Wednesday, August 18, 2004

War News for August 17 and 18, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Heavy fighting resumes in Najaf. Bring ‘em on: One British soldier killed, one wounded in fighting in Basra. Bring ‘em on: Senior police officer assassinated in Ramadi. Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed in fighting in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, several wounded in fighting in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi journalist killed in fighting near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Dutch troops ambushed near Ar Rumaythah. Bring ‘em on: Seven Iraqis killed in Baghdad mortar attack. Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqi civilians killed in heavy fighting near Kut. Bring ‘em on: Oil well destroyed by RPG fire near Amarah. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi army general assassinated near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Two Turkish truck drivers kidnapped near Mosul. Bring ‘em on: More fighting reported near Hilla. Bring ‘em on: British civilians ambushed by roadside bomb near Basra. US Army surveillance drone crashed near Balad. Press freedom. “An Iraqi police officer physically assaulted and threatened to kill a Kansas City Star photojournalist Monday after she took photos of officers beating a suspected pickpocket. Allison Long, 31, on rotation in Iraq for Knight Ridder newspapers, was walking inside a police cordon near the Baghdad Convention Center, where more than 1,000 Iraqi delegates met to pick a national assembly this week. Long and two Iraqi colleagues saw Iraqi policemen, guns drawn, running after a man just before 9 a.m.” Home front. “Warden Flanagan isn't alone. The biggest call-up of National Guard and Reserve members since World War II is creating manpower holes on factory floors and in government agencies across the country. From police precincts to firefighting units, public and private entities are struggling to cope with missing workers - often creating extra burdens for employees left behind. While everyone knew there would be adjustments to make, the magnitude of the call-up and the prolonged stay of many units is putting added stress on some agencies - particularly at a time of lean finances.” Rummy. “As many as 82 percent of personnel deserted from Iraqi Civil Defense Corps units deployed in Western Iraq and around the town of Fallujah last April, when anti-American guerrillas launched a spate of deadly strikes against coalition forces, according to a report released in late June by the Government Accountability Office. The desertion rate reached 49 percent in corps units deployed in and around Baghdad, while in towns like Baqubah, Tikrit, Karbala, Najaf and Kut, it stood at 30 percent. Police squads hardly fared better. During just one week of April 17 to 23, the force lost 2,892 personnel because some of the officers either turned out to be rebel sympathizers or proved to be incompetent and had to be sent for retraining, the report pointed out. The figure also included those killed in action. The defense secretary offered no specific evidence showing the situation had since improved.” Soldier in protective custody. “The Army reservist who tipped off investigators to abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison by his fellow soldiers is in protective military custody because of death threats, family members said on Tuesday. The reservist, Specialist Joseph M. Darby, 24, received the threats after his role in the scandal was publicly revealed in May, his sister-in-law, Maxine Carroll, said.” CheneyBurton. “The Army had said earlier Tuesday that it had decided that starting Wednesday it would withhold 15 percent of payments on future bills from the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root because it had not issued paperwork justifying its costs. But the Army later indicated it would continue to reimburse the company in full. Government contractors normally cannot be paid more than 85 percent of their invoices until they fully account for their costs. Twice this year, the Army set this rule aside for Halliburton as the company cataloged its costs and explained how it was billing the government. The most recent reprieve expired Sunday.” This will make Lieutenant AWOL howl about tort reform. “A member of the California Army National Guard filed suit in federal court here Tuesday challenging the Bush administration's so-called stop-loss policy, asserting that his pending deployment to Iraq ‘bears no relation to the threat of terrorism against the United States.’ Under stop-loss, military personnel can be prevented from leaving the armed forces upon completing their enlistment terms. The plaintiff in this case, identified as John Doe to protect his privacy, is believed to be the first soldier to challenge the legality of the policy's application to deployment in Iraq.” Casualty Reports Local story: Idaho soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Texas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Kansas soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Florida soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Michigan Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: California Marine wounded in Iraq. Local story: California Marine wounded in Iraq. Awards and Decorations Local story: Arizona soldier decorated for valor. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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