Sunday, April 29, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- April 29th edition

April 29, 2005: A Marine fires his shotgun onto a lock holding a chained door shut during a cordon and knock in Kharma, Iraq

April 29, 2002:

Ground Force Size Key in Plan for New Iraq War: Washington Times

The commander of US forces in the Persian Gulf has told senior Pentagon officers that a new war against Iraq would likely take five divisions and 200,000 troops, reported Washington Times Friday.

The commander of US forces in the Persian Gulf has told senior Pentagon officers that a new war against Iraq would likely take five divisions and 200,000 troops, reported Washington Times Friday.

Gen. Tommy Franks "wants to do a Desert Storm II," said one official, referring to the 550,000 troops deployed to the region in 1990-91 to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Two defense sources said the briefings by Gen. Franks, who heads the U.S. Central Command that oversees U.S. forces in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf, came as the Bush administration is moving closer to deciding on a general military campaign to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Officials say it likely will rely on fewer ground troops than suggested by Gen. Franks and call on extensive use of air power and indigenous rebel forces.

"Less ground-centric and more air-centric," is how one official described the emerging consensus.

Read the rest at People's Daily

April 29, 2003:

Iraqi Lawyer Who Helped Save Jessica Lynch Granted Asylum

WASHINGTON — The Iraqi lawyer who led U.S. forces to missing soldier Jessica Lynch has been granted asylum by the United States...

Al-Rehaief is considered a hero by many Americans and the U.S. military for making a series of trips between Saddam Hospital in Nasiriyah, where Lynch was being held, and U.S. forces several miles away. He had to walk through dangerous enemy territory each time he made the trek.

He was among several sources who helped the CIA and the military find Lynch, a 19-year-old West Virginian who was rescued in a commando raid on April 2.

Al-Rehaief, whose wife worked in the hospital, told U.S. Marines he saw Lynch being slapped by a security guard there.

To confirm her location, officials with the Defense Intelligence Agency (search), the military counterpart of the CIA, equipped and trained an Iraqi informant with a concealed video camera. On the day of the raid, the informant walked around the hospital, videotaping entrances and a route to Lynch's room...

That night, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and other commandos helicoptered to the hospital while troops engaged Iraqi soldiers in another part of the city. Rescuers entered the hospital and persuaded an Iraqi doctor to lead them to Lynch.

Read the rest at Fox News

April 29, 2004:

Photos Show Alleged GI Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners

NEW YORK — One photograph shows Iraqi prisoners, naked except for hoods covering their heads, stacked in a human pyramid, one with a slur written in English on his skin.

That and other scenes of humiliation at the hands of U.S. military police that appear in photographs obtained by CBS News have led to criminal charges against six American soldiers.

The images were shown Wednesday night on "60 Minutes II."

CBS says they were taken late last year at Abu Ghraib prison (search) near Baghdad, where American soldiers were holding hundreds of prisoners captured during the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Read the rest at Fox News

April 29, 2005:

Lynndie England to plead guilty to Abu Ghraib abuses

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Pfc. Lynndie England, the Army reservist shown in some of the most notorious photos in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, will plead guilty to abusing Iraqi detainees in a case that sparked global outrage against the United States and its military.

England, 22, faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison as part of the plea deal, which still must be accepted by a military judge, her attorney, Rick Hernandez, said Friday. She had been facing up to 16 years...

England was one of seven members of the Maryland-based 372nd Military Police Company charged with humiliating and assaulting Iraqi detainees at the prison near Baghdad. She became a focal point of the scandal after photos of her surfaced, including one that showed her smiling and posing with nude prisoners stacked in a pyramid...

Top military officials first became aware of the Abu Ghraib abuses in January 2004. The scandal after the pictures became public tarnished the military's image in Arab countries and worldwide and sparked investigations of detainee abuses.

England's lawyers have argued that she and others in her unit were acting on orders from military intelligence to "soften up" prisoners for interrogations. But Army investigators testified during hearings last summer that England said the reservists took the photos while "they were joking around, having some fun."

Read the rest at USA Today

April 29, 2006:

In Iraqi Town, Trainees Are Also Suspects

HAWIJAH, Iraq -- After midnight on a bare stretch of highway near this ramshackle town last week, Staff Sgt. Jason Hoover saw what looked like a fishing line strung across the road and ordered his Humvee to a screeching halt.

The cord was connected to an old, Russian artillery shell half-buried in the earthen shoulder and rigged to activate with a firm tug. Hoover traced its path nearly a half-mile though a plowed field, over another highway, and across a canal, where he found four Iraqi infrastructure policemen who were supposed to be guarding an oil pipeline. They said they had no idea what the cord was doing there.

"There's two kinds of Iraqis here, the ones who help us and the ones who shoot us, and there's an awful lot of 'em doing both," said Hoover, 26, of Newark, Ohio. "Is it frustrating? Yes, it's frustrating. But we can't just stop working with them."

The incident is a window on the mixed results of U.S. efforts to train Iraqi forces. American troops trying to tame the restive northern town of Hawijah have done what has proven impossible in many Sunni Arab enclaves: raised a security force from local volunteers. More than 1,500 Iraqi soldiers and 2,000 policemen patrol the area, virtually all of them drawn from the city and the pastoral hamlets that surround it.

But in a town where the local population is hostile to the American presence in Iraq, U.S. soldiers have developed a deep distrust of their Iraqi counterparts following a slew of incidents that suggest the troops they are training are cooperating with their enemies.

Read the rest at the Washington Post