<\body> Stories in America: Iraq Vets Call For the Defeat of Rick Santorum (R-PA) in New TV Ad

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Iraq Vets Call For the Defeat of Rick Santorum (R-PA) in New TV Ad

This is from VoteVets.org. Watch the TV ad, "Body Armor."
Iraq veterans today are launching a television ad campaign in Pennsylvania, saying in no uncertain terms that Rick Santorum (R-PA) voted against them, and now they are calling on Pennsylvanians to vote against him.

VoteVets.org is sponsor of the advertisement, which features Peter Granato, an Army Reservist who served in Iraq in 2003, without proper body armor. In the ad, Granato uses the rifle of choice for insurgents, an AK-47, to shoot the type of vest he - and thousands of others - wore in Iraq. Bullets pierce right through the flak jacket. Granato then shoots modern body armor, to show it stops the bullets.

Granato then points out that Rick Santorum voted to kill an amendment in 2003 sponsored by Senator Mary Landrieu (Vote #116, 108th Congress, First Session), which would have added $1billion to the budget of the National Guard and Reserves for procurement of equipment - including body armor.

Senator Landrieu made clear before introducing the amendment, in a press release, that the funds would go towards procurement of items on the Guard and Reserve's Underfunded Requirements list, which included body armor.

"Senator Rick Santorum voted against giving our troops this," Granato says, holding up the modern body armor. "Now, it's time for us to vote against him."

Last week, a similar ad was run in Virginia against Senator George Allen. Praise for the ad was overwhelmingly positive, especially in the blogosphere. DailyKos.com said the ad was the best ad this cycle. VoteVets.org received 1.6 terabytes of traffic on its website, which translates into 10,000 page views, per minute. VoteVets.org allowed those donating towards the ad to choose where it ran next, and Senator Santorum was the runaway winner.

Co-founder of VoteVets.org and Iraq war veteran Jon Soltz explained, "It is important that our supporters have a voice in this process. We heard them and we listened to them. They are an intelligent group, because we fully intended to run this ad against Senator Santorum, anyway, because his record on troops and veterans issues is dismal."


At 9/21/2006 4:44 PM, Blogger Jack Boo said...

This wouldn't be the same VoteVets.org that ran a similar false ad against George Allen, would it?

From FactCheck.org:


That's false. Allen did not vote against giving troops modern body armor. What the ad cites is a vote on an amendment April 2, 2003, just days before the fall of Baghdad, that would have appropriated just over $1 billion for unspecified "National Guard and Reserve Equipment." It made no mention of body armor. . . .

More importantly, there was already money for buying body armor. . . . [T]he Pentagon was already in the process of vastly increasing its orders for the latest-model armored vests, and the shortages that plagued some units in Iraq for the first few months of the war were due not to a lack of money, but to the inability of Pentagon contractors to manufacture the vests fast enough to meet the sudden spike in demand, and problems getting the gear shipped to the troops.

At 9/22/2006 8:01 AM, Blogger Jack Boo said...

"Last week, a similar ad was run in Virginia against Senator George Allen. Praise for the ad was overwhelmingly positive, especially in the blogosphere."

Even though the ad is bullshit.

Seems much of the blogosphere and Jon Soltz don't really like to bother themselves with honest debate. Sad, really.

Rose? Any comment?

At 9/22/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger storiesinamerica said...

AZ Republic, FactCheck.org lobbed misleading claims in attempt to debunk Vote Vets ad criticizing Allen

At 9/22/2006 5:47 PM, Blogger Jack Boo said...

From A Soldiers Perspective:

As a soldier who waiting on the border between Iraq and Kuwait for 6 months prior to the war, I think I can speak on this somewhat authoritatively.

When I was deployed to Kuwait in September 2002, I was issued the 80s era flak vest. Notice I said "flak vest". No one garnered strange allusions that this was a "bullet proof" vest.

When it became appararent that Saddam wasn’t going to cooperate with the UN and we’d have to head north my unit, the 3rd Infantry Division, took immediate measures to exchange our flak vests for the interceptor vests the moron in the video is touting as better. Again, notice the generally recognized term "interceptor". We did not head north until EVERYONE that stood even a remote chance of direct fire had one of those.

I’m not naive enough to sit here and say that EVERY soldier in Iraq had the new vest. They couldn’t make them fast enough. However, as they came in, they were exchanged.

It wasn’t even until 1999 that a five-year contract was awarded to produce the vests. Even the dumbest liberal can count to five and end up at 2004 - AFTER the Iraq invasion - in which the Army was to be fully equipped. The Army and Marines rushed to get enough body armor into Iraq and Afghanistan by December 2003 for everyone who needed it, as fast as it came off the assembly line. Again, everyone WHO NEEDED IT at the time. Even the best intelligence suggested an easy and quick fight.

When we started leaving Iraq in late 2003, we had to turn our vests in so that incoming soldiers and marines could be provided the vests that weren’t in direct fire combat. By 2004, pretty much the entire force was equipped.

Bottom line is that this ad is not only misleading, but an outright lie. By the time the insurgency was kicking into gear, most Soldiers and Marines already had the armor. As a Soldier, it pisses me off to see this ad. But then, I know who the idiot is that wrote it.

At 9/22/2006 6:26 PM, Blogger Jack Boo said...

Something else Media Matters ignored:

The claim was troops were being sent to Iraq with Vietnam era flak vests. The ad then identified the second vest in the ad (which is, in reality an ’80s era PASGT) as a Vietnam era vest. Lastly, it didn’t mention the PASGT had an option (ISAPO) which would stop 7.62 rounds. Of course if they had, the gig would have been up right there instead of later when people did a little reasearch (since that sort of bullet proof over-vest wasn’t available to "Vietnam era" vests).

At 9/28/2006 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also in Kuwait and Iraq with 3ID during OIF 1. I was issued a IBA vest without plates, that wouldn't stop a 7.62 round. Later units were issued full IBA with plates, that would stop 7.62. The amendment Allen voted to table would have supplied, among other things, the plates (as specified in Landrieu's press releas) and newer armor to troops that were lacking them. The largest shortages were in the reserve component. You'll see that's what the funding is aimed at if you read the bill.

Bottom line: the PAGST armor without plates (as issued to a significant number of soldiers during OIF 1) doesn't stop 7.62 and IBA with plates does, as demonstrated in the ad. Landreu submitted an amendment that would have provided funding to buy IBA with plates for troops with PAGST, among many other things, and Allen voted to table the amendment. Simple as that.


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