"60 Minutes" says soldiers are sitting ducks

By David Talbot
Published November 1, 2004 11:16AM (UTC)
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CBS had its wings clipped by the Bush-Cheney machine after its National Guard memo fiasco. But on the final Sunday before the election, 60 Minutes was back in action with a hard-hitting piece on how poorly equipped many U.S. soldiers are in Iraq. The Steve Kroft-narrated piece, which was produced by the excellent Leslie Cockburn, showed how soldiers -- particularly from National Guard and reserve units -- are sent into harms way in trucks jerryrigged with plywood and sandbags instead of proper armor, and often lack field radios and even bullets. Soldiers call the vehicles "cardboard coffins, the mother of an Oregon National Guardsman told Kroft.

The 60 Minutes report echoed a a charge often made by Kerry on the campaign trail about the families of U.S. soldiers desperately buying body armor on the Internet to protect their ill-equipped loved ones in Iraq.

If the American people needed any more evidence of Bush administration incompetence in Iraq, 60 Minutes delivered it. And if the White House needed any more reason to loathe CBS News, they just got it.

David Talbot

David Talbot, the founder of Salon, is the author of New York Times bestsellers like "Brothers," "The Devil's Chessboard," and "Season of the Witch." His most recent book is "Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of My Stroke."

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