26 April 2007
2 imbeddable CNN war whores urge America to stay the course
CNN "American Morning"
[via cnn.com webform]
re: interview, Thursday 26 April 2007
Dear Ms. Phillips and Mr. Ware:
I don't know what you are, but you're not journalists.
Maybe the Bush White House is paying you to support the War in Iraq with preferential access to film US military operations in Iraq.
In return, you urge the American people to support the U.S. War in Iraq, and parrot the White House and Republican warhawks about predicting disaster for the region and for America if American troops leave Iraq.
Stop being whores for Bush's War. That's Fox's job. Fox never even pretended to be an objective broadcaster of news.
Until your "American Morning" segment, I at least thought CNN was pretending to collect and broadcast news objectively.
I'm a Vietnam-era Army veteran, and this piece of shit is the biggest American military disaster since Vietnam. Stop making the Iraq War continue endlessly like Vietnam.
There are 58,000 names on the Vietnam War Memorial. If Americans listen to your advice and "stay the course," how many names on the Iraq War Memorial will be courtesy of you and CNN?
3334 of my neighbors' children have been killed in Iraq since the invasion. I want it to stop ASAP.
In November, millions of my neighbors voted to change control of Congress for one paramount reason: To stop the war in Iraq.
Report the news and leave political advice to people who don't pretend to be journalists.
SP5 US Army 1969-1971
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Aired April 26, 2007 - 07:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning. Thanks so much for being with us once again. It is Thursday, April 26th.
I'm Kiran Chetry, here in New York.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Roberts, here in Washington.
CHETRY: And we're back now with CNN's Kyra Phillips and war correspondent Michael Ware. They both have just come back from Iraq.
Kyra and Michael, thanks for being with us once again.
And we asked you before to give us your take on some words from General Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq. He spoke yesterday on the Capitol. Let's hear one more statement from him yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCES IN IRAQ: What I would like to see Iraq end as, of course, is a government, a country that is one Iraq, with a government that is representative of and responsive to the people, all the people of Iraq that can defend itself, at peace with itself, and ideally an ally in the global war on terror.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: That's a lot. I mean, that's a lofty goal. Is it possible, Kyra?
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I have to tell you, I heard that quote. And I thought, OK, General, would you stop being so PC and stop saying what everybody wants?
Of course everybody wants peace in Iraq. And I even sent him an e-mail this morning. We've been having correspondence. And I said, "Give me a break. Tell me what you really were saying."
And he said right here -- he said, "I'm not going to lie. I talk about the setbacks as well. There have also been the sensational car bomb attacks, the tragic loss of the combat outpost three days ago, and the challenges in Diyala province, which, understandably, have tended to overshadow the sense of slow progress on the ground in Baghdad, Anbar and some other locations."
He's a straight shooter. You've just got to know what to ask him and how to pick at him.
This is -- this was such a PC answer. And I know you spent a lot of time in Diyala province. You know he's a straight shooter, too. And he's making a good point about the setbacks in that area.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. I mean, Diyala is now the new frontline against al Qaeda. I mean, to be honest, it's a tragically bloody affair.
The brigade that was there last year lost 19 troops in 12 months. The brigade there now has lost 50 in six months.
And you listen very carefully to what General Petraeus says. He says, this is what we would like to see, a representative government.
When I was in Diyala province, I interviewed a two-star general on camera for CNN, and he admitted for the first time from anyone in the military that they are now prepared to accept options other than democracy. Now, this is what this war was sold to the American public on. Yet, they are saying now democracy isn't mandatory, it's an option, and that they are prepared to see a government that can protect itself, give services to its people, and it doesn't have to be democratic.
In fact, the general said most of our allies in this region are not democratic. So that fundamentally addresses the root cause of why America says it went to war. And now the military is saying, well, we may not get there.
CHETRY: Well, the problem is, is that it's left into the hands, it is up to the Iraqis if they want democracy. I mean, at the beginning it was to clear the way so that could be the path. If that's not how it goes for them, we can't force it.
WARE: No. But I mean, remember, the vision for Iraq was to establish this shining model of democracy that was hoped would then spread throughout the region. Well, the security situation has become so bad, Iranian influence has become so strong, Iran is much stronger because of this war. Al Qaeda is much stronger because of this war.
And as military men, not diplomats, not politicians, they're saying first is security. And if another kind of government that is not democratic but is strong and is an ally of the U.S., we will accept that.
CHETRY: Let's answer some questions that our e-mailers asked us this morning. One of them was about how Iraqis live.
"How do Iraqis live and go about their ordinary lives? Where do they eat out and where do they shop?"
PHILLIPS: They don't. I mean, you don't go to a coffee shop and have a Starbucks. You don't go to the movies. You don't just cruise the -- stroll along the main strip on -- in the evening.
There is no normal social life in Iraq. And it's hard for Iraqis, because this was the heyday decades ago.
WARE: Yes. Yes.
PHILLIPS: I mean, especially under Saddam. I mean, you could party and have a great time. And so they have just become accustomed to that. They just hope they can get up and walk to work, whether it's their dress shop or their pharmacy or whatever it is, and just make it there alive, make some money, make it back home to their family, and cook dinner.
WARE: I'll give you an example. I mean, there's an area of Baghdad where I used to live. And at night it was alive with Iraqi families going out to restaurants, shopping, boys on the streets trying to meet girls at ice cream parlors.
This same area now is a battle zone. All the buildings are destroyed. American troops continue to die and get hurt there.
And indeed, one of my dearest Iraqi friends just two days, three days before I left the country, his father, his uncle and two of his cousins went to the shop. Luckily, his father got out of the car, walked into the shop. While he was in the shop, a car bomb detonated and he lost his uncle and both his cousins.
CHETRY: Yes, and it's tragic to hear about this. And as we talk about solutions, and we talk about -- would all of us, all the American troops pulling out help the situation?
PHILLIPS: No. No way.
WARE: Gee, no.
PHILLIPS: It would be a disaster. I mean, I had a chance to sit down with the minister of defense, to General Petraeus, Admiral Fallon, head of CENTCOM. I asked them all the question, whether Iraqi or U.S. military.
There is no way U.S. troops could pull out. It would be a disaster. They are doing too much training. They are helping the Iraqis not only with security, but trying to get the government up and running.
I mean, this is a country of let's make a deal. There's so much corruption still. If the U.S. military left, they have rules of engagement, they have an idea, a focus, it would be a disaster.
WARE: Well, even more than that, I mean, if you just want to look at it in terms of purely American national interest, if U.S. troops leave now, you're giving Iraq to Iran, a member of President Bush's axis of evil, and al Qaeda. That's who will own it.
And so, coming back now, I'm struck by the nature of the debate on Capitol Hill, how delusional it is. Whether you are for this war or against it, whether you've supported the way it's been executed or not, it does not matter. You broke it, you've got to fix it now. You can't leave, or it's going to come and blow back on America. PHILLIPS: The U.S. owns this. And that's a very interesting point that you bring up about Iran.
Everybody keeps talking about a timeline. Is the U.S. winning this war? They have to start talking about other issues, like the influence of Iran.
I mean, every single day there are munitions and training and advice and support coming from Iran. I mean, they do not want the U.S. to have any presence there.
CHETRY: And we could talk about this all day. And such a fascinating conversation. Unfortunately, we are out of time.
Michael Ware, Kyra Phillips...
PHILLIPS: The two of us never stop talking. Right?
CHETRY: I know you don't. Well, you do long enough to cut his hair, because I heard you were his barber in Iraq. So now he's going to be in a pickle if he goes back.
PHILLIPS: And thanks for the bottle of wine. I appreciate it.
WARE: I don't want to get blown up on the way to the hairdresser.
ROBERTS: Yes, I have been there. There the question is, where in Iraq do you go for a haircut? Where can you go?
PHILLIPS: You go to me, John. I did a really -- can't you tell? I did a great job.
ROBERTS: You did a lovely job, Kyra.
And it's great to see you back stateside, Michael, although I don't know if New York City is going to be able to handle you after four months in Iraq.
WARE: It was a long night, mate.
ROBERTS: All right. Good to see you.
Michael Ware is an Australian journalist reporting for CNN as an international correspondent based in Baghdad. He joined CNN in May 2006, after five years with sister-publication Time Magazine.
He gained early acclaim as one of the few reporters to establish contacts with the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi insurgency, thereby gaining insight to the opposition as the Western coalition forces entered the country. Those contacts have sometimes been controversial, as he was one of the first mainstream reporters to give voice to the opposition and his contacts provided him with videotapes of attacks on coalition forces, including the murder of four Blackwater contractors; however, his numerous 'embeds' with American and British military forces have also been the focus of many of his reports as he continues to describe conditions on the ground for both military and civilians in Iraq.
Life and career
A native of Brisbane (Queensland) Australia, and graduate of Brisbane Grammar School, Ware received his law degree from the University of Queensland and spent a year as Associate to then-President of the Queensland Court of Appeals Tony Fitzgerald before moving into journalism. He worked for the Courier-Mail in Brisbane from 1995-2000 and gained local notice after a series of articles led to a formal investigation into police handling (or lack thereof) of a pedophilia ring. Ware declined to name sources who had provided him with internal police documents in the matter.
His earliest assignments for Time Magazine took him to the Solomon Islands in late 2001, and in December of that year he went into Afghanistan to cover the U.S. search for al-Qaeda. As preparations for the invasion of Iraq began in early 2003, Ware relocated to the Kurdistan area in the north of that country. Although he has gone into battles embedded with US forces, he has also won infamy as one of the few Western journalists to travel to terrorist camps and report on their perspective of the war. His Time bylines include reports from Kabul, Kandahar, Fallujah, Tikrit, Tal Afar, Mosul, Samarra, Ramadi, and Baghdad.
In September of 2004, while investigating reports that Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi's nascent "al-Qaeda in Iraq" group was openly claiming control of the Haifa Street area of Baghdad, Ware was briefly held at gunpoint by terrorists loyal to Zarqawi who had pulled pins from live grenades and forced his car to stop. The men dragged him from the car and stood him beneath one of the banners, intending to film the execution with his own video camera. By threatening them with immediate and violent retaliation, his local guides, including members of the Ba'athist Party, were able to win his release. (Ware has stated that had this happened only a few months later, when Zarqawi's group had grown stronger, he would have been killed.)
He was named Time's Baghdad Bureau Chief in October 2004. 
He was embedded for the September 2005 assault on Tal Afar, and his harrowing video of the battle has been included in a Frontline documentary and a 60 Minutes report.
In August 2006, he spent three weeks in Beirut and the Bekaa Valley as part of CNN's team covering the Israeli/Lebanese conflict before returning to Iraq.
In November 2006, publisher Hachette Australia will publish Foreign Correspondent, Ware's first book about the Iraq war.
Sniper video controversy
On October 18, 2006, CNN aired a small portion of a videotape sent to Ware which showed terrorist snipers shooting at and apparently murdering American troops. The video was a propaganda tape sent to CNN to which Ware added narration for the edited broadcast that showed American soldiers being stalked and eventually brought under fire by the terrorists. After the news report was shown, Press Secretary Tony Snow accused CNN of "propagandizing" the American public. Representative Duncan Hunter, then-chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, asked Donald Rumsfeld to remove CNN embedded reporters following the airing of the news report,claiming that "C-N-N has now served as the publicist for an enemy propaganda film featuring the killing of an American soldier."
On April 1, 2007 the Drudge Report cited an unnamed source asserting Ware "heckled" two Republican Senators during a press conference. In a response on CNN April 2, 2007 Ware disputed the claim, saying that no one was willing to put their name on the report, as it is an anonymous claim, and told curious parties to view the tape. According to Raw Story, a video of the press conference posted to the site confirmed Ware's claims. Raw Story asserted that the video "appeared to show a short press conference without any interruptions and with Ware himself asking no questions during the question and answer session." 
In an AFP article  on McCain's trip, Agence France-Press reporter Jennie Matthew quoted John McCain as stating "I studied warfare. I'm a student of history. If you control the capital city of a nation you have a significant advantage." Matthew noted in the article that McCain made the comments "as one reporter giggled at the back." After the story's appearance, Matthew advised Raw Story that "As far as I'm aware there was no disruption of the press conference at all. The reporter who giggled at the back was not Michael Ware, whom I don't remember giggling or making any kind of disturbance." When contacted by the Powerline Blog regarding the matter Matthew again denied that Ware was giggling, and said she could not identify who was. Powerline interpreted this as a refusal by Matthew to disclose the name of the reporter.
1. ^ 
2. ^ 
3. ^ http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2006/10/why-we-aired-sniper-video.html
4. ^ Video Shows Snipers' Chilling Work in Iraq. Retrieved on October 20, 2006.
5. ^ House Defense Chair Asks Pentagon to Remove Embedded CNN Reporters. Retrieved on October 21, 2006.
6. ^ Drudge, Matt. "CNN's Ware flatly denies report that he "heckled" McCain, but right-wing media flog it anyway", Drudge Report, April 2, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
7. ^ "CNN's Ware flatly denies report that he "heckled" McCain, but right-wing media flog it anyway", Media Matters for America, April 2, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
8. ^ "CNN reporter slams Drudge's charge that he 'heckled' McCain; Exclusive video confirms his claim", Rawstory, April 2, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
9. ^ Matthew, Jennie. "US White House hopeful shops in Baghdad market", Agence France-Press, April 1, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-01.
10. ^ Roston, Michael. "Blogs accuse CNN reporter of disrupting McCain press conference again", Rawstory, April 4, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-06.
11. ^ "AFP Journalist Refusing to Disclose Who Giggled at McCain Press Conference", Powerline, April 4, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-04.
Kyra Phillips (b. 1968) is an American news anchor for CNN, where she has been reporting since October 1999. Phillips co-anchors the afternoon edition of CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon.
Early life and career
Phillips grew up in San Diego and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. Among her first jobs in broadcasting were the positions of weekend anchor and reporter for WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin before moving on to WDSU-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1994. Phillips has also held positions as morning anchor for KAMC-TV in Lubbock, Texas, field producer for CNN-Telemundo’s Washington, D.C. offices and a journalist of the special assignment unit of KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, California. In her spare time, Phillips participates in Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and has been doing so since 1992.
Career at CNN
Phillips joined CNN in 1999. During her early years at CNN, Phillips was granted access to U.S. Navy airwing CVW-9 in 2001 as they prepared for the war in Afghanistan. In January 2002, Phillips spent about a month in Antarctica to work on a television documentary to be featured on the program CNN Presents. Later in 2002, Phillips produced reports focusing on the U.S. Navy’s reconnaissance missions from the USS Paul Hamilton, the Navy’s Special Operations Command, the Navy SEALs, and Special Warfare Combatant Crewman training, riding in an F-14 Tomcat during an air-to-air combat mission over the Persian Gulf. She has also participated in the Navy’s TOPGUN school, SWAT training, and other police and weapons training.
In 2003, she was an embedded journalist during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, where she reported from the USS Abraham Lincoln.
On September 22, 2006, Phillips was the last journalist to fly in an F-14 Tomcat before its official retirement from service in the U.S. Navy. 
In 1997 Phillips was named Reporter of the Year by the Associated Press. She has also won four Emmy Awards and two Edward R. Murrow awards for investigative reporting.
Kyra Phillips was criticised for her perceived insensitivity during an April 16, 2003 interview with Dr Imad al-Najada, the doctor of Ali Ismail Abbas, a 12-year-old boy who lost 15 relatives and both arms when a US missile hit his home in Baghdad. Joan Walsh, news editor of Salon.com, wrote:
"CNN hit rock bottom on Wednesday morning, when anchor Kyra Phillips interviewed Ali's doctor in Kuwait, Dr Imad al- Najada explained that, although Ali told reporters he was grateful for his treatment, he also hopes no other 'children in the war will suffer like what he suffered'. Phillips seemed shocked by Ali's apparent inability to understand we were only trying to help him. 'Doctor, does he understand why this war took place? Has he talked about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the meaning. Does he understand it?'"
On a CNN segment aired on April 21, 2005, one of her guests said that research showed that it was "a proven fact" that "children in same-sex couple homes are 11 times more likely to be abused sexually." This claim is not generally accepted as fact. In an article explaining how dubious and misleading statistics enter the national discourse with little notice, the Wall Street Journal columnist, Carl Bialik, later determined the figure to have been derived from research published in Psychological Reports by Dr. Paul Cameron. Cameron's research has been criticized by other scientists for statistical flaws as well as for being both a researcher and an advocate for anti-gay agendas. Phillips called it a "bold statement" and gave the other guest with an opposing view an immediate opportunity to respond to the assertion. Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute, criticized Phillips for failing to challenge the statement, and said it is the responsibility of the anchor to ask pointed questions when such numbers are stated as fact. "'This is one of the faults of live TV,' McBride said. 'It is the anchor’s job to push back. You have to have the skills to question. The idea is not to say "yes, this is right," or "no, this is wrong," but to give the audience some kind of context of where the research comes from.'"
Discussing live images of the 2006 labor protests in France, in which it was later determined that no one was killed, she said that the images of the demonstrations "Sort of brings back memories of Tiananmen Square, when you saw these activists in front of tanks." CNN's Chris Burns told French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy that her comments were "regrettable."
On August 29, 2006, during a CNN broadcast of President George W. Bush's speech on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall, Phillips' microphone was left on while she was in the bathroom. Portions of a personal conversation were broadcast live for over a minute and a half, during which Phillips offered advice on men, criticized her sister-in-law for being a "control freak," and praised her husband. The conversation audio was mixed with the President's audio feed and both were discernable. CNN immediately apologized for the on-air gaffe.
1. ^ Golf Life: Kyra Phillips from Travel + Leisure Golf
2. ^ Kyra Phillips at the Internet Movie Database
3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kyra Phillips. Anchors & Reporters. CNN. Retrieved on 2006-08-30.
4. ^ CNN Newsroom - Sept 22, 2006. CNN Transcripts. CNN.
5. ^ Siddharth Varadarajan. "Ungrateful Ali: Painful Paradox of Embedded Freedom", Times of India, 2003-25-17. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
6. ^ Media Watch: Saving Ali. ABC Australia (2003-04-21). Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
7. ^ Joan Walsh. "The unfortunate poster boy", Salon.com, 2003-04-17. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
8. ^ Carl Bialik. "Debate Over Gay Foster Parents Shines Light on a Dubious Stat", Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
9. ^ Dyana Bagby. "Anti-gay numbers game", Southern Voice, 13 May 2005. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
10. ^ "French protests 'Tiananmen'", FIN24, 2006-03-28. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
11. ^ "OBSERVER: Just a little comment", Financial Times, 30 Mar 2006. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.