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Friday, October 01, 2004

Administration wants upbeat reports, will 'curtail' bad news about Iraq. 

No link. Christian Science Monitor

Pentagon wants 'uplifting accounts' about Iraq

by Tom Regan | csmonitor.com

Thursday morning in Baghdad multiple car bombs and rocket attacks killed at least 40 people, including many children and several US soldiers. The Bush administration, The Washington Post reports Thursday, worried that negative stories like these are dominating the news headlines during an election period, has decided to send out Iraq Americans to bring what the Defense Department calls "the good news" about the situation in Iraq to US military bases.

The Post also reports that the administration is moving to "curtail distribution" of reports that show the situation in Iraq growing worse. In particular, the US Agency of International Development said this week that it will "restrict distribution" of a report by its contractor, Kroll Security International, that showed the number of attacks by insurgents had been increasingly dramatically over the past few months. Attacks have risen to 70 a day, up from 40-50, since Iraqi Prime Minister Alawi took office in June.


But the Guardian reports on Thursday that the Kroll documents aren't the only ones prepared by a private security contractor in Iraq that say things are getting worse.
The insurgency in Iraq appears to be more widespread and deadly than Iraqi leaders are prepared to admit, according to military officers and a report by a private security company, Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group. The company says there have been 2,300 attacks in the past 30 days, stretching from Mosul in the north through the Sunni heartland west of Baghdad and central Shiite towns around Babylon down to Basra in the south. The weapons ranged from car and time bombs to rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, gunfire, mortars and landmines. They averaged 80 a day.
In one sign that the administration and the military are working harder to keep a lid on negative stories, Salon reports that an Army Reserve staff sargent from Texas, with 20 years experience who is now serving in Iraq, may face up to 20 years in prison for "disloyalty and insubordination."The reason? He wrote an article criticizing the occupation of Iraq on an anti-war website.


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