Is there a Phoenix Program in Iraq killing all the terrorists?

Bob Woodward of the Washington Post is claiming a new secret “killing program” is being used in Iraq with great success. Based on highly classified intelligence gathering techniques, US forces have been identifying, locating and eliminating terrorist threats (i.e. killing them).

It does sound like Phoenix but one wonders what sort of intelligence gathering we are talking about (mind reading?). We already tap probably every phone in the country and have spies throughout, so something even more advanced may be in play?


US spied on Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, insurgents using 'groundbreaking' covert techniques

Bob Woodward has a new book out so we’re getting drips and drabs from the Washington Post today. It seems the US has been spying on the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (no surprise there, honestly) but using was Woodward calls ‘groundbreaking’ new covert techniques.

Woodward does not disclose the code names of the covert programs or provide much detail about them, saying in the book that White House and other officials cited national security concerns in asking him to withhold specifics. But he quotes “several authoritative sources” as saying that “85 to 90 percent of the successful operations and ‘actionable intelligence’ had come from” the breakthrough techniques.

The book also details the dissension behind the surge, and the fact that Bush made his decisions without the advice (and against the advice) of the Pentagon. It also mentions that he fired Rumsfeld without consulting Cheney (Rumsfeld’s cheif supporter).

Bush informed Cheney of his decision on Nov. 6, 2006, the day before the midterm elections. “Well, Mr. President, I disagree,” Cheney is quoted as saying, “but obviously it’s your call.”

Anyway, we’ll see how it plays when it gets released on Monday. Some of Woodward’s recent books have been self-serving on the part of his ’sources’ (which can be easily seen in some parts).


War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Series of Cases, 2003-2007

The Government Printing Office has a new title out that’s actually quite a big seller apparently. ”War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Series of Cases, 2003-2007″ is written by military doctors and covers some incredibly gruesome casualties they’ve experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, both military and civilian victims. The book is being given to a number of hospitals (especially ER rooms who deal with gunshot wounds) and also to doctors arriving in country for the first time:

“The average Joe Surgeon, civilian or military, has never seen this stuff,” Lounsbury said. “Yeah, they’ve seen guys shot in the chest. But the kind of ferocious blast, burn and penetrating trauma that’s part of the modern IED wound is like nothing they’ve seen, even in a New York emergency room. It’s a shocking, heart-stopping, eye-opening kind of thing. And they need to see this on the plane before they get there, because there’s a learning curve to this.”

Amazon is sold out apparently. Unfortunately I suspect a lot of people are going to use this either for their own sick ‘glee’ and curiousity or for some sick political purposes (apparently the photos are pretty rough). The military tried to censor the book from coming out but doctors said it was needed and would save lives, so eventually the DoD relented.

War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Series of Cases, 2003-2007 (Textbooks of Military Medicine).