Ok, I know I’m a little late to this story. Been following it and wanted to drop kick that reporter in the nutsack a few times but something else came along, and plenty of fellow bloggers are drop kicking him anyways but….
I just so happened to be reading over 2Slicks blog (which you should be doing daily) and he pointed me to some new information.
First off, it’s nutsack kicking time
As 2Slick stated in his blog, this jackass (Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Edward Lee Pitts) has completely ruined any chance of better trust between the MSM and the DoD. Was it a valid question, of course. But do you really think this reporter did it because he was afraid for the soldiers? No, he did it because it was his ass in the seat of these vehicles and he didn’t want it blown up. Then when he reports on it he doesn’t say a damn thing about his huge part in it.
Everyone with half a brain can tell you this guy was trying to save his own ass and boost his career. Did he report the new’s here? No, he created it. Something wrong here, your damn right there is.
Immediately afterwards the left and all of the Socialist MSM was on the bandwagon making this thing out to be munity on the bounty. For a first hand account of the incident check out Missick where he states a few things that should be obvious.
“One more thing I would like to add is this, not one soldier present asked questions about why we were here, or expressed the sort of anti-war sentiment that Michael Moore led some to believe was prevalent in the military. Rather, the concern was about ensuring we would be supplied with all necessary equipment to accomplish the mission and return home safely. Let there be no doubt, this was not a hostile crowd eager to catch the Secretary of Defense off guard by grilling him with questions he has never had to answer. This was a group of truly admirable American’s and patriots, receiving confirmation from the man who controls the Department of Defense, that we have the full fledged moral, financial and logistical support, to accomplish the mission.”
Here is the full email the jackoff sent off
“From: [Chattanooga Times Free Press military reporter] Pitts, Lee
Sent: Wednesday, December 8, 2004 4:44 PM
To: [Chattanooga Times Free Press staffers]
Subject: RE: Way to go
I just had one of my best days as a journalist today. As luck would have
it, our journey North was delayed just long enough see I could attend a visit today here by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. I was told yesterday that only soldiers could ask questions so I brought two of them along with me as my escorts. Before hand we worked on questions to ask Rumsfeld about the appalling lack of armor their vehicles going into combat have. While waiting for the VIP, I went and found the Sgt. in charge of the microphone for the question and answer session and made sure he knew to get my guys out of the crowd.
So during the Q&A session, one of my guys was the second person called on. When he asked Rumsfeld why after two years here soldiers are still having to dig through trash bins to find rusted scrap metal and cracked ballistic windows for their Humvees, the place erupted in cheers so loud that Rumsfeld had to ask the guy to repeat his question. Then Rumsfeld answered something about it being “not a lack of desire or money but a logistics/physics problem.” He said he recently saw about 8 of the special up-armored Humvees guarding Washington, DC, and he promised that they would no longer be used for that and that he would send them over here. Then he asked a three star general standing behind him, the commander of all ground forces here, to also answer the question. The general said it was a problem he is working on.
The great part was that after the event was over the throng of national
media following Rumsfeld- The New York Times, AP, all the major networks — swarmed to the two soldiers I brought from the unit I am embedded with. Out of the 1,000 or so troops at the event there were only a handful of guys from my unit b/c the rest were too busy prepping for our trip north. The national media asked if they were the guys with the armor problem and then stuck cameras in their faces. The NY Times reporter asked me to email him the stories I had already done on it, but I said he could search for them himself on the Internet and he better not steal any of my lines. I have been trying to get this story out for weeks- as soon as I foud out I would be on an unarmored truck- and my paper published two stories on it. But it felt good to hand it off to the national press. I believe lives are at stake with so many soldiers going across the border riding with scrap metal as protection. It may be to late for the unit I am with, but hopefully not for those who come after.
The press officer in charge of my regiment, the 278th, came up to me
afterwards and asked if my story would be positive. I replied that I would write the truth. Then I pointed at the horde of national media pointing cameras and mics at the 278th guys and said he had bigger problems on his hands than the Chattanooga Times Free Press. This is what this job is all about – people need to know. The soldier who asked the question said he felt good b/c he took his complaints to the top. When he got back to his unit most of the guys patted him on the back but a few of the officers were upset b/c they thought it would make them look bad. From what I understand this is all over the news back home.
2Slick pointed me to this article that is well written and gets down to the nitty gritty of the armor production.
“So, ignoring this new bit of information for the moment, what is the exact situation with Humvee armor production?
There are two actual armor programs for Humvees, the up-armor HMMWV or XM1114, which is a standard variant of the basic design, and add-on kits. The up-armored version includes an air-conditioned cab and modifications to vehicle suspension to handle the added weight, whereas the kits are simply attached to existing vehicles.
To put it in hard numbers, of 8,105 up-armored Humvees initially requested, more than 5,900 have so far been produced. The rest are expected to be ready by March 2005. These are the vehicles most widely discussed and are those supplied by Armor Holdings. Additionally, to date 9,146 armor kits have been installed of 9,776 produced.
According to DoD, Humvees that lack armor are carried into Iraq atop flatbed trucks and, once there, are used only inside the relative safety of U.S. bases.
Concerns regarding Humvee armor are justified given the enemy?s tactic of choice and the widespread perception of a shortfall in armor. But I don?t believe that Rumsfeld?s ?go to war with the Army you have? comment was inappropriate or ill considered.
First of all, he was correct. We have never gone into battle with the Army we wanted. Since World War II, we have entered conflicts with woefully unprepared, poorly equipped and undermanned armies. It is also fair to say that big-ticket items like new aircraft, missiles and warships have pretty consistently faired better in the appropriations process than the equally important, but much less politically sexy items like ammunition, training and gear. Indeed, Soldiers for the Truth was originally formed in an attempt to ameliorate this age-old problem.
During the late 1980s and into the 1990s the defense budget underwent drastic cuts in (I believe premature) reaction to the ?collapse? of the Soviet Union. President George H.W. Bush cut our active duty Army to eighteen divisions. At the time, I felt that was too low. Then Bill Clinton came along and reduced it to a mere ten. While reducing defense spending to hollow force levels, Clinton expanded the military mission abroad, pushing us to the snapping point. If one didnt?t know better, one might be tempted to call it deliberate sabotage.
So the Bush II administration came into office saddled with the disastrous consequences of Bill Clinton?s eight years. I am not making excuses for Rumsfeld, but one cannot look at our current situation honestly without taking this fact into account.”
Steve over at Pardon My English has a great post on this jackass
“When I was in college working towards my journalism degree, we were told that the basic tenets of reporting were who, what, when, where, why and how. We were told that our job was to report events, not to editorialize. I?m not convinced that even 18 years ago, most budding young journalists believed these basic journalistic principles. Because repeated polls show that nearly 80% of journalists got into journalism ?to make a difference? even though ?make a difference? isn?t EVEN in the job description. Worse than that, some of these folks go beyond their crusade to ?make a difference? and actually mold the news to fit their agenda. Edward Lee Pitts is such a journalist.”
“So underhandedly planting a question with a soldier to create a huge coup as the soldier appears to ambush the U.S. Secretary of State with an original question, so you can then report on the story you just created as if you had never heard of it before is ?one of my best days as a journalist? for this guy. Imagine the coup if he could have only created a bombing and some military and civilian casualties to report on! If this is his best day, what is his worst: Having to actually report real news like reporters are supposed to instead of scandals that he gins up?”
“In a perfect world, every military vehicle that went anywhere near a war zone would have every single piece of armor that it needed to protect every soldier on it. But this isn?t a perfect world ? it?s a war and in a war you sometimes have to make do with what you have. If Edward Lee Pitts doesnt?t realize this, he?s a moron. But my hunch is that he knows it perfectly well. He just saw an opportunity to interject his personal opinion into the news and cause a national uproar by blind-siding the defense secretary. The Pentagon calls Pitts? feeding of this question to a soldier ?unfortunate”. I?ll go them one better: It?s despicable, underhanded, yellow journalism for which Pitts needs to have his ass fired.”
Right on brother!