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Dereliction of Duty


With one hundred US soldiers killed in Iraq this month alone and counting, how many of those deaths came with a bullet or a bomb put together with US ammo that we never bothered to track or account for once we handed it over to an Iraqi police and military force that we knew was rife with insurgents?

The answers came Sunday from the inspector general’s office, which found major discrepancies in American military records on where thousands of 9-millimeter pistols and hundreds of assault rifles and other weapons have ended up. The American military did not even take the elementary step of recording the serial numbers of nearly half a million weapons provided to Iraqis, the inspector general found, making it impossible to track or identify any that might be in the wrong hands.

Exactly where untracked weapons could end up — and whether some have been used against American soldiers — were not examined in the report, although black-market arms dealers thrive on the streets of Baghdad, and official Iraq Army and police uniforms can easily be purchased as well, presumably because government shipments are intercepted or otherwise corrupted.

Isn't it time that George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and all of the rubber stamp Republicans in Congress were held accountable for their utter dereliction of duty?  For the sake of every American soldier who is still fighting in Iraq…isn't it time? 

Had enough?  Vote for Democrats, and get everyone you know to do the same. 

The AP has more (via WaPo).  And if you do not understand how important this is for our military personnel, take a peek at this WaPo story.  Or this and this and this from Newsweek.  And so much more in so many more places.  These are real, live human beings we send to fight and survive, sometimes whole, sometimes not, and sometimes not to survive at all.  THey have families, friends, children, parents…and they deserve better than they have gotten the last few years.

This election is about a lot of things but, in no small part because so many of us have friends and family in the military, the ballots cast this year are about how we feel about Iraq.  Do you think things are going better or worse?  Because a vote for a Republican (or a de facto Republican like Joe Lieberman) means that you want to "stay the course" — the Republican party has had several years of failure and worsening chaos.  It is high time for a change.  The way to make that happen is to get out our vote…in droves.  Please volunteer for a campaign near you.  With eight days to go, we cannot afford complacency or doubt.  The time is now to charge ahead, full speed, toward the finish.  Do it for your children.  For our soldiers.  For your country.  For every ideal that you hold dear that has been trampled down, spat upon or otherwise ignored.

The time is now.  Had enough?  Then let's get to work!

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com