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Jackie Spinner reporter for the Washington Post

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I went to hear her talk about her new novel "TELL THEM I DIDN'T CRY" and was glad I did because I came away with a better understanding of what is happening to our soldiers in Iraq.

She read mostly about how her desire to be in Iraq had a negative impact on her family. She also read a piece her twin sister Jenny had written about her, Jackie being gone.

But, the Q&A session was the most revealing. I don't think anyone can come away from a war experience unchanged and most certainly she did escape away unscathed.

When she was asked if she could confirm that the US used white phosphorous in Fallujah. She said 'I wrote about it. We call it Willy Pete. I don't know what the big deal is now. I wrote about it and so did a lot of other reporters. It burns people's skin off. I wrote about it when I saw it.'

Just go to washintonpost.com and search for it. You will see.

I did a search but couldn't find it. Maybe it's buried somewhere under some other headline.

She talked about how she hung out with all the other reporters and they shared all their information, except for of course, The New York Times (the only independent press left?) whoes reporters remained separate and in a different area. Hmmmm, interesting.

She said that she knew about what was going on at Abu Ghraib long before anything happened. Sabrina had delivered a Papa Johns pizza to her 10 years earlier and had helped her move a desk up her stairs. She was IMing the female torturer Sabrina Harman long before the story broke.

She mentioning to her editor that there was something going on at Abu Ghraib but they brushed it off. When 60 seconds II was going to break the story the editor asked her if she could get something out that day. Her EXCLUSIVE interview with Sabrina was what finally got her into Iraq.

OK, if I knew there was something going on, as a reporter isn't it my duty to make sure that story gets out there rather than sitting on it for 10 months? Am I being overly critical? I don't think she lacked courage as she has certainly demonstrated courage and strong heart by being in Iraq.

When asked about her fellow reporter Jill Carroll she said that they all understood when they went over there that they would not be returning. Jill knew the risk and that she, Jackie, held out less hope for her than others because why or how could they let an American that was that well know go? When she and Jill spoke...well Jill knew the risk.

She said all the reporters were on medication because you do not leave unchanged...except for her...she was not on medication. She did feel anger and had a difficult time feeling any joy since returning to the states.

She felt most angry because here we were supposedly in a war but we in the US did not feel it at all. She felt we should be on rations and wait in lines for our butter. I had to agree with her here. It would be better if we could know we were in a war, a true war with people dying needlessly and I feel certain that if there were rations on butter that there would be no war. There would be such an outcry against an unwanted, SHAMEFUL war if people were being drafted and we had to wait in line for our butter. But, for her to say we are not aware that we are in a war is simply not true. I know it when because our schools have no money, our children have no medical care, our poor live in their cars, our youth cannot attend college. I know we are in a war because everyday I bow my head in shame at this atrocity that my country (that I have) has committed.

After hearing Jackie speak I am most afraid and sad for what this war is doing to those boys over in Iraq. Who will come home?

  1. Blogger meredith said:

    This has nothing to do with this post. I just finished looking at all your pictures and have decided that I'm deeply in love with all of you and your life. Simply amazing.

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