Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bush hiding true extent of Iraq violence: veteran US reporter

NEW YORK (AFP) - The US government is hiding the true extent of violence against its military in Iraq, veteran correspondent Bob Woodward has alleged, saying US troops are attacked on average every 15 minutes.

Woodward, whose 2004 book "Plan of Attack" said that hawks within President George W. Bush's administration had decided to invade Iraq before the September 11, 2001 attacks, accuses the regime of hiding the facts from the public.

"It's getting to the point now where there are eight, 900 attacks a week. That's more than a hundred a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces," Woodward says in an interview with CBS television due to air Sunday.

He alleges that the situation on the ground is getting worse and that strategists believe things will only deteriorate, despite the country already seeing the kind of violence that many say has reached the point of civil war.

"The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon (saying) 'Oh, no, things are going to get better'," he says.

"Now there's public, and then there's private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know," says Woodward.

"The insurgents know what they are doing. They know the level of violence and how effective they are. Who doesn't know? The American public," he adds.

Read the rest at Yahoo News