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Thursday, May 31, 2007

This Was Not a Bumper Sticker, John

Never Before Seen Video of WTC 9/11 Attack
PatriotUSA put this video out on LiveLeak.com and writes... The video has never been released publicly. It's the personal video of someone I met. After the first plane hit one of the towers, this cameraman set up his home video camera on a balcony 1 block from the world trade centers and left the room to let it record unknowing a 2nd plane would hit and he would catch it on tape.

Creation of the Arab Foundation for Democracy

Creation of the Arab Foundation for Democracy
Thursday, May 31, 2007
.
The United States applauds the creation of the Arab Foundation for Democracy, established in Doha, Qatar, on May 29, 2007 by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned, Consort of the Emir. With a focus and a mandate on promoting democracy and equal opportunity throughout the Middle East and North Africa, this Foundation responds to an important demand for democratic reform within the Arab world.

The United States strongly supports reformers who are working to build a more democratic and prosperous region. The establishment of the Foundation exemplifies the expanding commitment to democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.
(Taken from a Media Note by Office of the Spokesman - DoS)

West Baghdad Residents Rise Up Against al-Qaida and Call in For U.S. Military Help

A battle raged in west Baghdad on Thursday after residents rose up against al-Qaida and called for U.S. military help to end random gunfire that forced people to huddle indoors and threats that kept students from final exams, a member of the district council said...
Read the story at BREITBART.com

>>> Omar at “Iraq The Model” has this take on the story...
Red on Red in Amiriyah

At Least 80 Killed in Intensified Fighting in Somalia

The HindustanTimes.com website has this update on the continued fighting in Somalia. It starts off like this... At least 80 people, including many civilians, have been killed in intensified fighting in Somalia over the past two days, according to hospital sources... Around 300 people have been wounded in the fighting - some of the fiercest Mogadishu has seen since the transitional government took over the capital in December... An Ethiopian helicopter scouring the Somali capital for insurgents was shot down and crash-landed near Mogadishu's International Airport on Friday... Smoke billowed from the landing site, after the helicopter was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile...
Read the rest of the story HERE

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 679-07 May 31, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Pfc. Robert A. Liggett, 23, of Urbana, Ill., died May 29th in Rustamiyah, Iraq, from injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident. His death is under investigation.
Liggett was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga. For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Benning public affairs office at (706) 545-3283.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 678-07 May 31, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 29th in Ilbu Falris, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their position during a dismounted patrol. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

Killed were:
Staff Sgt. Joseph M. Weiglein, 31, of Audubon, N.J.
Sgt. Richard V. Correa, 25, of Honolulu.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Drum public affairs office at (315) 772-8286.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Seven Killed In NATO Helicopter Crash In Afghanistan

Seven NATO troops died today, Wednesday, May 30, 2007, when their Chinook helicopter crashed in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Five of the dead were U.S. soldiers, one U.S. military official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details. NATO's International Security Assistance Force put out a statement that said the helicopter went down at around 9 p.m. local time. It released no other details.
Read this story HERE
* JAVNO.com has a photo of the crash HERE

* Seven Killed in NATO Chinook Crash in Afghanistan *

May 31, 2007
Seven servicemembers assigned to NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan are dead after a Chinook helicopter flying an ISAF mission went down in Helmand province near Kajaki last night.

In accordance with NATO policy, ISAF does not release casualties' nationality prior to the relevant national authority doing so.


The entire crew of five and two military passengers died in the incident. An Afghan civilian was injured by small-arms fire after the crash.

Responding to the scene of the crash, a unit was ambushed by enemy fighters, officials said. Under continued fire, the responding patrol called for an air strike to eliminate the enemy threat.

The injured civilian is being treated at an ISAF medical facility. Military officials are investigating the cause of the crash.
(By DoD’s American Forces Press Service taken from an ISAF news release)
...
Five U.S. Soldiers Killed in Chinook Crash
Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 1:50pm CDT
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Five U.S. soldiers were among those killed when a Chinook helicopter flying a NATO International Security Assistance Force mission went down in Helmand province near Kajaki last night, military officials reported.

The crash killed all seven people on board. The five U.S. soldiers were assigned to Combined Joint Task Force 82, and were the crewmembers of the helicopter.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and comrades of the soldiers who were involved in the crash," said Army Col. Kelly Thomas, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade and Task Force Pegasus commander. "Their courage and dedication will never be forgotten, and we will honor them by continuing our commitment to supporting the Afghan people and government while fighting the war on terror."

After the crash, a coalition forces patrol moved to secure the crash site and was engaged by a large number of insurgents. One coalition servicemember and one Afghan civilian were wounded.

Coalition forces medical personnel stabilized the civilian injured by small-arms fire, who was medically evacuated to a nearby treatment facility. The coalition servicemember was only slightly wounded and did not require evacuation.

Coalition forces aircraft were requested to suppress the insurgents and secure the crash site. A large number of insurgents were killed during the five-hour engagement.

Two International Security Assistance Force servicemembers were also killed when the helicopter crashed. The nationalities of these servicemembers will be released by their respective nations at a later date.

The names of the deceased Americans will be released pending notification of next of kin.

A team from the U.S. Army Aviation Center from Fort Rucker, Ala., is en route to Afghanistan to investigate the cause of the crash.
(By DoD’s American Forces Press Service taken from an ISAF news release)
...
>>> CHRON.com has this report today, Thursday, May 31, 2007, that goes in part like this... Up to 40 U.S. soldiers streamed out of a CH-47 Chinook in an air assault on a Taliban position in southern Afghanistan shortly before the helicopter crashed, officials said Thursday. Five Americans, a Briton and a Canadian were killed...
Read the rest
HERE

Tiger Woods to Honor Servicemembers

About Photo: Golfer Tiger Woods fields questions during a May 29 news conference at Congressional Country Club, in Bethesda, Md. He held the conference to get the word out about the July 3-8 AT&T National golf tournament, which he's hosting.
Photo by Samantha L. Quigley


America Supports You:
Tiger Woods to Honor Servicemembers

Thirty thousand active-duty servicemembers and guests will be able to attend the inaugural AT&T National invitational golf tournament July 3-8, professional golfer Tiger Woods announced here yesterday.

Woods, who's hosting the event at Congressional Country Club here, made the announcement from the storied venue's clubhouse. He said he understands what it means to be part of a military family and that he wants to acknowledge the sacrifices the nation's servicemembers are making.


"I grew up in that household," Woods, whose late father was a Vietnam veteran, said. "I have friends who are in the military as well, so I know the level of commitment that it takes for them and the things that they do."

It's no coincidence that the tournament incorporates the Fourth of July holiday.

"It's our nation's birthday," he added. "I don't think it could be any better than to have it (then) in D.C. and have all the servicemen and women come out and have it on this golf course."

The newest PGA Tour tournament is working with the military's Pentagon-based Morale, Welfare, and Recreation office to distribute the tickets, 5,000 for each day of the tournament, Greg McLaughlin, president of the Tiger Woods Foundation, said.

"Our intent is to honor and really thank the people that protect us," he said.

As part of that effort, servicemembers attending the tournament will have their own VIP entrance near the 16th green that will lead to a special seating gallery. Their valid military identification card also will garner them discounts on concessions, McLaughlin said.


"We've got about 10 items in cooperation with the PGA Tour and the Pentagon that we've been working on," he added. "These details will come out later this week and in the weeks leading up to the tournament."

The tournament, which has a $6 million purse, will consist of 72 holes of regulation play. Participation is open to 120 players by invitation only. Though many pro golfers set their schedules before the beginning of the year, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott, Davis Love III and Darren Clarke have joined the field in the quest for the winner's $1.08 million prize.

While Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els won't hit the Congressional links, Vijay Singh is "up in the air," Woods said.

Woods, who's ranked No. 1 in the world, said he's intending to play, though Mother Nature may have other plans. His wife, Elin, is expecting the couple's first child and could give birth during the tournament.

That fact gave way to a hypothetical question that drew a good laugh from the crowd gathered for the news conference. A reporter asked what Woods would do if he were on the 18th green, holding a one-stroke lead, and got a call saying Elin had just gone into labor.

"Well, I'll have to play real quick, won't I?" Woods said, breaking into a wide smile as the room burst into laughter. "A (birdie) will win, won't it?"

No matter which player claims the tournament title, the real winners will be the children reached through the programs offered by the Tiger Woods Foundation, one of the tournament's beneficiaries. Other D.C.-based charities also will benefit.

Woods and his father, Earl, established the foundation in 1996 with the mission of empowering young people to dream big and set goals to achieve those dreams through community-based programs, according to the foundation's Web site. An estimated 10 million children have benefited to date.

Related Sites:
Tiger Woods Foundation
America Supports You
Taken from a news article by DoD’s American Forces Press Service
and was written by Samantha L. Quigley

Fred Thompson Running for President


Fred Dalton Thompson is planning to enter the presidential race over the Fourth of July holiday, announcing that week that he has already raised several million dollars and is being backed by insiders from the past three Republican administrations...
Read this story at
ThePolitico website

Fred Thompson U.S. Congress File Photo

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 673-07 May 30, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 28th in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their OH-58D Kiowa helicopter crashed after receiving heavy enemy fire during combat operations. They were assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Killed were:
1st Lt. Keith N. Heidtman, 24
, of Norwich, Conn.
Chief Warrant Officer Theodore U. Church, 32, of Ohio.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Schofield Barracks public affairs office at (808) 655-8729.

Navy Pilot Missing From Vietnam War Is Identified

No. 672-07 May 30, 2007
Navy Pilot Missing From Vietnam War Is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is:
Lt. Michael T. Newell, U.S. Navy, of Ellenville, N.Y. He will be buried today in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

On Dec. 14, 1966, Newell was flying an F-8E Crusader aircraft as wingman in a flight of two on a combat air patrol over North Vietnam. During the mission, the flight leader saw a surface-to-air missile explode between the two aircraft.

Although Newell initially reported that he had survived the blast, his aircraft gradually lost power and crashed near the border between Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces in south central North Vietnam. The flight leader did not see a parachute nor did he hear an emergency beacon signal. He stayed in the area and determined that Newell did not escape from the aircraft prior to the crash.

Between 1993 and 2002, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), visited the area of the incident five times to conduct investigations and survey the crash site. They found pilot-related artifacts and aircraft wreckage consistent to an F-8 Crusader.

In 2004, a joint U.S./S.R.V. team began excavating the crash site. The team was unable to complete the recovery and subsequent teams re-visited the site two more times before the recovery was completed in 2006. As a result, the teams found human remains and additional pilot-related items.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 671-07 May 30, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Pfc. Charles B. Hester, 23, of Cataldo, Idaho, died May 26th in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0152 or (253) 967-0147.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 670-07 May 30, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 28th in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their position during a dismounted patrol. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.

Killed were:
Staff Sgt. Thomas M. McFall, 36
, of Glendora, Calif.
Pfc. Junior Cedeno Sanchez, 20, of Miami, Fla.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0152 or (253) 967-0147.

New “Azzam the American” al-Qaida Video Threatens Attacks on U.S.

Video title: “Legitimate Demands
Adam Yahiye Gadahn, (Azzam the American) is featured in this video produced by as-Sahab, the multimedia wing of al-Qaeda. The video was issued to jihadist forums on Tuesday, May 29, 2007.

The Guardian.co.uk website has this take on the video that goes in part like this... An American member of al-Qaida warned President Bush on Tuesday to end U.S. involvement in all Muslim lands or face an attack worse than the Sept. 11 suicide assault, according to a new videotape... Azzam al-Amriki, said al-Qaida would not negotiate on its demands... “Your failure to heed our demands ... means that you and your people will ... experience things which will make you forget all about the horrors of September 11th, Afghanistan and Iraq and Virginia Tech,” he said...
Read the rest of the story
HERE

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Special Message from Newt Gingrich



Click AmericanSolutions.com for more info
Or
http://www.newt.org
File Photo by NEWT.org

President Bush Delivers Statement On Darfur

President George W. Bush delivers a statement on Darfur Tuesday, May 29, 2007, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. Said the President, “The people of Darfur are crying out for help... I urge the United Nations Security Council, the African Union, and all members of the international community to reject any efforts to obstruct implementation of the agreements that would bring peace to Darfur and Sudan.”
Read the transcript HERE
HAS VIDEO
White House photo by David Bohrer

Photo for the Day – May 29, 2007



A view from the tenth floor of the new Naz City Apartments in Irbil, located near the new state-of-the-art convention center and Irbil International Airport. A group of international investors traveled the stable northern region of Iraq and continued to meet with local business leaders, members of chambers of commerce and key government officials as some arranged for return trips to begin projects Friday.
Read the story HERE
(USA photo by Maj. Juanita Chang, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
...
Time.com had this article on Northern Iraq back in mid-April...
Kurdistan: Iraq's Next Battleground?

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 666-07 May 29, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Clinton C. Blodgett, 19, of Pekin, Ind., died May 26th in Baghdad, Iraq, when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the 1st Armored Division public affairs office at 011-49-611-705-4859.

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

No. 665-07 May 29, 2007
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Villarreal, 21, of Eagle Pass, Texas, died May 27th from a non-hostile vehicle accident at Kuwait Naval Base, Kuwait. He was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Camp Pendleton public affairs office at (760) 725-5044.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 663-07 May 29, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Mark R. C. Caguioa, 21, of Stockton, Calif., died May 24th at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., of wounds suffered on May 4th in Baghdad, Iraq, when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993; after hours (254) 291-2591.

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

No. 662-07 May 29, 2007
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lance Cpl. David P. Lindsey, died May 25th from a non-hostile incident in Al Anbar province, Iraq. His death is under investigation.
Lindsey was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at (910) 451-7200.

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

No. 661-07 May 29, 2007
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Nicholas R. Walsh, died May 26th from wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Camp Pendleton public affairs office at (760) 725-5044.

Adullah Rahman al-Shamary - Possible Missing Link Between Saddam And al-Qaeda

Pajamas Media has an interesting read today by Richard Miniter that goes in part like this ... He hasn’t talked to any Americans. No CIA officers, no military intelligence officials, no congressional investigators, no journalists. This is a strange omission because if al-Shamary’s information checks out, he was one of several human links between Saddam’s regime and al Qaeda. He could be the missing link...
Read the story in full
HERE

Venezuela Sues CNN For Linking Chavez to Al-Qaeda

Venezuela filed lawsuits Monday against US cable network CNN for linking President Hugo Chavez to Al-Qaeda, and against a Venezuelan TV network for encouraging Chavez's assassination... Information Minister William Lara showed at a press conference what he said was CNN footage displaying pictures of Chavez juxtaposed with those of an Al-Qaeda leader... CNN also aired a story about the Venezuelan protests, but used images taken in Mexico of an unrelated story, Lara said...
Read the story in full at the Middle East Online website...
CNN sued for linking Chavez to Al-Qaeda

Monday, May 28, 2007

U.S., Iran Meet In Iraq

The NEWS.com.au website has the story and it goes in part like this... The U.S. and Iran traded accusations over the bloodshed in Iraq overnight during the first high-level direct official talks between the arch-foes in 27 years... US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker accused Iran of fomenting unrest in the country by funnelling weapons and training to extremist militias, and called on Tehran to live up to its promises to support stability... His Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi Qomi, however, accused the US military of not doing enough to arm Iraqi government forces and said the Islamic republic was prepared to step in and do this itself... "The purpose of our efforts in this meeting was not to build a legal case - presumably the Iranians know what they were doing - our point was simply to say what we know as well; this is dangerous for Iraq," he said.
Read the story in full at link below...
US, Iran trade blame over Iraq chaos

>>> MonstersAndCritics.com
has this article...
Iran-US talks end without breakthrough
.
On-the-Record Briefing With U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker on HisMeeting with Iranian Officials
...
Special Briefing
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DCMay 28, 2007
.
Via Teleconference
12:25 p.m. EST
.
OPERATOR: Hello, and welcome to today's teleconference. At the request of the company, this conference is being recorded. Mr. Casey, you may begin.
.
MR. CASEY: Okay, thank you, everyone, for joining us. Sorry it's taken us a few minutes to get to you. Appreciate you joining us on Memorial Day and appreciate having with us as well Ambassador Ryan Crocker from Baghdad. As you know, he has met today with his Iranian counterpart to discuss some of the common concerns and issues that the United States and Iran have related to Iraq. And I'll just turn it over to you, Ryan, let you make a couple of introductory remarks, and then we'll go right to questions.
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AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Thanks, Tom. Good afternoon, I guess it is, for you, everybody. I'll be brief here. You've already seen a lot of this on the wires. I met this morning with my Iranian counterpart at an event hosted by the Iraqi Prime Minister. We spent about four hours in total in talks. The Iraqis were part of the discussion throughout. The Prime Minister hosted the first session and the subsequent discussion was hosted on the Iraqi side by the National Security Advisor Dr. Rubaie. So these were not U.S.-Iranian bilaterals. The Iraqis were not only present and participating; in a very real sense, they took the lead in organizing discussion.
.
I would repeat what I said earlier, that I would call these discussions business like. At the level of policy and principle, the Iranian position, as articulated by the Iranian Ambassador, was very close to our own: support for astable, secure, democratic, federal Iraq that is able to control its borders, is at peace with its neighbors and is bringing prosperity to its citizens. Though again, on that level, there was fairly broad agreement.
.
We agreed as well that there should be a focus on security, and there we made it clear in some detail where we see Iranian behavior inconsistent with stated Iranian policy. We told the Iranians today that their support for armed militia groups that are challenging the authority of the Iraqi Government and attacking coalition soldiers needs to stop, and we were quite, quite clear on that point.
.
The final thing I'd say before I go to your questions is that the Iraqi side indicated that they would want to issue an invitation for another meeting sometime in the near future. Once we receive that invitation, obviously we'll give it close consideration, but nothing was fixed in this meeting with respectto a follow-on meeting. And with that, I'm happy to take your questions.
.
OPERATOR: Thank you. At this time, we will begin our Q&A session. If you would like to ask a question, press *1 on your telephone touch pad. You will be prompted to record your name for pronunciation purposes only. If at any time you wish to withdraw your question, press *2. Once again, that's *1 to ask your question. Please record your name in order that your question will be addressed.
.
Our first question comes from:
.
QUESTION: Sue Pleming, Reuters. Yes, hello. I wonder, do you think that this meeting marks a sort of a change in your relationship, in the relationship between the United States and Iran? And did you discuss at all that the next meeting could be at a ministerial level or higher than the envoy level?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Thank you for asking that. The subjects and focus of the meeting was Iraq and how the United States and Iran can help and support the government and people of Iraq in improving conditions here, particularly security conditions. There was no other item on the agenda; nothing else was discussed.
.
In terms of level, there was no discussion on any change in the level. Since the subject is Iraq, it, I think, seems quite appropriate that the respective ambassadors to Iraq handle the dialogue.
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QUESTION: What was the -- you said the mood was business like. I mean, is this someone you think you can do business with? Do you think that they will act on the requests that you made in terms of trying to reduce violence and stopping support for militias?
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AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Well, that is what we need to see. Again, we were quite clear on what we see on the ground and quite clear in describing how damaging we believe it is to Iraq's own efforts to establish security and stability, and that it needs to stop. So we'll obviously be watching closely to see what the results are.
.
QUESTION: Thanks.
.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from:
.
QUESTION: Jonathan Beale, BBC. Thank you, Ambassador. You said no other issues were discussed, so I take it that you didn't raise the issue of the Iranian Americans who have been arrested by Tehran. And also, I'd just like to ask you when you said that when you told them that their policy was inconsistent with their actions, was there any acknowledgement that there was an inconsistency there, that they had been involved in supporting militants -- militia in training and arms?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: On the first, you're right; the meeting was exclusively about Iraq. We're dealing with the issue of the detained American citizens via the Swiss Government, which is our diplomatic -- formal diplomatic channel to the Iranians. And through that channel, we've made it clear that the Iranians should let these private citizens go; they are not a party to any policy differences between our governments. But that was not on the agenda here in Baghdad today.
.
And remind me -- it's been a long day -- what the second part was?
.
QUESTION: The second part was about -- you mentioned the inconsistency between the states policy of Iran and their actions. I think I'm just trying to get towhether there was any acknowledgement that there may have been inconsistency, any acknowledgement that they were involved in supporting militants.
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: No, there was no acknowledgement. In fact, there was very little comment on the issue from the Iranian delegates. They reserved their right to respond at some point in the future, but made no detailed response during our discussions today. QUESTION: Thank you.
.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from:
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QUESTION: Eli Lake, New York Sun. Hi, Ambassador Crocker. I wanted to ask if you could get into any more detail about the presentation that you made to the Iranians. And also, can you give us a sense -- I mean, there have been talks with the Iranians on and off for a long time at certain levels in Iraq. What gives you -- do you have any sense of -- are more optimistic that this time they'll stop what you say they are doing?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Well, on the first part, I laid out the fact that we have solid evidence linking Iran to the support of armed militant groups that are attacking our soldiers, Iraqi security forces and innocent civilians. We made clear we are aware that Iraq is supplying -- Iran is supplying such groups with arms and ammunition and explosives, including explosively formed projectiles; that we know this, that we know the Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force is the lead instrument in pursuing this policy, and that they need to stop this behavior that is killing our soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and innocent Iraqis.
.
This was not a presentation of judicial quality evidence. It was simply making it clear to the Iraqi -- the Iranians that we know what they're doing. They already presumably know what they're doing, so this was a way of making it clear that we know what they're up to.
.
In terms of contacts, you know, there have been very brief contacts here in Baghdad in March at a working level meeting of neighboring countries and others, and a brief contact when I was in Sharm el-Sheikh but -- earlier this month. But essentially, we have not been in direct discussions with the Iranians.
.
Whether that will actually produce results, I think right now is up to them whether they choose to align their behavior on the ground with their stated policy, because right now it isn't.
.
QUESTION: Can I just follow up? Can you say what groups you said they were providing the explosives to and can you say whether you're -- when you say armed militant groups attacking our soldiers and coalition forces, are you referring to groups that we would consider Sunni groups?
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AMBASSADOR CROCKER: We believe that the Iranians have variously supported both Sunni insurgent groups that are attacking us, as well as radical Shia groups such as some elements of the Jaish al-Mahdi.
.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from:
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QUESTION: Barbara Slavin of USA Today. Hi, Ryan.
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AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Hey, Barbara.
.
QUESTION: Thanks for doing this. I wanted to ask, the way you portray this is you say it's not bilateral. I mean, did we do this really just because the Iraqis were urging us to do this? Did we agree to do this because the Iraq Study Group proposed it? Why now, when there had been a reluctance to have these kinds of meetings so much in the past?
.
And also just on the atmospherics, was there anyone in the room that you had met before? How would you compare this with the talks that you conducted that were not publicized back in 2001 and 2002? Did you speak in English? Did you eat together?
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AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Okay. On the first, we see these talks as growing out of the neighbors conference initiative, that you remember in March there was a brief direct exchange here in Baghdad. We had another brief direct exchange in Sharm el-Sheikh in which we discussed the possibility of sitting down more formally. The Iraqis made clear that they thought that would be a good step, so we've done it. But again, the progression is it flows out of the neighbors conference initiative. That got started in March and so here we are at the endof May having this meeting. As I noted, the Iraqis did urge it and that's obviously -- we take their positions on this and other matters, obviously, very seriously. But it really fits in, I think, to the neighbors conference initiative.
.
No, I had not previously met any of the members of the Iranian delegation. The talks that we had had previously on Afghanistan were, I think, you know, less formal in nature. They were under UN auspices rather than any governmental auspices, and I think for those reasons maybe a little less formal in their nature than we were today.
.
QUESTION: Did you speak in English? Did you break bread together?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: We -- well, we drank tea together. How's that? Actually, a variety of languages; English, Farsi and Arabic were all in play at various times. QUESTION: Okay, thank you.
.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from Bob Drogin.
.
QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, hi, it's Bob Drogin with the Los Angeles Times. Thanks for doing this. I just wanted to go back to something you said at thevery beginning, which is that the Iraqi side said they would issue another invitation and once you get it, you'll consider it. And I'm just wondering if that's suggesting some hesitation on your part, whether there's some reluctance to continue this or why you're using that language, whether there's some question as to whether these talks were useful or not.
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Well, simply because, as I said when asked about this before the meeting, it still applies: We're taking this step by step. Again, the point of these discussions is not about U.S.-Iranian relations. It's about what can make things better in Iraq.
.
We've laid out some concerns. We'll be watching to see what action is taken. We'll be looking at the overall situation and, you know, we'll keep all of ouroptions open. Again, we don't have a formal invitation to respond to just yet,so it doesn't make sense to respond to what's not there. You know, we'll just kind of take this as it comes.
.
QUESTION: And if I could just follow on that, you said you'll be watching to see what action is taken. What are you anticipating or what will you specifically be watching for?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Well, what we would obviously like to see and I think the Iraqis clearly would like to see is action by Iran on the ground to bring what it's actually doing in line with its stated policy. Its stated policy is very close to our own. Their actions don't support the policy. That's what we'd like to see change: the support for the militants and so forth that I was describing earlier.
.
QUESTION: Thank you.
.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from:
.
QUESTION: Zane Verjee, CNN. Thank you, Ambassador Crocker. Could you give us a little bit more detail on what this idea of a three-way mechanism is that Iran proposed to you in the meeting? What specifically did they propose? Can you give us details about that?
.
And secondly, was there any more ground that you wanted to cover in this meeting but you didn't?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: The Iranians proposed a security mechanism to deal with issues relating to security, and that's about all the detail that there was. My comment at the time was that that sounded very much like the meeting that we were sitting in, since we had agreed that since we had reasonably good alignment at the level of policy and principle, the area that required our focus was security both because it is a critical concern for Iraq and because there we obviously have differences. So it was not apparent to me exactly what the distinction was between what they were proposing and what we were already doing.
.
And again, you'll have to forgive me. I have managed to forget the second part of your question.
.
QUESTION: That's okay. Was there any more ground that you wanted to cover in the meeting but didn't?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: No, we had the opportunity again to lay out pretty clearly and at sufficient length what our concerns were and what we thought needed to change. It obviously would have been good to have had more response from the Iranians, but we had the opportunity to say what we felt needed to be said.
.
QUESTION: Were you disappointed with the extent of their response, at least detailing to you their own perceptions, for example, on the security mechanism? Would you characterize it that way? Were you a little bit disappointed?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: I wouldn't say I was disappointed. I think it would not have been reasonable to expect that going into this meeting that a single meeting was going to produce instant, measurable, positive results. I just don't -- I didn't think that was realistic before and therefore I'm not particularly disappointed now.
.
I was, you know, again, somewhat encouraged that the Iranians took the opportunity to lay out their policy in positive terms. And again, as I said, it matched pretty closely to our own. They obviously could have come at this in avariety of different ways, you know, many of them negative. They didn't do that. They led with a positive policy declaration. So, you know, I found that, you know, somewhat encouraging. I wouldn't make a huge amount out of this single meeting and what was said in it either positive or negative. Again, what really counts is what actually happens that affects for the better security in Iraq.
.
QUESTION: Thank you.
.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from:
.
QUESTION: Dan DeLuce, AFP. Yes, I just wanted to know, was there anything beyond what you've described, any kind of tentative suggestions or notions that were -- both sides saw as possible areas for future exploration or discussionor even action?
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: No, I can't really pick anything. The Iraqis put forward several topics for discussion on a security level that I'll let them articulate if they care to do so. I won't do it on their behalf. It seemed to me to have some promise as an agenda. We'll see whether, if we have a follow-on meeting, whether those develop into a concrete agenda and so forth. But you know, this was basically an exchange of policy views on the part of all three of us, and then on our side an iteration of the dissonance that we see between policy as stated and policy as implemented, and on their side basically this proposal for a security mechanism.
.
MR. CASEY: Okay, I think we've got time maybe for just one more here, so why don't we take the last question.
.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question comes from:
.
QUESTION: Guy Dinmore, Financial Times. Ambassador, thank you very much. Guy Dinmore from the FT here. At the weekend, Muqtada al-Sadr gave this very powerful speech, his first appearance in some months. Can you say whether or not you discussed his role in Iraq and his relationship with Iran? And did the Iranians raise at all what they have said in public, which is that they have accused both U.S. and British forces of also destabilizing Iran across the border by supporting anti-Iranian elements? Thank you very much.
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Let's see. Working back to front, no, the Iranians did not raise in this meeting their public accusations of the last day or so.
.
With respect to Sadr, they did not address him at all. I addressed the problem of Iranian -- specifically Quds Force -- support for radical elements in the Jaish al-Mahdi. As you know, Guy, the Sadrist movement is a highly diversified one, not to say fragmented, and it is by no means clear to me, for example, that Muqtada al-Sadr has control over some of these elements in Jaish al-Mahdi. But it's pretty clear to us that the Iranians do.
.
QUESTION: Thank you.
.
MR. CASEY: Okay. And I think with that, Ambassador Crocker, thank you again very much for taking the time to talk with everyone today. And to all of you out there, thanks for joining us and I hope that we all enjoy the rest of Memorial Day weekend. Talk to you all later.
.
AMBASSADOR CROCKER: Thanks, Tom. Thank you, all.
Released on May 28, 2007 – News Release by DoS

Now I’m sure many out there are going to report these so-called talks as some kind of great BIG Breakthrough...
I say not...
AubreyJ.........

Photo for the Day - Monday, May 28, 2007

No words needed
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain

Memorial Day

Memorial Day - Monday May 28, 2007

In Memory Of All Our Fallen Heroes
May God Bless Each And Every One Of Them

AubreyJ.........

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 656-07 May 28, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 26th in Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.
They were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Killed were:
Sgt. Clayton G. Dunn II, 22, of Moreno Valley, Calif.
Spc. Michael J. Jaurigue, 20, of Texas City, Texas
Spc. Gregory N. Millard, 22, of San Diego, Calif.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at (910) 432-0661.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 655-07 May 28, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Erich S. Smallwood, 23, of Trumann, Ark, died May 26th, near Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
He was assigned to A Company, 875th Engineer Battalion of the Arkansas Army National Guard in Marked Tree, Ark.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Arkansas Army National Guard public affairs office at (501) 212-5020.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 654-07 May 28, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Pvt. William L. Bailey III, 29, of Bellevue, Neb., died May 25th, in Taji, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Bailey was assigned to the 755th Chemical Reconnaissance/Decontamination Company, Nebraska Army National Guard, O'Neill, Neb.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Nebraska Army National Guard public affairs office at (402) 309-7300.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 653-07 May 28, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Alexander Rosa Jr., 22, of Orlando, Fla., died May 25th in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993; after hours (254) 291-2591.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 652-07 May 28, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. He died May 25th in Taji, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations.
Spc. Mathew P. LaForest, 21, of Austin, Texas, was assigned to 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0154 or (253) 967-0147.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 651-07 May 28, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 24th in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. They were assigned to 1st Brigade Transition Team, and attached to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.

Killed were:
Sgt. 1st Class Robert E. Dunham, 36
, of Baltimore, Md.
Staff Sgt. Russell K. Shoemaker, 31, of Sweet Springs, Mo.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Riley public affairs office at (785) 239-3410.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

42 Iraqis Rescued From Al Qaeda Torture Hide-Out



U.S. forces rescued 42 Iraqi civilians Sunday from an Al Qaeda hide-out northeast of Baghdad, including some who showed signs of torture and broken bones, a senior U.S. official said... Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the top U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said it was the largest number of detained Iraqis ever found in a single Al Qaeda hide-out. Some among the 42 had been held as long as four months, he said...
Read the rest of the story at FOXNEWS.com

DoD Photo
The MNF-I website has this take on the story...

Monday, May 28, 2007
Iraqi army and Coalition Force Soldiers conducted a raid based on a tip from a local citizen, and discovered 41 individuals at a suspected prison camp six miles south of Baqouba, Iraq May 27.

During the raid on Imam Ways, Soldiers from 5th Iraqi Army Division and 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, discovered the men, who claimed to have been held captive by al-Qaida. Some claimed to have been held as long as four months.

A joint air and ground operation, lead by the 5th IAD, was launched to locate the alleged prison camp after receiving information from a local citizen.

The individuals, who were living in a small, concrete and mud compound located approximately one half mile west of the village, were sleeping in cramped rooms on dirty blankets and pillows, according to CF present at the site.

Soldiers also described the individuals’ surroundings as having rotting food inside the building and outside on the ground.

The men were transported by CF to a nearby combat outpost for further medical evaluation. The individuals were provided with food and water and questioned about their captive’s whereabouts.

This incident remains under investigation.

(Taken from press release #20070528-01 by Multi-National Corps-Iraq - Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory)

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 650-07 May 27, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 23rd in Al Nahrawan, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. They were assigned to 3d Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Benning, Ga.

Killed were:
Cpl. Victor H. Toledo Pulido, 22, of Hanford, Calif.
Cpl. Jonathan D. Winterbottom, 21, of Falls Church, Va.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Benning public affairs office at (706) 545-3512; after hours, call (706) 545-2218.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Iraqi Militants Trained In Iran

*****************************************************
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell Says
Iraqi Militants Trained In Iran


A U.S. military commander said Friday that militants used a mock-up in Iran to help plan for a deadly operation in the Iraqi city of Karbala earlier this year... Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, in an interview Friday on CNN's "Situation Room," answered questions about funding and support from the intelligence services in Iran to extremist elements in Iraq... "They've gone so far in their overall training that they've helped the raid that occurred on the governor's position down in Karbala back in January," Caldwell said...
Read the story in full at CNN.com

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 649-07 May 26, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Pfc. Casey P. Zylman, 22, of Coleman, Mich., died May 25th in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle May 24th in Tallafar, Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
For further information in regard to this release the media can contact the 25th Infantry Division public affairs office at (808) 655-4815 or (808) 655-8729.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 648-07 May 26, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Iosiwo Uruo, 27, of Agana Heights, Guam, died May 24th, in Buhriz, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0152 or (253) 967-0147.

Secret Cell Key Leader Detained - Air Strike In Sadr City

Secret Cell Key Leader Detained
Air Strike Kills Five Terrorist In Sadr City

Saturday, May 26, 2007
Iraqi and Coalition Forces detained one suspected terrorist cell leader and killed at least five terrorists Saturday morning during raids in Sadr City.

The individual detained during the raid is believed to be the suspected leader in a secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training.

After successfully detaining the suspected secret cell leader during the morning’s operation, nine vehicles moved into the target area and were positioning themselves to block and ambush Iraqi and Coalition Forces as they began to depart the area.

Iraqi and Coalition Forces responded to a perceived threat and called in close air support.

All nine vehicles were engaged during the air strike, killing at least five terrorists.

Intelligence reports indicate the individual detained is suspected of having direct ties to a senior leader of a significant EFP network as well as acting as a proxy for an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officer.

“We will continue to seek out and tirelessly pursue these terrorists who seek to undermine the Iraqi government and place innocents Iraqis in harms way,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson.

(Taken from press release #A070526a by MNF-I – Combined Press Information Center, Baghdad, Iraq)
...
>>> International Herald Tribune website has this story...
Coalition clashes with Sadr militia in Baghdad and Basra

Friday, May 25, 2007

Battle In Tripoli, Lebanon - Update One

Battle In Tripoli, Lebanon
Update One
Friday, May 25, 2007


* Video from Thursday Night, CDT *
...
>>> YALIBNAN.com...
Military aid began arriving Friday after the United States said it will rush supplies to the Lebanese army fighting al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic militants barricaded inside a Palestinian refugee camp in the country's north... Meanwhile, sporadic gunfire exchanges early Friday punctured the lull in the fighting as the Lebanese army continued to build up around the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp near the port city of Tripoli...
Read the story at link below...
Lebanon army receives U.S. military aid

>>> TheTrumpet.com website has this take on the story and it goes in part like this... Are Iran and Syria showing the West they have more tools at their disposal than simply Hezbollah? Is the unrest caused by Fatah al-Islam a warning from Iran that if it doesn’t get what it wants from the U.S. out of negotiations over Iraq, then it has a multitude of options at its disposal to cause havoc across the Middle East...?
Read article in full at link below...
Syria, Iran Back Terrorists Against Lebanese Government

>>> FarsNewsAgency.com has this report, if you buy into it...
Iran Ready to Strive to Restore Calm in Lebanon

>>> naharnet.com...
Japan Supports Lebanon's Stability
*** Saturday, May 26, 2007 ***
>>> TorontoStar.com has this report...
Beirut defends U.S. military aid

>>> MonsterAndCritics.com reports this...
Fighting renewed in Palestinian camp in Lebanon

Statement by John McCain - May 25, 2007

This morning, U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama's votes against emergency funding for our troops in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan:

“I was very disappointed to see Senator Obama and Senator Clinton embrace the policy of surrender by voting against funds to support our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan... This vote may win favor with MoveOn and liberal primary voters, but it's the equivalent of waving a white flag to al Qaeda.”

Sen. John McCain
Friday, May 25, 2007
www.JohnMcCain.com

Coalition, Iraqi Forces Detain 28, Find Weapons

Coalition and Iraqi forces detained 28 suspected terrorists and found two weapons caches in operations throughout Iraq in the past two days, military officials reported...
Read the story HERE

Officials Confirm Body Found in Baghdad is Missing Soldier

A body found in Iraq May 23 is that of one of three U.S. soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division’s 31st Infantry Regiment believed to have been abducted during a May 12 ambush, Defense Department officials confirmed late yesterday. Iraqi police found the body of Army Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr., 20, a native of Torrance, Calif., in the Euphrates River south of Baghdad and turned it over to American officials for identification.

A massive search continues for Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass., and Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich., the other missing soldiers.

Though it was widely reported in the media, the Defense Department held off on officially confirming Anzack’s death out of consideration for his family.

Privacy considerations of families during very difficult times are at the heart of the Defense Department policy on identifying military casualties, officials said yesterday.

The policy on public identification of military casualties is governed by Public Law 108-136, Section 546 -- a part of the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act.

Under the law, defense officials may release no casualty information to the media or general public until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification. This covers active-duty or reserve-component personnel killed, injured or missing in action or otherwise considered a casualty.

The 24-hour clock begins again any time there is a change in duty status, officials said. For example, when a servicemember is listed as “duty status whereabouts unknown,” as Anzack was after the May 12 attack, the servicemember’s family would be notified, and then the 24-hour clock begins for public release of the information.

If the servicemember’s remains are found and identified, then the family is again notified and the 24-hour clock begins again from the time of notification.

The policy is to “respect and to provide for the privacy of the families in the immediate aftermath of notification of the recovery and identification of a servicemember who has been unaccounted for or missing,” according to the policy letter signed by David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
(Taken from a news article from DoD’s AFPS - American Forces Press Service correspondents Jim Garamone and John Banusiewicz contributed to this report)

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 646-07 May 25, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Robert H. Dembowski, 20, of Ivyland, Pa., died May 24th in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at (910) 432-0661.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 647-07 May 25, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 23rd of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their unit in Ramadi, Iraq. They were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Killed were:
Staff Sgt. Steve Butcher Jr., 27, of Penfield, N.Y. He died in Ramadi, Iraq.
Pfc. Daniel P. Cagle, 22, of Carson, Calif. He died in Balad, Iraq.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Stewart public affairs office at (912) 767-2479.