Posted by Curt on 21 February, 2008 at 8:59 pm. 188 comments already!

UPDATE:

It appears that ABC News’ Political Punch Blog has tried to confirm this story, and is claiming that Sen Obama’s story is true (though not told directly to him, but through a staffer). Readers are encouraged to not only read the ABC News comments, but the comments to the contrary posted here at Flopping Aces. They can be informative regardless of political orientation. -Scott

END UPDATE

Me thinks this little blurb will come back to bite Obama in the ass. Just my guess:

OBAMA: 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. 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.

First of all, and correct me if I’m wrong on this Chris (seeing as how I’ve been out for 18 years) but the military rarely splits a platoon across theaters, maybe companies but platoons? Nope…..Secondly, Captains don’t lead platoons, they lead companies. Thirdly, on the weapons thing it may very well because the AK is just a damn good desert weapon that rarely jams PLUS having a weapon that sounds like the enemies and doesn’t sound like one of our M16’s is probably a pretty good tactic. They may be grabbing the AK’s but I’m doubting its because they are not getting supplied. Fourth, if they are so underequipped how in the hell are they able to capture all these weapons in the first place? Just going up and asking the Taliban for em?

I’m gonna call shenanigans (codeword for he is lying through his teeth) on these charges by Obama.

Oh, and one last note. It’s Congress that gives the money to the Military Senator Obama….not the Commander in Chief.

UPDATE

Great comments left by Chris and Caelestis who is in Iraq right now. Caelestis:

Now as far as personnel there is a thing called cross leveling where people that are not deploying are brought into a unit so that the unit can deploy with full strength. I know I just watched it happen in Hawaii with the 2nd SBCT 25th ID (I’ll explain what all those capitalized letters mean later Mr. Obama)….What you are describing doesn’t happen Mr. Obama because if it did happen, there would be an 0-6 and an 0-5 and a bunch of 0-4’s and especially one extremely pissed off 0-3 who would have screamed loud enough that even the NY Times could have heard them over your droning speeches to notice…..A Brigade commander that let something like this happen would have lost total respect and honor from every officer in his brigade,

and Chris:

Now as for weapons. No kidding we use the enemy’s when we can. The same is true for the initial invasion of Iraq. Ammunition is always a sought commodity, but there was no shortage of transports getting it to Afghanistan. HOWEVER, in the midst of a fire fight, ammo runs low and many Soldiers/Marines know how to use the AK series (AKM/AK-74 and SVD). Since a majority of US Military Members are gun owners/shooters and many are NRA members, we tend to learn all we can about weapons and teach those who are not hunters/shooters in our ranks. A light infantry unit can only carry so much ammo on extended missions. Air resupply is not always available while in combat (helicopters draw enemy fire for some reason) and ground resupply is not always able to get up the goat trails that comprise Afghanistan.

UPDATE II

I see the lefty reporter Jack Tapper from ABC has wrote a piece refuting this post. Apparently he talked to the man in question and we find out that this all happened 5 years ago. For the rest I will use Chris as my source seeing as how he is a active duty Major in the Army:

No corraborating evidence besides allegedly talking to the (former?) officer? Further more, no mention that M2s, MK-19s, and HMMWVs are not part of the 10th MOUNTAIN Division’s standard MTOE at Rifle Co level in 2003. They are light infantry… LIGHT means they walk. M2s and MK-19s were reserved for higher level weapons platoons, not rifle platoons, and those were man-packed. This means the weapons are taken apart and moved.

On the parts issue, with the influx of heavier weapons, the units probably did have trouble at first taking care of the “new” heavy guns. The M2 is not in production any more and all parts come from rebuilds or stocks. They also need more specialized tools and care than an M4/M16/M240/M249. The M2HB I had on my M1A1 was manufactured in 1943 for instance and in 1997 would have been down a long time if damaged due to lack of funding. This person said they had no problems with the organic weapons they had, but with weapons which the Army added from experience in theater.

Then we have the Pentagon refuting Tapper’s anonymous “Captain”:

The Pentagon on Friday cast doubt on an account of military equipment shortages mentioned by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama during a debate with rival Hillary Clinton.

During the face-to-face encounter on Thursday evening, Obama said he had heard from an Army captain whose unit had served in Afghanistan without enough ammunition or vehicles.

Obama said it was easier for the troops to capture weapons from Taliban militants than it was “to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief,” President George W. Bush.

“I find that account pretty hard to imagine,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

“Despite the stress that we readily acknowledge on the force, one of the things that we do is make sure that all of our units and service members that are going into harm’s way are properly trained, equipped and with the leadership to be successful,” he said.

Whitman’s remarks were unusual as the Pentagon often declines to talk about comments from political campaigns.

Of course with the “Captain” remaining anonymous its hard to come right out and say the man is lying since the Pentagon doesn’t have the particulars such as the dates, units, and other important info. With him remaining in the shadows its easier for Barack and his pal Tapper to just say “believe us” because well, just because. Which leads to this great rundown from Scott:

Some guy told some staffer who told Obama who couldn’t even repeat the story accurately. That’s the reality, the truth, and the facts.


UPDATE III

Remember Obama said this:

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.

According to Tapper and his anonymous “Captain:

“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.

Which jives with what all of us bloggers were saying last night. They were getting those weapons because they are good desert fighting steel. NOT because of a lack of weapon supplies which is the opposite of what Obama was alleging.

Allah links to the AP with this which should be pointed out:

Obama said the platoon was supposed to have 39 soldiers. A platoon does not have to consist of 39, but can have between 16 to 40 soldiers, according to standard Army unit organization. It is also commanded by a lieutenant and not a captain.

Finally Vets for Freedom just issued this press release:

Vets for Freedom questions the recent comments by Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill) in the Democratic debate last night, in which he stated that American troops were “capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than get equipped by our current Commander in Chief”.

“Yet again Senator Obama has demonstrated the loose grip he holds on the reality of these conflicts,” said Vets for Freedom State Captain, and Afghanistan Army veteran Daniel Bell. “Senator Obama’s comments are insulting not only to those who have served and are still serving in Afghanistan but to all who serve in the armed forces. I can attest from my first hand experience that these comments are incredulous and that we were supplied all the tools necessary to complete our missions.”

He continued “His statements last night assert that he lacks the necessary knowledge to make serious judgments on military matters, that he is prone to dangerous exaggeration, and that he is grossly unaware of the facts on the ground. I call on other veterans of Afghanistan to respond to these ridiculous allegations and to remind Senator Obama that it is the sacrifice of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan that allows him to so freely speak in this manner.”

But I guess the main point of this whole thing should be the fact that Democrats, especially Democrats like Obama, wanted to cut funding to the troops and run like cowards from the fight but now want to use lack of equipment as some sort of attack against a war they wanted to defund anyway…..and THATS why they should be elected!

Yeah….

The part that the Messiah can’t spin away is that this is another case of the US military adapting and overcoming. It’s been going on since our inception; adaptibility has survived Presidents and wars, and is just as strong as ever. So while he votes against our funding, then talks of how the CiC can’t get us adequate equipment, talking out of both sides of his mouth so hard he’s coming in in Stereo, those of us in uniform just laugh, find what works, and keep going.


UPDATE IV

No one says it like Ace:

Tapper thinks his job is done if he merely talks to a guy making these claims; but perhaps he should actually do some actual reporting and find out if our army is being denied key ammunition in training.

The left has a habit of claiming victory when some small detail is corroborated. Obama fucking claimed our troops HAD TO — not chose to on occasion — capture the very weapons with which they were expected to fight the enemy.

Tapper gets a guy claiming “Yeah, once we took a captured Soviet heavy machine gun and used it on a truck.”

Then they say, “Ah-ha! You owe Obama an apology! He was Right!”

They did the exact same thing with Beauchamp.

Beauchamp claims that a guy picks up a child’s skull from a mass grave and dances around his fellow soldiers while wearing the skull as a fucking yarmulke.

One soldier says, “We found some bones, they looked like animal bones but maybe they were human.”

The left claims: Ah-ha! TNR had it exactly right! Apologize!

Really? What about that fucking shit you mentioned about wearing the child’s skull as a yarmulke while dancing around your commanding officer like Pennywise the clown?

Same thing here, it seems. Obama spins out a ludicrous exaggeration, some claims are found to support (if you credit the claim) a much more plausible version of the claims he made, which are as far from the original as the lightning bug is from the lightning, and… we’re wrong, we need to apologize.

Okay, whatever.

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