IRAQ'S ruling parties have demanded US forces cede control of security as the government investigated a raid on a Shiite mosque complex that ministers said involved "cold blooded" killings by US-led troops.
The play this story is getting in Iraq is devastating for the US position, but we are trying to fight back.
After 24 hours of limited communication, US commanders mounted a media offensive to deny Shiite accounts of a mosque massacre and portray instead a bold and disciplined operation by US-trained Iraqi special forces that killed 16 fighters and freed a hapless Iraqi hostage being held to ransom for $US20,000
"After the fact, someone went in and made the scene look different from what it was," Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli said of footage aired extensively on state television showing the bodies of apparently unarmed civilians in a mosque.
"There's been huge misinformation," he said. He insisted he did not know the religious affiliation of the group targeted, although the raid was the fruit of lengthy intelligence work.
It took 24 hours for the US to start to argue it's case in public. The Shia side of the debate has been getting TV play, backing up their side of the story for a full day, and we can not even say we knew the religious affiliation of the very target we attacked.
It sure looks bad, someone has done a great job of controlling the spin on this story, and it has not be us.