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Old 12-08-2004, 09:33 PM   #1
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Troops talk to Rumsfeld

Troops put thorny questions to Rumsfeld
Defense chief speaks to Iraq-bound soldiers in Kuwait

Wednesday, December 8, 2004 Posted: 11:25 PM EST (0425 GMT)


(CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld faced tough questioning Wednesday from troops about to be deployed to Iraq.


http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/...ops/index.html

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No matter where you stand with the war this is a great read and I'm glad it happened.

That being said I'm saddened by the fact that Rumsfeld acted like this war was under a time crunch instead of being honest and saying it was poor planning. There was no time crunch, this should be obvious to everyone.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:51 PM   #2
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I think the WMD was either an honest mistake on bad intelligence, or the weapons somehow got away. I think it was full of good intentions, but we went wrong some way or another if we haven't found them yet.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:07 AM   #3
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Rumsfeld got all flustered and pretended like he didn't understand the question. I think his attempt to answer the question was pathetic and woefully inadequate.

There is a local soldier where I live who told his parents constantly that he didn't have the proper armor. He was killed in action. This makes me furious.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:47 AM   #4
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As wrong-headed as the war in Iraq may be, I think it is amazing that we live in a country where soldiers can ask honest, challenging questions of their superiors in an open forum like that and not later have their heads whacked off.
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by pwmartin
As wrong-headed as the war in Iraq may be, I think it is amazing that we live in a country where soldiers can ask honest, challenging questions of their superiors in an open forum like that and not later have their heads whacked off.
Freedom of Speech, what a great thing it is.
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Old 12-09-2004, 03:55 PM   #6
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NEW DELHI, India AP - A day after being challenged by a soldier on the Army's failure to provide adequate armor for vehicles used in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday he expects the Army to do its best to resolve the problem.

Thousands of miles away, President Bush echoed Rumsfeld's sentiments.

"The concerns expressed are being addressed and that is — we expect our troops to have the best possible equipment," Bush said at the White House. "If I were a soldier overseas wanting to defend my country I'd want to ask the secretary of defense the same question. And that is, 'Are we getting the best we can get us?' And they deserve the best.

"And I have told many families I've met with, we're doing everything we possibly can to protect your loved ones in a mission which is vital and important. And that mission is to spread freedom and peace," Bush said.

Rumsfeld, on a visit to the Indian capital, said it was good that ordinary soldiers are given a chance to express their concerns to the secretary of defense and senior military commanders.

"It's necessary for the Army to hear that, do something about it and see that everyone is treated properly," Rumsfeld said, referring not only to the complaint about insufficient armor but also another soldier's statement about not getting reimbursed for certain expenses in a timely way.

Why do I think this is a bunch of
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:18 PM   #7
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California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, led a chorus of complaints from her party that Rumsfeld should resign.

She said the Iraq war "began 21 months ago and Secretary Rumsfeld has still not done what is necessary, which is his highest duty, to protect our troops to the greatest degree possible. No CEO in America would retain a manager with so clear a record of failure and neither should President Bush."

White House budget director Joshua Bolten said the administration will ask Congress early next year for additional funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congressional sources said the package could top $70 billion.

"We prefer to do it as late as possible so that we know what our needs are going to be," Bolten said. But he added that he did not expect the Defense Department's "funding streams to be constrained at all at any time between now and the release of the budget" in early February.

Meeting with troops in Kuwait on Wednesday, Rumsfeld heard several complaints, including one from Spc. Thomas Wilson that U.S. forces were forced to dig up scrap metal to protect their vehicles in Iraq because of a shortage of armored ones.

An embedded reporter from the Chattanooga Times Free Press said he had sought out two soldiers beforehand to raise the questions.

"I was told yesterday that only soldiers could ask questions so I brought two of them along with me as my escorts," Lee Pitts said in a memo to the newspaper which was published on the Poynter media Web site.

"Before hand we worked on questions to ask Rumsfeld about the appalling lack of armor their vehicles going into combat have. ... I went and found the Sgt. in charge of the microphone for the question and answer session and made sure he knew to get my guys out of the crowd."

"CONSTRUCTIVE EXCHANGE"

Rumsfeld said on Thursday Wilson would be contacted.

"I don't know what the facts are but somebody's certainly going to sit down with him and find out what he knows that they may not know, and make sure he knows what they know that he may not know, and that's a good thing. I think it's a very constructive exchange," he told reporters traveling with him in India, another stop on a regional tour.

As the military adjusts to changing tactics of the insurgency, it requires different types of equipment and approaches, Rumsfeld said. "It doesn't happen instantaneously, but it has been happening pretty rapidly," he said.

The criticism came just days after the White House announced Rumsfeld would stay on in Bush's second-term Cabinet and the White House closed ranks behind him.

In an apparent effort to damp down the political fallout the U.S. general in charge of coalition ground forces in Iraq vowed to make sure all American military vehicles - including trucks - driven into Iraq in the future would contain at least minimal armor plating.

"And so we're continuing to work feverishly to ensure that they make our requirement that nobody goes north without it," Army Lt. Gen. Steven Whitcomb told Pentagon reporters in a hastily arranged teleconference from Kuwait, where U.S. troops have been gathering before entering Iraq.

Whitcomb told reporters progress had been made since August of last year to upgrade armor on "Humvee" jeeps, although the military was still about 2,000 short of 8,100 "up-armored" heavily-protected Humvees requested by commanders in Iraq.
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Old 12-10-2004, 02:03 AM   #8
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Read the whole transcript here ( http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/2...ecdef1761.html ) as it shows the high morale of the troops and the confidence that they have in the mission.

Also an interesting take on the question here
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:57 AM   #9
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I read through it for a few minutes. It doesn't seem like troops were beating him over the head all that badly. You can bet that they want to know what's going on, and you can bet that they will raise concerns about their safety. From all the news reports, it looked as if Rumsfeld was really under the gun.
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer


Also an interesting take on the question here
yes,

and?
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:16 AM   #11
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Editor: Disclosure was needed on armor query

Quote:
The question to Rumsfeld from Spc. Thomas "Jerry" Wilson, 31, of Nashville, Tennessee complaining that many military vehicles in Iraq are not adequately armored, has touched off a storm of new publicity about the issue.

"In hindsight, information on how the question was framed should have been included in Thursday's story in the Times Free Press. It was not," the paper's publisher and executive editor, Tom Griscom, said in a note to readers published Friday.

Military affairs reporter Edward Lee Pitts, who is embedded with the 278th Regimental Combat Team, said he worked with guardsmen after being told reporters would not be allowed to ask Rumsfeld any questions.
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:23 AM   #12
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Was it a trick question?

Did any of the other soldiers discuss their questions with anyone before hand?

Is Thomas "Jerry" Wilson a stupid patsy of al-jazerra or did he ask a question he believed in as did the other enlisted men who broke out in spontaneous applause?


How weak and desperate are the defenders of this failed administration?
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Old 12-10-2004, 11:20 AM   #13
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The press portrays this as "troop frustration" and it, in fact, turns out to be a staged event. The media is acting in more of a political fashion.
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Old 12-10-2004, 11:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep

How weak and desperate are the defenders of this failed administration?
Very
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Old 12-10-2004, 11:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The press portrays this as "troop frustration" and it, in fact, turns out to be a staged event. The media is acting in more of a political fashion.

not so sure ... there may have been some coaching on the part of the reporter, but they had teh soldier's girlfriend on NPR this morning and she said that he had told her the night before that he was all set to ask a question.

and what to make of the large sound of agreement coming from the crowd?
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