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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Potemkin Village, Iraq

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions
President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution....

...A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

...............

Paul Rieckhoff, director of the New York-based Operation Truth, an advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and
Afghanistan, denounced the event as a "carefully scripted publicity stunt." Five of the 10 U.S. troops involved were officers, he said....

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