Wiretaps and armor

Published: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 10:10 p.m.
The president touts himself as the commander-in-chief in the war on terror, and has vowed to defend the American people no matter what it takes. That's his rationale for wire-tapping American citizens without a FISA court order.
It's too bad that he didn't pay such hands-on attention to protecting the Marines when they invaded Iraq. A secret Pentagon study published Jan. 7 in The New York Times reported that, despite calls from the field as early as March, 2003, for more armored protection, as many as 80 percent of the Marines killed in Iraq could have survived with the required body armor.
You would think the president and Defense Secretary Donald "You go to war with the army you have" Rumsfeld would have seen something amiss from news articles and broadcasts of parents of Marines and other soldiers buying body armor in the U.S. and sending it to their sons and daughters. But compared to all the terrorists caught because of the questionable wiretaps, Marines dying because of poor and defective equipment must not have been high on the administration's list of priorities.
In fact, the Marine Corps is still waiting for 2,000 armored vehicles to replace the more lightly armored Humvees, but don't expect final delivery until next June.
And for all you Republicans out there - let's see your defense for this latest example of administration incompetence. But don't look for Talking Points from Fox News; I'm sure they won't touch this story.
Jerry Sanford, Gainesville

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