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Daily Column
U.S. Papers Monday: Two Exclusives
NYT: Iranians in U.S. Hands; WP: Problematic Iraqi Guards
By EASON JORDAN 12/24/2006 11:57 PM ET
On this Christmas day, the NY Times and the Washington Post each provide a compelling Iraq exclusive, while also reporting on the latest killed among Iraqis and U.S. forces: four U.S. troops killed Saturday and seven Iraqi police killed Sunday. The NY Times's Marc Santora quotes the Iraqi interior minister as saying 12,000 Iraqi police have been killed in the nearly four years of this conflict. That quote/stat is missing from the Washington Post story by Nancy Trejos, who reports the U.S. military death toll thus far this month is 77 - the second-highest monthly toll this year after October.


The NY Times exclusive is reported from Baghdad by James Glanz and the Sabrina Tavernise, whose story is headlined "U.S. is Detaining Iranians Caught in Raids in Iraq." What the headline doesn't convey is import of the Iranians detained - they're supposedly significant players. The U.S. military hasn't disclosed detailed of their supposed crimes (somehitng to do with plotting attacks against Iraqi forces), but it's prompted a fuss because the Iraqi government wants the Iranians freed.


The semi-exclusive in the Post is a major underreported but not entirely new story: the U.S. military wants the Iraqi government to rein in the 150,000-man Iraqi Facilities Protection Service (FPS), which has not one boss but 26 - each Iraqi government minister has his or her own guard force operating outside the oversight of the Iraqi interior ministry or the U.S. military. Elements of the FPS have been linked to death squads and sectarian militias, and the U.S. and Iraqi governments want them consolidated under the oversight of the interior ministry - a 2007 goal. Walter Pincus reports the story from Washington.


Dark on Christmas.


Dark on Christmas.


Dark on Christmas.


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