Trenchant Lemmings
Pointed missives thrown blindly into the void, there to pass unnoticed and unloved.
News, As It Happens

An article in Editor & Publisher has listed fifteen stories the media has already got wrong.
1. Saddam may well have been killed in the first night's surprise attack (March 20).

2. Even if he wasn't killed, Iraqi command and control was no doubt "decapitated" (March 22).

3. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 22).

4. Most Iraqis soldiers will not fight for Saddam and instead are surrendering in droves (March 22).

5. Iraqi citizens are greeting Americans as liberators (March 22).

6. An entire division of 8,000 Iraqi soldiers surrendered en masse near Basra (March 23).

7. Several Scud missiles, banned weapons, have been launched against U.S. forces in Kuwait (March 23).

8. Saddam's Fedayeen militia are few in number and do not pose a serious threat (March 23).

9. Basra has been taken (March 23).

10. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 23).

11. A captured chemical plant likely produced chemical weapons (March 23).

12. Nassiriya has been taken (March 23).

13. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 24).

14. The Iraqi government faces a "major rebellion" of anti-Saddam citizens in Basra (March 24).

15. A convoy of 1,000 Iraqi vehicles and Republican Guards are speeding south from Baghdad to engage U.S. troops (March 25).
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this every story we've had from the embedded reporters and from the briefings? Is there anything coming out of Iraq, that's not from the "unilaterals'" in Baghdad, that hasn't been corrected?

Fisky reported details of the missile that hit the Shu'ale market. The Australian press didn't cover this so a chap called Bill Holland wrote to The Age quoting the article. Today Vangel Cvetkovski tracked down the source of the serial number:
That smoking gun

Yes, Bill Holland (31/9), Robert Fisk was only too aware of what he was referring to when he quoted the serial number on the fragment of the missile found at the Baghdad market where more than 70 people were killed. He saw a similar part number (30003 70 4 AS 4829 MFP 96214 (AP)) in Kosovo, after a missile was dropped near Ribinica, near Vranje in Yugoslavia during NATO's bombing of that country. He reported that incident in one of his dispatches from that war. Clearly Iraq was not a participant on that occasion.

As Fisk suggested, this can be "easily verified and checked by the Americans - if they choose to do so". Easy is an understatement. After mentioning this report to a colleague of mine, a quick Google search of the serial numbers pointed to none other than Raytheon Company, manufacturers of the Tomahawk cruise missile. The company's award/contract reference number is MFP 96214.

Vangel Cvetkovski, Sydney
I guess we can now expect Central Command to allege Fisk is lying.

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