Thursday, August 14, 2008


Green Beret: Team waited to report killing

By Estes Thompson - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Aug 14, 2008 15:43:30 EDT

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Green Berets believed a fellow soldier had killed a civilian and kept his ear but didn’t report him because they wanted their team intact for a mission to a remote Afghan village, a team member testified Wednesday.

Sgt. 1st Class Eugene Greathead testified Wednesday that team members expected gunfire during the mission and so agreed to wait several days before telling commanders about the fatal shooting. He said they didn’t want Master Sgt. Joseph D. Newell immediately expelled from the team because they wanted “all the guns on the ground.”

Greathead denied suggestions from Newell’s attorney that team members conspired against Newell because he was too aggressive and his tactics could endanger members of the team.

He said team members held meetings without Newell only to discuss how and when they would report the March 5 killing.

Newell is accused of dumping the Afghan civilian’s body in the desert and keeping his ear as a souvenir.

Read more here:


You won't be reading or hearing about this in your local newspaper or on TV, but here is more proof the success of "the surge" is a myth.


NEW: Coalition troops killed militant suspect during raid
Two suicide bombers kill 18 in attack on Shiite pilgrims, official says
Pilgrims en route to festival in Karbala south of Baghdad
Iraqi Interior Ministry official says 75 others wounded

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A suicide bomber attacked Shiite pilgrims Thursday evening as they traveled to a festival, killing 18 people and wounding 75, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.
The woman's attack took place in the Iskandariya district south of Baghdad.

The pilgrims were traveling to Karbala, about 60 miles southwest of the Iraqi capital.
Earlier Thursday, coalition troops in Baghdad killed a man during a raid targeting al Qaeda in Iraq, the U.S. military said.

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The incident occurred during an operation that led to the capture of an al Qaeda suspect "believed to conduct financial transactions for
AQI and its car-bombing networks," the U.S. military said.

Troops killed the man when he "refused to comply with their instructions and made threatening movements toward them." Two other people were detained.

On Wednesday, a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were killed when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in northwest Baghdad, military officials said in a statement.
The incident occurred about 10:10 a.m. (3:10 a.m. ET), the statement said.

The soldier was assigned to Multi-National Division -- Baghdad. The soldier's name was withheld pending notification of relatives, officials said.

The death brings to 4,141 the number of U.S. service members killed since the Iraq war began in March 2003.


Report: U.S. using contractors in Iraq at unprecedented rate

Report says U.S. on track to spend $100 billion on contractors by end of 2008
Figures reflect reliance on contractors to fill jobs typically held by military personnel
Use of contractors for security criticized for lack of oversight, political favoritism
Donald Rumsfeld said contractors freed up personnel for combat roles

From Mike Mount
CNN Pentagon Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States spent $85 billion on contracts in Iraq and other countries in the first four years of the war and is relying on contract employees at a greater rate than in any other war, according to a government report released Tuesday.

A report by the Congressional Budget Office says that a fifth of spending on the Iraq war has gone to contractors. Between 2003 and 2007, 70 percent of $85 billion in contracts were for work inside Iraq. The remaining 30 percent went to contracts in surrounding countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the report said.

The Government Accountability Office says the United States has spent $435 billion on operations in Iraq.

Based on war contract spending patterns since 2004, the United States could spend more than $100 billion on contractor operations in Iraq by the end of 2008, according to the report.

The U.S. military has used contractors in all of its recent conflicts, from the Gulf War to the Balkans. But military leaders are using contractors to a greater extent in Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to the report, reflecting a reliance on contractors to fill jobs held by military personnel in past conflicts.

Contractors in and around Iraq help serve food, clean and provide security for the U.S. and Iraqi governments, according to the report. Most of the contracts were for logistics support, gas and diesel fuel, and food.

Read more here


The Washington Post is reiterating what this blogger said in a commentary on Wednesday when it comes to U.S. options regarding the conflict between Russia and Georgia.

The U.S. doesn't have the resources or the will to take on Russia and so whatever is coming out of the Bush White House is just more smoke and mirrors.

Someday some enterprising reporter from the mainstream media will level with the American public and spell out just how depleted the U.S. military is after seven years in Afghanistan and five years in Iraq.

There is absolutely no way the U.S. could take on Russia with our military begging for more recruits and in dire need of new equipment.

The Washington Post story below spells out what few options the U.S. has when it comes to Russia and Georgia:

After Warnings to Moscow, U.S. Has Few Options

By Dan Eggen and Karen DeYoungWashington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 14, 2008; A11

The Bush administration mixed strong rhetoric with modest action yesterday in response to Russia's continued military incursion in Georgia, warning that Moscow's international aspirations are threatened if it does not honor a negotiated cease-fire in the conflict.

President Bush announced the start of a humanitarian aid program for Georgia using U.S. military airplanes and ships, although officials said the effort so far includes only two scheduled flights. One shipment arrived later yesterday and another is to land today. He also dispatched Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for a diplomatic trip that will take her to Paris and then to Georgia's capital of Tbilisi to show "America's unwavering support."

"The United States stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia," Bush said during an appearance at the White House. "We insist that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected."

Yet Bush's statement, along with the moderate measures that came with it, served to underscore the limited options available to the United States, which has neither the wherewithal nor the willingness to enter into a military conflict with Russia on its territorial border.

Read on