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MediaWatch:Blogs
Follow-Up
That Disputed Food Supply Memo: It's Legit
It's a Fraud, and You're Busted; Oh, Wait, Oops; Headline: Food Problem Solved
05/28/2007 08:38 AM ET

The appearance of this leaked "Staff Memo" on IraqSlogger and elsewhere last week prompted a flurry of questions and doubts about the authenticity of the memo.

The leaked memo not only appeared in its original form in the blogosphere but also was referenced in this Washington Post story about food shortages at the US embassy in Baghdad.

Some in the blogosphere smelled a rat.

Curt at the Flopping Aces blog flatly branded the memo "a forgery."

The Little Green Footballs blog characterized the memo as "a probable anti-war fraud."

Your IraqSloggers were determined to get to the truth -- was the memo a forgery? -- and to report the facts regardless of whether they proved to be embarrassing to IraqSlogger.

Today, a senior official at the US embassy in Baghdad confirmed to IraqSlogger the authenticity of the memo and -- even better news -- said the food convoy delays and food shortages are now over due to improved weather conditions and the resolution of "paperwork issues" at the Kuwaiti border.

The official asked not to be named, probably because he didn't want to be suspected as the source of the original leaked memo -- and he was not.

Kudos to Flopping Aces for posting its own de facto mea culpa:

UPDATE V

Chad, a Ace of Spades HQ commenter apparently emailed the embassy and they confirmed the amateurous "memo" as being real:

From: Chad Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:36 AM To: Baghdad, Press Office Subject: Question regarding a Washington Post story

Dear Sir or Ma’am:

I am a blogger who is following up on a story appearing in the Washington Post regarding a shortage of fresh foods reaching the embassy. There are some bones of contention regarding this story:

1. Is the title US Mission – Iraq in use? It is my understanding that a US Mission includes all American activities in a particular country where the embassy is merely the physical building. Is this correct? 2. Did a memo attached appear outside the dining facility, or is it a fake used to dupe the Washington Post into writing yet another negative story about the conditions in Iraq as alleged by some.

Thanks for your time

Chad From: Baghdad, Press Office Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2007 11:09 PM To: Chad Subject: RE: Question regarding a Washington Post story

Hi Chad,

These are great questions.

In short, the term “US Mission-Iraq” is how the military here generally refers to us; however, we at the Embassy simply call ourselves “the US Embassy” or, for the actual real estate on which we sit, “the Embassy compound.” As for the food-shortage notice, yes, it was a legitimate notice; however, food convoys have since begun to come in and we’re gradually getting back to normal.

Thanks for asking!

BAGHDAD PRESS OFFICE U.S. Embassy, Baghdad Email: BaghdadfPressOffice@state.gov Web: http://iraq.usembassy.gov

Curt at Flopping Aces still has concerns and questions, but on the issue of the authenticity of the memo, there's no doubt: It was real.
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