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Friday, September 29, 2006

Al-Qaida in Iraq: 4,000 insurgents dead

Hmmm....I thought that Iraq and the War on Terror were separate issues?

The new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq said in an audio message posted on a Web site Thursday that more than 4,000 foreign insurgent fighters have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. It was believed to be the first major statement from insurgents in Iraq about their losses.

"The blood has been spilled in Iraq of more than 4,000 foreigners who came to fight," said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir
— also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri — the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. The voice could not be independently identified.
Read the Rest - from the Associated Press

Combat cooks serve it up to Marines at outposts

By Lance Cpl. Ray Lewis
1st Marine Division
If the Marines can’t come to the mess hall, then the mess hall will have to come to the Marines. Food service specialists assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment set up a field-food facility so Marines can have a daily hot meal here....

Full Story

Senator Santorum Praises House Passage of Iran Freedom and Support Act

For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 28, 2006
Contact: Robert Traynham (202) 224-0610

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 6198, the Iran Freedom and Support Act. The bipartisan legislation holds the current regime in Iran accountable for its threatening behavior and supports a transition to democracy in Iran . Earlier today, Senator Santorum along with Majority Leader Frist (R-TN) and Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), introduced the Senate version of the bill, S. 3971, the Iran Freedom and Support Act. Senator Santorum is hopeful that the Senate acts on this bill as soon as possible.

The bipartisan legislation provides for key enhancements to the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) which is set to expire at the end of this week. Additionally, the bill authorizes assistance to pro-democracy groups inside and outside Iran and provides additional authorities the necessary tools to stop money laundering efforts that support weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation. The bipartisan House bill is sponsored by Representatives Ileane Ros-Lehtinent (R-FL-18) and Tom Lantos (D-CA-12).

“I am very pleased that this critical piece of legislation was passed by my colleagues in the House,” said Senator Santorum. “Congress is moving forward in a constructive manner to encourage a peaceful transition to democracy in Iran and to ensure that ILSA does not expire. I encourage my Senate colleagues to support passage of this bill because it includes significant enhancements that will aid our efforts to support the democratic movement inside Iran .”

“Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad routinely issues statements of hate against the United States , Israel , and the Jewish people. We must support efforts to transition to democracy so that the government of Iran can no longer continue to bully the rest of the world. Iran is a threat to America , our allies, and to the stability of the international community.” Senator Santorum continued.

The bill includes many provisions from S. 333, also called the Iran Freedom and Support Act, which Senator Santorum introduced in February 2005.

Senator Santorum is a lead sponsor of companion legislation in the Senate.

For more information, visit Senator Santorum's website

Air Force will get new bomber, upgrades to fighters
WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The Air Force is looking to get a "next generation" long-range bomber by 2018, according to the commander of Air Combat Command.Gen. Ronald E. Keys, the ACC commander, told reporters the command is funded for a bomber, and it likely would be put together using some of the same advanced technology currently in the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

Iraqi Forces Man TCP

Iraqi Police search the cargo of a truck as it passes through the traffic control point set up by IP and U.S. forces along Highway 2 near the town of Al Jaddah Sept. 26. Iraqi Army and Police personnel took over responsibility for the checkpoints after being trained by coalition forces.

September 28, 2006
SR# 092806-152

by Staff Sgt. Samantha M. Stryker
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

KHAN BANI SA’AD, Iraq (Sept. 27, 2006) -- Members of Iraqi Army and police forces manned traffic control points along two busy highways just south of Baqubah, Sept. 26, in their continuing efforts to take the lead in providing security and stability for their country.

Members of Company D, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, provided a helping hand to members of the Iraqi Army’s 5th Division and local police forces in setting up and manning traffic control points in an effort to deter insurgent activity in Diyala Province.

In the early morning along Highway 5, Company D assisted the IA with setting up a checkpoint. Later that same morning, the same Soldiers assisted Iraqi Policemen with a checkpoint along Highway 2.

“We went ahead and got it started for them and let them see what right looks like and then we sort of stepped back and let them take it so that they can get more experience and confidence,” said 1st Sgt. Tommy Hunt, company first sergeant.

Hunt said the checkpoints were the culmination of the U.S. Army’s efforts to train IA and IP forces in security and stability operations. The on-going training also included operations such as cordon-and-search procedures, detainee handling procedures and providing security.

The Iraqis set up the checkpoint along highways known for their use by insurgents as main routes for trafficking weapons and materials used to construct improvised explosive devices into Baghdad.

Iraqi Army Lt. Sadaim took little time to set up his men along the checkpoint and direct traffic as their U.S. counterparts guarded the perimeter. Even the livestock that occasionally crossed the road did little to slow the rhythm set by IA personnel.

Just beyond the security perimeter set by U.S. forces, two consecutive explosions were heard. The Iraqi Soldiers showed no fear as they continued to search and question motorists on the road. Within minutes, a local explained that the explosions were caused by a local farmer using explosives before drilling a well.

As vehicles were searched, IA Soldiers gathered information from passing motorists about insurgent activity in the area.

Sadaim smiled as he spoke through a translator. He said that those passing through his checkpoint were his brothers and his friends and that they would not hurt him. They would tell him if they knew someone was planning something today, he said.

Later that morning, members of Company D headed east to the township of Al Jaddah, along Highway 2, to assist the Iraqi Police with similar operations at a checkpoint across the road from the police station.

At both checkpoints, U.S. Army engineers assisted the Iraqi forces in searching larger trucks and their payloads. Hunt said the engineer assets were used because materials used to construct IEDs have been found in the larger trucks at other checkpoints in the region.

Along with searching tractor-trailers, Iraqi forces at both checkpoints searched vehicles carrying cargo, such as carpets, fabrics and agricultural supplies. Tankers were also eyed by authorities before being allowed to continue down the road.

Hunt said the checkpoints are designed to stop or slow down the insurgents’ ability to transfer bomb making material to areas where Iraqi and coalition forces travel and keep insurgents from planting roadside bombs. He also said they deter attacks against coalition forces by reducing the number of insurgents entering the area.

Despite the long hours and the tedious task of searching hundreds of vehicles and several horse-drawn carts, Iraqi forces remained on point, according to Hunt.

“They can fight the insurgency and restore peace and order to Iraq, which was the end-state all along for this fight, and that is why it’s important for them to take over as the forefront and we can eventually go home,” Hunt said.

An Iraqi policeman examines a motorist's ID and the bill of lading at the traffic control point set up by Iraqi Police and U.S. forces along Highway 2 near the town of Al Jaddah, Iraq, Sept. 26. Iraqi Army and Police personnel took over responsibility for the checkpoints after being trained by coalition forces.

An Iraqi Soldier controls traffic at a traffic control point along Highway 5, south of Baqubah, Iraq, Sept. 26. Iraqi Army and Police personnel took over responsibility for the checkpoints after being trained by coalition forces.

An Iraqi Army Soldier controls the flow of traffic at a flash traffic control point along Highway 5, south of Baqubah, Iraq, Sept 26. Iraqi Army and Police personnel took over responsibility for the checkpoints after being trained by coalition forces.

Pacific Ocean (Sept. 27, 2006) - F/A-18 Hornets prepare to launch from the waist catapults during flight operations on the flight deck aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). Stennis and the embarked Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) are operating together for the first time during Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX is the second of three at-sea training phases for the John C. Stennis Strike Group inter-deployment training cycle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Hight

Independent media emerges in Diyala Province

Technicians for Independence Radio and Television monitor production at their recently constructed facility in Burhiz , Iraq , Sept. 25. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Mike Humphreys, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, Sept. 25, 2006)

September 27, 2006
SR# 092606-151

by Spc. Amanda Morrissey
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

BURHIZ, Iraq (Sept. 26, 2006) -- The voices and the faces of freedom are making their way onto the airwaves in the Diyala Province of Iraq for the first time since coalition forces arrived in 2003.

The Independence Radio and Television news station, an Iraqi broadcast station in Burhiz, began broadcasting television and radio programs Sept. 22. The station’s goal is to help build a media infrastructure that is run by and for the local public.

“I really do believe that (freedom of the press) is the key to a peaceful, democratic Iraq. I think they’re off to a good start here in Diyala,” said Maj. Mike Humphreys, the public affairs officer for Fort Carson’s 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning.

Humphreys has been acting in an advisory capacity for IRT during his unit’s deployment to the province, which envelopes communities north of Bagdad, such as Baqubah and Muqdadiyah.

The challenges facing IRT come from many different fronts. One such obstacle is the separation of the media from government controls. The concept of freedom of press is a new one to many of the journalists working at IRT, said Humphreys.

“We’ve been actively working with them to help establish a television and radio station, one that is run by the Diyala people, for the Diyala people and not a state-run organization,” said Humphreys, who is currently helping the IRT management negotiate with a local construction contractor to improve its facilities.

However alien the concepts of a free press and free speech may be to Iraqi people, the IRT staff is eagerly taking advantage of the opportunity to turn these visions into reality.

“The folks at IRT and the local newspaper, they all want it. They all want to be separate from government, they want to have their own independent press, they want to be able to do their own stories without oversight from government officials,” Humphreys said.

The newness of an independent press is not the only obstacle facing the burgeoning Iraqi news station. IRT management must also address the more mundane difficulties of dealing with contractors in order to convert their building into a working studio.

“I read the contract, and there are no details in this contract,” said Ruqaya Allol Hussain, the assistant to Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Jabori Hafith, about the arrangement between building contractors and the studio. Hafith is the assistant governor of administration for the province.

Contractors dropped off the material for the studio and left the construction to the IRT staff.

“We did this here with our own hands, but this is only temporary,” said Mohammed Yousif Mohammed, an English speaking assistant at the station, touching one of the office walls. “He (the contractor) brought wood and all the stuff here, and this is what he called a gift.”

Funding affects more than just the material aspect of building their studio. One task facing IRT management is the development of a marketing plan as a means to produce an income from sales and advertising over the airwaves.

The lack of independent revenue from advertising results in the studio relying on government subsidies and coalition funding to pay for its products.

The station will be fully independent once the IRT is able to completely fund its operations using successful marketing strategies, said Humphreys.

Despite the many obstacles facing the IRT staff, they are eager to push forward with the station and to do their jobs as journalists.

“This is the first time I’d been out to the station since the project was completed, and I was surprised today to see a level of professionalism I hadn’t seen before,” said Humphreys.

IRT currently airs three hours of television and seven hours of radio programming, according to Humphreys. The television station uses programming from other Iraqi stations. It currently broadcasts previously-aired entertainment shows as well as new test programs, many of which center around political issues affecting the local population.

The radio side of the house broadcasts four hours of programming in the morning and three hours in the evening. It plays popular music and entertainment shows, as well as daily news shows and talk radio in the morning.

Eventually, the station plans to air 24 hours of its own radio and television programs, said Humphreys. The radio programming is progressing at a much quicker pace than television, but there is no set timeline for getting both operations up and running around the clock, he said.

“They are well on their way, and I think they will accomplish that very soon,” said Humphreys.

The grand opening of the Independence Radio and Television station is scheduled to take place Oct. 2, when the station will begin broadcasting locally-produced programs.

A radio technician mans the control board druing a broadcast at the Independence Radio and Television news station in Burhiz , Iraq . The IRT is a non-government broadcasting station that is scheduled for an official opening Oct 2. US Army Spc. Amanda Morrissey, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Det.

A television technician mans the control board during a broadcast at the Independence Radio and Television news station in Burhiz , Iraq . The IRT is a non-government broadcasting station that is scheduled for an official opening Oct. 2. US Army Spc. Amanda Morrissey, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Det.

STRYKER PATROL — U.S. Army soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment drive by a herd of sheep in their Stryker combat vehicle during a patrol in Baghdad, Iraq, Sept. 6, 2006. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Martin Anton Edgil

In Today's News - Friday, September 29, 2006

Quote of the Day
"No better friend, no worse enemy"
-- 1st Marine Division motto

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Al Qaeda in Iraq Tape Invites Scientists to Join Jihad
Brother-in-law of Saddam trial judge killed: police - Video
Woodward: Bush concealing level of Iraq violence
50 years on, Algiers bomber sees US "error" in Iraq
Book Says Bush Ignored Urgent Warning on Iraq
At Checkpoints in Baghdad, Disguise is a Lifesaving Ritual
Violence Returns to Baghdad
Civilian Says Guardsmen Fled Convoy

Operation Enduring Freedom
Unit Focuses on Afghan Construction

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Senate OKs Terror Detainee Bill
House passes warrantless domestic spying measure
Many Rights in U.S. Legal System Absent in New Bill
Pakistan accused of hundreds of terror abductions

Other Military News
Rumsfeld comments on intelligence report
Fight Over Reserve MGIB
Republicans' Bill to Ease Pressure on Military Chaplains

Immigration / Border Control
U.S. border fence bill clears Senate hurdle
Mexico opposed to U.S. border fence (I'm shocked...really)

Worldwide Wackos
Iran sees no "logic" in suspending atomic work: TV

Homegrown Moonbats
De Niro has role in NYC trans fat debate
Stone: Bush has set U.S. back 10 years

Politics / Government
Bush: 'Cut and Run' Dems Hurting War on Terror
President slams Dems at Alabama fundraiser
Groups Rally to NY AG Candidate Pirro Amid Probe
Iowa mayor jailed on drug charges
Congress chronicles Abramoff's contacts
Democrats See Strength in Bucking Bush

U.N. News
Call to Overhaul U.N. Security Council Renewed
Sri Lanka war imperils civilians, tsunami aid: UN envoy

Mother Nature
California Firefighters Keep Watch on Homes
Typhoon Xangsane Leaves 48 Dead in Philippines
Tropical Storm Isaac slows in Atlantic

News from My Neck of the Woods
R.I. club owners to plead in fire deaths

Parasitic weed seems to smell its prey
Inmate has victim's name tattooed on him
Embalmer implicates partner in documents

Other News of Note
Florida Police Conduct Massive Manhunt for Cop Killer
More than 500 police involved in search - VIDEO
Colorado Cops: Gunman Sexually Traumatized Girls
Girl in school standoff told family: "I love you"

Fox News
Thai Military Selects Ex-General as New PM
Stocks to Watch: Tribune, Ford and RIM
Police Classify T.O. Case as 'Accidental Overdose'
Dow Flirts With Record Close, Ends Day at 11,718

Reuters: Top News
Opposition hopes high in tight Zambia election - Video
Thai military seeks to ease fears for democracy
Russia starts pulling officials out of Georgia
Japan PM Abe lays out vision for "Beautiful Japan"
First female space tourist returns to Earth
Travelers to Africa, Asia returning with new virus
Lenovo, IBM recall 526,000 notebook batteries
Yahoo in deal to feature services on HP computers
U.S. homework outsourced as "e-tutoring" grows
Nerve stimulation promising for Alzheimer's
Weight gain between pregnancies raise risks
Doctor says Smith shocked at son's methadone use
Madonna and Janet Jackson records topple Britney
RIM results "smashed" expectations
Sony shares fall 1 pct on global battery recall
Nikkei closes higher but down 5.5 pct in half-year - Video
Oil holds above $62 as supply glut balances OPEC
US stocks rise; Dow briefly tops record closing high
Reuters Summits: Venture Capital
Private equity hungry for tech
Video: Firms looking to Eastern Europe
Comment: Oil bears and bulls
Ideas & Screening: Rush Enterprises
DaimlerChrysler, Chery close to car deal: sources
Verizon sues pretexting firms linked to HP probe
Ford Motor Credit to cut 2,000 jobs
HP CEO shoulders probe burden before lawmakers
Lenovo, IBM recall 526,000 notebook batteries
Icahn seeks to remove six ImClone board members

AP World News
3 execs testify about HP's spying probe
Grascals named top bluegrass entertainer
Mets say Martinez out for postseason
Miles Davis inducted into RockWalk
Parcells to decide if T.O. ready to play
Elvis Presley fan club revived in Tupelo
Letters offer glimpse of Rose Kennedy
Dow ends up 29 after reaching milestone
Amanda Peet is pregnant and ready to wed
Pentagon Bends on Notifying Congress of Awards

CENTCOM: News Releases










USJFCOM sends support teams to CENTCOM - podcast
Newsmaker Profile: Col. Eugene V. "Gene" Bonventre - podcast
Command working to meet the warfighter's needs with focused efforts - podcast
Command seeking information from industry on access management

Department of Defense
NATO Defense Ministers to Discuss Roles in Afghanistan, Other Issues - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

U.S., Iraqi Soldiers Team Up to Find Terrorists - Story
Ceremony Notes Re-opening of Al Bawasil School - Story
Marines Work to Restore Safety on the Roads - Story
British Forces Kill Escaped al-Qaida Terrorist - Story

Weapons Cache Found Near Kathamayan Mosque
Deployed 'Doc' Mends Bodies and Minds in Iraq
MP Brigade Takes Charge of Detainee Operations

Harriers Complete Combat Runs in Afghanistan
Coalition Routs Taliban, Extremists in Ghazni
10th Mountain Division Soldiers Thwart Extremists


Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Officials Identify Casualties - Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
- In Krems, Austria, Jews are accused of poisoning the wells.
1364 - The British defeat the French Battle of Auray.
1650 - In Englande, Henry Robinson opens the first marriage bureau.
1785 - The Chaidic sect is excommunicated in Krakow, Poland.
1789 - The First Congress adjourns; the U.S. War Department establishes a regular army.
1829 - London's Metropolitan Police Force goes on duty; Scotland Yard is formed.
1853 - The emigrant ship Annie Jane sinks off Scotland, drowning 348.
1892 - In Mansfield, PA, the first night football game is played.
1907 - Construction begins on the Washington National Cathedral.
1915 - A hurricane claims 275 lives in the Mississippi Delta.
1918 - Allied forces score a decisive breakthrough of the Hindenburg Line.
1936 - For the first time, the radio is used for in a presidential campaign.
1940 - The Booker T. Washington, the first U.S. merchant ship commanded by a Black captain, is launched at Wilmington, DE.
1943 - General Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio sign an armistice.
1944 - Soviet troops invade Yugoslavia.
1951 - S.B. Nicholson discovers the 12th satellite of Jupiter.
1953 - The Milton Berle Show premiers
1954 - Willie Mays makes his famous over-the-shoulder catch of Vic Wertz's 460' drive.
1969 - Love American Style premiers on ABC-TV.
1973 - Soyuz-12 returns to Earth.
1977 - The Soviet space station Salyut-6 is launched into Earth orbit.
1979 - Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to visit Ireland.
1983 - For the first time, Congress invokes the War Powers Act.
1986 - The U.S.S.R. releases U.S. journalist Nicholas Daniloff, confined on spy charges.
1988 - The 26th Space Shuttle mission, Discovery-7, is launched; U.N. peacekeeping forces win the Nobel Peace prize.
1990 - After 83 years, construction of the Washington National Cathedral is completed.

1511 - Michael Servetus, physician (Christianism Rostituta)
1755 - Robert Lord Clive, founder of the British empire in India
1758 - Horatio Nelson, British naval hero (Trafalgar)
1895 - Joseph Banks, parapsychologist (Extra-Sensory Perception)
1901 - Enrico Fermi, physicist (fission), Nobel Prize winner (1938)
1902 - Miguel Alemán, president of Mexico (1946-52)
1925 - John Tower (Sen-TX)
1927 - Paul McCloskey (Sen-CA)
1929 - Bob Newhart, actor/comedian (Bob Newhart Show)
1935 - Jerry Lee Lewis, singer (Great Balls of Fire, Breathless)
1939 - Larry Linville, actor (Frank Burns-M*A*S*H)
1942 - Madeleine Kahn, actress (Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety); William Nelson (Rep-FL), astronaut (STS 61C)
1943 - Lech Walesa, leader of the Polish Solidarity movement, Nobel Prize winner (1983)
1948 - Bryant Gumbel, sportscaster/TV host (Today Show)
1964 - Julie Peterson, Playboy playmate (Feb., 1987)
1969 - Erika Eleniak, Playboy playmate (Jul., 1989)

- Louis Pasteur
1978 - Pope John Paul I
1987 - Henry Ford II
1988 - Charles Addams, cartoonist (Addams Family)
1989 - A.A. Busch, Jr., brewer/baseball owner (St Louis Cardinals)

Reported Missing in Action
Newberry, Wayne E., USAF (IL); A1H shot down, KIA, body not recovered

Curran, Patrick R., USMC (IL); A6A shot down (bombardier / navigator)

Lono, Luther A., USMC (WA); A6A shot down (pilot)

Bosiljevac, Michael J., USAF (NE); F105G shot down (EWO, w/O'Neil) , KIA, remains returned in 1988

Brett, Robert A., Jr., USAF (OR); F111A shot down (navigator, w/Coltman)

Coltman, William C., USAF (PA); F111A shot down (pilot, w/Brett)

O'Neil, James W., USAF (CA);F105G shot down (pilot, w/Bosiljevac), released by DRV March, 1973 - alive as of 1998