Monday, July 02, 2007

The war's going so well we don't want to confuse you with a dose of reality

Pentagon hides piles of IED-shredded Humvees from public

David Edwards and Will Menaker

On American military bases all across Iraq, the shredded wreckage of scores of humvees damaged by IEDs and other explosive devices lie under tarps, hidden from public view. Much like the coffins of soldiers killed in the line of duty, the Pentagon refuses to allow images of the physical toll of battle to be seen by the public.

CNN highlights the vulnerability of the army's most prolific vehicle, and the familiar story of the lack of pre-war planning, through the story of Army reserve Captain Allen Vaught, a Dallas trail lawyer who was deployed to Iraq in 2003. Vaught was stationed in both Fallujah and later Sadr city, and saw firsthand how unprepared the army was for an extended insurgency. Vaught broke his back when an IED destroyed the poorly armored humvee he was riding in.

In a letter home to his mother during the first month of the war, Vaught expressed his fear of riding in a humvee with only canvas doors, writing, "it's getting worse here in Fallujah and we don't know why...I thought we were supposed to be greeted as liberators"

Vaught has no doubts where the munitions that kill American troops come from, explaining that Iraq was littered with open bunkers filled with tank shells, RPG rounds, and other explosives that were looted because of the lack of American troops needed to secure the country in the early days of the war.

While the number of so called up-armored humvees in Iraq has increased from 235 in 2003 to over 8,000 now, the Pentagon now claims they need at least 2,000 more.

The following video clip is from CNN's documentary Battlefield Breakdown, broadcast on July 1.

Original article posted here.

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