Thursday, April 24, 2008


FOX NEWS' Special Report aired quotes from military analyst Robert Scales -- but has not mentioned he was in Times' exposé on military analysts

Summary: In two separate reports since The New York Times published an exposé on the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon, Fox News' Special Report aired quotes from Fox News military analyst Robert Scales without mentioning that Scales was named in the Times article and addressing Scales' relationship with the Defense Department and defense contractors.

Since The New York Times published an exposé on the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon on April 20, Fox News' Special Report has aired quotes from retired Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales, a Fox News military analyst, in two separate reports without mentioning that Scales was named in the Times article and addressing Scales' relationship with the Defense Department and defense contractors. Indeed, as Media Matters for America has documented, Special Report has yet to mention the Times piece at all. Times investigative reporter David Barstow reported that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts, many of whom have clients with an interest in obtaining Pentagon contracts, "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks."
Barstow wrote that "[s]ome e-mail messages between the Pentagon and the analysts reveal an implicit trade of privileged access for favorable coverage. Robert H. Scales Jr., a retired Army general and analyst for Fox News and National Public Radio whose consulting company advises several military firms on weapons and tactics used in Iraq, wanted the Pentagon to approve high-level briefings for him inside Iraq in 2006. 'Recall the stuff I did after my last visit," he wrote. 'I will do the same this time.' " Barstow also reported that Scales was one of several analysts who "pointed out, accurately, that they did not always agree with the administration or each other." Barstow quoted Scales as saying, "None of us drink the Kool-Aid."
On the two occasions he appeared on Special Report since April 20, Scales addressed recent actions by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. On the April 21 edition, Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported that Gates "chastised members of the Air Force and other services" and urged them to "deploy[] more unmanned aerial systems, such as the Air Force's Predator drones." Griffin aired a video clip of Scales saying, "Frankly, there isn't anywhere near the number of unmanned drones necessary to fulfill this mission to the degree that the ground commanders think that the mission should be done." Griffin then stated, "The Air Force says such criticism is unfair." Likewise, on April 23, during Griffin's report on Gates' announcement that he had chosen Gen. David Petraeus to head U.S. Central Command, and Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, corps commander, to replace Petraeus, Scales is shown saying: "There are plenty of generals who are good at counterinsurgency. The real issue is the desire of the secretary of defense to restore that strategic operational chemistry, if you will, between two generals -- Petraeus, who is the strategist, and Odierno, who is the classic operator -- and those combinations don't come along very often, and they're extremely rare."

Scales' online Fox News bio states that "General Scales is the president of Colgen, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in issues relating to land power, war gaming and strategic leadership."

According to its website, Colgen "[a]ssists the landpower Services in creating future warfighting doctrine and operational concepts" and "[t]ranslates these concepts into useful strategies and actions for industry, the media, and the congressional and executive branches of government." Colgen also "provides products targeted to these marketing elements including: media commentary, congressional testimony, advice to the executive branch, published works, seminars and conferences." Colgen's "growing list of satisfied clients" includes defense contractors such as General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, as well as multiple elements of the Department of Defense, such as the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps.

In an April 21 article following up on the Times' story, The Washington Post reported that "Marty Ryan, a Fox News executive producer, said yesterday that the analysts are hired not just for their expertise but also as people 'who have access to and know what the thinking of the Pentagon is. That makes them valuable to us.' " The Post further reported that "[w]ith so many military commentators retained in wartime, 'it's a little unrealistic to think you're going to do a big background check on everybody,' Ryan said. 'Some of the business ties aren't necessarily relevant when you're asking them about a specific helicopter operation.' "

From the April 23 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
[begin video clip] CLICK ON THIS LINK TO VIEW VIDEO:

GRIFFIN: In a hastily arranged news conference, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he is filling the open position of CENTCOM commander with the Army's most well-known and admired general, the commander of Multi-National Forces in Iraq, David Petraeus.
GATES: I recommended him to the president because I am absolutely confident he is the best man for the job.
GRIFFIN: Petraeus would serve in one of the nation's top military command posts, responsible for 26 countries, including the entire Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and East Africa.
GATES: The kinds of conflicts that we're dealing with not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan, and some of the challenges that we face elsewhere in the region, and the Central Command area, are very much characterized by asymmetric warfare. And I don't know anybody in the United States military better qualified to lead that effort.
GRIFFIN: General Petraeus will exit Iraq in the late summer or fall, after the last surge troops leave. He will go to CENTCOM in Tampa, Florida. Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, who just returned from Iraq in February, where he served as corps commander and Petraeus' right hand, will go back.
He is currently on leave with his family at Fort Hood in Texas. Lieutenant General Pete Corelli, now the senior military adviser to Secretary Gates, will remain in the Pentagon, becoming the Army's vice chief, a position Odierno was supposed to take.
SCALES: There are plenty of generals who are good at counterinsurgency. The real issue is the desire of the secretary of defense to restore that strategic operational chemistry, if you will, between two generals -- Petraeus, who is the strategist, and Odierno, who is the classic operator -- and those combinations don't come along very often, and they're extremely rare.
GRIFFIN: The changes must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Gates said today after consulting with Armed Services Committee Chairman Democrat Carl Levin [MI], he did not anticipate any problems, but it may not all be smooth sailing. Democratic Senator Russ Feingold [WI] reacted to the nomination, describing the administration's focus on Iraq as, quote, "myopic" at the expense of the war in Afghanistan. Quote: "General Petraeus must answer the most important question we face, which is not whether we are winning in Iraq, but why we are not defeating Al Qaeda.
[end video clip]
GRIFFIN: In his job as commander of forces in Iraq, General Petraeus was not supposed to look beyond Iraq. Now, he will be charged with balancing troop needs in two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan. At the Pentagon, Jennifer Griffin, Fox News.
From the April 21 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
[begin video clip]
GRIFFIN: Shock and awe brought the Air Force glory five years ago at the beginning of the Iraq war, but today's Iraqi insurgents weren't shocked or awed, it appears. And now, the U.S. military finds itself adapting its doctrine to a new enemy -- the insurgent -- a likely foe for decades to come.
Today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a speech at Maxwell Air Base, chastised members of the Air Force and other services. Quote: "My concern is that our services are still not moving aggressively in wartime to provide resources needed now on the battlefield. I've been wrestling for months to get more intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets into the theatre. Because people were stuck in old ways of doing business, it's been like pulling teeth."
Gates was referring to deploying more unmanned aerial systems, such as the Air Force's Predator drones, the eyes in the sky for the military since 9-11 for tracking Al Qaeda leaders and insurgents. He recalled how, as head of the CIA in 1992, he couldn't convince the Air Force to co-fund a vehicle without a pilot.
Today, there are 5,000 unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance vehicles, a 25-fold increase since 9-11, by Gates' own estimates. "While we've doubled this capability in recent months, it is still not good enough," Gates told the Air officers.
SCALES: Frankly, there isn't anywhere near the number of unmanned drones necessary to fulfill this mission to the degree that the ground commanders think that the mission should be done.
GRIFFIN: The Air Force says such criticism is unfair. Of the 110 Predators it has, 74 are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, 88 percent of the force. The Pentagon asked the Air Force to field 21 combat air patrol teams, each with about four to five Predators to CENTCOM by 2010. The Air Force is already two years ahead of schedule.
BRIG. GEN. BLAIR HANSEN (Director of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Capabilities, U.S. Air Force): We're deathly serious about not only pushing what we have today, but being able, six months from now, to continue to grow that while we strengthen the capability to, in fact, be engaged as a partner.
[end video clip]
GRIFFIN: Gates wants the Air Force to train drone teams faster. Right now, there simply aren't enough pilots. Unlike the Army, the Air Force insists on using trained fighter pilots, arguing that even though the pilot sits thousands of miles away, this is not a video game. At the Pentagon, Jennifer Griffin, Fox News.


U.S. occupation forces have killed more than 800 people, most of them innocent civilians, in their three-week long military campaign to subdue the Mahdi Army in Sadr City, the leader of Sadr movement in Baghdad said.

By Laith Jawad\2008-04-24\kurd.htm

Sheikh Salaman al-fariji said the troops have also injured more than 1,800 people and caused large-scale destruction of private property and the city’s rickety infrastructure.

Fariji made the remarks as he accompanied a delegation of 20 members of parliament on a tour of the impoverished city home to more than 2 million people.

U.S. troops have imposed a tight embargo on the city and bombing by war planes and helicopter gun ships in the densely populated Baghdad neighborhood continued even during the MPs’ tour.

Falah Shanshal, an MP, said the group would write to the parliament to lift the siege of Sadr City and reach a peaceful solution to the standoff with Mahdi Army.

Mahdi Army is the military wing of Sadr movement which has 30 deputies in parliament.

“The MPs were shocked by the scale of damage,” said Fariji.

Shanshal said: “The people of Sadr City undergo horrific humanitarian conditions as a result of U.S. military operations and embargo.”


Here is the most recent list of US casualties including names and hometowns. Click on part in "BLUE" for further details.

Latest Coalition Fatalities

04/24/08 DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
1st Lt. Matthew R. Vandergrift, 28 of Littleton, Colo., died April 21 from wounds he suffered while conducting combat operations in Basrah, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary...

04/24/08 MNF: MND-N Soldiers die in non-combat related incident in Salah ad Din
Two Multi-National Division – North Soldiers were killed when their vehicle rolled onto its side during movement to a combat outpost in Salah ad Din Province, April 23. Another Soldier and one interpreter were injured in the incident...

04/23/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Pvt. Ronald R. Harrison, 25, of Morris Plains, N.J., died April 22 at Forward Operating Base Falcon near Baghdad, Iraq, of a non-combat related injury. He was assigned to the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team...

04/23/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 2 of 2)
Spc. Steven J. Christofferson, 20, of Cudahy, Wis...died April 21 in Bayji, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry ...

04/23/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 1 of 2)
Sgt. Adam J. Kohlhaas, 26, of Perryville, Mo...died April 21 in Bayji, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team...

04/23/08 MNF: MND-B Soldier attacked by small-arms fire Multi-National Division
A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier was killed when he was attacked by small-arms fire while his patrol was conducting operations in eastern Baghdad at approximately 2:20 p.m. April 23.

04/22/08 DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
Petty Officer 1st Class Cherie L. Morton, 40, of Bakersfield, Calif., died April 20 in Galali, Muharraq, Bahrain. She was assigned to Naval Security Force, Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
04/22/08 DoD Identifies Navy Casualty

Airman Apprentice Adrian M. Campos, 22, of El Paso, Texas, was found dead in Dubai on April 21 due to a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Support Squadron 22, which was attached to the USNS Arctic.

U.S. Confirmed Deaths Reported Deaths: 4051 Confirmed Deaths: 4045 Pending Confirmation: 6 DoD Confirmation List


Poland says its embassy in Iraq hit by rocket or mortar
Polish foreign minister says embassy in Iraq hit by rocket or mortar, wounding 1 person

StaffAP News
Apr 24, 2008 09:59 EST

Poland's foreign minister says a rocket or mortar has hit the country's embassy in Baghdad. One embassy worker was lightly wounded in the attack.
Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski says one mortar or rocket round hit the roof of the building housing the embassy's security staff. The living quarters are next to the embassy's main building in the Iraqi capital's Green Zone.
He says the attack will not affect Poland's mission in Iraq. Poland plans to withdraw its some 900 troops from Iraq by the end of October.


The nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to be the new head of the Central Command not only ensures that he will be available to defend the George W. Bush administration's policies toward Iran and Iraq at least through the end of Bush's term and possibly even beyond.

POLITICS-US: Petraeus Promotion Frees Cheney to Threaten IranAnalysis by Gareth Porter*WASHINGTON, Apr 23 (IPS)

It also gives Vice President Dick Cheney greater freedom of action to exploit the option of an air attack against Iran during the administration's final months. Petraeus will take up the CENTCOM post in late summer or early fall, according to Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

The ability of the administration to threaten Iran with an attack both publicly and behind the scenes had been dramatically reduced in 2007 by opposition from the former CENTCOM commander, Adm. William Fallon, until he stepped down from the post under pressure from Gates and the White House last month.

Petraeus has proved himself willing to cooperate closely with the White House policy lines on Iraq and Iran, arguing against any post-surge reduction in troop strength policy and blaming Iran for challenges to the U.S. military presence. Along with the deference to Petraeus in Congress and the media, his pliability on those issues made him the obvious choice to replace Fallon. But Petraeus had already effectively taken over many of the powers of the CENTCOM commander last year.

Click on link for full story


Except for these few "minor" incidents, Iraq was a calm and peaceful country, or at least that is what the Bush administration and FOX NEWS wants Americans to believe.

Wednesday: 2 US Soldiers, 1 US Contractor, 59 Iraqis Killed; 114 Iraqis Wounded
Updated at 12:27 a.m. EDT, April 24, 2008

At least 59 Iraqis were killed and 114 more were wounded in the latest violence, much of it involving continued fighting between the Mahdi army and Iraqi security forces. Exact figures are difficult to obtain due to the nature of the clashes. One American soldier was killed during combat operations in Baghdad, while the DOD reported the death of a U.S. soldier from non-combat injuries. The remains of an American contractor who was kidnapped in 2006 were positively identified. Also, a former Iraqi Vice President under Saddam Hussein, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has possibly been captured.

Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, second in charge of U.S. forces, says he hopes Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr will stop his followers from conducting attacks. This is unlikely to happen unless Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets the conditions set forth in recent negotiations, which he has refused to do so far. The fighting began last month after al-Maliki targeted al-Sadr's followers in Basra under the guise of a security crackdown. The Sadrists and many Western analysts believe the operation was initiated in order to undermine al-Sadr's political base ahead of elections. The crackdown was a failure, and fighting mostly ended when al-Sadr ordered his followers to observe a unilateral cease-fire he imposed on them last summer.

Sadr City has mostly been shut off from the rest of Baghdad due to the clashes. The casualty counts often conflict, but authorities believe that at least 400 civilians have been killed in Shi'ite suburb. Another 1,720 people were injured. Water, food, medical supplies and other essential items are running dangerously low, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In Baghdad, clashes in Husseiniyah left seven people were killed and 20 were wounded, including civilians.

U.S. forces killed 15 suspects in separate events across Baghdad. Five people were wounded during a roadside bombing in Karrada. Two civilians were wounded during a roadside bombinb in Zaafaraniyah. In Shurta, a roadside bomb injured six people.

A roadside bomb in Doura targeted a U.S. patrol, but no casualties were reported. Three civilians were injured during a bombing in Yarmouk. Two gunmen were killed. Also, four bodies were recovered.

In Sadr City, authorities reported that eight civilians were killed and 44 more were wounded.
A coordinated attack in Mosul left four dead and nine injured. First, a suicide bomber detonated his vest. When first responders arrived and car bomb blasted them. In other incidents, another bomb killed one person and injured four others. Nine were injured in yet another bombing.. Three dumped bodies were found. A water employee was shot and killed. A policeman was killed during clashes. Gunmen shot at a private car, killing a man and wounding his wife. Four people were wounded during a mortar attack. Also, U.S. forces killed an al-Qaeda suspect and arrested five more.

The bodies of two oil security personnel were discovered next to oil pipelines near Tikrit.
A roadside bomb in Kirkuk injured two policemen, one an officer.

In Diyala province, 38 detainees were released.

Three dumped bodies were located in Mahmuhdiya.
U.S. forces conducted several raids in the Shurqat region. One suspect was killed, 25 were arrested and a large amount of cash was confiscated.

One suspect was killed and seven were arrested during U.S. raids in al-Jazeera.
Gunmen injured a teacher in Dhulwiya.
Four bodies were found in Muqdadiyah.

In Basra, clashes between the Mahdi army and Iraqi forces continued. Three suspects were arrested.
Mortars in Balad Ruz wounded four people.
Also, Turkish forces bombed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) locations in northern Iraq.


3 US soldiers killed in vehicle accidents in Iraq and Kuwait military says
StaffAP News
Apr 24, 2008 03:24 EST

The U.S. military says two of its soldiers in Iraq died when their vehicle rolled onto its side north of Baghdad.
A third American soldier died in a road accident in neighboring Kuwait.
The two soldiers died Wednesday in Iraq's Salahuddin province. The military said in a statement released Thursday that another soldier and an interpreter also were injured.
The military says the highway accident in Kuwait involved a single vehicle and that another soldier was injured.
The cause of both crashes were under investigation.
Kuwait is a major logistics base for American and other coalition troops serving in neighboring Iraq.
Source: AP News


The whole idea that there is some kind of functioning Iraqi government in Iraq is a myth perpetrated by the Bush administration and their puppet news organization, FOX NEWS.

The al-Maliki government, which is a puppet government set up by the United States, has zero functions outside of the Green Zone.

Why Does the Bush Regime Want to Rule Iraq?

By Paul Craig Roberts 23/04/08 "ICH"

The Bush regime has quagmired America into a sixth year of war in Afghanistan and Iraq with no end in sight. The cost of these wars of aggression is horrendous. Official U.S. combat casualties stand at 4,538 dead.

Officially, 29,780 U.S. troops have been wounded in Iraq.On April 17, 2008, AP News reported that a new study released by the RAND Corporation concludes that "some 300,000 U.S. troops are suffering from major depression or post-traumatic stress from serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 320,000 received brain injuries."

On April 21, 2008, reported that an internal e-mail from Gen. Michael J. Kussman, undersecretary for health at the Veterans Administration, to Ira Katz, head of mental health at the VA, confirms a McClatchy Newspaper report that 126 veterans per week commit suicide. To the extent that the suicides are attributable to the war, more than 500 deaths should be added to the reported combat fatalities each month.

Turning to Iraqi deaths, expert studies support as many as 1.2 million dead Iraqis, almost entirely civilians. Another 2 million Iraqis have fled their country, and there are 2 million displaced Iraqis within Iraq. Afghan casualties are unknown.Both Afghanistan and Iraq have suffered unconscionable civilian deaths and damage to housing, infrastructure, and environment. Iraq is afflicted with depleted uranium and open sewers.

Click on ICH link to read the full story.


NEW: U.S. soldier killed in small-arms attack; U.S. death toll at 4,047
Fighting in Shiite neighborhood leaves main market in ruins, agency says
Hospitals in area run out of anesthesia and dressing supplies
Red Cross supplies 10,000 liters of drinking water daily to Sadr City

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Weeks of fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood have destroyed the main market and isolated civilians from supplies of food and water, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Wednesday.

In addition, several hospitals in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood have run out of basic medical supplies, including anesthesia and dressings, the Red Cross said.

The Red Cross said Sadr City's largest market, al-Jamila, "used to provide enough supplies to cover everyday needs" before it was destroyed in the recent fighting.
"People are now short of food, especially as prices of fresh vegetables have increased considerably," it said.

The Red Cross managed to deliver 24,000 ready-made meals to Sadr City on Wednesday, as well as stock Sadr City General Hospital and two other hospitals with three tons of medical supplies, including anesthetics and intravenous infusion equipment. The relief agency continues to supply 10,000 liters of drinking water daily to the city.

Click on link to read full CNN story.
There was a brief lull in fighting Saturday, the Red Cross said, but it was not enough time to allow residents to stock up on basic supplies or seek medical care.


BAGHDAD - A top American general urged radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday to rein in his fighters as a U.S. soldier was killed during a gunbattle in a militia stronghold in Baghdad.

By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer;_ylt=AvvqZ5HyLd0teTd7uI4BsXdX6GMA

Two bombings also struck the northern city of Mosul within 30 minutes, killing four people and wounding 12 amid concerns that al-Qaida in Iraq is regrouping.

The U.S. soldier died from a bullet wound in a clash in New Baghdad, a stronghold of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia in an eastern section of the capital, according to Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a military spokesman.

A rocket also slammed into a closed school as teenagers were playing soccer outside, killing two youths and wounding three amid sporadic fighting in the sprawling Sadr City district, a predominantly Shiite area of Baghdad that is home to 2.5 million people.

Fighting that began a month ago in response to an Iraqi government crackdown on militia violence has put a severe strain on a cease-fire called in late August by al-Sadr. The anti-U.S. cleric threatened this weekend to unleash his militia in "open war" if the operations persist.
Despite heightened rhetoric by al-Sadr and his followers, U.S. commanders have been careful not to directly link the cleric to the fighting, instead blaming Iranian-backed Shiite fighters who have broken with his movement
"We do not attribute what we've seen to JAM," said the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, using the Iraqi acronym for the Mahdi Army.
But he suggested al-Sadr could stop the attacks.

Click on link to read full story.


In federal court Monday in San Francisco, attorneys for veterans' rights groups accused the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs of nothing less than a cover-up - deliberately concealing the real risk of suicide among veterans."The system is in crisis and unfortunately the VA is in denial," said veterans rights attorney Gordon Erspamer.

E-Mails Suggest VA Hid Suicide Risk
By Armen Keteyian,CBS News

Watch Video: Suicide Risk Among Veterans Questioned

The charges were backed by internal e-mails written by Dr. Ira Katz, the VA's head of Mental Health.In the past, Katz has repeatedly insisted while the risk of suicide among veterans is serious, it's not outside the norm."There is no epidemic in suicide in VA," Katz told Keteyian in November.But in this e-mail to his top media adviser, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities."Katz's e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 - a fraction of Katz's estimate."This 12,000 attempted suicides per year shows clearly, without a doubt, that there is an epidemic of suicide among veterans," said Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense.

Click on link above to read full story.