Skip to comments.Secrets Galore -Hackworth Defending America
Posted on 05/20/2003 3:37:47 PM PDT by joesnuffy
Posted: May 20, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2003 David H. Hackworth
Judiciously guarding our military's classified information makes excellent sense. Stamp it "SECRET," the system takes over and lives will be saved. What patriot would quibble with that?
But calling stuff "SECRET" to cover up Pentagon screw-ups that cost soldiers' lives or to protect war racketeers' pet scams violates what our country is about. Ditto the Pentagon-employed spinmeisters and the big bucks they waste annually hiding the truth from U.S. citizens unknowingly footing the bill for their deceptions.
The Pentagon's annual defense budget is about 500 times bigger than what our fleet-footed Public Enemies No. 1 and 2 Saddam Hussein and his designated terror buddy Osama bin Laden spent during the same period on things that go bang. My bet is that the military's annual propaganda and promotion budget alone exceeds what these running dogs spent last year trying to do American infidels in.
And then there's the army of flacks, stretching from top military spinner Victoria Clarke, her Pentagon office minions and the hundreds of other damage-control experts scattered at rifle-company strength around that five-sided building, to the thousands of flacks in the field working at virtually every small unit in our armed forces.
For years, I've tried to get the actual cost and number of bodies involved in running the Pentagon's con machine, only to be repeatedly stonewalled. The figures are buried in Pentagon double-speak that's too cryptic for even Ralph Nader. But we're talking enough folks civilian and uniformed to fill and fund at least an Army or Marine fighting division. No question they outnumber bin Laden's terrorists, and for sure they're as busy.
For example, as I write this, tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being spent on covering up what happened to Jessica Lynch and her mates during and after their unit was ambushed and they were captured.
Soldiers from Jessica's El Paso, Texas-based 507th Maintenance Company have been warned not to talk. A soldier in that unit said, "It's almost 'say a word and you'll be shot at dawn.'"
Jessica has been locked up in a private Walter Reed hospital room with an around-the-clock security detail normally reserved for high brass to ensure that what happened to her as a prisoner of war remains inside her room. Medical personnel who look after her have been given the same keep-your-trap-shut treatment as the 507th troopers. Almost daily, her cover story changes from amnesia to partial amnesia to more recently: "She's blocked just the ambush event."
I suspect more investigative journalists are on this story than the Laci Peterson murder. So, sooner or later, the truth will be told about Jessica and her 507th comrades-in-misfortune.
But maybe it won't about another big cover-up, the war's actual vehicle battle damage:
151 mighty Abrams tanks were hit. Most were repaired on the battlefield and rolled back into the fight. Three tanks took catastrophic hits from Russian AT-14 anti-tank missiles supplied by Dubya's barbecue buddy, and 12 others were damaged so badly they ended up in the junkyard.
16 Bradley Fighting Vehicles were destroyed, and 35 seriously damaged.
23 M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers were melted, and 53 trucks were destroyed.
A light-infantry weapon called the RPG (rocket propelled grenade) fired by the type of guerrilla enemy that caused the fathers of many of the drivers of these vehicles a lot of trouble in Vietnam damaged or knocked out the vast majority of these vehicles.
The reason these figures have been classified at a higher rating than the contents of Rummy's briefcase is that hungry porkers plan to phase out the Abrams and Bradley, replacing them with a new, multibillion-dollar wonder toy called the Stryker. But even casual analysis would show that if this thin-skinned wheeled vehicle had been used in Iraq instead of the Abrams tank, the much-hyped "Shock and Awe" would've been for naught, and the spinners would be working overtime to explain the debacle.
I can understand such deviousness going down in North Korea. But every time I happen upon it in America, land of democracy spelled with a capital D where government is supposed to be working for the people instead of deceiving them with Hollywood-style smoke and mirrors it's always a blow to the heart.
I had heard that. About a week or so after shed been rescued, there was a news conference during which a journalist asked what had happened to her. The guy (not Rumsfield) responded that investigations were ongoing and he had no info, etc.
The next day Lee Rodgers (KSFO) was griping about the question, basically saying that the journalists should quit asking stupid questions and let her recuperate in peace. Then a retired Army officer called in. He claimed that his active-duty son told him that the Army knew everything that had happened during her capture within 48 hours of her rescue. They knew everything, and it was promptly classified. All of it.
He claimed that the Army wouldnt be talking, she wouldnt be talking, and nobody else would be talking about it either.
But then again, it WAS just some old anonymous guy calling up a radio show with a comment. I wondered how it would play out. Especially since in the meantime it has reported that she couldnt remember any details about being captured and detained.
I havent heard anything else until reading this. Not that I need all the gory details
What else could we be spending that money on, and why wouldn't he come out and say that if he knows it it true?
Maybe it's because he's making this all up, like he makes everything else up.
Reading Hackworth is always a guessing game, of sorts. Is he suggesting that his old buddies the Viet Cong armed with RPG's would be a better model for our millitary than our high tech, heavily armed, Rumsfeld doctrine forces of today? Did he overlook the minor little fact that Iraqi LOST this war in a matter of three weeks? And that was done with an almost unprecidentedly low rate of colateral damage and non combatat deaths via a planned and deliberate policy of avoiding civilian casualties as often as was possible? Could it be that ANYTHING ANYONE EVER DID regarding the military is suspect in his eyes, because he wasn't asked to consult? Hackworth, the Egowarrior!
Probably one of the reasons for the secrecy is so that those chomping at the bits to make a movie (and there was already one planned), or book deals will back off. I'm assuming that the former POWS are sworn to secrecy on what happened. If I were the parents/spouse of one of those that were killed, I'd much prefer to find out what happened to them from the government's findings than from a newspaper article. After what occurred in Somalia and the video showing our dead soldiers being dragged through the streets, I'm more in line with the secrecy aspect of it as well...at least until all the facts are in and those involved are back to whatever normal life they will be able to have. I'm sure the story will be told down the road, but it won't be quick enough for some.
By what, AK47 rounds and rocks??
All I know is that within a week or so of her rescue, someone that claimed to know things called up a radio station and claimed that the Army classified the details of her capture and imprisonment.
Anybody can call up and claim to be anyone and say pretty much anything. It has happened before.
Meanwhile, I thought it was interesting because my moms cousin was briefly captured in Burma years ago and every paper in his hometown published every detail they could get. They got pretty much everything. I thought it was strange that people were being captured and the details were classified now.
In the meantime, I read an article on FR where it was reported that she couldnt remember any details. The article distinguished between amnesia (where you forgot memories) and whatever she supposedly has (memories never develop to be forgotten). Somebody else probably read it and can verify that.
I thought that was interesting as well. It plays into the prior claim by the caller (that shes not going to be talking). Ive also not read/heard anything else, which sort of implies that the Army isnt talking either. They could be not talking for a variety of reasons. They never existed to answer my questions anyway Hackworths either, for that matter.
Trust me; its not a big deal (to me). Im willing to wait 2, 5, or 15 more years to see whether anything else gets reported on this incident
I dont know about the other (armored vehicle) claims.
He throws in just enough credible "pearls" to differentiate himself from Ritter and to keep folks from mumbling "whatever has happened to good ole Hack?".
He's an aging military has-been still dressing in macho special-ops black turtlenecks.
We have the marvelous opportunity to read his articles regularly only because he's handy for the lib media to have around to stick it to the USA.
I think a few M1s were taken out with AT-14 hits to the engine compartment, which seems to be the most vulnerable area. Others were knocked out of action by DOZENS of RPG hits in massive ambushes. In every instance, the crew inside the tank survived, and made it out, even if the tank was trashed. This is world-class survivability.
I just hope we don't give up all the M1s in the name of "lighter, faster, and easier to kill with a cheap RPG". Let the MPs have Strykers so they can accompany "soft" supply convoys coming up from the rear. I want future bad guys to know that seeing our M1s means invulnerability for us, and certain death for them. We aren't over there to give them a "sporting chance" with a Stryker.
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