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Letter to NPR/ATC:soldiers' letters were written by Lt. Col. Caraccilo, ..

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 09:18 AM
Original message
Letter to NPR/ATC:soldiers' letters were written by Lt. Col. Caraccilo, ..
Edited on Wed Oct-15-03 01:26 PM by Skinner
Subject: The soldiers' letters were written by Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo, not by one enlisted soldier

Dear All Things Considered,

Yesterday you reported that identical letters to the editor were sent home from a unit in Iraq reporting the "good" side of what the army is accomplishing in Iraq. However, this ethical miscue was not an honest mistake, led by one enlisted soldier as you reported. It was an intentional deception, written by Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo, who is an experienced author and has published several books on war. This story was reported earlier Tuesday in USA Today magazine. It is obvious that batallion commander Caraccilo was participating in a propaganda campaign to try to influence the American public at a time when support for the war is flagging and patience with results in Iraq is wearing thin.

All Things Considered should continue coverage of this story and state the important correction that the unit commander wrote the letters.

(name omitted)

My citations:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-10-14-letters-usat_x.htm

Officer was the one behind 500 letters
By Ledyard King, Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON An Army battalion commander has taken responsibility for a public-relations campaign that sent hundreds of identical letters to hometown newspapers promoting his soldiers' rebuilding efforts in Iraq.
Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo said he wanted to highlight his unit's work and "share that pride with people back home."

Army officials revealed Tuesday that 500 identical form letters were sent to newspapers across the country with different signatures. They said the mass mailing was the wrong way of getting the message out, but they didn't know whether the commander would be disciplined.

"It sounded like a good idea at their level, (but) it's just not the way to do business. They're not going to do that again," said Lt. Col. Bill MacDonald, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, which is leading operations in north-central Iraq.


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Colonel Caraccilo has experience in presenting stories from Iraq that are topical and important to the image of progress in that war, as seen in the beginning of this article about "Mystery Containers" being found last April:

http://www.sptimes.com/2003/04/15/Worldandnation/Iraqi_site_yields_mor.shtml

Iraqi site yields more mystery containers
Compiled from Times wires
St. Petersburg Times
published April 15, 2003
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

U.S. forces reported finding suspicious items at two Iraqi sites Monday, but top American officials said the search for weapons of mass destruction will take a long time.

In northern Iraq, a retired Iraqi air force engineer led U.S. paratroopers to several sites south of Kirkuk on Monday. They found about a dozen 20-foot-long missiles, more than two dozen large green tanks full of an unknown substance and crates of suits and masks designed to protect troops from chemical attack.

Much of the material was covered with camouflage netting, and there were some fake fiberglass missiles nearby that seemed designed to fool aerial observation.

Local Kurds said the farmland was owned by Ali Hassan al-Majid, a cousin of Saddam Hussein who was known as Chemical Ali for his suspected role in gassing thousands of ethnic Kurds in Iraq in 1988. A coalition airstrike apparently killed al-Majid on April 5.

.....end of excerpt..........

Here are books that Colonel Caracillo has published:





http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=4820I06T07&isbn=0811715965&itm=2

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0811715965/ref=lib_rd_ss_TBFL/103-1517633-8375051?v=glance&s=books&vi=reader&img=28#reader-link

EDITED BY ADMIN: COPYRIGHT
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w13rd0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. What an excellent find...
...seems this officer is a regular when it comes to distribution of 'positive propaganda'...
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Google: Dominic Caraccilo
Edited on Wed Oct-15-03 09:37 AM by SpikeTrees
From last April in the Philadelphia Enquirer:

"Nobody wants war," said Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo, commander of the Second Battalion, 503d Airborne Infantry, one of the brigade's two infantry battalions. "But this is a paratrooper's dream."

Ok, it is a little out of context and it makes him look overly gung-ho. OTOH, Caraccilo seems to be all over the press reports from the period of major fighting in Iraq. I guess this will happen when all the reporters had to be imbedded.

edit:problem in subject line
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. NPR thanked me and said they are doing a follow up today
My email was answered by one of their reporters. Adam Hochberg said that he has done a follow up story today.

NPR did what I asked of them. I am impressed. If anybody listens in at the top of the hour, do post and tell me what story they are playing.
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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Thanks for making the effort to get this story out
You're a better researcher than most any reporter I see on mainstream news.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Credit DUers IndianaGreen and ShimokitaJer
They were following this yesterday and researching it. I thought it was important to make NPR aware of this error, so I wrote them.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Joseph Goebbels wouldn't be proud of any of you. Well done.
DU making a difference. I like that.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. I am literally STUNNED that NPR responded and will follow up.
This is, like, the minimum level of investigative journalism that has been missing from the last 11 years of the history of major media.

Let's see where this goes.

Nice work.
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
4. if you believe that a Lt. Col took this apon himself to do I have a bridge
Edited on Wed Oct-15-03 11:56 AM by ElsewheresDaughter
to sell ya....military doesn't fart without orders from the CIC as to want flavor - brocclli or egg? the orders for this astroturf letter came directly from the WH and/or its PR firm and Rove/Rumfilled
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AnnabelLee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. SpikeTrees
Per DU copyright rules, please do not post more than four paragraphs of copyrighted material.

Thank you
AnnabelLee
DU Moderator
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RememberTheCoup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. Something else smells about this story.
Whether or not the orders came from higher up, at least one soldier was quoted as saying he didn't even sign his name to a letter or know that it was in the paper. So it's not just that the soldiers were given form letters to sign, it's that the letters (in at least some cases) were sent in their name without their knowledge or consent. Does anyone have the original story? I'd like to link to the soldiers who said they knew nothing about it.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-03 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. and the news from a REAL soldier is far different.
USA-- It was like a long trip to hell that you knew you might return from. Of course it is as bad as the soldiers say it is. Hell its even worse if the truth has to come out. Its a constant fu..ing nightmare trying to figure out where the guerillas are going to hit, how to keep the civilians calm, and also getting enough water and food to eat. That is one thing the media never really told the Americans about, how bad it was when our convoys werent getting through. We had to go to some Iraqi people and trade socks and underwear for some food and a little water

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0310/S00105.htm
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