The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jeff Martinek Letter 9/27/04

Dear Editor:

President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have seriously misled the American people about the number of Iraqis that have been trained to provide for their own security.

In February, Rumsfeld said, "there are over 210,000 Iraqis serving in the security forces. That is an amazing accomplishment. There are a number of thousands more that are currently in training."

Rumsfeld's statement was grossly inaccurate. On Tuesday (9/21), Rumsfeld admitted, "we're training up their security forces now…about 105,000 are now properly trained and equipped."

On Saturday (9/25), President Bush repeated this when he said that nearly 100,000 “fully trained and equipped” Iraqi soldiers, police officers and other security personnel are at work.

Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee now estimate that only 22,700 Iraqis are trained enough to be “minimally effective at their tasks.”

But they were being generous: the Pentagon’s own documents show that only 8,169 have had the full eight-week training program. 46,176 Iraqis are listed as “untrained.”

Everyone is entitled to do a little “rounding up” to make numbers look better, but when you represent approximately 8,000 trained Iraqis as being a force of 100,000 or even 210,000, you are no longer merely fudging. You are lying.

Jeff Martinek


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