Monday, February 09, 2004

War News for February 9, 2004 Bring ‘em on: US soldier killed by roadside bomb ambush near Mahmudiyah. Bring ‘em on: US patrol ambushed by roadside bomb in central Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers wounded in bomb ambush near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier wounded in RPG ambush near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: US troops attacked in Tikrit by insurgents including an Iraqi police major. Bring ‘em on: Bombing of Kurdish political offices by Iraqi Shi’ite insurgents thwarted after firefight in Kirkuk. US offers reward for two missing US soldiers in Mosul. Bush administration disappears the wounded. “Zwerdling contacted Sen. Chuck Hagel (Republican-Nebraska), a Vietnam veteran and former deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration. Hagel explained that he had been trying to obtain certain information from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, including the 'total number of American battlefield casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq'…The Nebraska senator also wanted an updated tally on the number of US military personnel who had received Purple Hearts and the dates they were awarded. Six weeks later, Hagel received the provocative reply: the Department of Defense did not have the requested information.” Iraqi factions defy CPA directives to disband militias. “There are three groups the American military considers to be active militias. First, there is the pesh merga, whose 50,000 soldiers are split between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Next is the Badr Organization, a unit of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a powerful Shiite party. Then there is the Mahdi Army, formed by Moktada al-Sadr, a virulently anti-American cleric who is Shiite.” 1500 Kurdish Peshmerga deployed to guard PUK offices in Baghdad. Prince Charles visits UK soldiers in Basra. Doesn’t parade around like a fool waving a stuffed turkey for the cameras, either. British Army reserve forces "stretched to the limits." Operation Cut and Run: Lieutenant AWOL pressures reluctant UN elections expert to clean up his mess in Iraq. Engineers struggle to restore electrical power in Baghdad. “The current average is 12 to 14 hours of power a day. Residents of Baghdad and central Iraq cope with longer blackouts than Iraqis in the far north and south, Wheelock said.” Lack of security critical factor in electrical power reconstruction. Support the Troops! Lieutenant AWOL’s budget shafts veterans. GOP promises to release .Bush military records Commentary Opinion: "What the international community really wants now is an objective and intelligent answer from Bush on why America went to war in Iraq - not unconvincing explanations and preposterous historical comparisons." Editorial: "Yesterday, in an interview with NBC's Tim Russert, after a week in which it became obvious to most Americans that the justifications for the war were based on flawed intelligence, Mr. Bush offered his reflections, and they were far from reassuring. The only clarity in the president's vision appears to be his own perfect sense of self-justification." Opinion: "'Now everyone is saying George Tenet put too much reliance on humint and we need to go back to national technical means,' one senior administration official told me. 'What was wrong was not humint but specifically the humint we got from Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress people and their defectors -- who have all proved to be either totally wrong or, worse, double agents putting out a line straight from Saddam or his intelligence people.' That human intelligence was not foisted upon the decision-makers by the CIA or the NSA. It came out of Vice President Dick Cheney's office and out of the Office of Special Plans, run by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, in the office of the secretary of defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld….'They are really laying low, hoping the CIA takes all the hits while they skate,' the senior official said. 'But they had much more impact on how the intelligence was read and acted on.' Because the bosses, Rumsfeld and Cheney, didn't like the intelligence product and analysis they were getting from CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, they created Feith's happy kingdom. He crafted reports much more to their liking, based largely on Chalabi's wishful thinking and Israeli intelligence that had the aim of pushing us to take on Iraq and take out Saddam. None of these folks will be in the pen when the bipartisan blue-ribbon investigative commission begins waltzing around the truth and pinning the tail on a target chosen by acclamation. Not the vice president, not Feith, not Rumsfeld, and certainly not Chalabi." Opinion: "Virtually all of the evidence is in - and it is compelling - that the administration made a decision to go to war and then hunted for the intelligence to justify the decision. This led to key Cabinet officials using specious information in congressional and international settings to make a case for war. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld created his own intelligence shop in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans to provide inflammatory intelligence to the White House to bolster the decision to go to war and put pressure on the CIA to follow suit. The postwar deterioration in Iraq could lead to a civil war that would demand a decision to cut and run or to endanger even more U.S. lives." Opinion: "Last fall, in fact, acclaimed journalist Seymour Hersh detailed in the New Yorker how Cheney and Rumsfeld set up an independent intelligence unit in the Pentagon that would serve as a place where the 'right' intelligence reports would be funneled to the White House. Hersh quoted Kenneth Pollack, a former National Security Council expert on Iraq, as saying what the Bush people did was 'dismantle the existing filtering process that for 50 years has been preventing the policy-makers from getting bad information. They created stovepipes to get the information they wanted directly to the top leadership. Their position is that the professional bureaucracy is deliberately and maliciously keeping information from them.'" Opinion: Jerry Falwell says God is pro-war. Casualty Reports Local story: Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: New York soldier dies in Iraq. Local story: Arizona sailor dies in Persian Gulf. Local story: Pennsylvania soldier dies in Iraq. Local story: Florida soldier injured in Iraq. Local story: South Carolina Guardsman wounded in Iraq.


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