MORE on Obama and the Taliban Weapons

Seized Taliban Weapons

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.

Comments

  1. This apparently happened about 4 years ago. And I know from experience that some M2 parts can be a huge PITA to get. If you break a part that the armorer doesn’t have in his parts box, and the support battalion weapons repair shop doesn’t have, you could be waiting a bit. The armorers and repair shops can’t stock every possible part, so they only keep the ones that break most often on hand. So if you break something that doesn’t break frequently, that’s when you have to wait. Not that it’s much comfort when you’ve got a mission the next day, but the part will take 3 or 4 days to get to you from some depot stateside.

  2. The MSNBC clarification article does not say what kind of unit is actually was. I still have a very hard time believing a rifle platoon was split up for deployment. An M2 with a part failure or battle damage being replaced with a captured weapon is hardly news worthy. Soldiers are supposed to improvise and drive on.

  3. I think this story is all a cover up for the fact that the rifle platoon was really scrounging AK-47s because they were better than those POS M-16s they were supplied by the US Army. How’s that for a conspiracy theory?

  4. Murdoc, Something else to keep in mind. These sorts of stories are going to be more frequent in the coming days. The IVAW, (Iraqi Veterans Against the War) are having a new ‘Winter Soldier’ gathering in Washington DC around the 15th of March. They plan on trotting out a couple dozen veterans to tell these sorts of stories (and others, I am certain) to the media and anyone else who will lisyen. I would not at all be surprised that this story of Obama’s was the first one ro be planted nationally with the media, so that ‘other’ vet’s can suddenly stand up with their own versions and get their momentum going before the big meeting. BTW, the GOE & other fine folks will be there to stare down and pushback against the IVAW, and their sidekicks who will also be in attendance: A.N.S.W.E.R., Code Pink, MobeOn, etc. I know I’ll be there. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

  5. Hey! Obama could use my tearful tale if he’d get me some face time with some of those hotties over at FNC! Did I ever mention the time I was at that Firebase in Tirin Kowt, and we were SO low on ammo, we had to throw lobster tails and deep fried shrip at the Taliban to keep them out of our perimeter! Now THAT is trauma, buddy! LOL!

  6. It wasn’t that they were deliberately split up – that phrase implies that you took one part of the platoon and sent it to one place while the rest went somewhere else. What happened was that other units that were deploying before this guy’s platoon were short soldiers, so the soldiers were pulled from this guy’s unit to fill out those units, with the plan that this guy would get more soldiers to backfill before he deployed. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

  7. Heartless Libertarian – Still don’t believe it. Soldiers who have not deployed recently can be pulled from an unit not on a deployment schedule. Once the clock is ticking on a deployment, soldiers in that unit can’t be touched.