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Marine Corps' Iraqi 'C-Y-A' Story Is Not Something FOX News or the Bush White House Wants You to Know About

Reported by Marie Therese - November 18, 2007 -

GUEST BLOGGED BY BILL CORCORAN

FOX News has historically dragged its feet when it comes to reporting wrongdoings in the Iraq War. So, I was not surprised when they did not cover the first story below from the Marine Corps Times about how a Marine captain cautioned his men to "C-Y-A" ("Cover Your Ass") when an investigation was held into an incident in Ramadi during which Iraqi women and children were killed.

In the past, we have all watched as FOX News went along with the initial Pentagon reports that former NFL great Pat Tillman was killed by enemy fire. Months later, FOX News grudgingly and reluctantly admitted that Tillman was a victim of "friendly fire" during an action in Afghanistan. (With video.)

FOX News also tried to hide as much as they could about the scandal surrounding the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. Even today, FOX News and Rush Limbaugh see nothing wrong with the way Iraqi prisoners were treated by an Army Military Police unit assigned to guard the prisoners at the now infamous Iraqi prison. For example, in the right-wing media torture has been redefined as "enhanced interrogation" and talking heads in expensive suits sing the praises of waterboarding, secret detention camps and rendition.

For the past five years, FOX News has virtually ignored the deaths of U.S. military personnel in Iraq. When the story broke on the filthy conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, FOX News paid as little attention as possible to the story that grabbed headlines all across the United States.

However, when a recent Congressional Research Report came out showing there have been fewer deaths of GIs in Iraq than when there was in peacetime in 1981-82. On November 14th, Brit Hume jumped all over the story, despite the fact that such a story diminishes the sacrifices our our men and women in harm's way by equating peacetime accidental deaths with those that have occurred in the violence of a war. During the same segment FOX News' Jim Angle reported that the situation in Iraq is so good that President Bush has already started the draw-down of troops that Democrats have called for and Kitty Logan announced that in on city in Iraq they now have electricity 6 hours a day.

Now comes word that a Marine Corps captain issued a warning to a Marine Corps company instructing the soldiers to 'C-Y-A' when an investigation was launched into an alleged "killing fields" battle in Ramadi, Iraq

The Marine Corps Times story about the investigation is posted below. This post might be construed by tunnel-vision "patriots" as being a slap at the Marine Corps, but in reality the 'C.Y.A' story is what real news organizations report. Tabloid news outlets like FOX News "spike" stories such as the Marine Corps 'C.Y.A.' story in favor of electrifying news about O.J. Simpson, Stacey Peterson or anything that comes with "T&A" video footage.

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The ‘C-Y-A’ brief

Marine Corps Times

Get your stories straight, a captain told his men after a firefight. A sergeant’s secret recording of the recap sparks an investigation

A Marine captain, in what he described as the “C-Y-A part” of his briefing, ordered dozens of men in his company to get their story straight in case investigators asked questions about a 2006 firefight that might have left Iraqi women and children dead in the crossfire.

“Earlier up on the roof, there was like five women and little girls, OK? We f---ed that area up,” Capt. Shane Cote, 35, told his Marines, after a day that included at least nine firefights in 14 hours. “If we did any collateral damage, there will be people here asking. Your answer, for the sake of yourselves — and me — better be you were f---ing shooting at muzzle flashes.”

His Marines grunted out their affirmatives, “ooh-rahs” all around. They got it.

One of them even got it on tape.

A secret recording of the briefing (Warning: Explicit language), obtained by Marine Corps Times, was made by a sergeant who believes the captain was ordering his men to lie about the shooting. The recording, made on the sergeant’s MP3 player, was turned in to unit officials weeks after the day in question. A criminal investigation followed.

Now, more than a year later, the Marine Corps still refuses to discuss the details of the shootout near Ramadi.

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The following stories have been given little or zero coverage on FOX News because they don't fit neatly into the cheerleading FOX News does for anthing connected to the war in Iraq.

Veterans Lack Health Insurance

Military.com

A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that almost 2 million veterans are without health insurance, along with 3.8 million members of their households. Among the 1.8 million uninsured veterans, 12.7 percent are under 65. In addition, the number of uninsured veterans increased by 290,000 between 2000 and 2004.

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178 soldiers become U.S. citizens in Iraq

Army Times

In a Veterans Day ceremony north of Baghdad on Sunday, 178 service members became U.S. citizens.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff administered the Oath of Allegiance at Sustainer Theater on Logistical Support Area Anaconda, the Army announced in a press release Monday.

“I can’t think of people who are more deserving of citizenship than those who are fighting to defend the country even before they are citizens. They understand that freedoms don’t come free and they are willing to make sacrifices even before they reap the benefits of citizenship,” Chertoff said in the release

Army veteran Emilio T. González, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, presented each new citizen with a certificate of naturalization.

Brig. Gen. Gregory E. Couch, commanding general of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), congratulated each new citizen. “It is fitting that these wonderful warriors be granted citizenship on Veteran’s Day,” Couch said in the release.

Naturalized service members also received a U.S. flag from the 316th’s senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Stacey E. Davis.

Comment: I wonder how FOX News feels knowing 178 illegal aliens were serving the United States of America in Iraq.

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Army Desertion Rate Highest Since 1980

Yahoo News

WASHINGTON - Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

While the totals are still far lower than they were during the Vietnam War, when the draft was in effect, they show a steady increase over the past four years and a 42 percent jump since last year.

"We're asking a lot of soldiers these days," said Roy Wallace, director of plans and resources for Army personnel. "They're humans. They have all sorts of issues back home and other places like that. So, I'm sure it has to do with the stress of being a soldier."

The Army defines a deserter as someone who has been absent without leave for longer than 30 days. The soldier is then discharged as a deserter.

According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier. Overall, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year.

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FOX News often brags about the military successes in Iraq and how the "surge" has been a roaring success, but military commanders on the ground in Iraq take an entirely different view. The U.S. commanders in Iraq are very disappointed in the Iraqi government and feel all the military successes could reverse themselves if the Iraqi government, such as it is, doesn't get their act together soon.

Iraqis Wasting An Opportunity, U.S. Officers Say

The Washington Post

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq -- Senior military commanders here now portray the intransigence of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias.

In more than a dozen interviews, U.S. military officials expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government's failure to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but "it's unclear how long that window is going to be open."

The lack of political progress calls into question the core rationale behind the troop buildup President Bush announced in January, which was premised on the notion that improved security would create space for Iraqis to arrive at new power-sharing arrangements. And what if there is no such breakthrough by next summer? "If that doesn't happen," Odierno said, "we're going to have to review our strategy."

And finally....

New Army Chopper Found Unsafe. Needs air conditioning in cockpit to make it functional

Military.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Army is spending $2.6 billion on hundreds of European-designed helicopters for homeland security and disaster relief that turn out to have a crucial flaw: They aren't safe to fly on hot days, according to an internal report obtained by The Associated Press.

While the Army scrambles to fix the problem - potentially adding millions to the taxpayer cost - at least one high-ranking lawmaker is calling for the whole deal to be scrapped.

During flight tests in Southern California in mild, 80-degree weather, cockpit temperatures in the UH-72A Lakota soared above 104 degrees, the point at which the Army says the communication, navigation and flight control systems can overheat and shut down.

No cockpit equipment failed during the nearly 23 hours of testing, according to the report, prepared for the Army in July. But it concluded that the aircraft "is not effective for use in hot environments."

The Army told the AP that to fix the cockpit overheating problem, it will take the highly unusual step of adding air conditioners to many of the 322 helicopters ordered.

COMMENT

This would almost be laughable if it weren't for the fact that many American lives could be lost if air conditioning isn't added to the cockpit of these new "choppers" before they are shipped off to Iraq and Afghanistan.