2005/03/07

Absolutely amazing incompetence

Amazing! Just absolutely amazing. Again, as we've often had, we have the question of “What does it mean to 'Support the Troops' “? Obviously to me and other progressions and I would hope to all true red-blooded Americans, it would mean to push for competent leadership and plenty of advice and criticism for leaders who are incompetent. Here's an article that calls that into question.


The war in Iraq was hardly a month old in April 2003 when an Army general in charge of equipping soldiers with protective gear threw the brakes on buying bulletproof vests.

The general, Richard A. Cody, who led a Pentagon group called the Army Strategic Planning Board, had been told by supply chiefs that the combat troops already had all the armor they needed, according to Army officials and records from the board's meetings. Some 50,000 other American soldiers, who were not on the front lines of battle, could do without.

In the following weeks, as Iraqi snipers and suicide bombers stepped up deadly attacks, often directed at those very soldiers behind the front lines, General Cody realized the Army's mistake and did an about-face. On May 15, 2003, he ordered the budget office to buy all the bulletproof vests it could, according to an Army report. He would give one to every soldier, "regardless of duty position."

The article then categorizes misstep after inexplicable delay after sheer idiocy.

In the case of body armor, the Pentagon gave a contract for thousands of the ceramic plate inserts that make the vests bulletproof to a former Army researcher who had never mass-produced anything. He struggled for a year, then gave up entirely. At the same time, in shipping plates from other companies, the Army's equipment manager effectively reduced the armor's priority to the status of socks, a confidential report by the Army's inspector general shows. Some 10,000 plates were lost along the way, and the rest arrived late.

This just an absolutely staggering story. An unqualified person was just handed a contract that was critical to the lives and safety of our troops. The fellow not only had no experience, “He struggled for a year, then gave up entirely. “ The contract was limited to just this one fellow? Nobody in the Pentagon ever got back to this fellow to see to it that he could do the job? Nobody monitored his progress? Nobody gave a rat's patootie to see how the contract was going? DailyKos is right. “For this alone, Rumsfeld should resign. It is inexcusable. “

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