Thursday, March 10, 2005


unfolds before your eyes. Not perfect, but for a map junkie like me this is very cool.


Long after the fact, a former Marine disputes the widely-told story of how Saddam Hussein was captured.
Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.

"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.

"We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed," he said
I agree with James Joyner that one shouldn't reject the truth of this story out of hand:
Still, we can't discount this entirely. The U.S. military has fed propaganda to the press or allowed helpful-but-wrong reports to go unchallenged numerous times in the past. The Jessica Lynch story is but the most obvious example from this war. There was certainly a propaganda advantage to having the Iraqi people believe Saddam was a coward, hiding in a spider hole and then refusing to fight.
But this appears to be a case in which the collective intelligence of the blogosphere raises some interesting questions concerning the case (courtesy of Kevin Aylward):
Current and former members of the military and the Marines cannot find any record of the existence of a Nadim Abou Rabeh.

Notice in these pictures the US flags on the shoulders of the soldiers holding Saddam, the Marine Corps does not put flags on their uniforms.

No Marine units were in the vicinity of the area where Saddam was captured.

According to DOD records, no Marines were killed during that time frame, either the day before, day of or day after.
If the story of a hoax turns out to be a hoax itself, Aylward has some consolation for UPI, the news service that first ran the story:
Just so the editors at UPI don't feel too bad, they'll be happy to remember that the AP ran a story about a action figure held hostage in Iraq by terrorists.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Courtesy of the Korean Friendship Association (link courtesy of BoingBoing via Instapundit). I highly recommend viewing the flashmovie promotional for the trip. A fascinating glimpse into what awaits the would-be visitor. I'd love to visit North Korea.

BoingBoing notes that he got in trouble for linking to the video because of bandwidth issues and has since linked to several alternate or mirror sites. I wonder if the folks who put together the video got permission to use the brief clip of the South Korean Film JSA (Joint Security Area)?

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