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Wednesday, Dec 8, 2004, 12:48 pm

Way to support the troops, dude!

By Jessica Clark
Posted by In These Times intern Christopher Burrow:

Rumsfeld was grilled by soldiers in Kuwait when at Camp Buehring to give a pep-talk before the soldiers were deployed to Iraq. One soldier asked about the stop-loss policy that she was currently serving under, which the Secretary described as ???sound policy???. Another soldier questioned, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" That question prompted cheers from other soldiers in attendance, while Rumsfeld???s response said that it was really a ???matter of physics??? and callously added that, "You can have all the armor in the world on a tank, and it can [still] be blown up."

Vice President Cheney was in Afghanistan for the country???s inaugural festivities. ABCNews World News Tonight reported on his visit, which included a lunch with stationed US troops, and the video showed the soldiers being frisked before they were allowed to dine with the Veep. (Perhaps they were checking for those missing Ohio votes?)

The ACLU has obtained documents which show that concerned US defense workers were told to keep quiet about the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners. One memo, from Vice Admiral Lowell E Jacoby, head of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), describes how staff who complained about abuse were threatened, had their car keys confiscated and e-mails monitored, as well as being ordered not to leave the base or speak to friends or relatives in the US.

At this rate, it will be an ???army of one???: President Bush.

Jessica Clark is a writer, editor and researcher, with more than 15 years of experience spanning commercial, educational, independent and public media production. Currently she is the Research Director for American University’s Center for Social Media. She also writes a monthly column for PBS’ MediaShift on new directions in public media. She is the author, with Tracy Van Slyke, of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (2010, New Press).

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