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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, September 21, 2006

You still wind up dead

PASGT Body Armor

ChickenPlate body Armor alleges false claims in VoteVets/Hillsman ad
by AlphaGeek
Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 09:21:22 PM PDT

I like the VoteVets "AK47 & body armor" ad by Bill Hillsman. I liked it a LOT. It was almost too good to be true.

Turns out I was right -- it is too good to be true. alleges that, in pursuit of a hard-hitting political message, the VoteVets ad is misleading or downright incorrect in several areas.

False Claims About Body Armor

A new group falsely accuses Republicans of voting against body armor for troops. Both sides have misled the public about this issue.

After years of listening to Republican lies, I want to believe that the Democrats are the "good guys", dedicated to telling the truth and exposing corruption. I know that this is never going to be 100% true, but I can't help feeling let down when we stoop to the level of the lying Republicans.

Here's a link to the article:

A few key excerpts:


A new ad claims Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia "voted against giving our troops" modern body armor. He did no such thing. The ad cites a vote on an appropriations amendment that had nothing whatever to do with body armor.

The ad also claims troops were sent to Iraq with flak vests "left over from the Vietnam war," another falsehood. The ad actually shows an improved vest that wasn't available until the 1980's.

The newly formed group responsible for the ad,, is reported to be considering similar ads attacking several other Republican incumbents, and has already announced their intention to start running them against Sen.Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

This is a nasty tactic - accusing an opponent of playing with the lives of American troops - and both sides have stooped to it. This line of attack actually began with Republicans in 2004, when President Bush's campaign repeatedly accused his Democratic opponent John Kerry of voting against body armor.

We de-bunked Bush's claim at the time, but now there is even less excuse to make such an accusation because later investigations have made it clear that the initial shortage of up-to-date body armor was not the result of any vote in Congress, but instead was a classic supply-chain foul-up. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office laid the shortage to the inability of manufacturers to meet the Pentagon's sudden increase in demand, and logistical mistakes by the Pentagon in getting the gear shipped to Iraq and distributed.

This is a well-researched article which clearly explains how the VoteVets ad is 'fact-impaired'. Before donating money to support the airing of this ad (which, admittedly, is powerfully moving) ask yourself if we really need to lie and as outrageously as the Republicans to win, and whether the ethical and moral cost is worth it.

I know we can do better. Are we so desperate to win that we must abandon our principles and attempt to deceive the voters into supporting our causes? I thought that was something that Republicans do, not Democrats. America deserves better than Republican-style lying with a Democratic paint job.

You know, by the Woodland Camo design, it is clear that it isn't a Vietnam-era vest, which was olive drab. But I think I can forgive a 25 year old for not knowing it was a PASGT vest, he wasn't even born until 15 years after Vietnam. But if he got the era wrong, the AK rounds make the point that Fact Check misses.

American troops were sent to patrol Baghdad with those PASGT vests, and at points without adequate bullets. American units, converted to infantry, had to patrol with AK's. A Connecticut unit was deployed with M-16's instead of M-4's.

Congress could have done what families did, find the money to buy the vests commercially. Thousands of soldiers had to buy their own vests, and then be reimbursed later. So to nitpick on the details is meaningless. Should they have been more careful? Sure.

But remember the real issue is that US soldiers were sent to patrol Iraq with vests that did not protect them. It was a US vest, it was worn in Iraq and AK rounds ripped through it.

Now, one could add extra plates, but in 120 degree heat, that protection could kill you of heat stroke.

posted by Steve @ 1:50:00 AM

1:50:00 AM

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