Thursday, December 23, 2004

All Apologies? 

I guess the right-wing media will apologize to the reporter now?
NEW YORK In his first public account of last week’s controversy, Spc. Thomas Wilson says that he came up with the now famous armor question for Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld on his own, without the help of oft-criticized reporter Edward Lee Pitts. And he adds, "If this is my 15 minutes of fame, I hope it saves a life."The account appears in next week’s edition of Time magazine.

Wilson, who serves with Tennessee’s 278th Regiment in the National Guard, tells Time that he befriended Pitts, an embed for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, at California's Fort Irwin, where his unit trained. Later, in Kuwait, after Pitts learned that only soldiers could ask questions at the upcoming town hall meeting with Rumsfeld in Kuwait, he urged Wilson to come up with some "intelligent questions."

After his convoy arrived at Camp Arijan in Kuwait, Wilson found hundreds of fully armored vehicles promised to another unit months down the road. Wilson says he asked if the 278th could use them in the meantime, and was told no. That inspired his question about the shortage of armor, which he showed to Pitts.

The reporter, far from being the protagonist, suggested that he find “a less brash way of asking the question," but Wilson “told him no, that I wanted to make my point very clear."

Wilson says he also came up with three alternate questions on his own.

The Time account continues: “As for Rumsfeld's brusque response -- that even a fully armored vehicle ‘can be blown up’ -- Wilson says, ‘Personally, I didn't like that answer.’”

But he added, “I hope I didn't do any damage to Secretary Rumsfeld.”

The question and the damage done.


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