Major E. has sent us a copy of his letter to the editor of the Washington Post regarding its story on Bill Roggio. Major E. writes the Post:
I am disappointed in your piece about Bill Roggio. It had bias and errors that should have been obvious to any of the many editors and fact-checkers with which your newspaper is blessed.
I spent eight months on the ground in Iraq as part of a roadside bomb task force and have actually learned to go to blogs first for real news about Iraq because of their effort to report reality, rather than preconceptions, whether driven by political agendas or elitist disdain. I find it incredibly frustrating that someone who wants to report from the ground in Iraq and respects the views of the troops, is labeled a propagandist — as was insinuated about Roggio. How about taking a more thorough look at “real journalists” like Eason Jordan or Linda Foley?
I will close with the same words that I have shared with the 15 or so audiences I have had with civic groups to share experiences and photos in an attempt to balance with a bit of reality the relentlessly negative coverage that too many media outlets have unleashed upon the public in the last couple of years: “Things are much better in Iraq than the media would like you to believe.”
Assuming Roggio continues to report with the same realism that led the US Marine Corps to respect his abilities, his work will support it as well.
Roggio’s response to the Post story is here. The column by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Jack Kelly criticizing the Post’s coverage as “the journalistic equivalent of a drive-by shooting” is here. The Post has yet to respond to Roggio’s points in print or to run any corrections.
In a related message to us, Major E. writes:
It is not the newest story, but I have been busy putting together some submissions to Black Five for the MilBlogger anthology.
I love that the Corps is bringing Roggio out there. Our side has a long way to catch up in the war of information. Getting reality out is something our side needs to do better — way better.
A good model is the way LTC Kurilla of Deuce Four invited Michael Yon to join his unit. Because of it, the success in Mosul will be part of history.
If reporting the Stryker Brigade’s successful planning and execution of its 2005 counter-insurgency campaign, it would have been ignored and forgotten. He did a lot of other things right, but my sense in working with his unit was that one of his great strengths is how he grasped the importance of the entire spectrum of information operations.