Now, the AP is reporting that the U.S. military is denying that the gas was contaminated with diesel fuel; however, many of the stateside relatives of the 17 soldiers independently reported that the soldiers, in calls home after/during the incident, made the tainted-gas claim.
Leaving aside the questions being raised regarding adequate armor, vehicle maintenance, and troop support, the Confidence Man wants to know answers to the following obvious questions:
- How did the gasoline get contaminated, if it in fact was? Did the contamination happen when being handled by the transport soldiers, other logistical troops, or by petrochem-services NGO contractors? If it was contaminated inadvertently by the troops, had they been properlytrained?
- Why were the soldiers being asked to deliver fuel that was (a) contaminated and (b) had already been rejected by another unit as unusable?
- And, most importantly, Iraq is lousy with NGO contractors -- the petrochem sector and the U.S. military's logistics and supply chains in particular; why, then, are troops being used to deliver oil? Isn't this precisely the sort of task that Rumsfeld has been so eager to "privatize"?