Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hey Abdul, We Need Another 'Unidentified Iraqi'

Well, fog of war and all that. These things happen. The U.S. military expressed regret for issuing news releases about two separate attacks in Iraq that included almost identical quotes attributed to an "unidentified Iraqi."

"Task Force Baghdad Public Affairs regrets the confusion regarding two press releases issued in support of our operations July 24," said a statement. "In the second quote the 'unidentified Iraqi' was supposed to say the insurgency was in its last throes."

"Look, these bombs go off, two, three times a day everyday," said Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, spokesman for the 3rd Infantry Division. "And that's just in Baghdad. How many different ways can you describe it? Besides, most Iraqis won't talk to us so we pay this guy to be on call."

In the first news release, an "unidentified Iraqi" spoke of terrorists attacking "the children." In the second release, an "unidentified Iraqi" referred to strikes on "the ISF," or Iraqi Security Forces.

A lot of Iraqis don't speak English so good," said Colonel Kent. "So we have this little card for them to read with fill in the blanks for whatever the target was. In retrospect I guess that wasn't such a good idea."

"Task Force Baghdad Public Affairs" issued a statement that read, in part, "Effective immediately we will issue all quotes from 'an unidentified Iraqi' at the beginning of each week for press insertion as events merit."

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