While we’ve already snidely covered the numerous instances wherein the U.S. military’s documentation of events has moved from loudly inflammatory on day 1, to quietly inaccurate on day 2, we’re proud to admit another entrant into low culture‘s “Regretful Press Release 2003” contest.
Day 1, November 23, 2003:
Three US soldiers were killed in northern Iraq on Sunday, including two in the heart of the city of Mosul who witnesses said had their throats slit.
Two shopkeepers who saw the attack said the two soldiers killed had their throats slit after being ambushed in traffic.
A senior US military spokesperson said it would be “ghoulish” to comment on the testimony, but did not specifically deny it.
Day 1, continued, November 23, 2003:
An Iraqi mob, most of them teenagers, dragged two bloodied soldiers from the car, threw them to the ground and pummeled their bodies with concrete blocks, according to witnesses, describing a burst of savagery reminiscent of that in Somalia a decade ago.
Day 2, November 24, 2003:
Military officials retracted a report today that two American soldiers had been slashed in their throats in an attack Sunday in the northern city of Mosul.
A military official here, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the two soldiers had died of gunshot wounds to the head and that their bodies had been pulled by Iraqis from their car and robbed of their personal belongings.
The military official said that contrary to some reports, the men had not been beaten by rocks or mutilated in any way…
…Another mystery was the initial reports about the men having their throats cut. The official could offer no explanation for that.
Until round 5 of the contest begins, we recommend Amazon.com’s 317th-ranked bestseller, co-authored by Rick Bragg and Paul Wolfowitz.