Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The New York Times recently published a story indicating almost ALL of the military analysts who appear on FOX NEWS, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and other broadcast outlets were coached on what to say by the Pentagon and many of them have ties to the defense industry as lobbyists or on the Board of Directors of defense contractors making big bucks off the war.

We have a list of names of the military analysts and what stations they appeared on and how many times they were on TV spreading misinformation about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR

Summary: A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.

On April 20, The New York Times published an article by investigative reporter David Barstow that detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries. 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 or work for companies 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." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in Barstow's article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR in segments covering the Iraq war both before and after the invasion, as well as numerous other national security or government policy issues.

A spreadsheet listing each of the analysts' appearances documented by Media Matters is available here.

The following chart lists 20 analysts included in Barstow's article, the network or networks on which each analyst appeared, and the number of appearances made by each analyst since January 1, 2002, as tabulated by Media Matters:

Military analyst
Number of appearances identified by Media Matters
David L. Grange
CNN, CNN Headline News
Donald W. Shepperd
Barry R. McCaffrey
James Marks
Rick Francona
Wayne A. Downing
Robert H. Scales Jr.
Fox News, National Public Radio
176 (Fox News)
73 (NPR)*
William V. Cowan
Fox News
Kenneth Allard
Thomas G. McInerney
Fox News
Montgomery Meigs
Robert L. Maginnis
Fox News
William L. Nash
ABC, ABC News Now
Paul E. Vallely
Fox News
Charles T. Nash
Fox News
Robert S. Bevelacqua
Fox News
Jeffrey D. McCausland
CBS, CBS Radio Network
Timur J. Eads
Fox News
Joseph W. Ralston
CBS, CBS Radio Network
John C. Garrett
Fox News

NOTE: Transcripts for all programs on CNN are available in the Nexis database, but for the other cable news networks transcripts are available for only some shows.

*This figure includes 31 appearances from 2005 and later, when -- according to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik -- Scales was no longer serving as an official NPR consultant but rather was an unpaid guest.

Media Matters used the Nexis database to tabulate appearances by analysts on networks with which they were affiliated that included discussions of issues related to national security or U.S. government policy. Instances in which analysts appeared on networks other than those with which they were affiliated were not counted. Media Matters counted as appearances both instances in which an analyst appeared as a guest on a show -- either live during the show, or in a pre-taped interview aired during the show -- and instances in which a report included a clip of an analyst's commentary. The study was limited to appearances made after January 1, 2002.
Re-airings of news programs in their entirety were excluded from the study. However, instances in which the same report, interview, or quote was aired on different shows or more than once during the course of the same program were counted as separate appearances in this study. If an analyst appeared several separate times during the same show, Media Matters counted each one as a distinct appearance.

Nexis includes transcripts for all news programs on CNN but for the other cable news networks transcripts are available for only some shows; appearances on programs whose transcripts do not appear in Nexis were not included in this study.

Finally, the Times article reported that some of the analysts "pointed out, accurately, that they did not always agree with the administration or each other" and that "[m]any analysts strongly denied that they had either been co-opted or had allowed outside business interests to affect their on-air comments, and some have used their platforms to criticize the conduct of the war." In conducting this study, Media Matters did not assess whether individual instances of commentary -- or the analysts themselves -- were supportive of administration policy.


Bush Says He's Not A Golfer In Wartime

By Dan EggenWashington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, May 14, 2008; Page A02


President Bush said yesterday that he gave up golfing in 2003 "in solidarity" with the families of soldiers who were dying in Iraq, concluding that it was "just not worth it anymore" to play the sport in a time of war.

"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," Bush said in a White House interview with the Politico. "I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

Bush said he decided to stop playing golf on Aug. 19, 2003, when a truck bomb in Baghdad killed U.N. special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and more than a dozen others.
He said he received word of the attack while playing golf during a stay at the family ranch near Crawford, Tex. Press reports at the time indicate he took the call from Condoleezza Rice, then his national security adviser.

"They pulled me off the golf course, and I said it's just not worth it anymore to do," Bush said in yesterday's interview.

Click on Washington Post link to continue reading.


Here is the latest list of casualties from the Iraq War. Source: http://icasualties.org/oif/prdDetails.aspx?hndRef=4-2008

Click on each name in "BLUE" to get further details.

Place of Death - Province
Cause of Death
US: 1 UK: 0 Other: 0

Baghdad (northwestern part)
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
US: 1 UK: 0 Other: 0

Corporal Jessica A. Ellis
Baghdad (northwest of)
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
US: 1 UK: 0 Other: 0

Specialist Joseph A. Ford
Al Asad - Anbar
Non-hostile - vehicle accident
US: 1 UK: 0 Other: 0

Specialist Mary J. Jaenichen
Iskandariyah - Babil
Non-hostile - injury
US: 2 UK: 0 Other: 0

Private 1st Class Aaron J. Ward
Anbar Province
Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire

Specialist Alex D. Gonzalez
Mosul - Ninewah
Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire, RPG
US: 1 UK: 0 Other: 2

Lieutenant Giorgi Margiev
Diyala Province
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Corporal Zura Gvenetadze
Diyala Province
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Private Corey L. Hicks
Baghdad (eastern part)
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
US: 5 UK: 0 Other: 0

Lance Corporal Casey L. Casanova
Al Anbar Province
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Corporal Miguel A. Guzman
Al Anbar Province
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Lance Corporal James F. Kimple
Al Anbar Province
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Sergeant Glen E. Martinez
Al Anbar Province
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Specialist Jeffrey F. Nichols
Baghdad (central)
Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack (VBIED)
US: 12 UK: 0 Other: 2


Just me, or is "Supporting the Troops" Really Just "Checking the Block"?

by: RockRichard
Mon May 12, 2008 at 21:50:57 PM EDT


Once again, I have been too scarce. It seems odd to me that I had more time to blog when I was in a war zone than I do in good ol' Fayetteville, North Carolina. However, these are strange times in which I find myself. I have spent the last 30 days or so readjusting to life as a husband, learning to be a father, and trying to get my way out of the Army. The one thing that is apparent to me so far is the Army (and perhaps all military services) is not prepared for the situation it finds itself in. Big shocker there.

Allow me to describe for you the problems here at Fort Bragg. Over the last year, the entire 82nd Airborne Division has been deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan for 15 months (save one brigade, which did a twelve month tour). In the first four months of this year, four brigades (about 3,500 Soldiers) returned from overseas with another due to come home later this summer.

The problem here is that after all the welcome homes, the hugs, and the playing of "The Boys are Back in Town", many of these Soldiers are still stop-lossed and must transition out of the Army. Sometimes, as much as 50% of a unit falls in to this category. This does not include the Soldiers who aren't stop-lossed, but whose separation dates are approaching. Additionally, many of the services required for transitioning Soldiers are also required by Soldiers who are simply moving to a different installation.

When all of these brave souls return to American soil at once, they are all competing for the same services. The catch is that unless a stop-lossed Soldier extends his or her enlistment, he or she has only 90 days to out-process. We are all at once trying to schedule end of service physicals. This means that my appointment is five days before I begin terminal leave. The problem there is that it takes seven to ten days for the hospital to finish the paperwork. I must either stick around after I am out of the Army, or waive my physical and fight the VA for whatever benefits I may be entitled to.

My wife, who is staying in the military for now but leaving Fort Bragg a few weeks before me, attempted to schedule a transportation appointment today. For those not in the know, this is where a moving company contracted by the government comes to your house to pack up your belongings and haul them to your next duty station or to your home of record if you are leaving the service. She was told she must go to a briefing before scheduling the appointment. Too easy. The briefing is held once a day, four days a week. The problem? Only 50 Soldiers may attend a given briefing. My wife was told that Soldiers show up as early as an hour and a half prior just to get a spot in the briefing, due to the massive amount of transitioning and moving Soldiers.

Today I had my appointment at the Army Career Alumni Program (ACAP) center. This was a joke. Apparently, Congress has legislated that transitioning Soldiers must attend an ACAP briefing before leaving the service (I'm sure there is an equivalent for other services). Within the first five minutes, the woman giving the brief made it known that she had know idea what she was doing. She informed the group "because you have served during a time of war, you are considered Veterans". I'm sure you can all find the flaw in this statement. After this, she could have handed me a check for a million dollars and I would have ignored her. She no longer had any credibility.

Maybe she was a Bush appointee.

The next item she addressed was ACAP job fairs. Apparently, ACAP has two of these a year on Fort Bragg. One last year was cancelled. Can you guess why?

Survey says: The overwhelming majority of the Division was either in Iraq or Afghanistan!
The first one this year was held on April 1st. On April 1st, I was sleeping in a white circus tent on Kandahar Airfield. The next job fair will be held in October, well over 90 days beyond the end of my service.

This isn't so much a problem for me. I've already been accepted to the college I plan on attending and don't plan on looking for a "real" job for a while. But I can guess how many troops are pushing through ACAP that do need jobs, and ACAP's methods to assist them are unacceptable.

But let's talk about college for a moment. Of the hour and a half brief, about three minutes was spent talking about continuing education. That was on a side note dropped about the Center's computer systems having some program where I could look up colleges in the city where I'll be moving. If I hadn't figured this out by this point, 30 days before I leave the Army for good, I'd be in deep trouble.

The rest of the brief was used to talk about jobs. There were posters and notices hung all around the center about openings at corporations such as KBR and L3 Communications. It was almost as if the Army was actually encouraging me to join the military industrial complex. In fact, the term "G.I. Bill" never came out of anyone's mouth the entire time I was at the ACAP center. Perhaps ACAP doesn't expect many Soldiers to even use their educational benefits. That makes me wonder why the stink exists about funding better education benefits for Soldiers.

The final step was filling out a DD Form 2648, Preseparation Counseling Checklist. We did this on computers provided at the ACAP center. The computers asked us a series of questions about services we'd like to have more information about. The computer used the answers to populate the DD 2648. At the end of the questionnaire, we were told that our counselor would give us more information about that services in which we were interested. At the end, I was handed a sheet of paper with phone numbers and told to contact the relevant party for any item I selected "yes" for on the 2648. Thanks for the counseling ACAP. Really, if I just wanted to check the block I could just print a 2648 myself and have my Platoon Sergeant counsel me.

I don't blame ACAP, hovever. ACAP is just like any agency within DoD, or DoD itself. In flooding programs like ACAP with Soldiers who must separate within 90 days, the Government is feeding the agencies rotten apples, and expecting their excrement to be fruit salad. My problems are not isolated. In fact, I'm sure anyone on this blog who has separated from the military has had the same problems if not worse. On the whole, our system of taking care of Soldiers has been destroyed by a lack of planning or ignorance to the overall cost of war. Specifically, it seems as though no one has given any thought to the returning Veteran. "Supporting the troops" has become one giant exercise in "check the block".


In print, the Pentagon's policy on women in combat looks like this: Women shall be excluded from assignment to most units "whose primary mission" is "direct combat on the ground."

by: Brandon Friedman
Tue May 13, 2008 at 01:06:38 AM EDT


From USA Today:

On the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon's policy on women in combat looks like this: Women risk their lives as truck drivers, mechanics and medics attached to combat units. At checkpoints, they do a job that men can't: search Iraqi women. They fire rifles and lob grenades.

And when they are struck by the IED blasts and suicide bombers that characterize this war, they are wounded or killed just as surely as their fellow soldiers.

In other words, the written policy is divorced from reality.

In part because a few jobs - in the infantry, field artillery and special forces - remain off limits, there is a lingering myth that women are not in direct combat.

In truth, about 7% of the 191,000 troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are women, and they are doing just about everything they are physically capable of doing. That's as it should be.

The existing Pentagon policy dates to 1994, when then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin loosened what had been far tighter restrictions. By 2006, according to a study by international think tank Rand Corp., more than 92% of Army occupations were open to women. That's progress as far as it goes, but today the combat exclusions make little sense.

Here's my take: Every job in the military should be opened up to women so long as they can meet the same physical standards as the men. As USA Today says, they're "in direct combat" anyway.

I'll give a personal example: When I was in Iraq--back before Titan and L3 had started contracting locals--I had a female intel soldier (an Arabic linguist) assigned to my infantry company to act as our translator. When we went out on missions, she was another infantryman woman just like everybody else.

In that case, she literally saved our asses, as there were no other translators available in April 2003. And there's really nothing much else to say. It's not complicated at all: Women serving in Iraq are on the front lines and it's about time the rules, the law, and our society caught up to that fact.

End of story.

I don't think you'd find many people who've served in Iraq or Afghanistan who would contradict this.

For more information on the current stupid rules barring women from combat roles, I highly recommend this Washington Post piece on PFC Monica Brown, who was recently awarded the Silver Star for heroism under fire (before subsequently pulled from theater for breaking those same stupid rules).


When it comes to hypocritical "Support the Troops" rhetoric, I thought I'd seen it all. But I was wrong. This week, a small group of Democrats are using back door dealings to torpedo the widely-supported new GI Bill. For anyone new to the issue, here's the bottom line up front:
In 1944, FDR signed the original GI Bill, which gave every veteran a chance to go to college. It paid for tuition, fees, and books, and gave veterans a living stipend.

Paul Rieckhoff
Huffington Post
Posted May 12, 2008 11:25 PM (EST)

The GI Bill helped the "Greatest Generation" readjust to civilian life, it helped pull us out of a post-war recession, and it helped build the middle class. Every dollar spent on educational benefits under the original GI Bill added at least seven dollars to the national economy.

Today, 1.7 million troops have come home from Iraq and Afghanistan, but the GI Bill no longer covers anything like the cost of college. So a bipartisan coalition of veterans now serving in the Senate introduced a new GI Bill, modeled on the World War II legislation. This bill recently got added to the war funding bill currently in Congress.

In the real world, two things are obvious:
1) If you send troops to war, caring for the veterans who come home is an unavoidable and necessary cost of that war.2) The GI Bill is a proven program, and a smart financial investment that pays for itself.

It just makes sense. That's why the 300-plus Senators and Representatives from both parties and all the major veterans organizations in America have endorsed the legislation.

In Washington, however, it seems like nothing is ever easy. A couple of Congressmen, including Rep. John Tanner (D-TN), Jim Cooper (D-TN), and Allen Boyd (D-FL), all members of the Blue Dog Coalition, have gotten together to OPPOSE paying for the GI Bill this week. (If you live in their districts, you can urge them to support the GI Bill by clicking here.)

As Representative Tanner quipped, "Some of us oppose creating a new entitlement program in an emergency spending bill, whether it's butchers, bakers or candlestick makers." Really? Does the Congressman usually explain major policy decisions by quoting Mother Goose?

Seriously, though--by saying that the GI Bill shouldn't be in the war funding bill, Representative Tanner is supporting the war, but not the warriors. That kind of thinking used to only appear in parodies. Moreover, these Representatives insist on referring to the GI Bill as a "new entitlement" - even though we've had a GI Bill for more than 60 years. But the most remarkable logical pirouette they've offered so far is that they oppose the GI Bill because they are "fiscal conservatives." Our government has been paying for basically the entire war "off-budget"--the equivalent of racking up billions in credit card debt. Everyone thinks this is a bad way of doing business. But it's not the whole supplemental that these Congressmen are threatening to vote against; it's just the GI Bill.

Click on link to read full story from the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-rieckhoff/congress-money-for-war-bu_b_101435.html


Baghdad, May 13, (VOI) - Five persons were killed, nine more were injured and 24 people were arrested in acts of violence throughout Iraq from 9:00 p.m. on Monday until 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, security sources said.

5 killed, 9 wounded in violent acts in Iraq Baghdad

Voices of Iraq Tuesday , 13 /05 /2008 Time 5:28:33

In Mosul, the U.S. army said five Iraqi soldiers were killed and four others wounded on Tuesday when an improvised explosive device went off near them in Ninewa province."After the bombing, the Iraqi soldiers searched houses near the blast scene and arrested a man who confessed to having detonated the IED," the army added in a statement.Meanwhile, police sources said an Iraqi army soldier was wounded in southwestern Mosul, while security forces defused a car bomb in the same place. Four children were wounded in a bomb explosion and a shootout in two separate incidents in southeastern and western Mosul.In Basra, a police source said on Tuesday security forces conducted search raids in different areas of Basra province, capturing 17 wanted men and suspects on charges of involvement in acts of violence.In Diala, a security source said that unknown gunmen set up a fake checkpoint on Monday and kidnapped three Diala University students in Baaquba.In Karbala, three persons suspected of having planted an explosive charge in a souk (market) in central Karbala were arrested on Tuesday, the province's police and operations chief said.


The much heralded ceasefire in Baghdad's Sadr City section appears to have been short-lived. Violence and killings have resumed residents of the slum area of Baghdad are trying desperately to get out of the way of the escalating attacks.

War News for Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Baghdad:#1: A fragile cease-fire failed to stop fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City where the latest clashes between Shiite extremists and U.S.-backed Iraqi forces killed 11 men and wounded 19, Iraqi hospital officials said Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear if the those killed in the clashes, which escalated early Tuesday, were militants or civilians. There were women and children among the wounded, said hospital officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

#2: The U.S. military said that it responded to several attacks by militants with precision strikes, but only confirmed killing three militants. Two of the militants were killed in a Hellfire missile strike by an attack aircraft, according to the military. U.S. soldiers also suppressed "enemy fire" in four other clashes with tanks and attack aircraft, the military said. The clashes erupted late Monday, just hours after Iraq's main Shiite political bloc and supporters of firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr signed a cease-fire with the hope of ending seven-weeks of fighting that has left hundreds of people dead in the capital.

#3: The military said Tuesday that militants staged several attacks on U.S. soldiers in Sadr City and elsewhere, but there were no troop casualties.

#4: Stover also blamed the so-called "special groups" for a failed surface-to-air missile attack on a helicopter gunship over Sadr City on Saturday. The missile was fired from an unknown location in eastern Baghdad but missed the target, he said. The missile harmlessly exploded, and the rocket body landed in the Azamiyah neighborhood, where it was recovered by allied Sunni fighters and handed over to the U.S. military.

#5: Gunmen killed an army officer, Brigadier-General Nibras Fadhil Abbas, in a drive-by shooting on Monday in Nisoor square in central Baghdad, police said.

#6: A roadside bomb wounded five civilians in the Karrada district of central Baghdad, police said.

#7: Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday called upon his followers to abide by an agreement, signed between Sadrist movement and the United Iraqi Alliance, to stop fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City.

#8: At least 30 followers of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr were detained on Tuesday as a Sadr’s office in western Baghdad was raided according to an official source from the office. “The raid, which was carried out with an aerial support, ended with the arrest of 30 persons who were working in social activities with al-Sadr’s office in Shoula,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.

#9: Medical sources in Sadr hospital in Sadr city said that a seven years old died after he was run over by a vehicle of the Iraqi army and 15 other men were wounded in a air strike targeted Jamila area in east Baghdad. No confirmation reached us from the US military until time of publication

#10: Medical source in Imam Ali hospital said that five men were killed and four others were wounded in an American air strike around 5:00 a.m. No confirmation reached us from the US military until time of publication


Diyala Prv:Baquba:#1: Gunmen abducted six university students from a minibus near Baquba on Monday, police said. Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, is 65 km (42 miles) north of Baghdad.Nassiriya:#1: A mortar attack killed a woman and wounded three people including a child in Nassiriya on Monday, police said. Nassiriya is 375 km (235 miles) southeast of Baghdad.Mahmudiya:#1: A roadside bomb attack on a police patrol killed one policeman and wounded three others on Monday near Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.Kirkuk:#1: Violence in Iraq’s Kirkuk province has dropped by 70 percent, and coalition and Iraqi forces have “virtually destroyed” al-Qaida in Iraq in the region, the commander of the U.S. brigade combat team in the area said today.Mosul:#1: A bomb blast wounded two children in southeastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.#2: Five Iraqi soldiers were killed and four others wounded on Tuesday when an improvised explosive device went off near them in Ninewa province, the U.S. army in Iraq said. "An IED went off on Tuesday in the northern Iraq province of Ninewa, killing five Iraqi soldiers and injuring four others, who were rushed to the Mosul public hospital for treatment," the U.S. army said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Afghanistan:#1: US-led coalition forces called in airstrikes against the Taliban, killing a dozen militants during fighting in southern Afghanistan that has displaced many families, officials said Tuesday. The coalition said in a statement that its troops opened fire and called in airstrikes Monday after observing militants trying to set up an ambush. The coalition had been targeting a Taliban commander transporting weapons.About 150 Taliban-linked militants have been killed in the past week by Afghan and international troops in southern Helmand province, the provincial governor said Tuesday. The rebels were killed in military action, including air strikes, in the province's southern Garmser district on the border with Pakistan, Helmand governor Gulab Mangal told AFP.#2: In the northern town of Baghlan on Tuesday, a boy dropped an old mortar shell that he was trying to exchange for ice cream with a scrap metal dealer, said police officer Habib Rehman. The shell exploded, wounding 17 children and a man. Fourteen of the children were evacuated to a hospital in Baghlan. Three others were sent to the nearby town of Pul-e-Khumri, said Dr. Narmgui from the Baghlan hospital. Like many Afghans, Narmgui goes by one name.#3: On Monday, a rocket hit a house in the eastern Kunar province, wounding two children and a man, said provincial deputy police chief Abdul Sabor Allayer. He blamed insurgents for the attack.#4: A Pakistani soldier was killed and another injured as suspected militants attacked security check post in the country's northwestern tribal region on Tuesday, local media reported. The security forces returned fire when suspected militants fired mortars and used automatic weapons to hit check post in Bajurtribal agency, News Network International (NNI) news agency said. There was no report of casualties on the part of the militants. And there was no claim of responsibility.#5: A US military helicopter has made an emergency landing in Afghanistan amid reports that militants shot it down. No one was seriously injured in the "hard landing" in the north-eastern province of Nuristan on Monday night, coalition forces said. The Taleban say they shot the helicopter down. The US military says the helicopter has been taken to a coalition base. "The cause of the helicopter incident is still under investigation. However, initial reports indicated it may have been caused by some form of ground fire," a statement said, the AFP news agency reports.


Ex-officials: Bush admin. ignored Iraq corruption
Ex-State employees allege Bush Admininstration ignored corruption at senior levels in Iraq

May 13, 2008 00:30 EST

The Bush administration repeatedly ignored corruption at the highest levels within the Iraqi government and kept secret potentially embarrassing information so as not to undermine its relationship with Baghdad, according to two former State Department employees.

Arthur Brennan, who briefly served in Baghdad as head of the department's Office of Accountability and Transparency last year, and James Mattil, who worked as the chief of staff, told Senate Democrats on Monday that their office was understaffed and its warnings and recommendations ignored.

Brennan also alleges the State Department prevented a congressional aide visiting Baghdad from talking with staffers by insisting they were too busy. In reality, Brennan said, office members were watching movies at the embassy and on their computers. The staffers' workload had been cut dramatically because of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's "evisceration" of Iraq's top anti-corruption office, he said.


Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and members of the largest Shi'ite bloc in Parliament formally signed a cease-fire agreement that should end seven weeks of heavy attacks in Sadr City. Still, many residents are afraid of new sources of violence. At least 25 Iraqis were killed and another 36 were wounded across Iraq in the latest incidents. Also, an American soldier was killed when a roadside bomb blasted his road-clearing patrol in Baghdad last night.


In Baghdad, two dumped bodies were found. Gunmen killed a defense ministry officer. The Iraqi army killed eight suspects and detained 16 more. In Hurriya, U.S. forces killed three suspects that residents say were college students; eight people were also detained. Two civilians were injured during a bombing in al-Binouk. Clashes between U.S. forces and gunmen left three civilians with injuries. A bomb targeting a U.S. patrol injured one civilian instead. Also, one suspect was killed in Baghdad.

Although violence has tapered off in Sadr City, two people were killed and 24 were wounded overnight. U.S. forces also killed three gunmen. Meanwhile, gunmen fired a rocket at a U.S. helicopter, but no casualties were reported.

An Iraqi soldier was killed and two more were wounded in al-Rashad during a roadside bombing.
In Nassiriya, two policemen were wounded when a bomb hidden in an air conditioning unit blew up.
Two bodies were found near Samarra.
An Awakening Council (Sahwa) member was killed during a bombing in Shurqat.
A Sahwa leader was killed in Garma.
In Mosul, 81 suspects were arrested during security operations.
Six suspects were arrested in Kirkuk.
In Makhmour, four suspects were detained.
Gunmen in Suleimaniyah injured one woman. Near town gunmen in a cab shot and injured a woman.
Iraqi officials reported that Turkish warplanes bombed suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebel camps in northern Iraq, but no casualties were reported.
A U.S. forces conducted an air strike in Arab Jabour, but no casualties were reported.