Jewish World Review June 28, 2004 / 9 Tamuz, 5764

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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Care to read about an American hero in Iraq? | In the Washington Post's story Wednesday about the beheading of South Korean hostage Kim Sun Il, reporters Jackie Spinner and Anthony Faiola assert: "Kim's death appeared almost certain to broaden opposition in South Korea to the country's already unpopular involvement in Iraq."

Spinner and Faiola did not provide any evidence for why they thought the brutal murder was "almost certain to broaden opposition ..." There was a good reason for this. It wasn't true. The Asia Times reported on the same day that "the execution has galvanized the people, pushing many into the deployment camp. Preliminary surveys indicate a more than 20 percent jump in the number of respondents who now support the government's plans [to send 3,000 soldiers to Iraq]."

Spinner and Faiola were too busy spinning to report the facts.

On June 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin disclosed that the Russian intelligence services had, after 9/11, "received information that officials from Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States and outside against the U.S. military and other interests."

This was significant. The SVR (the current name by which the KGB goes) and the GRU (Russian military intelligence) had excellent sources within the Iraqi Mukhabarat, which they had helped train.

The Post-Gazette ran the Putin story on the front page, above the fold, where it belonged. But we were an exception. ABC's "World News Tonight" mentioned the story briefly, but both CBS and NBC said nothing about Putin's remarkable disclosure. CNN also made no mention of it in its evening newscasts, according to the Media Research Center. The New York Times and the Washington Post buried the story on inside pages.

The Los Angeles Times said in a story Monday that "[9/11] Commissioners Sunday repeated that they did not see evidence of collaboration between al-Qaida and Iraq."

This is what Commissioner John Lehman actually said on NBC's "Meet the Press": "The Clinton administration portrayed the relationship between al-Qaida and Saddam's intelligence services as one of cooperating in weapons development. There's abundant evidence of that ... President Clinton justified his strike on the Sudan 'pharmaceutical' plant because it was thought to be manufacturing VX gas with the help of the Iraqi intelligence service.

"Since then, that's been validated. There has been traces of EMPTA [a precursor chemical for manufacturing VX, a deadly nerve agent] that comes straight from Iraq, and this confounds the Republicans, who accused Clinton of doing it for political purposes [the cruise missile strike took place on the eve of Monica Lewinsky's grand jury testimony]. But it confirms the cooperative relationship, which were the words of the Clinton administration, between al-Qaida and Iraqi intelligence."

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For more than a month now, the news media have been filled with stories about the soldiers who perpetrated the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. People who get their news from ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post can be forgiven if they think the only soldiers in Iraq are Pvt. Lynndie England and Spc. Charles Graner. When is the last time you read a story about an American hero in Iraq?

I'm going to tell you about Pvt. Dwayne Turner, a medic with the 101st Airborne Division, because it's unlikely you will read about him anywhere else.

A year ago April, Turner's unit came under grenade and small arms attack about 30 miles south of Baghdad. Though he was wounded with shrapnel in both legs in the initial attack, Turner repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire to drag wounded soldiers to shelter and to provide them with medical attention. He was shot twice more while treating 16 men, two of whom would have died were it not for his heroism. "No one is going to die on my watch," he said. He was awarded the Silver Star, the third highest decoration for valor.

You hear about the Englands and the Graners, but not about the Turners. JWR columnist James Lileks asked several liberal friends if they'd rather have Osama bin Laden captured and Bush re-elected, or Bush defeated and Osama still at large. They all said they'd prefer to have Bush defeated. That's a choice many in the news media made long ago.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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