Thursday :: May 1, 2008

Lipstick On A Pig


by Turkana

You have to love this little headline, from the New York Times blog, The Lede:

Pentagon Jumps to Repair Decrepit Barracks

The Pentagon jumps into action to help its service personnel. Who have been living in decrepit barracks. Barracks that are managed by the Pentagon. Decrepitly.

Faced with an outpouring of outrage over the decrepit state of some barracks facilities at Fort Bragg, the North Carolina home of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division — a reaction that was manifested in Lede comments and elsewhere on the Internet — the Pentagon has mounted a two-front push to address the issue.

Within days of an embarrassing YouTube exposé on one particularly rundown facility, a global inspection of barracks was ordered, officials told the American Forces Press Service, which quoted Brig. Gen. Dennis E. Rogers, the deputy director of operations and facilities for the army’s Installation Management Command:

Senior Army leaders directed garrison commanders worldwide to walk through and inspect their barracks April 26-27, Rogers said. The feedback is still being examined, and a report may be ready as early as sometime next week, he said.

So, the Pentagon is reacting to media and internet reports about the substandard living conditions it imposes on the service personnel it keeps sending back, on rotation after to rotation, to a failed and pointless war. Does this remind anyone of anything?

The Pentagon has also moved quickly to address the public concerns generated by the video clip. In comments to The Associated Press, General Rogers made clear that the complaints about the Fort Bragg barracks are hardly news to him.

So, if not for the bad publicity, and the public concern it generated, the general wouldn't have done anything? Because the decrepit conditions were hardly news to him. And he'd apparently done nothing about it, despite knowing about it, because until the public found out about it and became concerned, there was no need to move to address the actual problem. It was th public concern that needed to be addressed. Get it?

“Are soldiers happy with living in the Korean War-era barracks? No,” he said. “No matter how hard we try, we can’t put enough lipstick on this pig.”

Which is exactly what the Pentagon is trying to do. Because, once again, the Pentagon knew that it was abusing its service personnel, on the most basic levels possible, and it did nothing until the abuse was made known to the wider public. Now please let them explain who, exactly, doesn't support the troops?

Turkana :: 3:10 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!