VIET NOW: Cowboys In The Sand

They detained one man who identified himself with a name that didn’t match his government-issued ID, earning him a noisy, expletive-laden interrogation that was easily overheard in the next room. “Keep youriraqinterrogation_revised.jpg head down! Keep your (expletive) head down!” the interrogator yelled in English as an interpreter translated. “Why are you speaking if you’re lying? You better think about what you’re saying before you talk to me, son. I’ve got a real short temper tonight!”

Another Iraqi man who lived in the house also was questioned, though he wasn’t detained. What did he know about Sunni insurgents living in the area, asked Staff Sgt. Kenneth Braxton, who’s from Philadelphia. Nothing, the man said. Braxton said he knew the man was lying because of the way he moved his eyes. The sergeant tore an American flag Velcro patch from his sleeve and told the Iraqi to hold it to his chest. Then another soldier used a digital camera to take a picture of the man.

“So we’ve got a picture of you holding an American flag now,” Braxton said. He told the man that if he didn’t cooperate, the photo would be posted around the neighborhood.

It the end, it didn’t appear that the soldiers gleaned any helpful information from the man. The military didn’t say what happened to the detainee. A few hours later, the soldiers returned to Command Outpost Cleary, weary and disappointed. [via MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS]

MSNBC: “If the security situation continues to improve as it has, we may be able to achieve the same objectives with fewer troops,” Mr Bush told reporters on Air Force One after leaving for Sydney.
NEW YORK TIMES: Independent Audit Finds Progress Lacking In Iraq

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