How Not to Run a War…

A few stories out at Steve Benen’s place…

First, a link to Wired Magazine’s Danger Room:

The Marine Corps waited over a year before acting on an “priority 1 urgent” request to send blast-resistant vehicles to Iraq… the request for over 1,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles came in February, 2005. A formal call to fulfill that order did not emerge until November, 2006. “There is an immediate need for an MRAP vehicle capability to increase survivability and mobility of Marines operating in a hazardous fire area against known threats,” the 2005 “universal need statement” notes.

Long story short… the military claims the capability to produce the items wasn’t there. The story closes with this:

“This is what happens when industry isn’t put on a war footing,” he adds. “It’s like the military families are at war, and everyone else is out shopping.”

But then, I do recall GW saying something about us all going shopping after 9/11.

And then this post linking to this ABC News story:

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government’s $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program.

That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces.

three dots… (sorry about writing out “three dots”… I’ve found that simply three dots placed between paragraphs are hard to see)

Also, the network’s news division also had no assignment desk, he said. That left decisions over al Hurra’s content in the hands of its reporters and producers, who are, according to Blaya, hastily-hired Arabic-speaking journalists with insufficient understanding of Western journalistic practices or the network’s pro-Western mission.

three more dots…

The station’s gaffes have included broadcasting in December 2006 a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah; deferential coverage of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial conference; and a factually flawed piece on a splinter group of Orthodox Jews who oppose the state of Israel, according to the Wall Street Journal, which has reported the network’s travails for months.

Steve Benen also notes that “Al Hurra is a project of the administration’s Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is led by Ken Tomlinson.” Steve has posted on Tomlinson before… it seems the State Department inspector general found that he “had repeatedly used government employees to perform personal errands and that he billed the government for more days of work than the rules permit.” Additionally, in 2005, he was caught breaking the Federal Broadcasting Act. The US Attorney’s Office (yeah, that one) was provided with all this information, but declined to prosecute him. (If he wasn’t a Bush appointee, would they have declined to prosecute?) All of which allowed him to move onto bigger and better things. Like providing a venue for anti-Semitism to flourish, at US taxpayer expense.