Remember this? We blogged it while it was happening. Insurgents launched an attack on Falcon with rockets and mortars, one of which hit an ammo dump and set off a string of explosions that lasted for hours. The military reported no casualties; jihadist media reported 300 American soldiers dead plus scores more wounded. Their spin has now made it all the way up to McDermott, as part of the anti-war effort to show that no matter how awful conditions are in Iraq, they’re actually even worse than you think.
But who told McDermott? That’s where it gets interesting:
It was brought to my attention yesterday during a meeting in my Congressional office with Muhammad al-Daini, an independent member of the Iraqi Parliament; he came to the U.S. to talk with Members of Congress about the realities of life in Iraq…
During our meeting I asked Mr. al-Daini if Iraq was so unstable that a terrorist attack could claim a large number of Americans in one attack?…
I wanted to know if such an attack was possible in Iraq. Without hesitation he said such an attack already occurred. He said, and others are saying on-line, that the attack on Camp Falcon killed 300 Americans, wounded another 200, and killed or injured another 200 Iraqis.
Would an Iraqi MP lie? Well, yeah, maybe: read the Times’s report of Daini’s visit to Capitol Hill, which drips with skepticism about his motives. He’s a Sunni who’s publicly praised the insurgency and whose party is led by a guy who thinks the Baath were the best thing to ever happen to Iraq. He’s also been accused of being an accomplice in the murder of a Shiite journalist’s brother. The Times notes drily that most of his meetings were with anti-war Democrats; that might be partly explained the fact that his sponsor on the visit was Dal LaMagna, a “progressive” businessman better known to the blogosphere as a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. “A true humanitarian,” says LaMagna of Daini.
But back to Camp Falcon. Two simple questions courtesy of my tipster on this, RLW: first, if 300 American soldiers have been mysteriously out of contact with their families for seven months and not added to any lists of killed or missing in the meantime, why haven’t any family members come forward about it? And second, if the Defense Department is adding them to the list of KIAs now, ostensibly as having been killed as part of the surge, would that mean the actual casualties for the surge are much lower than we think?
The capper on the jihadi account on the Falcon attack, incidentally, is the supposed detonation of a tactical nuclear weapon during the chain reaction in the ammo dump. You can see the explosion they mean at 2:46 of the first video and 1:23 of the second. It must be true — what better place to store tactical nukes, which are useless in urban warfare anyway, than in an area crawling with jihadis who’d love to get their hands on one?