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CHERYL SEAL REPORTS: Pentagon Won't Disclose U.S. Casualty numbers, Denies Bombs Killing Civilians,

This morning's "briefing" in Doha qusar, home of Bush's Hollywood-built "Centrom Studios" was the most outrageous litany of lies and disinformation combined with disturbing admissions of fact yet.

PROPAGANDA FEST: Bush Mouthpiece Brig-Gen Vincent Brooks Denies Any Civilians Killed by Bombing, Says US Won’t Release American Casualty Figures

"Prologue": The Bush administration exercises a particularly insidious form of racism by selecting black generals to do its dirtiest work for them, in terms of lying and deceiving the public. Thus Colin Powell and Brig-Gen. Vincent Brooks are the “propaganda point men” for this illegal war. Not only does Bush get PR mileage out of this show of token multiracialism, he also can make these same black men his fall guys.

Thus it was that Gen. Brooks got stuck with the job of lying through his teeth to the international press corps in the 8:00 AM (EST) 3/26 press conference in the Doha Qutar Central Command (Centcom) movie studio…er, briefing room.

First, he showed videos of bombings, to “prove” their precision, complete with pointers and highlighting. This would have been much more impressive if it hadn’t been revealed later in the “show” that Centcom Studios only planned to show 5 films of successful attacks…..that’s five out of thousands of bombing sorties and (as of 11:00 am 3/26) 600 cruise missile launches so far. “We’re just showing proof our “approach” to precision,” said Brooks. As opposed to showing actual proof of precision, I presume.

But hey, we’re supposed to believe everything we’re told at Centrom Studios because, announced Brooks, “This is a platform for truth.” An old woodsman I knew in Maine once observed that anyone he’d ever known who had to preface what they said by telling you how honest they were, invariably turned out to be the biggest liars in town. I’ve found that this is a pretty good litmus test. You either ARE the real thing, or you have to advertise, not usually both.

Anyway, Brooks press conference was one of the most pathetic spectacles, in terms of real information, honesty, and directness, that I have witnessed since the last time I was cornered by a desperate salesman at a used car lot. Some of Brooks’ statements represented such an extraordinarily primitive, crude type of propaganda that it seems bizarre anyone in their right mind would try to pass it off on a modern press corps, however gullible said press corps may be. Example: Brooks actually denied that any civilians had been killed by U.S. bombs….despite ample eyewitness reports by non-Iraqis, photos, video footage, and what sheer rational logic alone would tell you.. He went onto claim that any Iraqis being killed in battle, in fact, were being killed by their own troops!! These statements that are more reminiscent of “Weekly World News” headlines (“GMC Pickup Truck Found on Moon!”) than responsible commentary by “leaders.”

Brooks repeatedly denied that the bomb that landed in a Baghdad market was from the U.S. and had no answer when a disgusted reporter said, “Well, then whose was it?” He also had no answer when a BBC reporter asked if the US military had adequately warned Baghdad civilians as to the impending attack and battle. Other issues that received a “nonanswer” : Will the US military pull the same stunt they did in Afghanistan and designate POWs as “enemy combatants” whose treatment is not covered by the Geneva Convention? ( “We’ve made no policy decisions yet.”)….Why did you target the bridge in Iraq (an attack in which several Syrian civilians were killed) when Bush claimed the US would NOT target the infrastructure? (answer: gobbledy-gook) Why are you designating TV stations, when there are scores of civilian employees in these buildings? (answer: TV stations are a “military target” because they might provide some sort of service to the military. Using this rationale, let’s bomb all the Baghdad laundries – afterall, they may wash uniforms! Or how about the hospitals – they might have treated some of Saddam’s staff members for ulcers or hangnail!)

One of the most significant nonanswers was in response to this excellent point: The US wants the people of Basra to rise up in revolt to make the US troops’ job easier….but what guarantee do we plan to give the Basrans that the US will back them up in the event of a revolt and protect them? The response: nonanswer. Alas, the US track record in such matters doesn’t inspire much confidence.. Back in the 1950s, the US dropped thousands of leaflets into Hungary, urging the people to rise up against the communists – they were promised that the US would back them up if they did. The Hungarians rose up – and were slaughtered by the thousands when the promised US support failed to show up. More recently (late 1990s) the US government egged the East Timorese on in their push to break away from the rest of Indonesia and become a democracy. They did so, and, following their vote to create the new state, over 250,000 of them were slaughtered or driven into concentration camps – all while the US watched, holding off on sending in any help until it was too late..

Here are some of the “highlights” of the today’s Centrom Studios production, starring Vincent Brooks.

Admissions of Fact These almost got lost in the shuffle of lies and disinformation, but were highly significant:


All Brooks would say is that “the exchange (death for death between Iraqis and Americans) is very much in our favor.” This is the first time that the Bush policy of withholding casualty info. has been officially referred to. In Afghanistan, regional reporters say there is much evidence that the US troop death and injury rate is well over 1,000, but that this info has been suppressed from the American people. Why? Because poll after poll has shown that American support for any war is commensurate with casualty level – the “cut off” for support, says one DOD official, is about 1,000.

Thus, Bush does not plan to let America know the truth, to protect his war interests from declining support.

It is a strong clue as to where things are headed in that last night, an embedded journalist in a report from the front mentioned that a US soldier near where he was had just been killed. But no other mention of even this announced fatality has since been made. I suggest that military wives and other family members start pooling their information and comparing notes. I suspect the number of military deaths reported as “accidental” will be climbing dramatically in coming days.

The best way America can show support for its troops is to demand that we know the truth about their circumstances.


After Tommy Franks had indignantly blasted the Iraqis for not having the Red Cross immediately into check on the US POWs, Brooks now admits that the US itself only “initialized” contact with the Red Cross in the last 24 hours! This means no Iraqi POWs have been seen yet, either.


The U.S. is still using depleted uranium – but claiming it’s perfectly safe, despite independent studies (as opposed to U.S. military-sponsored studies) to the contrary.

Missing from Brooks’ Report: FRIENDLY FIRE: Although Brooks was eager to spend time on alleged and unsubstantiatable claims of Iraqi troops firing mortars at their own men, no mention was made at ALL about the American jet that took out one of our own patriot missile batteries.
Humanitarian Aid Lie Exposed: Brooks boasted about how great the supply lines for the troops are, despite being stretched for a few hundred miles. Yet just yesterday, Ari Fleischer claimed there was “no way” to bring in humanitarian aid to starving Iraqis. What, are these “magic supply lines” that only work for Americans?

Innuendo + Missing Information = fearmongering: Brooks made much of the 3,000 anti-chemical attack suits allegedly found in an Iraqi hospital, and, like Bush, Rummy, et al, touted this as “proof” that the Iraqis were planning to use WMDs. Yet, missing from Brooks comments was the revelation that a chemical plant alleged to be one of Bush’s “WMD smoking guns” turned up “clean,” with no evidence of WMDs at all. Also lacking from the reports about the suits is who found them, how they were found, etc. I for one find it extremely suspicious that within 24 hours of the networks running “Chemical Weapons Use a Real Threat!” headlines, the US just happens to turn up indirect WMD “evidence,” neatly, and right on cue. The timing is about as pat as Tom Ridge’s “homeland security alerts” happening every time, without fail, Bush needs a political diversion.

Disinformation: Brooks and the Pentagon have been disseminating the story that the fact that Iraqis are using guerilla tactics, blowing up of bridges, and not wearing regular uniforms, is “proof” of war crimes. But in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War (those we fought against invaders on our own soil, whether the British or North or South), these same tactics were used by Americans. The Battle of Baltimore in 1814 was won by such tactics, in fact – thereby saving the nation from returning to British control. The Americans did not have mines then, but they commandeered private ships and sunk them in the harbor, completely blockading it. They also hid in trees and ambushed the British troops by land with snipers. In the Revolutionary war, few American fighters had “military issue” uniforms. Disguising oneself as the enemy is one of the oldest military tricks in the book – every military force on Earth has used this tactic. Yet we are supposed to believe the Iraqi people are “war criminals” for doing the same thing?.

All-Purpose Propaganda Band-aid: When Brooks was asked how the military felt about the western civilians in Baghdad who were acting as “human shields” – a group that may include Dick Cheney’s daughter Elizabeth – he had not meaningful response and fell back on the tired propaganda statement. “We are liberators….we are freeing the Iraqi people.”


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