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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-05-04 10:50 AM
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A Credit to the Corps
A Credit to the Corps

August 5, 2004

In "Control Room," the recently released documentary on the Arab news channel Al Jazeera, Marine Lt. Josh Rushing emerged as an accidental star. A spokesman for U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar, he was assigned to escort Egyptian American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim as the Iraq war unfolded. To Noujaim's surprise, Rushing proved to be no ordinary flack. Other military spokesmen in the film sounded like androids reciting canned speeches. In conversations with an Al Jazeera reporter, Rushing came across as open, earnest, articulate characteristics that should make any American proud.

Except, apparently, the Americans at the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is no fan of Al Jazeera, which he regularly denounces as a font of anti-American propaganda. It's no surprise that the Pentagon would be less than impressed by Noujaim's more nuanced and sympathetic take on the controversial network. It seems to have decided to take its ire out on Rushing, now a captain assigned to the Marine Corps Motion Picture and Television Liaison office in Los Angeles. Friends say the 31-year-old officer will end his 14-year military career in the fall after the documentary "didn't play well with some of the senior brass" and the Pentagon ordered Rushing and his wife not to give any more interviews about his part in it. (He declined to be interviewed by The Times.)

A deputy director of Marine Corps public affairs at the Pentagon told a Times reporter that it was not what Rushing said in the documentary but comments he made in interviews after it was released that prompted the crackdown. But the examples offered were no different from what was said on camera. Nothing unpatriotic, mind you. Rushing never came across as anything less than a passionate supporter of the Iraq mission of the United States and its allies. But although he supported this war, he did not stop trying to understand those who saw it as wrong. And he didn't flinch from questioning his own reactions. In one scene, he realized he had been offended by Al Jazeera showing images of dead and captive U.S. soldiers but not by an earlier, similarly graphic broadcast of dead and wounded Iraqis.

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Red_Viking Donating Member (903 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-05-04 11:27 AM
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1. I thought he was impressive
When we saw the film I was prepared not to like Lt. Rushing, since he was acting as the mouthpiece for evil. However, he surprised us several times with his very human and self-reflective comments. I came away impressed with his candor but seriously wondered how that would play with the military types. Apparently, not well.

Think of the money we've poured into developing this man. The Corps should be proud to have him as a member--he's level-headed, can see all sides of an issue, and is charismatic to boot. I hope he finds something good out of all this mess. Another soldier wasted in this unholy nightmare.

Wonder how he'll vote in November? :P

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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-05-04 02:54 PM
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2. I agree :-) n/t
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