7
Jul
2004

The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Secrecy News -- 07/07/04

ARMY STUDY OF IRAQ WAR SUPPRESSED, RELEASED ON WEB

Despite extraordinary steps by the Army to limit online public access to a new report on the Iraq war, the study has nevertheless been published without the Army's cooperation.

The Army recently completed a book-length study of Operation Iraqi Freedom entitled "On Point." It is a revealing and fairly critical account of lessons learned from the war.

Last month, the Center for Army Lessons Learned posted the study here:

http://onpoint.leavenworth.army.mil/

Incredibly, however, the web version of the Army document is coded in such a way that it cannot be downloaded, or copied, or printed out. It must be read online at the Army site, or not at all.

This may be unprecedented for a government web site. The very notion of a document that cannot be downloaded is antithetical to the web and seems like an artifact from an alternate universe. If the Axis powers had won World War II, the whole internet might look like this.

But in a marvelous feat of textual engineering, the intrepid Francois Boo of GlobalSecurity.org managed to overcome the Army's restrictive coding of the document and to make it publicly available.

It can now be found -- and downloaded or printed -- here:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2004/onpoint/

Among the highlights of the report is the disclosure that the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad was not a spontaneous act of an Iraqi crowd, but was instigated by a U.S. Marine colonel backed by a psychological operations unit (reported in the LA Times July 3).
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