UPDATE: The Rummy and Gen. Pace briefing

Last night I posted extensive excerpts of and commented on a briefing transcript regarding operations in Iraq. The thing that’s been galling me of late has been all the talk about the Bush administration not getting the word out. I, too, have been critical of this at times, but I think that the largest part of the problem (maybe) is not that the word isn’t “gotten” out, but that it’s not passed on.

Shortly after I posted my entry, I also posted a link to a news item by the American Forces Press Services covering the briefing. I noted at the time that, while I thought it was good, they skipped some items I felt should have been included.

Today, two three additional releases have been made. All three four of these stories seem to be based almost entirely on the briefing. Each focuses on a separate segment of the discussion. Here they are:

All three of these short items include some of the original quotes and a paraphrased summary/interpretation of what was said in the briefing about the three subjects.

I haven’t paid as much attention to the AFPS as I should have. Neither, I think, has anyone else.

Sure, some will dismiss it as mere propaganda. But where else is information about military operations going to come from? AFPS makes both these stories and the briefing that they’re based on available to the public. I would recommend that they provide links within each item back to the original source, but beyond that I guess I’m not sure what else we should expect from the government.

Yet the press so often plays games with the issues covered in these briefings and people cry about not having enough information available to base their opinions on. I guess I’ll have to watch AFPS more closely for a while to try to determine just how good the info coming out of it is.

What if I figure out how to list the most recent releases (there are many per day) in the sidebar somehow? maybe via their XML feed? Would that be useful to MO readers? It would be along the lines of the old “Space Daily Headlines” that I used to run. I’ve been thinking of bringing those back, as I don’t cover space nearly enough these days. Would that be valuable?

I must admit that I’d like to see something along the lines of the “fireside chat” scenario from the President, though.

UPDATE: A fourth AFIS article based on the briefing has been issued. I added it to the list.


  1. The XML feed (http://www.defenselink.mil/news/afps.xml ) is beautifully written with its associated XSL so that it works in browsers (well Mozilla anyway) and in news readers. This is what we all ought to aspire to in our RSS feeds but most of us (including me) don’t. I’m adding it to my own new reader software now that I’m aware of it

  2. MO, Check out http://www.mnf-iraq.com and then click on the ‘transcripts’ on the left side. You’ll get all the briefings held in Iraq there. Specifically, check out MG Lynch’s briefings and they all have the accompanying PowerPoint slides that go with the briefing – you’ll get some very good info that you can post into your blog. Shek