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InvisibleEdame
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Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
Loc: outta here
Supporting the troops?
    #1814418 - 08/14/03 06:57 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Is this how the government supports the troops I wonder?

Quote:

Troops in Iraq face pay cut
Pentagon says tough duty bonuses are budget-buster
Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Thursday, August 14, 2003
?2003 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/08/14/MN94780.DTL

Washington -- The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.

Unless Congress and President Bush take quick action when Congress returns after Labor Day, the uniformed Americans in Iraq and the 9,000 in Afghanistan will lose a pay increase approved last April of $75 a month in "imminent danger pay" and $150 a month in "family separation allowances."

The Defense Department supports the cuts, saying its budget can't sustain the higher payments amid a host of other priorities. But the proposed cuts have stirred anger among military families and veterans' groups and even prompted an editorial attack in the Army Times, a weekly newspaper for military personnel and their families that is seldom so outspoken.

Congress made the April pay increases retroactive to Oct. 1, 2002, but they are set to expire when the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30 unless Congress votes to keep them as part of its annual defense appropriations legislation.

Imminent danger pay, given to Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force members in combat zones, was raised to $225 from $150 a month. The family separation allowance, which goes to help military families pay rent, child care or other expenses while soldiers are away, was raised from $100 a month to $250.

Last month, the Pentagon sent Congress an interim budget report saying the extra $225 monthly for the two pay categories was costing about $25 million more a month, or $300 million for a full year. In its "appeals package" laying out its requests for cuts in pending congressional spending legislation, Pentagon officials recommended returning to the old, lower rates of special pay and said military experts would study the question of combat pay in coming months.

WHITE HOUSE DUCKS ISSUE

A White House spokesman referred questions about the administration's view on the pay cut to the Pentagon report.

Military families have started hearing about the looming pay reductions, and many aren't happy.

They say duty in Iraq is dangerous -- 60 Americans have died in combat- related incidents since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on May 1. Another 69 have been killed by disease, the heat or in accidents.

"Every person they see is a threat. They have no idea who is an enemy or who is a friend," said Larry Syverson, 54, of Richmond, Va., whose two sons, Brandon, 31, and Bryce, 25, are serving in Iraq. Syverson appeared with other military families at a Washington, D.C., news conference to publicize efforts to bring the troops home.

"You can get shot in the head when you go to buy a Coke," added Syverson, referring to an incident at a Baghdad University cafeteria on July 6 when an Army sergeant was shot and killed after buying a soda.

AFRAID FOR HER SON

Susan Schuman of Shelburne Falls, Mass., said her son, Army National Guard Sgt. Justin Schuman, had told her "it's really scary" serving in Samarra, a town about 20 miles from Saddam Hussein's ancestral hometown of Tikrit.

Schuman, who like Syverson has become active in a group of military families that want service personnel pulled out of Iraq, said the pay cut possibility didn't surprise her.

"It's all part of the lie of the Bush administration, that they say they support our troops," she said.

It's rare for the independent Army Times, which is distributed widely among Army personnel, to blast the Pentagon, the White House and the Congress. But in this instance, the paper has said in recent editorials that Congress was wrong to make the pay raises temporary, and the Pentagon is wrong to call for a rollback.

"The bottom line: If the Bush administration felt in April that conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan warranted increases in danger pay and family separation allowances, it cannot plausibly argue that the higher rates are not still warranted today," the paper said in an editorial in its current edition.

On Capitol Hill, members say the issue will be taken up quickly after the summer recess when a conference committee meets to negotiate conflicting versions of the $369 billion defense appropriations bill.

"You can't put a price tag on their service and sacrifice, but one of the priorities of this bill has got to be ensuring our servicemen and women in imminent danger are compensated for it," said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

"Since President Bush declared 'mission accomplished' on May 1, 126 American soldiers have died in Iraq, and we are losing more every day," Tauscher said. "If that's not imminent danger, I don't know what is."

The Senate bill calls for making permanent the increases in combat pay -- the first in more than a decade -- for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House wants to pay more for service in those two countries than for such duties as peacekeeping in the Balkans. With the money saved, the House wants to increase the size of the active military by 6,200 troops.

What won't be clear until Congress returns is whether the Pentagon will lobby against keeping the increase.

The Pentagon reiterated Wednesday that its goal was for service personnel to rotate out of Iraq after a maximum of a year in that country. Units of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which played a major role in last March's invasion, have already come home.
By the numbers

U.S. troops in Iraq: 148,000

U.S. troops in Afghanistan: 9,000

Imminent danger pay: $225 per month, but is scheduled to drop to $150 a month

Family separation allowances: $250 per month, but scheduled to drop to $100 per month




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The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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Offlinewingnutx
Registered: 09/25/00
Posts: 2,268
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: Edame]
    #1814500 - 08/14/03 07:24 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

That's fucked up. Easy to fix, though.


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OfflineLearyfan
It's the psychedelic movement!
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: Edame]
    #1814770 - 08/14/03 08:32 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Oh Jesus Fucking Christ.

I've never seen a bigger slap in the face.





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Mp3 of the month: The Dovers - The Third Eye



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Anonymous

Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: Edame]
    #1814798 - 08/14/03 08:40 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

after Labor Day, the uniformed Americans in Iraq and the 9,000 in Afghanistan will lose a pay increase approved last April of $75 a month in "imminent danger pay" and $150 a month in "family separation allowances."

that's some irony right there.


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Offlinewingnutx
Registered: 09/25/00
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: Edame]
    #1816586 - 08/15/03 12:18 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Pentagon Dispels Military Compensation Rumors


By Bobby Eberle
Talon News
August 15, 2003

WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Pentagon officials met Thursday with reporters to "put to rest" a "burgeoning rumor" that the defense department is planning to reduce compensation for those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"That is not true. We are not going to reduce their compensation," said David Chu, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

"There is an open issue about how we're going to do that which depends on exactly how the conference report in the Congress comes out on some technical allowance issues, but the bottom line is we will at least maintain the compensation of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan," Chu said. "We're not going to cut their pay or anything like that."

A statement released Thursday by the defense department explained that In April, after President Bush's budget was submitted, Congress authorized an increase in both the Family Separation Allowance and Imminent Danger Pay and legislated that these increases would expire on Sept. 30, 2003.

The statement indicated that the defense department is "aware of the problem that would result for those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan if these allowances were allowed to expire."

"This is an issue of targeting those most deserving, and certainly people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are in these categories. We intend to ensure they continue to receive this compensation at least at the current levels," the statement read.

A reporter, speaking to Chu, described the primary issue as "when this extra money provision expires in September, the report was that you were opposed to extending it."

Chu responded, "That's a separate issue. The department has a variety of pay and allowance powers already with which it plans to maintain the compensation of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan should the current allowance provisions expire."

"Whether they expire or not is a question which we don't have the answer to. But actually we would prefer, and I think that's how this rumor got started, we would prefer to use those other compensation powers as our way of ensuring that we target these compensation benefits on the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan," Chu said.

"The premise that we would somehow disadvantage U.S. forces in a combat environment -- it's absurd," said acting Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita.

"That's why I was so startled when this story arose," Chu added. "We are actually looking at the opposite issue. What should we be doing for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as appropriate for their circumstance, especially those who are serving long periods of time. We had discussions underway at this very moment of R&R type powers for the commander, some of which he already has but which we are looking at extending."

"So how do you explain the statement that says you hadn't budgeted for these increases and therefore you didn't want the increases?" a reporter asked.

Chu responded by saying, "What I think you're pointing to is one piece of a very thick technical appeal document that speaks to the question do we want to extend the language Congress used in the Family Separation Allowance and Imminent Danger Pay statutes."

"And no, we don't think we need to extend that language. That's a different statement from are we going to reduce compensation for those in Iraq and Afghanistan," Chu said.

What I'm saying on the record for Iraq and Afghanistan, absolutely yes, we are going to continue compensation for those folks," Chu added.

Di Rita reminded reporters that for the last three years, "we've provided gradual increases to the pay accounts, in many areas targeted those for the more distressed ratings and distressed pay grades."

"This administration has an admirable record, together with Congress, of providing pay raises over the last three years to bring our military back to where they sort of lost ground in the late '90s," Di Rita said.

Copyright ? 2003 Talon News -- All rights reserved.


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OfflineTheHobbit
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Registered: 09/04/02
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: wingnutx]
    #1817269 - 08/15/03 04:25 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Sounds like the government actually realized how stupid they are at times, and back peddled very quickly. If no one raises a stink they just push through shit, though.


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Offlinewingnutx
Registered: 09/25/00
Posts: 2,268
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: TheHobbit]
    #1817414 - 08/15/03 05:14 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

That's how it usually works.


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OfflineLearyfan
It's the psychedelic movement!
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: wingnutx]
    #1817826 - 08/15/03 07:21 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

I hope your article is right Wingnutx




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Mp3 of the month: The Dovers - The Third Eye



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Offlinewingnutx
Registered: 09/25/00
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: Learyfan]
    #1819587 - 08/16/03 01:22 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

I hope so too.

BTW, my battalion just got a guy back from Iraq this week. He was sent back after exposure to blister agent. Nothing major, but pretty painful. Might have a few scars.



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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 3,040
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: wingnutx]
    #1819614 - 08/16/03 01:31 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

the Bush administration is getting pretty good at damage control


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Offlinewingnutx
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #1821171 - 08/16/03 11:02 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Looks like the normal flow of appropriations to me. This kind of thing has been going on since at least the early 20th century, and probably a lot earlier than that.

Believe me, I pay a lot of attention to my pay chart :smile:


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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: wingnutx]
    #1822423 - 08/17/03 12:42 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

What was this blister agent and where did it come from? Aren't blister agents some sort of chemical weapon?


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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Offlinewingnutx
Registered: 09/25/00
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #1824398 - 08/17/03 11:55 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Blister agents are indeed chemical weapons. He was working in an area in Iraq that apparently had some either dumped or sprayed. Mostly got his feet, and he's all better now. He was in the hospital for several weeks.

As for where it came from, your guess is as good as mine.


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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: Supporting the troops? [Re: wingnutx]
    #1824531 - 08/18/03 12:42 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Interesting...


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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