Friday, January 11, 2008

The Anbar Province is Lost

Remember those words in 2006 from a Marine intelligence report? A classified report, incidentally, that somehow ended up being leaked to Leak Central, aka the Washington Post. It was cited all over the mainstream media to show that the war in Iraq was a lost cause. It seemed to confirm Sen Reid's assessment 4 months earlier that the "war is lost".
It was front page news in the Washington Post, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, CNN, UK's Guardian, the NY Times, USA Today, the military's own Stars and Stripes, MSNBC, and Time. All of the above links were found by a simple Google Search for "marine intel report anbar lost".

Flash forward to 2008. Major General Gaskin, the Marine in command of US forces in Anbar, says that Anbar will become the 10th of Iraq's 18 provinces to be transferred back to local control. If you are reading this with pleasant surprise, don't feel bad. Top results for a similar Google search of "anbar province local control" gives the following widely known media results:, the Rocky Mountain Telegram, Channel 5 news from Fort Smith, Arkansas, the Washington Post, and Channel 8 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. No disrespect intended to any of these media outlets, but does anyone else see a huge difference in the reporting of good news from Iraq by the major (nationwide) media outlets?

Also, did you notice the one common media outlet in the two lists? That's right, Leak Central, the Washington Post. Let's review for a moment what classified really means-
Top Secret (TS)
The highest level of classification of material on a national level. Such material would cause "exceptionally grave damage" to
national security if publicly available.
Such material would cause "serious damage" to national security if publicly available.
Such material would cause "damage" or be "prejudicial" to national security if publicly available.
Such material would cause "undesirable effects" if publicly available. Some countries do not have such a classification.
Technically not a classification level, but is used for government documents that do not have a classification listed above. Such documents can be viewed by those without security clearance.

And where does the above mentioned Marine Intelligence report fall? Classified. Would cause 'serious damage to national security". Was this the WashPo's first transgression? Heck no. Remember the overseas prisoners 'scandal'? Remember the 'we can't listen to terrorists phone calls' 'scandal'? The 'we could have stopped 9/11' 'scandal'? Remember the 'terrorist banking scandal'? My guess is that the WashPo is covering it's ass on this.

In any event, the results of the surge are everywhere in Iraq. Including the one place that was thought to be lost even by the Marines a year and a half ago.

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