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The Pentagon let them die

“Our preliminary research suggests that as many as 42 percent of the Marine casualties who died from isolated torso injuries could have been prevented with improved protection in the areas surrounding the plated areas of the vest. Another 23 percent might have been saved with side plates that extend below the arms, while 15 percent more could have benefited from shoulder plates.”

— a secret Pentagon study, revealing yet again that the government doesn’t give a damn about soldiers

Extra Armor Could Have Saved Many Lives, Study Shows (NYT). Why does the Pentagon hate American troops? These brave men and women place their trust in the government to do all in its power to protect and arm them to effectively serve their country and instead they get sh*t on by this Administration.

A secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.

The ceramic plates in vests currently worn by the majority of military personnel in Iraq cover only some of the chest and back. In at least 74 of the 93 fatal wounds that were analyzed in the Pentagon study of marines from March 2003 through June 2005, bullets and shrapnel struck the marines’ shoulders, sides or areas of the torso where the plates do not reach.

Thirty-one of the deadly wounds struck the chest or back so close to the plates that simply enlarging the existing shields “would have had the potential to alter the fatal outcome,” according to the study, which was obtained by The New York Times.

You can get the report here (PDF).

As Blender Paul said in his pointer, “I wonder if they are going to have an investigation to see who leaked this?” Don’t worry — they’ll be quite effective in rooting out the “rat” instead of protecting the troops.

* The shame of Bush’s America, part 2: soldiers survive, but are maimed for life

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding