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For Immediate Release:                                                       
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Statement by Eli Pariser, Executive Director, Political Action in Response to House Vote on its Ad on General Petraeus' Testimony

“With every passing day, more information comes to light casting more and more doubt on the validity of the facts and conclusions presented by General Petraeus in his testimony before Congress. [See news stories below.]

With every passing day, more American soldiers and Iraqi civilians lose their lives in this unwinnable civil war. It is unconscionable and outrageous  that instead of doing the people's work and ending this war, Congress chooses meaningless and distracting gestures.

With every passing day, America's frustration with politicians in Washington drops the approval ratings for this Congress to new lows.  Congress is fiddling with an ad while Iraq burns. 

We will continue our ad campaign to accuse the Republicans who are blocking an end to the war of a 'Betrayal of Trust.'”


See story excerpts and links to full stories, below:

What Defines a Killing as Sectarian?
U.S. Military Teams Analyze and Tally Each Civilian Death

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 25, 2007; A01

On Sept. 1, the bullet-riddled bodies of four Iraqi men were found on a Baghdad street. Two days later, a single dead man, with one bullet in his head, was found on a different street. According to the U.S. military in Iraq, the solitary man was a victim of sectarian violence. The first four were not.

Such determinations are the building blocks for what the Bush administration has declared a downward trend in sectarian deaths and a sign that its war strategy is working. They are made by a specialized team of soldiers who spend their nights at computer terminals, sifting through data on the day's civilian victims for clues to the motivations of killers.

The soldiers have a manual telling them what to look for. Signs of torture or a single shot to the head, corpses left in a "known body dump" -- as the body of the Sunni man found on Sept. 3 was -- spell sectarian violence, said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dan Macomber, the team leader. Macomber, who has been at his job in Baghdad since February, rarely has to look it up anymore.

"If you were just a criminal and you just wanted to take somebody's money, just wanted to discipline them, you're not going to take the time to bind them up, burn their bodies, cut their arms off, cut their head off," he explained. "You're just going to shoot them in the body and get it over with." That, the team judged, is what happened to the four Shiite men, sprayed with gunfire and left where they dropped.



September 26, 2007

Sunni Insurgents in New Campaign to Kill Officials


BAGHDAD, Sept. 25 — Sunni Arab extremists have begun a systematic campaign to assassinate police chiefs, police officers, other Interior Ministry officials and tribal leaders throughout Iraq, staging at least 10 attacks in 48 hours.

Eight policemen have been killed, among them the police chief of Baquba, the largest city in Diyala Province. Two other police chiefs survived attacks, though one was left in critical condition, and about 30 police officers were wounded, according to reports from local security officers.

“We warned the government just a few days ago that there is a new plan by terrorist groups to target senior governmental officials, and particularly Interior Ministry officials,” said Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, the deputy interior minister for information and national investigations. The Interior Ministry is dominated by Shiites.