Pentagon takes issue with Obama (Merged) (1 Viewer)

DadsDream

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During Thursday night's debate, Senator Obama said he knew an Army captain who complained of shortages in Afghanistan.

Republican Senator John Warner, who was probably the Armed Services Committee chairman during the event Senator Obama mentioned, is calling for information to be presented in a hearing next week.

Today, the Pentagon and the captain in question asserted...

- The event Senator Obama referred to was in 2003.
- There was never a shortage of combat weapons, only training weapons and ammo.
- The captain couldn't get a part to repair U.S. .50 caliber machinegun mounted atop a vehicle, so he put a captured Taliban weapon in its place temporarily until the part came in.

I think Senator Obama is about to get a lesson in stretching the truth and omitting facts while you're in a national spotlight.

MSNBC
Pentagon questions Obama’s soldier story
Captain tells NBC he was referring to shortages for training
February 22, 2008


WASHINGTON - The Pentagon on Friday tried to cast doubt on an account of military equipment shortages mentioned by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, whose campaign team stood by the story.

In a debate with rival Hillary Clinton on Thursday evening, Obama said he had heard from an Army captain who served in Afghanistan and whose unit did not have enough ammunition or vehicles.

Obama said it was easier for the troops to capture weapons from Taliban militants than it was "to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief," President Bush.

READ MORE
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23301273/
 

Saint by the Bay

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I can't imagine he'd make up a story like that. It's too easy to disprove if it's not true. At worst someone lied to him about it.
 

wamland

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I think Senator Warner is about to get schooled:
"From the Fact Check Desk: Obama's Army Anecdote

February 22, 2008 1:33 PM
<!-- Jennifer Parker
--> At last night's debate in Texas, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, told an anecdote about an Army captain that is causing a lot of chatter in the political world.
Obama was making a point about what he called "the single most important foreign policy decision of this generation, whether or not to go to war in Iraq." His point was that in opposing the war he "showed the judgment of a commander in chief. And I think that Senator Clinton was wrong in her judgments on that."

I called the Obama campaign this morning to chat about this story, and was put in touch with the Army captain in question.
He told me his story, which I found quite credible, though for obvious reasons he asked that I not mention his name or certain identifying information.
Short answer: He backs up Obama's story.
The longer answer is worth telling, though.
The Army captain, a West Point graduate, did a tour in a hot area of eastern Afghanistan from the Summer of 2003 through Spring 2004.
Prior to deployment the Captain -- then a Lieutenant -- took command of a rifle platoon at Fort Drum. When he took command, the platoon had 39 members, but -- in ones and twos -- 15 members of the platoon were re-assigned to other units. He knows of 10 of those 15 for sure who went to Iraq, and he suspects the other five did as well.

I might suggest those on the blogosphere upset about this story would be better suited directing their ire at those responsible for this problem, which is certainly not new. That is, if they actually care about the men and women bravely serving our country at home and abroad."

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/02/from-the-fact-3.html



I would tend to agree
 
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DadsDream

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I posted the MSNBC version, rather than the Fox version.

On Fox tonight, Oliver North said he's been to Afghanistan and Iraq many, many times and he's never seen anything like Senator Obama portrayed in the debate last night.

North is a lot of things, but in an honest assessment of military matters, I tend to believe him.
 

Saintman2884

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wamland, so this claim is a half truth made to make a bigger point elsewhere. Is that what I am getting here? If the Captain was so sure about his story and backed up Obama's claim, why not give his name or what exactly was said or done?
What does he have to hide by being hidden or unknown. I mean this is kind of a he said/Pentagon said kind of story. I guess it depends on your beliefs or your biases to say who is telling the truth. I don't think that not saying your name or who you are helps your case in my mind, it means your covering your *** or taking a safe route while blasting someone
 
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DadsDream

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Let's see, in the blog Wamland posted, the captain said the the shortage in weapons and ammo was at Fort Drum, NY, during training for Afghanistan, not in Afghanistan. OK.

Later shortages were related to spare parts, not a lack of weapons.

The Army breaks down supplies into classes.

Class I is major end items...trucks, tanks, etc.
Class IX is repair parts.

You really, really don't want me to go into how the Army supply system works. I used to teach about the Class IX repair part system, which is based on Prescribed Load Lists (PLL).

Suffice it to say that each major end item has a list of Class IX parts and each unit recieves the parts based on their unit's priority, which is assigned according to Funding Authorization Documents (FAD)...which Congress controls, not the President.

Basically, the system worked the way it was supposed to work.
 

Saint77

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NBC Nightly news brought up this topic, their stance was that while there were some inconsistencies, most of what he said was true.

Dont shoot the messenger, im not saying I believe it.:hihi:
 

wamland

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If the Captain was so sure about his story and backed up Obama's claim, why not give his name or what exactly was said or done?

I would imagine he is keeping quiet in order to either keep his current job or keep his life and or property out of danger.

"The US soldier who exposed the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison found himself a marked man after his anonymity was blown in the most astonishing way by Donald Rumsfeld.
His wife had no idea that Mr Darby had handed in those photos, but when he was named, she had to flee to her sister's house which was then vandalised with graffiti. Many in his home town called him a traitor.
"I knew that some people wouldn't agree with what I did," he says.
"You have some people who don't view it as right and wrong. They view it as: I put American soldiers in prison over Iraqis."
That animosity in his home town has meant that he still cannot return there.
After Donald Rumsfeld blew his cover, he was bundled out of Iraq very quickly and lived under armed protection for the first six months."
http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Find-Freedom.htm?At=022050


Obama's answer to the debate question was about the judgment that it took to go into Iraq when we were still trying to (or at least should have been) trying to fight a war in Afghanistan.

This, in my opinion helps prove that point.
 

BullDawg

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How dare anyone question the infallibility of the Messiah.
 

gavinj

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Republican Senator John Warner, who was probably the Armed Services Committee chairman during the event Senator Obama mentioned, is calling for information to be presented in a hearing next week.

If he goes through with it, he will end up getting all the info he wants and then some. But I imagine Warner will tuck his tail and run before any 'hearing' happens. lol.
 

Sabine

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How dare anyone question the infallibility of the Messiah.

:hihi:

This is what Obama said:

"I heard from an army captain who was the head of a rife platoon. Supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24, because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And and as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current Commander and Chief."

:scratch:
 

gavinj

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:hihi:

This is what Obama said:

"I heard from an army captain who was the head of a rife platoon. Supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24, because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And and as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current Commander and Chief."

:scratch:

Yeah, I won't be holding my breath for this hearing to go down. Talk about opening up a can of worms that the grand inquisitors would rather leave on the shelf.
 

BullDawg

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:hihi:

This is what Obama said:

"I heard from an army captain who was the head of a rife platoon. Supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24, because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And and as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current Commander and Chief."

:scratch:
I saw the segment. As always, there is more to this story than this simplistic analogy. And taking the word of a single captain to reflect the overall situation in the AOR? That's not a thought I would even entertain. That would be like one teacher in a state saying the entire education system for that state is broken because he or she didn't have enough pencils.

Obama just lost credibility points with me under the catagory of "mountains out of molehills". If you're going to make grandiose allegations, you better come with better data than that.
 

DavidM

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Perhaps the veracity of that particular story is unknown, but given the well-publicized debates about troops being stretched thin, soldiers serving multiple tours, the vehicle armor issue after the war started, years of complaining about poor strategy and planning, there seems to at least be plausibility here. Or was all that other just convenient when challenging the Bush Administration?

Anyway, I'm not familiar with this particular organization (looks legit) nor the accuracy of the information in the report I'm quoting and linking (again, looks legit) but there are others who seem pretty concerned.

Issue Report, January 2008

Conclusion


Specialist Wilson spoke for many troops when he
questioned Secretary Rumsfeld about armor shortages.
Like many of his fellow soldiers, he was also quick to say
that lack of equipment was not going to keep him from
doing his job: “I’m a soldier, and I’ll do this on a bicycle if
I have to.”148

But no amount of bravery on the part of our troops can
compensate for the tremendous shortages of gear and
personnel caused by four years of fighting two wars. The
war in Iraq has indeed exhausted our military and left
the homeland at risk. As General Peter Schoomaker, the
former Chief of Staff of the United States Army, warns:
“While our Soldiers are responding with extraordinary
commitment, particularly in the face of adversity and
personal hardships, we cannot allow this condition to
persist.”149

Although serious questions remain about the efficiency
and effectiveness of Defense Department procurement
and acquisitions,150 fixing near-term equipment shortages
is largely a matter of time, commitment and correctly
prioritized funding. However, there are no simple
solutions to the personnel shortages we have seen result
from the Iraq War. Stop Loss, multiple and repeated tours,
and cross-leveling are ineffective as long-term strategies to
maintain troop numbers.

IAVA opposes the use of these
stop-gap measures. Instead, every effort must be made to
encourage high-quality recruits to join the military. One
crucial recruitment tool IAVA recommends is a new GI
Bill that covers the cost of college. For IAVA’s complete
recommendations on military readiness, see our Legislative
Agenda, available at www.iava.org/dc.


http://www.iava.org/documents/Military_Readiness.pdf
 

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