Saturday, June 23, 2007

Odinero versus Taguba. Taguba squashed like bug.

I'm starting to get the feeling this PR campaign the pentagon is running with this whole operation Arrowhead Ripper is more for the benefit of a skittish Congress than for public consumption. They know the public is already lost, so all the need to do now is keep a few wavering Republicans on-board.

Petraeus will be along in a few months and will bring along the good news about all the dead al-Qaeda type and all the bomb makers they've captured.

Look at the news the last few days:

"The military said Friday that U.S. soldiers backed by attack aircraft captured 18 suspected militants and confiscated weapons and equipment the day before in three raids targeting bomb networks around northwestern Baghdad." [ABC]

"BAQUBA, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces say they have killed 90 al Qaeda fighters around Baghdad during one of the biggest combined offensives against the Sunni Islamist group since the invasion of Iraq in 2003."

Etc . . .

How do they know that all 90 were al-Qaeda fighters? Who's checking up to make sure all the captured fighters are actually fighters? Remember, we had this problem back in 2004 when Maj. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno's 4th ID was, according to Thomas Ricks:

"Known for 'grabbing whole villages, because combat soldiers [were] unable to figure out who was of value and who was not,' according to a subsequent investigation of the 4th Infantry Division's detainee operations by the Army inspector general's office. Its indiscriminate detention of Iraqis filled Abu Ghraib prison, swamped the U.S. interrogation system and overwhelmed the U.S. soldiers guarding the prison." [WaPo]

See how the military works? Antonio Taguba get's the ol' heave-ho for doing his job in uncovering the mess Odinero made, and Odinero gets promoted to second in command. That really make me feel that they've learned their lesson on setting up jihadi universities.

Anyway, Odinero says yesterday:

"I think if everything goes the way it's going now, there's a potential that by the spring we will be able to reduce forces, and Iraq security forces could take over. It could happen sooner than that. I don't know."

Or not, just keep pumping out the rosy press briefings for a few more months.


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