Friday, July 18, 2008

Shocking priorities of the military brass

An interesting juxtaposition of articles in the Washington Post and New York Times this morning.

The Washington Post leads with a story about Air Force brass trying to divert counter-terrorism to buy plush Senior Leader Intransit Comfort Capsules (SLICC) for trips in military planes.
Explaining his instructions to subordinates, [the officer in charge of the program] said he used the term world class "in just about everything I discuss. . . . That represents an attitude." He said he wanted to "create an environment that whoever was riding in that would be proud of," the government would be proud of and "the people of the United States" would be proud of.
Important decisions about the capsules, including the color of the carpets, leather upholstery, and even the seat belts, consumed significant amounts of top officers' time. The Post web-site has pictures of the proposed capsules.

The New York Times leads with a story about shoddy electrical work at U.S. bases in Iraq killing and injuring more of our troops than previously disclosed.

During just one six-month period ... at least 283 electrical fires destroyed or damaged American military facilities in Iraq, including the military’s largest dining hall in the country.

And while the Pentagon has previously reported that 13 Americans have been electrocuted in Iraq, many more have been injured, some seriously, by shocks, according to the documents. A log compiled earlier this year at one building complex in Baghdad disclosed that soldiers complained of receiving electrical shocks in their living quarters on an almost daily basis.

Another environment that the people and government of the U.S. can be proud of.