“How do we (combat ?) that kind of a press and really get out the story that when an Iraqi police department gets blown up with an IED and kills 50 new recruits, that the very next day there’s 150 new recruits in line to replace them?”
– Master Sergeant Shaeffer, in the Town Hall June 29 with Rumsfeld and Myers, expressing dismay with how the press is — in essence — inflating the numbers of casualties. Sgt. Shaeffer says he works in the “Army Operations Center, down on the CAT floor.” He continues, “One of the things we do every day is track all the incidents that happen in the theater of war and clean the names of all of our casualties and, you know, track their funerals and handle them with the utmost and deep respect. ”
In reply, Rumsfeld praises the Iraqi people’s willingness to risk and sacrifice. Then General Myers adds: “There is, I think, and you probably know this — well, first of all, we ought to recruit you for Public Affairs or — (laughter) — let you try your skills out.”
The remarks are especially troubling given the CNN (via Raw Story) report that “[i]nsurgent attacks in the last six months have killed more than 8,000 Iraqi civilians, police and troops, according to Iraq’s interior minister.” Another 12,000 have been wounded. I didn’t spot stats on how many Iraqi civilians have been killed by U.S. troops.