Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Illinois National Guard: ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD SHORT ON EQUIPMENT FOR DISASTERS HERE



Washington---Five years after the September 11 terrorist attacks that struck the East Coast, the Illinois National Guard does not have all the equipment it deems necessary to rapidly respond to a disaster at home.

Suburban Chicago News
By: Dennis Conrad (AP)
September 9, 2006

Far from it.

Called to duty by President George W. Bush to help fight the global war against terrorism, Illinois guardsmen have left more than $40M of equipment in war-torn Iraq.

***Isn't it this Bush administration that keeps telling us we are going to get hit again? If so, how are we supposed to protect ourselves? All of this equipment is needed here at home. This is what happened in New Orleans. We all remember the results of that.

Even equipment that was still working after heavy use was left behind for replacement units.

The rest---ranging from worn out or wiped out trucks and Humvees to night vision devices and radios---decay in the desert.

***This is what the Bush administration has done for national security all across the country! You tell me how the Republicans are so great for national security!

In Illinois towns the guardsmen call home, what is most noticeable may be what is not there, according to Guard-compiled data released by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin's office:

* Of 1,438 Humvees the Guard considers necessary, only 716 are available.

* Of 169 trucks required, only 26 are on hand.

* Less than 10% of the Army Guard's necessary medium and heavy trucks and only 65% of its required light trucks are available.

* Of the 34% of equipment not deployed for the war, 10% has been found unacceptable for deployment due to age, a parts shortage or inadequate armor protection.

Durbin, a member of the Senate's Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, said the picture in Illinois is the same elsewhere, with Guard units commonly facing equipment shortages.

The General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, reported last fall that nondeployed Guard units nationwide had only about one-third of the equipment they need for overseas missions, and that "hampers their ability to prepare for future missions and conduct domestic operations."

Durbin is particularly alarmed about what impact equipment shortages would have in case of state emergencies.

"We should never overlook the fact that, God forbid, we could face an emergency in our state," he said. "Whether it's one of our nuclear facilities or a chemical facility or one of our transportation facilities, we would be calling on the Guard to respond to an act of terrorism, which I hope never happens, but we have to be prepared."

***You got that right! If Topinka wins the governorship of Illinois (which she won't), what is she going to do? Give Bush the rest of our equipment? She hangs on Bush's every word. He is not good for this country and she is not good for this state! Maybe that's why she's under investigation.

PENTAGON VS. THE PRESS



The Pentagon is taking bids for a 2-year, $20M contract to read newspapers and watch TV news and rate the daily coverage of the war in Iraq. The "tone," "key themes," and "messages" of coverage in the U.S. and the Arab world are to be evaluated as positive, negative or neutral.

Chicago Tribune
September 9, 2006

This project has the aroma of a public-relations boondoggle.

Pentagon brass are understandably frustrated that the media do not always report the war's daily event in positive terms. "They want [war news] to be received by audiences as it is transmitted" by the military, as one public relations expert explained to the the Washington Post, "but they don't like how it turns out." That happens. President Abraham Linclon was notoriously frustrated and angered by coverage of the Civil War, including coverage by this newspaper.

***What kind of positive news can one report covering a war, especially this one in Iraq? It has turned into a civil war! If the reporters were to tell the American people that everything was fine in Iraq, the American people wouldn't listen anymore. Because they know that isn't what's happening. If the Pentagon tries to change the way that the news is reported, they are going to be in for a huge disappointment. It will only be perceived as "more lies" coming for this administration!

It's apparent that the Pentagon has already been doing some analyzing of press coverage. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld complained in a recent speech that "a database search of America's leading newspapers" found 10 times more coverage of a soldier who had been punished for misconduct than of the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the war on terror.

***That's because there are a lot of people out there that want to know why our troops' are doing some of the things that they are doing. They are confused! Are the troops doing it because they have been deployed too much? Are they doing it because the military is sending the troops with PTSD back into battle while on drugs? Are they breaking down or is it just a few bad apples? They are inquisitive because they are getting twenty different answers. They are trying to figure it out themselves!

Drawing conclusions from the number of hits in a Google search (if that's how the Pentagon did it) is an inexact science.

But we have to ask---as an editorial page that has supported the Iraq war effort---why is the Pentagon doing this?

That $20M would be far better spent on fighting the Iraq insurgency than on fighting the news media.




Iraq: ARMY OFFICIAL: ''RUMSFELD FORBADE TALK OF POSTWAR''



Fort Eustis, Virginia---Long before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forbade military strategists to develop plans for securing a postwar Iraq, the retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps said Thursday.

Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
By: Stephanie Heinatz
September 9, 2006

In fact, said Brig. Gen. Mark Schneid, Rumsfeld said "he would fire the next person" who talked about the need for a postwar plan.

Rumsfeld did replace Gen. Eric Shineski, the Army chief in 2003, after Shineski told Congress that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to secure postwar Iraq.

Schneid, who is also the commander of Fort Eustis in Newport News, made his comments in an interview with The Daily Press. He retires in about 3 weeks.

Schneid's comments are further confirmation of the version of events reported in "Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq," the book by New York Times reporter Michael R. Gordon and retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Bernard E. Trainor.

In 2001, Schneid was a colonel with the Central Command, the unit that oversees U.S. military operations in the Mideast.

On Sept. 10, 2001, he was selected to be the chief of logistic war plans.

On Sept. 11, he said, "life just went to hell."

That day, Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of Central Command, told his planners, including Schneid, to "get ready to go to war."

A day or two later, Rumsfeld was "telling us we were going to war in Afghanastan and to start building the war plan. We were going to go fast.

"Then, just as we were barely into Afghanastan, Rumsfeld came and told us to get ready for Iraq."

Schneid said he remembers everyone thinking, "Mr gosh, we're in the middle of Afghanastan, how can we possibly be doing two at one time? How can we pull this off? It's just going to be too much."

Planning was kept very hush-hush in those early days.

"There was only a handful of people, maybe 5 or 6, that were involved with that plan because it had to be kept very, very quiet."

There was already an offensive plan in place for Iraq, Schneid said. And in the beginning, the planners were just expanding on it.

"Whether we were going to execute it, we had no idea," Schneid said.

Eventually other military agencies like the transportation and Army material commands had to get involved.

They couldn't just "keep planning this in the dark," Schneid said.

Planning continued to be a challenge.

"The secretary of defense continued to push us that everything we write in our plan has to be the idea that we are going to go in, we're going to take out the regime, and then we're going to leave," Schneid said. "We won't stay."

Schneid said the planners continued to try "to write what was called Phase 4," or the piece of the plan that included post-invasion operations like security, stability and reconstruction.

Even if the troops didn't stay, "at least we have to plan for it," Schneid said.

"I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Schneid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today.

"He said we will not do that because the American people would not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."

Even if the people who laid out the initial war plans had fleshed out post-invasion missions, the fighting and insurgent attacks going on today would have been hard to predict, Schneid said.

"We really thought that after the collapse of the regime we were going to do all these humanitarian type things," he said. "We thought this would go pretty fast and we'd be able to get out of there. We really didn't anticipate them to continue to fight the way they did or come back the way they are.

"Now we're going more toward a Civil War. We didn't see that coming."

While Schneid, a soldier since 1977, spoke candidly about the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq, he remains concerned about the U.S. public's views of the troops. He's bothered by the nationwide divide over the war and fearful that patriotism among citizens will continue to decline.

"We're really hurting right now," he said.

***There is a lot of support for our troops. They had nothing to do with the planning of the war. What Schneid needs to know is that the American people "Support The Troops," but they don't "Support the President!" The Bush Administration is trying to confuse the people, just like they are doing with Iraq and the war on terror. They are not one in the same. They are 2 totally different entities, as is our support for our troops and the support for the preseident. You can support one without supporting the other. The Bush administration doesn't want to do that though. They don't want the American people to see the difference between the two because then that will show how many people "really DON'T" support the president!

"God Bless the American People and Our Troops!"