Monday, May 03, 2004

Fun with the truth:
Vice President Dick Cheney, who has been charging that John Kerry would be a dangerous president because he opposed many key weapons that the military now relies on, himself presided over the biggest cutbacks in defense programs in modern history when he was secretary of defense under the first President Bush.

As Pentagon chief from 1989 to 1993 Cheney canceled or cut back many of the same weapons programs ? bombers, fighter planes, battle tanks ? that he says Kerry tried to deprive the armed forces of.

Many of the Cheney-era cuts were made at the end of the Cold War, when the administration of President George H.W. Bush was seeking to reduce the size of the military. But some of these downsizing efforts would have affected the military of today.

Cheney proposed, for instance, disbanding part of the Army's Fourth Infantry Division, the unit that captured former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein last December, according to Congressional Quarterly.

The latest Bush-Cheney campaign ad depicts weapons such as the B-2 stealth bomber flying over a battlefield and then disappearing into thin air, attempting to convince voters that if Kerry prevailed back then, U.S. military forces would be underequipped.

Yet Cheney canceled the B-2 bomber program after 20 planes, even though the Air Force insisted it needed 132. He opposed upgrading the M1 Abrams tank, recommended killing the latest model of the F-14 fighter jet and opposed buying more F-15s.

Link via Democratic Veteran.