Many on the right are outraged about the question that Specialist Thomas Wilson asked about the lack of adequate armor for vehicles headed to Iraq. Outraged that U.S. troops are being unnecessarily put at risk by poorly equipped vehicles? No, silly. Outraged that one of their heroes has been made to look foolish in public by a hick soldier. Outrage has caused them to embrace some pretty weak arguments in defense of their champion, Rumsfeld. Middle Tennessee blogger, Bill Hobbs complained because the media circus was arranged by an embedded Chattanooga reporter, Edward Lee Pitts, helped engineer the media circus. Hobbs says that Pitts violated a journalist's code of ethics by becoming involve in the story. I don't understand the rules involved well enough to know if he has a point, but it seems that Pitts helped to expose the truth instead of perpetrate fraud.
Rush Limbaugh also denounces the influence of Pitts on the story. It is interesting to note the low opinion that the Doper, er, Doctor of Democracy has for our troops. He talks as if the soldiers who cooperated with Pitts were too stupid to know what they were doing. "The soldier knew that he was prompted to ask these questions. The soldier knew that the sergeant at the microphone was pointed at him or cued to point to him by the reporter. The reporter stayed silent for two days and only admits this in an inter-office memo that somebody has leaked. The soldier takes all the accolades for this courage and bravery and standing up to Rumsfeld, which we know now wasn't the case. What we do know is that Rumsfeld wanted to hear from the soldiers, and he wanted to hear from the soldiers without interference from reporters or anyone else. A reporter facilitated the rules; the reporter created news, was an embed reporter. He created news in order to then cover it. If the soldier had asked the question without prompting, fine. I have no problem with the question. Rummy was willing to take all comers without pre-selection of questions. He wasn't trying to hide or duck, but the reporter's action was cheap theatrics. It wasn't Rumsfeld who chose which soldiers from which to take questions or from whom to take questions; it was the reporter who set this all up. The reporter plants the questions with the soldier, then goes to the sergeant at the microphone, points out the soldier to call on, soldier gets called on, asked the question, big hoots of applause erupt."
Either these soldiers are so dull that a reporter from an obscure newspaper can manipulate dozens of them into cooperating in his evil scheme to embarrass Don Rumsfeld, or the questions that they asked (or cheered upon hearing) resonated with them.
I assume that the latter is the case.