The Jaker

Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.

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Sunday, December 19, 2004
Biden on Meet the Press
Senator Biden is good at articulating how I feel about this adminstration. This morning on Meet the Press, you could see in his eyes and hear in his voice the comforting disdain for the arrogance and incompetence of Bush & co. Thank God there are still some people in Washington that understand what's going on.

Text of Biden's comment in the link below.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Biden, Congressman Gene Taylor of Mississippi told Mark Shields in a column in The Washington Post that you can buy radio jammers for $10,000 to put in the trucks and Humvees in Iraq, and that they would pick up these improvised explosive devices which account for half the deaths and half the injuries. Why haven't we put these radio jammers in these vehicles?

SEN. BIDEN: Look, I just think it's part of the ideology that sort of propelled us into this war. Let's-- I'm going to get in trouble with my colleagues here, but the fact of the matter is from the very beginning, the Pentagon civilian leadership believed this could be done much cheaper, with many fewer troops and much more quickly. Almost all of the outside experts left and right said that wasn't possible. So we started off with a significant deficit. We sent young troops over there, whether we like to admit it or not, without the body armor. We sent them over without the armor for their vehicles. We sent the 1st Calvary over there without all of their mechanized divisions that they wanted to have there.

And the truth of the matter is there's been this overwhelming reluctance to acknowledge the mistakes we made or hold anyone accountable. I don't care about holding anyone accountable. But when the production lines of the two outfits that can make the kits to provide the armor for these Humvees and the Humvees are telling us that their production lines could produce a lot more than they're doing now, we act like, "Oh, no, we didn't know that."

The truth of the matter is there seems to be a reluctance within the civilian leadership of the Pentagon to acknowledge any of these things. And let me tell you something. I don't know about these guys, but when I come home from these trips in Iraq--this is my first one--I meet with the National Guard folks, I meet with the guys who have been there and come back. Almost to a person, they're proud but complainant about what that young man from Tennessee said. They don't quite understand. We just sent a Black Hawk helicopter crew over. I get calls from the wives. They wanted fabric for seats because the seats were torn. Imagine that. And this Pentagon and this president acts like, "Oh, no. They've got all they need."

This is the last thing I'll say. On your program before the election, I said to you that they were going to call for an additional 12,000 to 20,000 troops before this election came up. President, the secretary of defense, everybody said, "Absolutely not. We have all the troops we need." Day after the election, bang, 12,000 more troops. Everybody knows the truth. The truth is we have not armed these kids well enough. We have not done all we can do from those jammers right through to the armor. That's part of the reason why I believe, in addition to the war, people aren't signing up.

posted by CB @ 4:36 PM  
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