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Horrific, Bloody Days In Iraq Segment Ends With Chiding Murtha

Reported by Donna - January 5, 2006

Under the banner of War on Terror (it wasn't, it was about the War in Iraq) Shepard Smith on Studio B went to Bret Baier for his 'straight from the Pentagon' report. It started out talking about the horrific, bloody days that were going on in Iraq and ended with an admonishment for Congressman John Murtha. (As if the two were tied together)

The following is my transcript (paraphrased, but pretty much verbatim) on Studio B's segment about the War in Iraq.

Shepard Smith: The map of Iraq is covered with blood after the latest day since last months election. (Comment: Huh? It was the bloodiest day in the past 4 months in Iraq) Five U.S. soldiers killed by a roadside bomb while they were on patrol near Baghdad and terrorists targeting Iraqi police and religious pilgrims in two different cities.

(I found it interesting that at this point Studio B switched to the four window format that has been being used by CNN on the Situation Room for the past few months)

Shepard Smith: Dozens of people killed in Karbala after a bomber there blew himself up near a holy shrine. The two day death too now more than 160. From Studio B let's go to the National Security Correspondant with the changes overseas, Bret Baier.

Brett Baier: Shep, at least 4 terrorist bombings with either bombs strapped to their bodies or piled or stacked in their cars, detonated in three different citiies. At least 110 Iraqis killed today. As you mentioned, in the holy city of Karbala, a bomber detonated an explosive belt filled with ball bearings and a grenade killing at least 51 Iraqis there, wounding more than 140. It was the second bombing in that city in just two days. Bombings all happening in the shadow of the Imam (el-) Hussein shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam.

Now, just a few hours later another bomber blew himself up near a group of police and army recruits. Iraqi police army recruits in the Sunni city of Ramadi, killing more than 60 Iraqis there, wounding more than 70. Witnesses say some U.S. soldiers were also among the wounded. As you mentioned, U.S. commanders reported today that 5 U.S. soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb. That happened south of Karbala on the road between Karbala and Najaf.

Just a few minutes ago the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was asked about the particularly bloody last two days and the status of the insurgency. Also, how long this level of intensity can continue from what has and continues to be a determined enemy.

Cut to video of General Peter Pace, Joint Chiefs Chairman

General Pace: I do believe that over the course of the coming year the violence will subside, (Comment: And we should believe this, why?) however the enemy has a (vote? the word was garbled) and the bottom line is that we will assist the Iraq government and the Iraqi armed forces to be able to have enough security so that their government can function properly.

Bret Baier: General Pace, Shep, who is usually calm and reserved, was pretty upset today (Understandable, a very bloody two days with over 160 people killed) when asked a question today about the comments, the recent comments by Representative John Murtha. He (Rep Murtha) was asked in an interview whether he would serve in today's U.S. military. He said no.

General Pace, reacting to that said, "That's damaging to recruiting, it's damaging to the morale of the troops who are serving overseas and it's damaging to the families who believe in what their sons and daughters are doing."

Bret Baier: Um..very energized as he called it in reaction to that comment from Representative Murtha.

Comments: The General was angry over the comments of a Congressman who has shown himself to be very concerned about our troops? The horrific, bloodbath that's occurred in Iraq the past two days didn't make him angry? Only on Fox will they try to change a story that is essentially about how bad we are doing in Iraq to talking about a statement made the other day by a Congressman.

Shame on Fox for framing the story this way. As for the remarks by Congressman Murtha, he is a respected war hero whose only concern is that of our troops. He is not damaging our troops, he's trying to save them.

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