Sunday, February 05, 2006
Bring 'em on:Police Sunday found the bodies of two Shiite men who had been shot dead and dumped north of Baghdad in what appeared to be the latest round of killings between rival Sunni and Shiite groups, an official said. Police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said the slain men were both bound and wearing black clothes and appeared to be Shiites preparing for Ashoura, the major Shiite religious festival that is expected to begin Wednesday.
Feb 5 (Reuters) - The following are security incidents in Iraq reported on Sunday, Feb. 5, as of 1230 GMT. U.S. and Iraqi forces are battling a Sunni Arab insurgency against the Shi'ite- and Kurdish-led government in Baghdad. An asterisk denotes a new or updated item. * FALLUJA - An Iraqi soldier was killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in the city of Falluja, 50 km (25 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. Two civilians were wounded in subsequent gunfire, police added. * MOSUL - Two civilians were wounded when a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded near a U.S patrol in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. SALMAN PAK - Two policemen were killed and seven people wounded, including two policemen, when a car bomb exploded near a police checkpoint in Salman Pak, about 65 km (40 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said. BAGHDAD - The bodies of two people were found in a northwestern highway of the capital, police said. The bound bodies had gunshot wounds to the head. BASRA - The assistant manager of a prison in the southern city of Basra was killed by gunmen, police said. KIRKUK - Gunmen killed two Iraqi policemen in Kirkuk, 250 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. SAMARRA - A civilian was killed and 12 others wounded on Saturday when seven rockets landed in the city of Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. TIKRIT - Hamad al-Qaisi, the governor of Salaheddine province, imposed an overnight curfew on Saturday in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, to investigate reports that bombs had been planted in the city.A disconcerting mystery:
On Friday, January 20, Katherine Patricia Singleton was killed in Iraq. That's all the information there is. No rank, no location, no cause, just her name on the list at icasualties.org. There's a short article in her local newspaper, The Pensacola (FL) News Journal with a dateline of January 21, but not much in the way of detail there, either: Army soldier Katherine P. Singleton is the daughter of Doryce Blake and Maryon Singleton, who resides in Myrtle Grove. Singleton on Friday night confirmed his daughter's death but declined further comment. Details surrounding her death were not available late Friday.Note: DoD has still not confirmed her death or released any information about it. Speculation is that she is a victim of an assault by a fellow soldier. IRAQI POLITICS AND CURRENT EVENTS
Sunni leaders warn of civil war: Fourteen bodies found in Baghdad. Saddam trial has yet to hear any direct evidence against Saddam. Note: That doesn't mean they won't get around to it -- but the possibility looms of an inconclusive prosecution case. Iraqiya TV says top al Qaeda in Iraq leader # 2,577 arrested by Iraqi police Militant groups in Iraq urge attacks on Danes, other Europeans from countries where cartoons of the Prophet were published. Iraqi oil revenue being diverted to insurgency.
Robert F. Worth, James Glanz, New York Times Sunday, February 5, 2006 Baghdad -- Iraqi and U.S. officials say they are seeing a troubling pattern of Iraqi government corruption enabling the flow of oil money and other funds to the insurgency and threatening to undermine the country's struggling economy. In Iraq, which depends almost exclusively on oil for its revenues, the officials say that any diversion of money to an insurgency that is killing its citizens and tearing apart its infrastructure adds a new and menacing element to the challenge of holding the country together. In one example, a sitting member of the Iraqi National Assembly has been indicted in the theft of millions of dollars meant for protecting a critical oil pipeline against attacks and is suspected of funneling some of that money to the insurgency, said Radhi al-Radhi, the chairman of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity. The indictment has not been made public. The charges against the Sunni lawmaker, Meshaan al-Juburi, lend credence to the suspicions of Iraqi officials that the insurgency is profiting from Iraq's oil riches. In another incident, the director of a major oil storage plant near Kirkuk was arrested Saturday, with other employees and several local police officials, and charged with helping to orchestrate a mortar attack on the plant on Thursday, a Northern Oil Co. employee said. The attack resulted in devastating pipeline fires and a shutdown of all oil operations in the area, said the employee, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Ali Allawi, Iraq's finance minister, estimated that insurgents reap 40 to 50 percent of all oil-smuggling profits in the country. Offering an example of how illicit oil products are kept flowing on the black market, he said that the insurgency had infiltrated senior management positions at the major northern refinery in Beiji and routinely terrorized truck drivers there. This allows the insurgents and their confederates to tap the pipeline, empty the trucks, and sell the oil or gas themselves.Sometimes it takes a bizarre right-wing cult to tell the truth: Washington Times reports that Seabees are building permanent military bases in Anbar -- but maybe it isn't going so swimmingly.
RAMADI, Iraq -- A U.S. Navy construction battalion fresh from Hurricane Katrina relief duty is battling the elements and daily insurgent attacks to build permanent bases in the dangerous Anbar province. The famed Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, based in Gulfport, Miss., rode out Katrina in late August then immediately got to work clearing roads, repairing houses and delivering relief supplies in Gulfport and elsewhere in storm-ravaged Mississippi. A month later, the 650 sailors were deployed to a half-dozen sites in western Iraq to undertake a wide range of construction projects. At Al Taqaddum air base, one of two large airfields in the province used by the United States and destined to be a logistics hub, 50 Seabees are repairing the dilapidated runways where, before 1991, Iraqi jets flew out to drop chemical weapons on Iraq's Kurdish minority. "Seriously old-fashioned" is how Chief Petty Officer Jose Torres of Uvalde, Texas, describes working conditions at Al Taqaddum. On Jan. 19, he met with Turkish contractors helping build a concrete plant that will support the runway repairs. A shortage of heavy equipment means the contractors have been hauling wet concrete in buckets. Equipment shortages, the poor quality of local materials, harsh winter weather and frequent mortar attacks by insurgents complicate the Seabees' work. "It's not a normal contract situation," said Chief Petty Officer Torres, a steelworker, comparing his work with construction in the United States. "Electricity here is a mess. It's a disaster," said electrician Charles Jacobs of Marksville, La. His job at Al Taqaddum is to look after a decrepit Iraqi electrical grid that he says presents a serious fire hazard.More terrorists miraculously rehabilitated:
The US military says it has released 50 male detainees after a review of their cases by a joint Iraqi-US board. It did not give other details on the release that took place on Sunday. Last month it released more than 400 detainees from various US- and Iraqi-run prisons, while on Saturday a US spokesman said a fresh batch of detainees were to be released within a fortnight. A US military spokesman for detention facilities in Iraq said on Saturday: "We will be releasing some detainees in the next 10 to 15 days." He declined to give any numbers. The spokesman said it was unclear if any of the four remaining women detainees would be among those freed. Last month's release was seen as a move in response to demands from the kidnappers of US reporter Jill Carroll for the freeing of all female prisoners in Iraq.MEDICAL JOURNALS OFFER A NARROW WINDOW INTO REALITIES OF WAR
I can't give links to these articles because most of them aren't available on-line at all, and the ones that are require a (very expensive) subscription. These are the PubMed abstracts. Salah-ed-Din's revenge?Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Oct;11(10):1625-8. Gastroenteritis outbreak in British troops, Iraq. Bailey MS, Boos CJ, Vautier G, Green AD, Appleton H, Gallimore CI, Gray JJ, Beeching NJ. Army Medical Directorate, Camberley, UK. email@example.com Gastroenteritis affected many British military personnel during the war in Iraq. In the first month, 1,340 cases were seen; 73% of patients required hospital admission and 36% were hospital staff. In a survey of 500 hospital staff, 76% reported gastroenteritis, which was more likely in clinical workers. Blind Alley? Ophthalmology. 2006 Jan;113(1):97-104. Epub 2005 Nov 10. Ocular war injuries of the Iraqi Insurgency,January-September 2004. Mader TH, Carroll RD, Slade CS, George RK, Ritchey JP, Neville SP. PURPOSE: To document the types and causes of ocular and ocular adnexal injuries treated by United States Army ophthalmologists serving in Iraq during the Iraqi Insurgency. DESIGN: Prospective hospital-based observational analysis of injuries. PARTICIPANTS: All coalition troops, enemy prisoners of war, and civilians with severe ocular and ocular adnexal injuries. METHODS: We prospectively examined severe ocular and ocular adnexal injuries that were treated at the 31st Combat Support Hospital during the portion of the Iraqi Insurgency that took place from January 20 through September 12, 2004. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidences and characteristics of ocular and ocular adnexal injuries. RESULTS: During the time observed, 207 patients suffered severe ocular or ocular adnexal injuries, including 132 open globes. Blast fragmentation from munitions caused 82% of all injuries. The most common single cause of injury was the improvised explosive device (IED), which caused 51% of all injuries. Of 41 eye excisions, 24 were caused by IEDs. CONCLUSIONS: During the portion of the Iraqi Insurgency covered in our report, munitions fragments were the most common cause of ocular and ocular adnexal injuries. The single most common cause of injury was the IED, which produced devastating ocular and ocular adnexal injuries. The authors' findings indicate that polycarbonate ballistic eyewear could have prevented many, but not all, of the ocular injuries we report. Note: The ocular adnexa means the structures near the eyeball, such as the eyelids and tear glands. Ophthalmology. 2005 Oct;112(10):1829-33. Intraocular foreign body injuries during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Thach AB, Ward TP, Dick JS 2nd, Bauman WC, Madigan WP Jr, Goff MJ, Thordsen JE. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the number of intraocular foreign body (IOFB) injuries that occurred in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to determine the cause of injury, the type of foreign body, and the associated injuries to other body systems. DESIGN: Retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-five United States military personnel with an IOFB injury during Operation Iraqi Freedom. INTERVENTION: Pars plana vitrectomy, foreign body removal, and additional surgical procedures as the clinical situation dictated. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cause of injury, size of corneal/scleral laceration, number of foreign bodies, type of foreign body, time to foreign body removal, visual acuity, number of enucleations, and injuries to other body systems. RESULTS: The foreign body was caused by a propelled explosive in 20 patients (36%) and a nonpropelled explosive in 31 patients (56%), and the cause of the foreign body was not known in 4 patients (7%). The size of the laceration of the cornea and/or sclera averaged 5.4 mm (range, 0.2-18). There were an average of 1.7 foreign bodies in the injured eye (range, 1-6). The size of those foreign bodies measured ranged from <1 mm to 12 x 14 mm. The most common type of foreign body was metal (68%), followed by glass (14%), stone/cement (14%), bone (5%), and cilia (3%). The time from injury to foreign body removal averaged 20.6 days (range, 0-90). No cases of endophthalmitis were seen. The most common associated injury was to the upper extremity, face, lower extremity, and neck. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike trauma in the civilian sector, IOFB injuries in a military setting tend to be caused by explosive devices, which often result in multiple foreign bodies and simultaneous injuries to other body systems. Because of the lack of availability of specialty care in the combat theater, there is often a delay in removal of the foreign body. Is there a doctor in the house? 5: Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Oct;73(4):713-9. Impact of illness and non-combat injury during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). Sanders JW, Putnam SD, Frankart C, Frenck RW, Monteville MR, Riddle MS, Rockabrand DM, Sharp TW, Tribble DR. U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt, AE 09835. Historically, non-combat injuries and illnesses have had a significant impact on military missions. We conducted an anonymous cross-sectional survey to assess the prevalence and impact of common ailments among U.S. military personnel deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan during 2003-2004. Among 15,459 persons surveyed, diarrhea (76.8% in Iraq and 54.4% in Afghanistan), respiratory illness (69.1%), non-combat injuries (34.7%), and leishmaniasis (2.1%) were commonly reported. For all causes, 25.2% reported that they required intravenous fluids, 10.4% required hospitalization, and 5.2% required medical evacuation. Among ground units, 12.7% reported that they missed a patrol because of illness, and among air units, 11.7% were grounded because of illness. The incidence of diarrhea and respiratory infections doubled from the pre-combat to combat phases, and the perceived adverse impact of these illnesses on the unit increased significantly during the combat phase. Despite technologic advances in warfare and preventive medicine, illness and non-combat injuries have been common during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulting in frequent transient decreases in operational efficiency. J R Army Med Corps. 2005 Jun;151(2):101-4. The role of the physician in modern military operations: 12 months experience in Southern Iraq. Grainge C, Heber M. OBJECTIVES: To examine the profile of medical morbidity and the role of the physician in modern conflict. METHODS: Retrospective survey of admission records at a British Military Field Hospital on operational duty in Southern Iraq. RESULTS: 62.5% of 4870 admissions to the Field Hospital in Shaibah during the first 12 months of military operations in Iraq were under the care of physicians. Of these 1531 (31.4%) were due to diarrhoea and vomiting (D&V) and 764 (15.7%) due to heat illness. The incidence of heat illness rose with ambient temperature, but soldiers were more likely to be admitted with heat illness shortly after arrival in theatre than when fully acclimatised. There was also a steady flow of admissions with a broad spectrum of medical pathology requiring the clinical skills of a general physician. CONCLUSIONS: A general physician is a necessary part of the clinical team in modern conflict. The incidence of D&V and of heat illness on military operations remains high. Planners for any operation in tropical climates should take this into consideration and put preventative measures into place early. War is hell: J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2005 Jul;43(7):18-28. War-related mental health problems of today's veterans: new clinical awareness. Reeves RR, Parker JD, Konkle-Parker DJ. 1. Veterans of the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan may have been exposed to significant psychological stressors, resulting in mental and emotional disorders. 2. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by symptoms in three domains: reexperiencing the trauma, avoiding stimuli associated with the trauma, and symptoms of increased autonomic arousal. 3. Treatment of PTSD often requires both psychological and pharmacological interventions. 4. In addition to PTSD, other mental disorders may be precipitated or worsened by exposure to combat, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, and substance abuse. J R Army Med Corps. 2005 Jun;151(2):95-100. Diagnosis and outcome of psychiatric referrals to the Field Mental Health Team, 202 Field Hospital, Op Telic I. Scott JN. OBJECTIVES: To assess referrals to a Field Hospital Mental Health Team (FMHT), assign a diagnosis, provide appropriate treatment, and decide whether suitable for safe return to unit in theatre (RTU), or evacuation home on psychiatric grounds (evac). METHODS: All documented referrals to the FMHT of 202 Field Hospital during the Op Telic 1 study period of 17 March (day 1) to 23 July 2003 (day 129) were included. Data were collected on rank, gender, diagnosis, outcome (whether RTU or evac), and whether TA before mobilisation. Diagnosis was assigned by ICD-10 criteria. RESULTS: The FMHT documented 170 cases, 12 of whom were seen twice and one on three occasions, resulting in 184 referrals, all of whom were British. The commonest diagnosis was adjustment reaction (F43), accounting for 68% of all cases (n = 116). These were divided between chiefly theatre-related (n = 77) or chiefly home-related (n = 39) reactions. The majority (94%) of these cases were RTU. Referrals where the diagnosis was a Depressive disorder (F32, n = 23) or Intentional self-harm (by sharp object. X(78, n = 7) were evacuated. Outcome was similar for Regular and TA personnel, with on average 72% of cases RTU. The majority of cases seen were ORs, reflecting their numbers in theatre. Only 14 NCOs and 14 officers were referred. Thirteen of the latter were TA before mobilisation. Gender was not associated with outcome, or TA status, but was associated with rank, in that significantly more female officers were referred. The FMHT role tasks emerged as (a) psychiatric triage and treatment, (b) psychological support of hospital staff, and (c) welfare and pastoral care liaison. CONCLUSION: The utility of the psychiatric management model employed, built upon previous military medical doctrines, was tested in a modern theatre of conflict, and seemed to prove its worth. War of the Worlds?Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Aug;11(8):1218-24. Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter extremity infections in soldiers. Davis KA, Moran KA, McAllister CK, Gray PJ. War wound infection and osteomyelitis caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter species have been prevalent during the 2003-2005 military operations in Iraq. Twenty-three soldiers wounded in Iraq and subsequently admitted to our facility from March 2003 to May 2004 had wound cultures positive for Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-baumannii complex. Eighteen had osteomyelitis, 2 burn infection, and 3 deep wound infection. Primary therapy for these infections was directed antimicrobial agents for an average of 6 weeks. All soldiers initially improved, regardless of the specific type of therapy. Patients were followed up to 23 months after completing therapy, and none had recurrent infection with Acinetobacter species. Despite the drug resistance that infecting organisms demonstrated in this series, a regimen of carefully selected extended antimicrobial-drug therapy appears effective for osteomyelitis caused by MDR Acinetobacter spp. Oh yeah, bad stuff happens to Iraqis too East Mediterr Health J. 2004 Jan-Mar;10(1-2):12-8. Supplementary feeding of malnourished children in northern Iraq. Agha SY. Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Dohuk, Dohuk, Iraq. The effectiveness of the supplementary feeding programme for malnourished children aged 6 months to 3 years in Dohuk province, northern Iraq was evaluated.The enrolment criterion was child weight > or = 2 standard deviations below standard eight-for-age. Children enrolled in the programme in January 2001 were followed over 7 months. Children received high-protein high-energy biscuits in the first month and a monthly child ration for preparing soyabean mix throughout. Their families received food rations in the first 4 months. Improvement was noticed for all children, particularly in the first month. Problems with the rations and within the growth monitoring units resulted in significant drop-out. Use of standard growth charts may be a way to overcome this problem. High-protein biscuits should be distributed throughout instead of the mix. Burns. 2005 Sep;31(6):687-91. Epidemiology of burns at the Italian Red Cross Hospital in Baghdad. Carini L, Grippaudo FR, Bartolini A. This study describes the epidemiology and patterns of moderate to severe burn injuries (%BSA>or=20-90) treated at the Italian Red Cross Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, during the medical mission of the tenth Italian Red Cross Contingent, from 3 April to 19 May 2004. Burn injuries sustained by members of the civilian population admitted to the Burns Unit, irrespective of age and sex, are analysed (n=48). Differences in risk distribution between different segments of the population are reported and typical injury patterns are identified. The six injury patterns identified are labelled "child scaldings", "domestic accidents", "unsafe working conditions", "suicide attempts", "injuries among children in role-play" and "war related injuries". The results show that burn injury incidence is particularly high for women and children. There is a pronounced difference between genders after adulthood (age 15 and up). The mortality rate is higher in females. Most of the burns occurred in the home: a public health education campaign might help reduce the incidence of these injuries. Note: Lack of electricity and use of kerosene heaters and gasoline generators in homes probably contributes to the rate of these injuries Mil Med. 2005 Jun;170(6):501-4. Medical problems of detainees after the conclusion of major ground combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Murray CK, Roop SA, Hospenthal DR. After the conclusion of major ground combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the focus of the mission changed, although intense armed conflict continued. Included in this mission was management of security detainees, including provision of their medical care. We retrospectively reviewed the admission records identified at a short-term holding facility over 2 months and diagnoses of detainees admitted to a combat support hospital over 4 months as a health care service utilization statistics review. Six thousand six hundred thirty-one detainee encounters occurred at the short-term facility with approximately 45% of detainees reporting medical problems during each daily evaluation. Most frequent complaints were neurological (11%), gastrointestinal (10%), and respiratory (8%). Two hundred nineteen detainees' admission diagnoses were retrospectively reviewed from the combat support hospital, 98 (45%) due to gunshot or fragmentary injuries and 121 (55%) to other medical problems. Medical problems included cardiac (29%), gastrointestinal (17%), neurological (14%), musculoskeletal (11%), and pulmonary (6%) disease. Medical problems not traditionally dealt with in a combat theater, including management of transplant recipients, patients with cardiac valve replacement, and cancer patient, were also seen. COALITION OF THE LEAVING
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will pull its troops from Iraq "within several months", a Japanese official was quoted as saying on Saturday, marking the first time a government figure has publicly referred to an early withdrawal. "The exit from Iraq is this year's biggest theme," Kyodo news agency quoted Assistant Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kyoji Yanagisawa as saying in a speech in Tokyo. "At any rate, the GSDF will withdraw within several months," he said, referring to the Ground Self Defense Force, Japan's army. However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said nothing had been decided on when troops would be withdrawn. Media reports last month quoted government sources as saying Japan would begin withdrawing its 550 non-combat troops from southern Iraq in March when British and Australian troops are also withdrawn from the area, completing the pullout by May.
By Francis Elliott, Raymond Whitaker and Marie Woolf Published: 05 February 2006 Britain plans to begin withdrawing 2,000 troops from Iraq, starting this spring, according to a secret blueprint agreed with allies. The pull-out plan would see an initial 500 British troops depart from southern Iraq by the end of May, a Whitehall source confirmed. By the end of the year, under a schedule revealed at a meeting of military commanders and diplomats last month, Britain intends to withdraw up to 2,000 soldiers - a quarter of its total force in Iraq. The US is understood to have approved the proposal in principle, as long as there are no significant upheavals in Iraq's political process and security condition. This first signal of a pull-out from Iraq will be welcomed by military commanders, who believe little can be gained by maintaining a significant presence much longer. "We will have achieved pretty much all we can by this summer," a senior military source told The Independent on Sunday, although he emphasised that some British troops would remain in the country for years to come. The British deployment in Iraq has dragged on, with the number of military deaths rising above 100 last week. Former military chiefs spoke to The Independent on Sunday yesterday, increasing demands for a pull-out. "The longer we stay there, the more we become part of the problem and not the solution," said Field Marshal Lord Brammall, former chief of defence staff. "I have always thought we should go sooner rather than later."ANALYSIS, COMMENTARY, HISTORY
The challenges posed to American democracy by secrecy and by unchecked presidential power are the two great themes running through the history of the Iraq war. How long the war will last, who will "win," and what it will do to the political landscape of the Middle East will not be obvious for years to come, but the answers to those questions cannot alter the character of what happened at the outset. Put plainly, the President decided to attack Iraq, he brushed caution and objection aside, and Congress, the press, and the people, with very few exceptions, stepped back out of the way and let him do it. Explaining this fact is not going to be easy. Commentators often now refer to President Bush's decision to invade Iraq as "a war of choice," which means that it was not provoked. The usual word for an unprovoked attack is aggression. Why did Americans —elected representatives and plain citizens alike—accede so readily to this act of aggression, and why did they question the President's arguments for war so feebly? The whole business is painfully awkward to consider, but it will not go away. If the Constitution forbids a president anything it forbids war on his say-so, and if it insists on anything it insists that presidents are not above the law. In plain terms this means that presidents cannot enact laws on their own, or ignore laws that have been enacted by Congress.
Steven Soldz on Z-Net points out that Iraq Body Count's methodology not only undercounts civilian casualties, but is biased to severely undercount people killed by Coalition (i.e. U.S.) actions. Note: He is absolutely correct You'd think this would have made the TV or the papers, but there's no fellatio involved. This is the press release, but I guess nobody at the networks read it:
Powell's Former Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson Calls Pre-War Intelligence a 'Hoax on the American People' Tonight on PBS Program 'NOW' NEW YORK, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In an interview airing tonight on the PBS weekly newsmagazine NOW, Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson makes the startling claim that much of Powell's landmark speech to the United Nations laying out the Bush Administration's case for the Iraq war was false. "I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community, and the United Nations Security Council," says Wilkerson, who helped prepare the address. The NOW report, which airs days before the third anniversary of Powell's speech, examines the serious doubts that existed about the key evidence being used by the American government at the very time Powell's speech was being planned and delivered. "I recall vividly the Secretary of State walking into my office," Wilkerson tells NOW. "He said: 'I wonder what will happen if we put half a million troops on the ground in Iraq and comb the country from one end to the other and don't find a single weapon of mass destruction?'" In fact, no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.To our readers: I'm honored to have the opportunity to contribute to this site. I will appreciate any feedback on style or content. I expect to be posting on Sundays until Matt returns to regular posting.