“Miracle Brigade” Saving Face in Iraq

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday that
the Pentagon is reviewing its practice of paying to plant stories in
the Iraqi news media, withdrawing his earlier claim that it had been
stopped.

Rumsfeld told reporters he was mistaken in the earlier assertion.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, speaks to the media during
a press briefing at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006, in Washington.
Rumsfeld said Tuesday that the Pentagon is reviewing its practice of
paying to plant stories in the Iraqi news media, withdrawing his earlier
claim that it had been stopped.

"I don’t have knowledge as to whether it’s been stopped. I do have
knowledge it was put under review. I was correctly informed. And I just
misstated the facts," Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon news briefing.

from the Washington Post

We don’t know about the rest of you, but we have a hard time understanding
Rummy sometimes, which is curious considering his reputation as a blunt
straight-shooter. Near as we can tell, the about quote means that the
US government is still paying journalists for favorable stories on and
in Iraq.

We certainly hope this is the case, as we have just finished a terrific
contribution to the genre. It is designed to win the hearts and minds
of the local population, as well as to make US forces look good to supporters
and critics alike, around the globe. Please forward the check to our
favorite charity, the Dowbrigade Retirement Fund, at the address sent
in separate email. And if you like this one, there’s plenty more where
that came from….

IRAQ – According to a growing legion of local legends, members of a
mysterious "Miracle Brigade" have been appearing in different
cities and regions of Iraq to do good deeds, save people in peril, and
in some cases,  undo
damage done by sectarian violence and attacks on American Forces.

"We don’t know who they are." according to Walid Wazeen, a village leader in northeastern Iraq, "but
they come when people are most desperate. They wear American uniforms,
but with the insignia covered, and they are always smiling."

At least some of the group are doctors, as their field actions include
removing shrapnel, restorative cosmetic surgery and emergency gender
reassignment surgery. They also often leave behind much needed medicines
and medical supplies.

Among the other actions attributed to the "Miracle Brigade" are rescuing
civilians trapped in rubble, delivering books and study materials to
bombed out schools, repairing broken-down generators and small appliances,
finding lost pets and organizing local lotteries and raffles.

"They arrive from the heavens like Saints," said 11-year-old Abdul Masool,
clutching the baseball glove they left him, about the soldiers, who
arrive by helicopter, often at night, with blinding floodlights and symphonic
music
playing on a powerful PA system aboard the choppers,
"Every
night
we pray
that they will come back."

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