Lee Pitts, a reporter for the Chattanooga Times, is boasting that he is responsible for the question posed to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld yesterday about the lack of armor on U.S. military vehicles. Pitts says that, knowing only soldiers could ask questions of Rumsfeld, he brought along two as “escorts” and helped them work on questions about armor. Then, he says he lobbied the guy in charge of the microphone to select “plants” as questioners.
One can be offended by Pitts’ behavior and still be glad that the question was asked. It’s certainly a legitimate one that seems to have resonated with the soldiers in the audience. As President Bush said today, “If I were a soldier overseas wanting to defend my country, I’d want to ask the secretary of defense the same question, and that is, ‘Are we getting the best we can get us?'” Bush added that the concerns are being addressed. If they need to be addressed with more urgency, then the question may help bring that about. If they are already being addressed with sufficient urgency, it was still a good question. And Secretary Rumsfeld deserves credit for offering the forum in which it could be asked.
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