Unsafe in the Green Zone

By Mark Follman
Published October 7, 2004 12:43AM (UTC)
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As War Room noted back in mid-September, even the primary citadel of U.S. power in Iraq, Baghdad's Green Zone, had reportedly become vulnerable to attack by Iraqi insurgents. An alarming email from the U.S. embassy there, posted today by blogger Andrew Sullivan, confirms that the security situation has continued to deteriorate:

From: 'Baghdad, USConsul'
To: 'Baghdad, USConsul'
Subject: Warden Message
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 14:36:13 +0000


Warden Message - Increased Security Awareness within the International Zone

On October 5, 2004, at approximately 1 pm, U.S. Embassy security personnel discovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the Green Zone Cafi. A U.S. Military Explosive Ordnance Detachment safely disarmed the IED. American citizens living or working in the International Zone are strongly encouraged to take the following security precautions:

  • Limit non-essential movement within the International Zone, especially at night.
  • Travel in groups of two or more.
  • Carry several means of communication.
  • Avoid the Green Zone Café, the Chinese Restaurants, the Lone Star restaurant and Vendor Alley.
  • Conduct physical fitness training within a compound perimeter.
  • Notify office personnel or friends of your travel plans in the International Zone.
  • **** Conduct a thorough search of your vehicle prior to entering it.

    Consular Section
    US Embassy Baghdad

    Perhaps the embassy's email should also be forwarded to the White House. As John Edwards noted in his debate with Dick Cheney last night: "Mr. Vice President, you are still not being straight with the American people. I mean, the reality you and George Bush continue to tell people, first, that things are going well in Iraq it's not just me that sees the mess in Iraq. There are Republican leaders, like John McCain, like Richard Lugar, like Chuck Hagel, who have said Iraq is a mess and it's getting worse."

  • Mark Follman

    Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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