporting our troops," but we know it's just a huge hypocritical sham. If they really meant it, we wouldn't still be, after 18 months of war, in a position where our GIs STILL lack armor, radios, and bullets:

But the 343rd isn't the first outfit to be put in harm's way without proper equipment, and commanders in Iraq acknowledged that the unit's concerns were legitimate, even if their mutiny was not.

With a $400 billion defense budget you might think U.S. troops have everything they need to fight the war, but that's not always the case.
There have been more than 9,000 U.S. casualties in Iraq so far – more than 8,100 wounded and 1,100 killed. Nearly half of those casualties are the result of roadside bombs, known as improvised explosive devices or IEDs in military jargon. Yet the U.S. military still lacks thousands of fully armored vehicles that could save American lives.
Winslow Wheeler, a long time Capitol Hill staffer who spent years writing and reviewing defense appropriations bills, thinks he knows one reason why those shortages exist, after looking at the current Defense budget. Army accounts that pay for training, maintenance and repairs are being raided by Congress to pay for pork-barrel spending.

Wheeler says $2.8 billion that was earmarked for operations and maintenance to support U.S. troops has been used to "pay the pork bill."

Wheeler, who has written a book called "The Wastrels of Defense," says congressmen routinely hide billions of dollars in pet projects in the defense bill.

And buried in the back of this one, Wheeler found a biathlon jogging track in Alaska, a brown tree snake eradication program in Hawaii, a parade ground maintenance contract for a military base that closed years ago, and money for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial celebration.

By law, these projects can't be cut, so Pentagon bookkeepers will have to dip into operations and maintenance accounts to pay for them.

"They do all kinds of things that adds up to: 'We're basically eating our own young to support the war,'" he says.


Post a Comment

<< Home