h1

Spotted: Another Brobdingnagian Factcheckathon

February 22, 2008

I got the feeling that the rightosphere pulled another all-nighter, as their blogs are all abuzz over an anecdote that Obama used in last night’s Democratic debate. 

First, the anecdote:

“You know, I’ve heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon — supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon,” he said. “Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq.  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 in chief.”

Then came the Brobdingnagian factcheckathon (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.)  These bloggers called BS, because, you know, prior to last night’s debate there was no evidence whatsoever that the Iraq adventure diverted resources from the mission in Afghanistan.  It’s not like the Iraq Study Group said exactly that or anything.

So, what came all this hysteria?  Well, some journalist guy actually contacted the Army captain that Obama was referring to.   And what do you know?

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.

The platoon was sent to Afghanistan with 24 men.

“We should have deployed with 39,” he told me, “we should have gotten replacements. But we didn’t. And that was pretty consistent across the battalion.”

and

Also in Afghanistan they had issues getting parts for their MK-19s and their 50-cals. Getting parts or ammunition for their standard rifles was not a problem.

“It was very difficult to get any parts in theater,” he says, “because parts are prioritized to the theater where they were needed most — so they were going to Iraq not Afghanistan.”

“The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons,” he said, but on occasion they used Taliban weapons. Sometimes AK-47s, and they also mounted a Soviet-model DShK (or “Dishka”) on one of their humvees instead of their 50 cal.

Oh well, perhaps now they’ll get some sleep. 

Nah.  There’s some BS in there somewhere.  I just know it.

Advertisements

8 comments

  1. Any military guy can tell you that personnel get re-aligned all the time, and only an idiot wouldn’t use all arms availible to him in a hot zone. Barack is only trying to make a stink,,, how many years did he serve in combat? Exactly…


  2. TRM- I think you’re right and Obama’s just using the story to make a point here, but the take from the bloggers involved in the factcheckathon was entirely different. i.e. It couldn’t possibly be true.


  3. Little related little not.I want to know the year. I’m hearing 03,05 and silence depending on the source. I can’t applaud the Rights retaliation because it went places and in manner it shouldn’t I also find this thing kind of grenade. It looks like Obama is taking some chances to solidify his standing.Theres a big problem with grenades though and to some degree I think this shows his spunk but also his lack of polish.Off topic,Farrakhans endorsement…that helps ? I don’t think so.


  4. This statement:

    “The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons,” he said, but on occasion they used Taliban weapons. Sometimes AK-47s, and they also mounted a Soviet-model DShK (or “Dishka”) on one of their humvees instead of their 50 cal.

    does nothing to refute this statement:

    …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 in chief.”

    In fact, it proves that Obama is doing nothing but attempting to elicit an emotional response by citing misleading information.

    Candidate of Change, huh? Sounds like a politician to me.


  5. RP- I’m not sure what you mean. If they’re choosing to use Taliban weapons because “It was very difficult to get any parts in theater”, then what Obama is saying is essentially correct, although the debate could focus on whether the fault lies with Bush or not.


  6. Wow, looks like people are reeeeeeeeeeeaaaalllly
    stretching for the muck.

    I mean really, how is any of this an issue? How is it misleading information?

    The point, no matter how you try and spin it, is that Iraq diverted the war on Terror in Afghanistan. Anyone with half a brian can see that.


  7. This is good:

    General: ‘No reason to doubt’ Obama’s story — WASHINGTON (CNN) — Army chief of staff Gen. George Casey, testifying on troop strain before the Senate Armed Forces Committee Tuesday, said there is “no reason to doubt” Sen. Barack Obama’s military shortage story during CNN’s debate in Austin, Texas, last week.

    Let’s see if these guys pull another all-nighter to see if they can prove that the General really isn’t a General.


  8. or maybe he is a “liberal” general…hah



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: