Who Is Telling the Truth?
by James Glaser
James Baker's Iraq Study Group came up with some interesting facts about George Bush's war in Iraq. Robert Burns reported this for the Associated Press, "U.S. military intelligence officials have systematically underreported the violence in Iraq in order to suit the Bush administration's policy goals."
For years now I have been hearing people in Washington complain that the American people are not getting the real story about what is going on in Iraq. These people would talk about all the good things happening there that our media never covered. I guess that would be the hospitals, schools, and infrastructure we were supposed to be building.
I haven't talked to the people in Washington who were trying to sell us on Bush's war, I have talked to returning Soldiers and Marines. Some of the vets I talked to were at the funerals of their comrades, and many others were at various VA hospitals.
These veterans were telling me almost the same thing, America wasn't getting the true story of what was going on in Iraq, and they were not talking about the "good" things going on. No, they were telling me about the blood bath they saw when they were over there.
The Iraq Study Group set out this example of what they found Washington was keeping from the American people. "The panel pointed to one day last July when U.S. officials reported 93 attacks or significant acts of violence. Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence."
The Study Group reports, "The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter to keep events out of reports and databases. It said for example, that a murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack, and a roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn't hurt U.S. personnel doesn't count either. Also, if the source of a sectarian attack is not determined, that assault is not added to the database of violence incidents."
Here we have Washington playing with the facts and figures about the war, trying to make things look better than they really are. Of course Washington has been doing that for decades, and we even have a name for it. It's called "spin." What it should be called is a lie.
Veterans who have been to Iraq tell me that some days are real blood baths. George Bush talks about victory and how things are getting better. I believe what the veterans who have served in Iraq tell me. I don't believe George Bush or any of the officials in Washington who are trying to spin the truth about Iraq.
I am about 200 e-mails behind. So, if you have written to me I will get to it and answer you. I do as many as I can every day. Some people give me some very interesting things to think about, and I appreciate that very much.
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