And Why Isn’t Obama Wearing Body Armor In Those Photos?

By Natalie Gewargis

Jul 21, 2008 5:29pm

We were wondering why those shots, below, seem to show Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in a war zone without body armor on. ABC News’ Luis Martinez asked Gen. Petraeus’ spokesman Col. Steve Boylan. Boylan’s response: "It is not a requirement for them to wear it and it is situation dependant. If you notice, General Petraeus is not wearing his body armor as well. There have been few if any attacks of late on our aircraft and the situation did not require them to be wearing body armor. If they felt that they did not need too, it is personal choice. Many times while out in various places in Iraq, I myself have not wear my IBA since the situation did not require it. It is interesting to note that the media in most cases wears their body armor when many of us are not." (Above you can see an image of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown opting for the armor.) Look for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and his allies to make the argument that the only reason Obama could be so stylish in Baghdad was because of McCain’s advocacy for the surge. — jpt UPDATE: Martinez notes for some added context that Col. Boylan points out that the photos of Obama were taken at Baghdad International Airport shortly after his arrival.  Obama and Senators Hagel and Reed were greeted by Gen. Petraeus who then escorted them to a waiting helicopter that took them on an aerial tour of Baghdad before proceeding to the Green Zone.  Boylan says he knows of "very few" visitors at the airport who arrive wearing body armor. When traveling through the city of Baghdad, Boylan says the wearing of body armor by visitors depends on the situation and where one’s going.  It should also be noted that other photos of British PM Brown’s recent visit to Iraq show him also not wearing body armor.

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