Body Armor Redux II

There seems to be a little confusion over my position on the body armor issue. Two days ago I posted about an article about military families buying body armor for deploying relatives.

In the comments of my post and the Across the River post that tipped me off to the story, I’m being taken to task. I’m not sure what I’m wrong about, though. If you read the comments without reading my own comments or my original post, it sounds like I must be blowing off the armor shortage or putting complete faith in the Army to have it fixed already.

If you read my post or any of my comments, though, it should be completely clear that I’m not doing that at all. Not one bit. Although just a blogger with an opinion and not a member of the armed forces, I have been following the story as closely as the internet and the evening news will allow. In fact, I’ve posted several times on the issue going back to September:

Also, in my New Year’s Predictions, I figured that all our troops in Iraq would get body armor just in time to rotate back to the US. And that the troops rotating into Iraq would be short of armor.

My post the other day, plain and simple, was about the fact that the headline and content of the article might give folks the impression that troops in Iraq still don’t have enough body armor. That might be entirely true. My problem was that the story didn’t even address that issue. It didn’t ask. It didn’t find out. It just said that people were still buying loved ones body armor, and, given the ugly history of the subject, that sort of story is likely to put a certain impression into peoples’ heads.

What if we saw a story about how a lot of people in Florida were building bomb shelters because of the missiles in Cuba, without bothering to discuss whether there might even be missiles in Cuba at all? Does that mean that the people building the bomb shelters are wrong? No. But it might convince other people that they also need to build themselves a bomb shelter. Why don’t we find out if we need to? That was my problem with the story. That was what I wrote about, and that was what my comments on Across the River were about. My post is about responsible media reporting, not about the importance of body armor. If you want my opinion on that (although why would you?), see the posts I listed above.

One thing that a comment did mention is

There has been no shortage of armor for the civilian contractors of KR&B aka Halliburton. When you have seen a convoy of Guard troops, with no body armor or armored humvees being sent to escort some contractors wearing the best body armor & driving a armored humvee, you really question what is going on here.

This is the first I’ve heard of this, but I’m not surprised. That is indeed very troubling.

Another item in a comment at Across the River from the same writer is

Don’t even get me started on the shitty sand attracting gun oil that was sent to Iraq. Thankfully, I brought my own.

I also posted on this issue here, here, and here.