Skip to comments.Group Led By Iraq War Veteran Will Air Ad Attacking Allen (Will Target Others in Congress too)
Posted on 09/13/2006 10:26:11 AM PDT by areafiftyone
RICHMOND An obscure new political group headed by an Iraq War veteran will begin airing television ads today that accuse Republican Sen. George Allen of voting to withhold lifesaving body armor for U.S. troops.
The bluntly worded 30-second ad by VoteVets.org is significant because it's the first attack ad of this year's hotly contested Senate race between Allen and Democrat Jim Webb.
It's also the first of many likely to be aired this fall not by campaigns but by so-called 527 organizations similar to 2004's anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the pro-Democrat Americans Coming Together.
The ad's tone is aggressive from the start. It opens with Peter Granato, an Army reservist who served in Iraq in 2003, standing in a desert holding an AK-47 assault rifle. He fires the weapon at two mannequins, one outfitted with a Vietnam-era flak jacket, the other wearing modern body armor.
"The difference is life," Granato says, opening the new bulletproof vest to show an unscathed mannequin, "or death," he says, opening the old vest to reveal four bullet holes.
"Senator George Allen voted against giving our troops this," Granato says, holding one of the new vests up to the camera. "Now it's time for us to vote against him."
The ad's shocking claim that Allen deliberately denied troops lifesaving equipment outraged Allen's campaign.
"This ad is deceitful and a lie," Allen campaign manager Dick Wadhams said.
Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said the ad seemed to go "way too far."
VoteVets.org chairman Jon Soltz said it is not endorsing Webb, a Vietnam combat veteran who opposed the 2003 Iraq invasion, just opposing Allen. He said Allen is the first candidate the ad will target, but that it will be run against other House or Senate candidates as the organization's finances allow.
Soltz defended the claim, based on a vote Allen cast in 2003 against an amendment Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., offered to boost National Guard and Reserves equipment funding by $1 billion.
Landrieu's amendment died on a 52-47 vote with Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., and every other Republican voting to table Landrieu's bill. One Democrat, Zell Miller of Georgia, voted with the GOP majority.
"This was a life-or-death vote, and he voted death," said Soltz, an Army Reserves captain who served with the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad.
He said in a telephone interview that many in his unit were issued the Vietnam-era jackets, while others were given the vests for the modern system, but not the armor plates to insert in the vest to make it bulletproof.
"In fact, we put Iraqi plates in our vests after we got there because we found a bunch of them abandoned at the Baghdad airport," Soltz said.
Wadhams angrily denied the claim, saying the Defense Department issued none of the dark olive flak jackets used in the '60s and '70s in Iraq's desert environment.
The ad's scandalous charge and its adamant tone could boomerang if voters find it too outrageous, Sabato said.
"Say what you will about George Allen, but I don't think you can credibly say that he voted not to protect American troops," he said.
VoteVets.org is among a growing number of tax-exempt, nonprofit political advocacy organizations formed under Section 527 of the IRS code. They can influence federal elections through voter mobilization and issue advertisements. In 2003-04, they raised more than $400 million for their activities.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also will begin airing so-called "independent expenditure" ads benefiting Webb.
I find something about this fishy as well. I served as an Infantryman with the 3rd ID on the initial invasion of Iraq, and most of the resistence we encountered was care of the Iraqi Army. I NEVER saw an Iraqi soldier with plate equiped body armor. We spent almost 2 weeks clearing Saddam Int'l airport (every friggin nook and cranny) and I personally never saw any stockpiles of abandoned Iraqi armor.
Which branch? I tend to follow the Marines more closely than other branches of the service, and was told by a friend that the Vietnam era flak vests were long gone from Marine inventory; I assumed that since the Marines are always the last to get new gear and the last to get rid of the old that this was the case for all branches.
Will Allen apologize?
Here is the entire text of the amendment:
SA 452. Ms. LANDRIEU proposed an amendment to the bill S. 762, making supplemental appropriations to support Department of Defense operations in Iraq, Department of Homeland Security, and Related Efforts for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2003, and for other purposes; as follows:
In chapter 3 of title I, under the heading ``PROCUREMENT'', insert after the matter relating to ``PROCUREMENT, DEFENSE-WIDE'' the following:
National Guard and Reserve Equipment
For an additional amount for ``National Guard and Reserve Equipment'', $1,047,000,000.
No mention was made of whether it was for armor, upgrading equipment, or colorful paint for vehicles so as to make troops easier for the terrorists to spot and kill (can't put it past her). Entirely too vague - that could have been used to build "new armories" in Louisiana that weren't needed.
"Democrat's have been plotting revenge for the Swift Vets truth about Kerry."
Pelosi stated today in a presser that the Democrats won't be "Swiftboated" about security.
On another note, Wesley Clarke and Bob Kerrey are the key people in this organization. They served their country, they are heros and they are also useful idiots of the left.
I always try to keep in mind that Lee Harvey Oswald was a marine.
Here's the URL and reference number. It's SA452 on this page.
John Kerry endorses this group in his latest email.....
I remember when I was back home from Vietnam and veterans were speaking out against the Vietnam war policy, someone yelled at the vets: "You should support the troops." One of those veterans said simply: "Lady, we are the troops."
With a war in Iraq gone horribly wrong and a Republican attack machine determined to smear those who speak out, there's nothing more important this fall than electing veterans to Congress who can speak out about Iraq with a special moral authority.
And man, do we need them. Recently, John "Randy" Kuhl, a Republican incumbent House member from New York, returned from a visit to Iraq. He reported that things were going well. In fact, he says he almost forgot he was in a war zone.
I can't tell you whether that hard-to-believe comment reflects his disconnect with reality or his refusal to level with the people he represents. But, I can tell you this: No one who knows what it really means to be in a war zone would talk like that.
If you act now to support Eric Massa, the 24-year Navy veteran running against Kuhl, there will be one less Congressman in Washington next year who blindly supports the failed Republican policy in Iraq.
Eric served in Desert Storm, Bosnia and Beirut. And he's telling people the truth about Iraq -- that there is no purely military solution to the problems there. He, three other proud veterans I'll tell you about in a moment, and VoteVets.org, a political action committee founded to support candidates like them, need your help right now.
SUPPORT OUR "FOUR VETS, FOUR VICTORIES" CAMPAIGN
Our "Four Vets, Four Victories" campaign can help change the face of Congress if you act now. Every one of these candidates has served America under fire. And every one of them can win the opportunity to serve again on November 7th if we act now.
Chris Carney, a veteran of multiple military operations, is in a toss-up race against Don Sherwood, another rubber-stamp Republican incumbent who has failed to ask tough questions about the Bush administration's aimless policies in Iraq.
Joe Sestak, a former three-star Admiral who served in the Navy for 31 years, is another veteran on the road to victory in Pennsylvania. He's running against Curt Weldon, a Republican incumbent in the Rick Santorum camp who believes the "jury is still out" on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, despite overwhelming and undeniable proof to the contrary.
The third in our trio of Pennsylvania veterans running to change the face of Congress is Patrick Murphy. He is an Iraq War veteran, former West Point professor, and criminal prosecutor. Patrick is on the verge of victory if we give him the financial support he needs to compete in the countdown to Election Day.
SUPPORT OUR "FOUR VETS, FOUR VICTORIES" CAMPAIGN
Nothing would make me prouder than to know that our "Four Vets, Four Victories" campaign helped carry these impressive candidates to Congress. That's the outcome that's within reach, but only if you rush your financial support to one or more of these candidates.
Every day it becomes more apparent how hard the Republican Party and its candidates will struggle to hold on to power in these elections. They'll throw everything they've got at our candidates. We've got to be there with our financial support.
So, pick one candidate or donate to all four. But, whatever you do, don't stay on the sidelines. This is your opportunity to stand side-by-side with veterans who have already given so much to America and who are ready to provide the leadership we need in Washington.
SUPPORT OUR "FOUR VETS, FOUR VICTORIES" CAMPAIGN
Thank you for all you are doing in the critical buildup to Election Day.
P.S. There's one other critical way you can help veterans running for office. Support VoteVets.org, a political action committee formed by Iraq veterans to support Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are running for Congress. VoteVets.org is providing campaigns with training and support and running TV ads critical of candidates who support the failed "stay the course" policy of the Bush administration.
So, in addition to supporting our four candidates, I hope you'll consider standing with VoteVets.org.
Wouldn't be surprised if Murtha did too
And the best part about all of this is contained in the last part of the transcript from Congress that day:
The pending business is the motion to table the amendment offered by the Senator from Louisiana, Ms. Landrieu.
The Senator from Alaska is recognized for 1 minute.
Mr. STEVENS. I yield to the author of the amendment first. The Senator from Louisiana is entitled to 1 minute. I hope my colleagues will let her speak.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana is recognized.
Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, will the Senate be in order?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will be in order. We will not proceed until the Senate is in order. Senators will cease their conversations and move from the aisles to their seats.
Mr. STEVENS. Madam President, where is the Sergeant at Arms?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will be in order.
The Senator from Louisiana.
Ms. LANDRIEU. I thank the Chair.
This is a very important amendment, and I ask my colleagues to consider carefully their vote. Last week, we voted 100 to 0 in a bipartisan fashion to support an increase in combat pay for Active and Reserve and to increase the funding for necessary equipment for our Guard and Reserve. This amendment adds $1 billion to this bill for a very good reason: Because the Reserve component represents 47 percent of our military structure and only 8.3 percent of the budget. In the underlying bill, we have $62 billion for Active and $271 million for the Reserves.
In every State, thousands of people are being called up. When they get the call, they put on their uniform and go. This amendment gives them the equipment to fight and win the war. I ask for everyone's support.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
Mr. STEVENS. Madam President, of the $62.6 billion requested by the President for defense, no less than $10.8 billion in this bill is for the direct support of the Guard and Reserve for this fiscal year. The monies that the Senator from Louisiana wishes would be spent in 2004.
I yield the remainder of my time to the Senator from Arizona.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, we are addressing the immediate needs. This is an emergency supplemental. The needs as identified by the Senator from Louisiana are all nice to have, but they should go through the orderly process, through the Senate Armed Services Committee, a request by the President of the United States, and then a full and open debate. This is neither the appropriate nor, I believe, fiscally responsible thing to do at this time. I urge a ``no'' vote.
Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent for an additional 30 seconds.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
Mr. STEVENS. On each side is all right with me.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Ms. LANDRIEU. Is the Senator from Arizona suggesting the $6 billion that is on the list for the Reserves has not gone through the regular order?
Mr. McCAIN. I am suggesting to the Senator from Louisiana, this is a very large appropriation which has not been examined by members of the committee themselves in this context and is added after carefully thought out, carefully requested amounts of funds have gone through the Appropriations Committee in the form of an emergency supplemental. I am sure these are all worthy causes. There are billions and billions of dollars of worthy causes.
Ms. LANDRIEU. With all due respect to the Senator from Arizona, I am a member of the Appropriations Committee, and this $6 billion has gone through, and we are asking $1 billion of the $6 billion.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator from Louisiana has expired.
The Senator from Alaska.
Mr. STEVENS. Madam President, the money that is in this bill will help the Guard that has been called up. That is the case. We want to help the people who are fighting the wars now. I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion. The yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. KERRY) is necessarily absent.
I further announce that the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. KERRY), would vote ``no.''
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 52, nays 47, as follows:
From S4692: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r108:1:./temp/~r108fEEAtN:e118221:
Anyone wishing to read the entire debate on the amendment and tabling can look here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r108:FLD001:S04687
Forgot to note: The debate is from S4687 tp S4690.
Somehow, I'm not surprised - yet at the same time I am. I know that the Marines (even the Marine Reserves) didn't ship out without the PASGT vests.
Thanks for your service, soldier.
Allen better respond quickly to this. He already apologized again for the 6th time for Macaca yesterday and said he was sorry for wearing the Confederate flag pin yesterday. He needs to start getting tough!
Exactly the right question. We need to call the attention of the FEC to this immediately, seriously. If CFR only applies to our messages and not theirs, I'm ready to take to the streets.
What happened to the first 5 Tiggs?
You know, I continue to be amazed that I'm fighting the same battle with the Webbsters on the Virginia blogosphere that I'm fighting here with FReepers who ~supposedly~ want Senator Allen to be reelected.
He IS getting tough. The endorsement by Senator Lambert yesterday is part of that. There's a major annoucement coming soon (I believe today) outlining Webb's "record."
He's on the airwaves. The A-Team has reorganized the snot out of the Internet battle.
Snarky comments from FReepers reading from the RATS playbook just baffle me.
Get with the program people. I don't CARE if you want Allen for President. We'll worry about that in December.
But we NEED him back in the Senate.
If you think FR is just a little family chat you're wrong. We're being read and your comments are being picked up by the RATS.
If you can't be supportive of Senator Allen, would you kindly just ~shut up~ until November 8.
In Richmond today, a bipartisan gathering of former Navy servicewomen held a press conference to tell Virginia about how Jim Webb creat[ed] a pervasive air of sexual discrimination at Annapolis in the early 1980s and of infected the Corps with venom and hate. These women suffered both personal and professional damage, and male midshipmen were emboldened to harass women by the comments of James Webb.
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