Information Warfare: June 15, 2004

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The war in Iraq is a war of information, and spinning unfortunate events in ones direction is how you cover your tracks and gain an edge. A case in point was the May 19th U.S. bombing of a remote compound in Iraq, near the Syrian border. The U.S. said the place was a smugglers way station being used to bring anti-government fighters, terrorists and weapons in from Syria. An American assessment team got to the scene shortly after the bomb strike. What they found was;

- The only permanent buildings at the site contained large stocks of food (the meat was still frozen solid), bedding, medical supplies, ammunition and weapons, as well a document forging operation. 

- The site was not prepared for a wedding feast, and there were no stocks of dishes,
plates, etc. and, most importantly, no  "Nuptial Tent," which is a standard feature of an Arab wedding.

- There was no evidence of any means of support for the house. The most common livelihood in the area is sheep raising, and there was no evidence of that at the site. All evidence pointed to a smuggler way station, similar to others found along the Syrian border in the past.

- The deceased "wedding guests" were almost all men of military age, only a couple of women, no elders at all. There was only one child, who was wounded. All the deceased were dressed as city dwellers, not as the local Arabs who would hold a wedding at such a location. All of the deceased lacked any form of ID on them. The only ID's found were stacked up inside the house, and these were fewer in number than those bodies found at the site.

- Weapons and equipment found there included RPG's, military binoculars, and bomb making materials.

- There was lots of clothing found, prepackaged in pants and shirt sets.

- Weddings are traditionally held on Thursdays in Iraq to take advantage of Friday as a day of rest. The bombing raid took place on Tuesday night.

- There were also no gifts, no decorations, no food set out or left over, and the good bit of money recovered was all in the pockets of the bodies found at the site.

The assessment team left, and then those who had fled after the bombing returned, and had time to rearrange the site, for reporters who showed up later, with debris to make it look like a wedding had taken place. Most media fell for the deception, despite the U.S. Department of Defense releasing photos of what was found at the site of the bombing..

 


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