Here’s more info from an MSNBC.com story:
The captain told NBC News that he was talking about not having enough ammunition and no Humvees for training, but that his unit underwent a three-week crash course in Afghanistan before they saw combat.
The captain, who spoke on background because he’s still active duty, said that his unit temporarily had to replace their .50-caliber turret-mounted machine gun with a weapon seized from the Taliban because they couldn’t get a needed part fast enough…
ABC said the officer was a lieutenant when he led a platoon to Afghanistan in 2003. Fifteen soldiers were reassigned to other units in ones and twos and not replaced before the unit deployed, ABC cited the captain as saying. He knew 10 had gone to Iraq, and suspected the other five had too, ABC said.
So it appears that some aspects of Obama’s claim are true, and that arguments that he didn’t tell an outright lie will hold up. I guess, in a way, I’m a bit relieved that a presidential candidate wouldn’t stoop that low on national television (at least save the total whoppers for local rallies and fund raising dinners, guys) but the use of the particular situation in this way was still a bit much.
He was totally trying to mislead the public on this. He was trying to make an issue out of this incident, claiming that the Commander in Chief was letting the troops down. That’s, um, overstating things just a bit there, Barack.
While the situation with troops being pulled out of a platoon here and there and being reassigned isn’t ideal, it also isn’t quite what Obama suggested it was.
And as for using the Taliban weapon, and I’m assuming that it happened in Afghanistan and not in training, we don’t know enough to know.
Was this during a firefight? Did an M2 or M240 on a Humvee get hit or suffer a breakdown during the fight and the troops pulled a captured weapon to carry on the battle?
Was the unit deployed at a remote location where supplies and replacement parts were hard to come by? Did they employ an enemy machine gun for a day or two until the part could be choppered up from base?
In neither of these hypothetical cases did anything terribly unusual occur, certainly nothing worthy of blaming the President on national television for not taking care of the troops.
How about this story:
He fought with the M16 until it was out of ammo. Then he fought with the Beretta until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up a dead man’s AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up another dead man’s AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo.
At one point he even fired a discarded Iraqi RPG into an enemy cluster, sending attackers flying with its grenade explosion.
When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his platoon’s flank. He had killed more than 20 and wounded at least as many more.
The Marines looked at this, the actions of one Capt. Brian Chontosh, and awarded him the Navy Cross.
Would Barack Obama hear this story from this captain and make an issue out of insufficient ammunition and the need to use enemy weapons?
And someone should ask Obama if he supports increasing the military budget so that they can acquire more ammunition for training and double the number of spare parts in the system.