Advocating on Behalf of the American Military and Defense on the War on Terror

Using the dead bodies of  American Marines as political fodder, Reid embarrasses himself and his Democrat colleagues with the folllowing comments.

"..Just hours after an explosion killed seven Marines in his home state, Nevada  Sen. Harry Reid used the fatal training accident as an opportunity to talk about  the potential impact of the sequester on military readiness.

The Senate Democratic leader initially took to the floor Tuesday to mourn the  deaths of the seven Marines, killed during a training exercise at Hawthorne Army  Depot in Nevada.

"My thoughts are with those who are injured and of course the families of  those who lost loved ones," Reid said.

But then, after explaining that the Marines were at the depot for training,  Reid went on to use the tragedy as a segue to talk about the importance of  canceling the automatic budget cuts known as sequester.

"It's just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can't train and  do the maintenance necessary," Reid said. "These men and women, our Marines,  were training there in Hawthorne and with the sequester it's going to cut this  stuff back, and I just hope everyone understands sacrifices made by our  military, they are significant."

While using the activities at the Nevada facility as an example of critical  training that would be cut, Reid did not appear to directly link the budget cuts  to the deaths.

Still, some took offense at his comments.

"I don't know how anyone could link this accident to budget cuts. Budget cuts  would never cause Marines to operate in unsafe conditions," one Marine official  told Fox News.

Reid urged Congress to pass a bill allowing the military flexibility to move  around money and spare certain parts of the budget. His office later sought  to clarify his reference to the deadly explosion.

"In the wake of the Hawthorne tragedy, Senator Reid's thoughts are with the  Marines who were killed or injured and their loved ones," spokeswoman Kristen  Orthman said. "The idea that Senator Reid thinks the Hawthorne tragedy has  anything to do with the sequester is absurd and unsubstantiated by his remarks  on the topic. Marines would not be forced to operate under unsafe conditions due  to budget cuts."

A senior Pentagon official adds: "Reid didn't directly tie sequestration and  the tragedy at Hawthorne. He made a general point about how training and  readiness will suffer if sequestration isn't lifted."

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation by the Marines. But  military officials confirm that a 60-millimeter mortar round exploded  prematurely inside its tube at about 10 p.m. local time Monday. This was a  nighttime live fire exercise carried out at an Army ammunition depot.

Seven Marines from North Carolina's Camp Lejeune from the 2nd Marine Division  were killed -- three of them immediately.

The others died while waiting to be transported to nearby hospitals. Some of  the wounded were taken to Reno.

The Hawthorne Army Depot has been used since 1930. It is 230 square miles and  has nearly 3,000 buildings"

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